William Shakespeare [Hudson edition]
Part 1 out of 3
by William Shakespeare
OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir after his death.
MARCUS ANTONIUS, " " "
M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS " " "
CICERO, PUBLIUS, POPILIUS LENA, Senators.
MARCUS BRUTUS, Conspirator against Caesar.
CASSIUS, " " "
CASCA, " " "
TREBONIUS, " " "
LIGARIUS, " " "
DECIUS BRUTUS, " " "
METELLUS CIMBER, " " "
CINNA, " " "
ARTEMIDORUS, a Sophist of Cnidos.
CINNA, a poet. Another Poet.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS, Friends
to Brutus and Cassius.
VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS, Servants to
PINDARUS, Servant to Cassius
The Ghost of Caesar
Senators, Citizens, Soldiers, Commoners, Messengers, and
CALPURNIA, wife to Caesar
PORTIA, wife to Brutus
SCENE: Rome, the conspirators' camp near Sardis, and the plains
SCENE I. Rome. A street.
[Enter Flavius, Marullus, and a Throng of Citizens.]
Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home!
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a laboring day without the sign
Of your profession?--Speak, what trade art thou?
Why, sir, a carpenter.
Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?--
You, sir; what trade are you?
Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you
would say, a cobbler.
But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?
Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet,
if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
Why, sir, cobble you.
Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
Truly, Sir, all that I live by is with the awl; I meddle with
no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl.
I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in
great danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
neat's-leather have gone upon my handiwork.
But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes to get myself into more
work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Caesar and to
rejoice in his triumph.
Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day with patient expectation
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks
To hear the replication of your sounds
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
Assemble all the poor men of your sort,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
See whether their basest metal be not moved;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I. Disrobe the images,
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.
May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about
And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
SCENE II. The same. A public place.
[Enter, in procession, with music, Caesar; Antony, for the
course; Calpurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and
Casca; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.]
Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
Here, my lord.
Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his course.--Antonius,--
Caesar, my lord?
Forget not in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
I shall remember.
When Caesar says "Do this," it is perform'd.
Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
Ha! Who calls?
Bid every noise be still.--Peace yet again!
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry "Caesar"! Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Beware the Ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.
Set him before me; let me see his face.
Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
Beware the Ides of March.
He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but BRUTUS and CASSIUS.]
Will you go see the order of the course?
I pray you, do.
I am not gamesome; I do lack some part
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:
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;
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
But by reflection, by some other thing.
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,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;
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 people
Choose Caesar for their king.
Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well,
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 honor 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 honor more than I fear death.
I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favor.
Well, honor 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 color fly;
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his luster. 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!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar.
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 dishonorable 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 them,
"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
Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king!
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
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 words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
The games are done, and Caesar is returning.
As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note today.
[Re-enter Caesar and his Train.]
I will do so.--But, look you, 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.
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.
Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman and well given.
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 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.
[Exeunt Caesar and his Train. Casca stays.]
You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?
Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today,
That Caesar looks so sad.
Why, you were with him, were you not?
I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.
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.
What was the second noise for?
Why, for that too.
They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
Why, for that too.
Was the crown offer'd him thrice?
Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler
than other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbors
Who offer'd him the crown?
Tell us the manner of it, gentle 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
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 shouted, and clapp'd
their chopt 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 swooned 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 swoon?
He fell down in the market-place, and foam'd at mouth, and was
'Tis very like: he hath the falling-sickness.
No, Caesar hath it not; but you, and I,
And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.
I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure 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?
Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common
herd was glad he refused the crown, he pluck'd 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 stabb'd their
mothers, they would have done no less.
And, after that he came, thus sad away?
Did Cicero say any thing?
Ay, he spoke Greek.
To what effect?
Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the 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 could remember it.
Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?
No, I am promised forth.
Will you dine with me tomorrow?
Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth
Good; I will expect you.
Do so; farewell both.
What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
He was quick mettle when he went to school.
So is he now in execution
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:
Tomorrow, 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.--
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honorable metal may be wrought,
From that it is disposed: therefore 'tis 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 humor 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.
