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Home > Julius Caesar > ACT I - SCENE II. A public place.

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ACT I - SCENE II. A public place.
1    Calpurnia!
2    Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
3    Calpurnia!
4    Here, my lord.
5    Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
6    When he doth run his course. Antonius!
7    Caesar, my lord?
8    Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
9    To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
10   The barren, touched in this holy chase,
11   Shake off their sterile curse.
12   I shall remember:
13   When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd.
14   Set on; and leave no ceremony out.

15   Caesar!
16   Ha! who calls?
17   Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!
18   Who is it in the press that calls on me?
19   I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
20   Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.
21   Beware the ides of March.
22   What man is that?
23   A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
24   Set him before me; let me see his face.
25   Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
26   What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.
27   Beware the ides of March.
28   He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
Sennet. Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS

29   Will you go see the order of the course?
30   Not I.
31   I pray you, do.
32   I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
33   Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
34   Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
35   I'll leave you.
36   Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
37   I have not from your eyes that gentleness
38   And show of love as I was wont to have:
39   You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
40   Over your friend that loves you.
41   Cassius,
42   Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,
43   I turn the trouble of my countenance
44   Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
45   Of late with passions of some difference,
46   Conceptions only proper to myself,
47   Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
48   But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--
49   Among which number, Cassius, be you one--
50   Nor construe any further my neglect,
51   Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
52   Forgets the shows of love to other men.
53   Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
54   By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
55   Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
56   Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
57   No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
58   But by reflection, by some other things.
59   'Tis just:
60   And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
61   That you have no such mirrors as will turn
62   Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
63   That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
64   Where many of the best respect in Rome,
65   Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
66   And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
67   Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
68   Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
69   That you would have me seek into myself
70   For that which is not in me?
71   Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:
72   And since you know you cannot see yourself
73   So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
74   Will modestly discover to yourself
75   That of yourself which you yet know not of.
76   And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
77   Were I a common laugher, or did use
78   To stale with ordinary oaths my love
79   To every new protester; if you know
80   That I do fawn on men and hug them hard
81   And after scandal them, or if you know
82   That I profess myself in banqueting
83   To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
Flourish, and shout

84   What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
85   Choose Caesar for their king.
86   Ay, do you fear it?
87   Then must I think you would not have it so.
88   I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
89   But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
90   What is it that you would impart to me?
91   If it be aught toward the general good,
92   Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
93   And I will look on both indifferently,
94   For let the gods so speed me as I love
95   The name of honour more than I fear death.
96   I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
97   As well as I do know your outward favour.
98   Well, honour is the subject of my story.
99   I cannot tell what you and other men
100  Think of this life; but, for my single self,
101  I had as lief not be as live to be
102  In awe of such a thing as I myself.
103  I was born free as Caesar; so were you:
104  We both have fed as well, and we can both
105  Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
106  For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
107  The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
108  Caesar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, now
109  Leap in with me into this angry flood,
110  And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,
111  Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
112  And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
113  The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
114  With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
115  And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
116  But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
117  Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'
118  I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
119  Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
120  The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
121  Did I the tired Caesar. And this man
122  Is now become a god, and Cassius is
123  A wretched creature and must bend his body,
124  If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
125  He had a fever when he was in Spain,
126  And when the fit was on him, I did mark
127  How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
128  His coward lips did from their colour fly,
129  And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
130  Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
131  Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
132  Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
133  Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
134  As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
135  A man of such a feeble temper should
136  So get the start of the majestic world
137  And bear the palm alone.
Shout. Flourish

