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Sc. II

CASS. I know that virtue to be in you, 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 Cæsar; 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,
Cæsar said to me Dar'st 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 propos'd,
Cæsar cried Help me, Cassius, or I sink!

I, as Æneas, 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 Cæsar: and this man

Is now become a God; and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar 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

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[Shout. Flourish.

Sc. II

So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
BRU. Another general shout!

I do believe that these applauses are

For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.

CASS, Why, Man, he doth bestride the narrow World
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 Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than your's?
Write them together, your's 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 Cæsar.
Now, in the names of all the Gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,

That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd! 150
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great Flood,
But it was fam'd 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 room1 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'd2

The eternal Devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a King.

BRU. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;

What you would work me to, I have some aim :3
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 mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,

I will with patience hear; and find a time

1 the pronunciation appears to have been the same.


4 urged, persuaded, passioned.

2 suffered.

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Meet both to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my noble Friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager

Sc. II. Till then, my

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 words have struck but thus much show
Of fire from Brutus.

BRU. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
CASS. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.

Re-enter CESAR and his Train.

BRU. I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar'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 Senator.
CASS. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
CES. Antonius-

ANT. Cæsar?

CAS. Let me have men about me that are fat;
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.
ANT. Fear him not, Cæsar; he's not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman, and well given.

CES. Would he were fatter! but I fear him not:
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 mov'd 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 Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.


[Sennet. Exeunt CESAR and all his Train
but CASCA.

CASCA. You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak
with me?

BRU. Ay, Casca: tell us what hath chanc'd to-day,

That Cæsar looks so sad.

CASCA. Why, you were with him, were you not?

BRU. I should not, then, ask Casca what had chanc'd. 219
CASCA. Why, there was a crown offer'd him; and, being

offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
thus; and then the People fell a-shouting.

BRU. What was the second noise for?

CASCA. Why, for that too.

CASS. They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
CASCA. Why, for that too.

BRU. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?

CASCA. Ay, marry, was 't; and he put it by thrice, every

time gentler than other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbours shouted.

CASS. Who offer'd him the crown?

CASCA. Why, Antony.

BRU. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.


CASCA. I can as well be hang'd as tell the manner of it: 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 offer'd it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offer'd it the third time; he put it the third time by and still, as he refus'd it, the rabblement


Sc. II

Sc. II

hooted, and clapp'd their chopp'd hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and utter'd such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refus'd the crown, that it had almost chok'd Cæsar; 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.


CASS. But, soft! I pray you: what, did Cæsar swound? CASCA. He fell down in the Market-Place, and foam'd at mouth, and was speechless.

BRU. 'Tis very like: he hath the falling sickness.1

CASS. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASCA. I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag People did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleas'd and displeas'd them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.



BRU. What said he when he came unto himself?
CASCA. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd
the common herd was glad he refus'd the crown, he
pluck'd me ope his doublet, and offer'd 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 desir'd 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 Cæsar had stabb'd their mothers, they would
have done no less.

BRU. And, after that, he came thus sad away?


CASS. Did Cicero say any thing?

CASCA. Ay; he spoke Greek.

CASS. To what effect?


CASCA. Nay; an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again but those that understood him smil'd at one another, and shook their heads; but, for mine own 1 epilepsy.

2 trade; i.e. a workman.

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