|The Life and Death of Julius Caesar|
| Julius Caesar
| Act 1, Scene 2
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Flourish. Enter CAESAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS BRUTUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a SoothsayerCAESAR
Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.CAESAR
Here, my lord.CAESAR
Stand you directly in Antonius' way,ANTONY
When he doth run his course. Antonius!
Caesar, my lord?CAESAR
Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,ANTONY
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
I shall remember:CAESAR
When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd.
Set on; and leave no ceremony out.Soothsayer
Ha! who calls?CASCA
Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!CAESAR
Who is it in the press that calls on me?Soothsayer
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Beware the ides of March.CAESAR
What man is that?BRUTUS
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.CAESAR
Set him before me; let me see his face.CASSIUS
Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.CAESAR
What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.Soothsayer
Beware the ides of March.CAESAR
He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.CASSIUS
Sennet. Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS
Will you go see the order of the course?BRUTUS
I pray you, do.BRUTUS
I am not gamesome: I do lack some partCASSIUS
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
Brutus, I do observe you now of late:BRUTUS
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--
Among which number, Cassius, be you one--
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;BRUTUS
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,CASSIUS
But by reflection, by some other things.
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,CASSIUS
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:BRUTUS
And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men and hug them hard
And after scandal them, or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
Flourish, and shout
What means this shouting? I do fear, the peopleCASSIUS
Choose Caesar for their king.
Ay, do you fear it?BRUTUS
Then must I think you would not have it so.
I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.CASSIUS
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently,
For let the gods so speed me as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death.
I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,BRUTUS
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Caesar; so were you:
We both have fed as well, and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Caesar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'
I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Caesar. And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body,
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
His coward lips did from their colour fly,
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world
And bear the palm alone.
Another general shout!CASSIUS
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow worldBRUTUS
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;CASSIUS
What you would work me to, I have some aim:
How I have thought of this and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further moved. What you have said
I will consider; what you have to say
I will with patience hear, and find a time
Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
I am glad that my weak wordsBRUTUS
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
The games are done and Caesar is returning.CASSIUS
As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;BRUTUS
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.
Re-enter CAESAR and his Train
I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,CASSIUS
The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calpurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
Casca will tell us what the matter is.CAESAR
Let me have men about me that are fat;ANTONY
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;CAESAR
He is a noble Roman and well given.
Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:CASCA
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
He is a great observer and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd
Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his Train, but CASCA
You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?BRUTUS
Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,CASCA
That Caesar looks so sad.
Why, you were with him, were you not?BRUTUS
I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.CASCA
Why, there was a crown offered him: and beingBRUTUS
offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.
What was the second noise for?CASCA
Why, for that too.CASSIUS
They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?CASCA
Why, for that too.BRUTUS
Was the crown offered him thrice?CASCA
Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, everyCASSIUS
time gentler than other, and at every putting-by
mine honest neighbours shouted.
Who offered him the crown?CASCA
Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.CASCA
I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it:CASSIUS
it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark
Antony offer him a crown;--yet 'twas not a crown
neither, 'twas one of these coronets;--and, as I told
you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my
thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he
offered it to him again; then he put it by again:
but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his
fingers off it. And then he offered it the third
time; he put it the third time by: and still as he
refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their
chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps
and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because
Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked
Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and
for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of
opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?CASCA
He fell down in the market-place, and foamed atBRUTUS
mouth, and was speechless.
'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.CASSIUS
No, Caesar hath it not; but you and I,CASCA
And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.
I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure,BRUTUS
Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not
clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and
displeased them, as they use to do the players in
the theatre, I am no true man.
What said he when he came unto himself?CASCA
Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived theBRUTUS
common herd was glad he refused the crown, he
plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
throat to cut. An I had been a man of any
occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word,
I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so
he fell. When he came to himself again, he said,
If he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired
their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three
or four wenches, where I stood, cried 'Alas, good
soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts: but
there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had
stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
And after that, he came, thus sad, away?CASCA
Did Cicero say any thing?CASCA
Ay, he spoke Greek.CASSIUS
To what effect?CASCA
Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' theCASSIUS
face again: but those that understood him smiled at
one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs
off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you
well. There was more foolery yet, if I could
Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?CASCA
No, I am promised forth.CASSIUS
Will you dine with me to-morrow?CASCA
Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinnerCASSIUS
worth the eating.
Good: I will expect you.CASCA
Do so. Farewell, both.BRUTUS
What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!CASSIUS
He was quick mettle when he went to school.
So is he now in executionBRUTUS
Of any bold or noble enterprise,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.
And so it is. For this time I will leave you:CASSIUS
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,
Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
I will do so: till then, think of the world.
Exit BRUTUSWell, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
| Julius Caesar
| Act 1, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene