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Casca. So he is now, in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprize,
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.
Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,
Come home with me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. 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; 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. [Exit.
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 sway of earth
'From that it is disposed to.
3 The whole weight or momentum of this globe. [J. Cæs. 12]
take hold of my affections.
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
Th' ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat'ning 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 have 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 noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
These are their reasons,―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,
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.
Altogether from the purpose.
Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of
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 by bosom to the thunder-stone:
And, when the cross blue lightning seemed to open
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.
Cas. 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 cast 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; '
Why old men fools, and children calculate;2
Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
That is, deviate from quality and nature. [J. CES. 14]
To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
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?
Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now Have thewes and limbs like to their ancestors; But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead, And we are govern'd with our mother's spirits; Our yoke and sufferance show 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 eyery place, save here in Italy.
Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then; Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
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.
bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
Cas. 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,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar? But, O, grief!
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman: then I know
My answer' must be made: 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: 2
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 enterprize
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 element,
Is favour'd, like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in
Cas. 'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait; He is a friend.-Cinna, where haste you so?