138  Another general shout!
139  I do believe that these applauses are
140  For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar.
141  Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
142  Like a Colossus, and we petty men
143  Walk under his huge legs and peep about
144  To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
145  Men at some time are masters of their fates:
146  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
147  But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
148  Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
149  Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
150  Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
151  Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
152  Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
153  Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
154  Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
155  Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
156  That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
157  Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
158  When went there by an age, since the great flood,
159  But it was famed with more than with one man?
160  When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,
161  That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
162  Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
163  When there is in it but one only man.
164  O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
165  There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
166  The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
167  As easily as a king.
168  That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
169  What you would work me to, I have some aim:
170  How I have thought of this and of these times,
171  I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
172  I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
173  Be any further moved. What you have said
174  I will consider; what you have to say
175  I will with patience hear, and find a time
176  Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
177  Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
178  Brutus had rather be a villager
179  Than to repute himself a son of Rome
180  Under these hard conditions as this time
181  Is like to lay upon us.
182  I am glad that my weak words
183  Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
184  The games are done and Caesar is returning.
185  As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
186  And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
187  What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.
Re-enter CAESAR and his Train

188  I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
189  The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
190  And all the rest look like a chidden train:
191  Calpurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
192  Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
193  As we have seen him in the Capitol,
194  Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
195  Casca will tell us what the matter is.
196  Antonius!
197  Caesar?
198  Let me have men about me that are fat;
199  Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
200  Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
201  He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
202  Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
203  He is a noble Roman and well given.
204  Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
205  Yet if my name were liable to fear,
206  I do not know the man I should avoid
207  So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
208  He is a great observer and he looks
209  Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
210  As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
211  Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
212  As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
213  That could be moved to smile at any thing.
214  Such men as he be never at heart's ease
215  Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
216  And therefore are they very dangerous.
217  I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd
218  Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.
219  Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
220  And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his Train, but CASCA

221  You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?
222  Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,
223  That Caesar looks so sad.
224  Why, you were with him, were you not?
225  I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.
226  Why, there was a crown offered him: and being
227  offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
228  thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.
229  What was the second noise for?
230  Why, for that too.
231  They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
232  Why, for that too.
233  Was the crown offered him thrice?
234  Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every
235  time gentler than other, and at every putting-by
236  mine honest neighbours shouted.
237  Who offered him the crown?
238  Why, Antony.
239  Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
240  I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it:
241  it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark
242  Antony offer him a crown;--yet 'twas not a crown
243  neither, 'twas one of these coronets;--and, as I told
244  you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my
245  thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he
246  offered it to him again; then he put it by again:
247  but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his
248  fingers off it. And then he offered it the third
249  time; he put it the third time by: and still as he
250  refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their
251  chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps
252  and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because
253  Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked
254  Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and
255  for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of
256  opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
257  But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?
258  He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at
259  mouth, and was speechless.
260  'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.
261  No, Caesar hath it not; but you and I,
262  And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.
263  I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure,
264  Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not
265  clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and
266  displeased them, as they use to do the players in
267  the theatre, I am no true man.
268  What said he when he came unto himself?
269  Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the
270  common herd was glad he refused the crown, he
271  plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
272  throat to cut. An I had been a man of any
273  occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word,
274  I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so
275  he fell. When he came to himself again, he said,
276  If he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired
277  their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three
278  or four wenches, where I stood, cried 'Alas, good
279  soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts: but
280  there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had
281  stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
282  And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
283  Ay.
284  Did Cicero say any thing?
285  Ay, he spoke Greek.
286  To what effect?
287  Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the
288  face again: but those that understood him smiled at
289  one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
290  part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
291  news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs
292  off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you
293  well. There was more foolery yet, if I could
294  remember it.
295  Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
296  No, I am promised forth.
297  Will you dine with me to-morrow?
298  Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner
299  worth the eating.
300  Good: I will expect you.
301  Do so. Farewell, both.

302  What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
303  He was quick mettle when he went to school.
304  So is he now in execution
305  Of any bold or noble enterprise,
306  However he puts on this tardy form.
307  This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
308  Which gives men stomach to digest his words
309  With better appetite.
310  And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
311  To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
312  I will come home to you; or, if you will,
313  Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
314  I will do so: till then, think of the world.
315  Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
316  Thy honourable metal may be wrought
317  From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet
318  That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
319  For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
320  Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
321  If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
322  He should not humour me. I will this night,
323  In several hands, in at his windows throw,
324  As if they came from several citizens,
325  Writings all tending to the great opinion
326  That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
327  Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
328  And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
329  For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

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