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part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Cass. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ?

CASCA. NO; I am promis'd forth.

CASS. Will you dine with me to-morrow?


CASCA. Ay; if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your

dinner worth the eating.

CASS. Good; I will expect you.

CASCA. Do so: farewell, both.

BRU. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

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He was quick mettle when he went to school.

CASS. So is he now, in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprise,

However he puts on this tardy1 form.

This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

BRU. And so it is. For this time I will leave you :

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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. CASS. I will do so: till then, think of the world.




Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos'd: therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd?
Cæsar doth bear me hard,2 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

Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at:

And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;

For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

1 boorish.




2 hath a grudge against me.


Sc. II


SCENE III. The Same. A Street.

Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides,
CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO.

CIC. Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar home?
Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?
CASCA. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway1 of Earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,

I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious Ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds :
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in Heaven,

Or else the World, too saucy with the Gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.

CIC. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
CASCA. A common slave (you know him well by sight)
Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,

Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.

Besides (I ha' not since put up my sword)

Against the Capitol I met a lion,

Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me: and there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,

Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.

And yesterday the Bird of Night did sit
Even at noonday upon the Market-Place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
These are their seasons; they are natural;
For I believe they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.
CIC. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:
But men may construe things after their fashion,

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Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?
CASCA. He doth; for he did bid Antonius

Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.
CIC. Good night, then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.



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CASCA. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
CASS. A very pleasing night to honest men.

CASCA. Who ever knew the Heavens menace so?

CASS. Those that have known the Earth so full of faults.

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,

Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone:

And, when the cross1 blue lightning seem'd to open 50
The breast of Heaven, I did present myself

Even in the aim and very flash of it.

CASCA. But wherefore did you so much tempt the
Heavens ?

It is the part of men to fear and tremble,

When the most mighty Gods, by tokens, send

Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

CASS. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman you do want,

Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and case yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the Heavens:
But, if you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires, why all these gliding Ghosts,
Why birds and beasts from quality and kind;2

Why old men fool, and children calculate;

Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures, and preformed3 faculties,

To monstrous quality; why, you shall find


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That Heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear and warning
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars,
As doth the lion, in the Capitol ;

A man no mightier than thyself or me

In personal action; yet prodigious grown,

And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

CASCA. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean, is it not, Cassius?
CASS. Let it be who it is, for Romans now

Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors:
But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;
Our yoke and sufferance shew us womanish.
CASCA. Indeed, they say the Senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a King;

And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.

CASS. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:



Therein, ye Gods, you make the weak most strong; 90
Therein, ye Gods, you tyrants do defeat:

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But Life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear

I can shake off at pleasure.


[Thunder still.

So can I:

So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
CASS. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then?

Poor Man! I know he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,

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What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves

For the base matter to illuminate

So vile a thing as Cæsar!

Where hast thou led me?

But, O Grief,

I perhaps speak this

Before a willing bondman: then I know
My answer must be made;1 but I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

CASCA. You speak to Casca; and to such a man


That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;

And I will set this foot of mine as far

As who goes farthest.


There's a bargain made.


Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise

Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me

In Pompey's Porch for now, this fearful night,
There is no stir or walking in the streets;

And the complexion of the elements

In favour's like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

CASCA. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.

CASS. 'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait;

He is a friend.


Enter CINNA.

Cinna, where haste you so?

CIN. To find out you.

CASS. No; it is Casca:

Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
one incorporate

To our attempt. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?
CIN. I am glad on 't. What a fearful night is this!
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.
CASS. Am I not stay'd for? tell me.


O, Cassius, if you could but win
The noble Brutus to our party-

Yes; you are.

CASS. Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the Prætor's chair,


1 i.e. I must pay my reckoning, as one called to account.

2 leering.

3 air.



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