SCENE III. The same. A street.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides, CASCA, with
his sword drawn, and CICERO.]
Good even, Casca: brought you Caesar home?
Why are you breathless, and why stare you so?
Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have rived the knotty oaks; and I have seen
Th' ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds:
But never till tonight, 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.
Why, saw you anything more wonderful?
A common slave--you'd 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 glared 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 marketplace,
Howling 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.
Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time.
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Caesar to the Capitol tomorrow?
He doth, for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.
Good then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
Casca, by your voice.
Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
A very pleasing night to honest men.
Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
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 bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;
And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
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.
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;--
Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures, and preformed faculties
To monstrous quality;--why, you shall find
That Heaven hath infused 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.
'Tis Caesar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?
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 show us womanish.
Indeed they say the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Caesar as a king;
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
In every place save here in Italy.
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.
So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
And why should Caesar 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 Caesar! 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.
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 moved already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise
Of honorable-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 favor'd like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend.--
Cinna, where haste you so?
To find out you. Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
No, it is Casca, one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?
I am glad on't. What a fearful night is this!
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.
Am I not stay'd for? tell me.
You are. O Cassius, if you could but win
The noble Brutus to our party,--
Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the praetor's chair,
Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window; set this up with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,
Repair to Pompey's Porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
All but Metellus Cimber, and he's gone
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.--
Come, Casca, you and I will yet, ere day,
See Brutus at his house: three parts of him
Is ours already; and the man entire,
Upon the next encounter, yields him ours.
O, he sits high in all the people's hearts!
And that which would appear offense in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
Him, and his worth, and our great need of him,
You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight; and, ere day,
We will awake him, and be sure of him.
SCENE I. Rome. BRUTUS'S orchard.
What, Lucius, ho!--
I cannot, by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day.--Lucius, I say!--
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.--
When, Lucius, when! Awake, I say! What, Lucius!
Call'd you, my lord?
Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
I will, my lord.
It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:
How that might change his nature, there's the question:
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking. Crown him?--that:
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
Th' abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorse from power; and, to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But, when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend: so Caesar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no color for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus,--that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which hatch'd, would, as his kind grow mischievous;
And kill him in the shell.
The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
Searching the window for a flint I found
This paper thus seal'd up, and I am sure
It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Get you to bed again; it is not day.
Is not tomorrow, boy, the Ides of March?
I know not, sir.
Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
I will, sir.
The exhalations, whizzing in the air
Give so much light that I may read by them.--
[Opens the letter and reads.]
"Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake and see thyself.
Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress--!
Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!--"
Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.
"Shall Rome, & c." Thus must I piece it out:
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.--
"Speak, strike, redress!"--Am I entreated, then,
To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!
Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.
'Tis good. Go to the gate, somebody knocks.--
Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.
Is he alone?
No, sir, there are more with him.
Do you know them?
No, sir, their hats are pluck'd about their ears,
And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favor.
Let 'em enter.--
They are the faction.--O conspiracy,
Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability:
For if thou pass, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.
[Enter Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, and
I think we are too bold upon your rest:
Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?
I have been up this hour, awake all night.
Know I these men that come along with you?
Yes, every man of them; and no man here
But honors you; and every one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
He is welcome hither.
This Decius Brutus.
He is welcome too.
This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.
They are all welcome.--
What watchful cares do interpose themselves
Betwixt your eyes and night?
Shall I entreat a word?
[BRUTUS and CASSIUS whisper apart.]
Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?
O, pardon, sir, it doth, and yon grey lines
That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
You shall confess that you are both deceived.
Here, as I point my sword, the Sun arises;
Which is a great way growing on the South,
Weighing the youthful season of the year.
Some two months hence, up higher toward the North
He first presents his fire; and the high East
Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.
Give me your hands all over, one by one.
And let us swear our resolution.
No, not an oath: if not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse--
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-sighted tyranny range on,
Till each man drop by lottery. But if these,
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women; then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress? what other bond
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter? and what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engaged,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it?
Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous,
Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath; when every drop of blood
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy,
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.
But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
Let us not leave him out.
No, by no means.
O, let us have him! for his silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:
It shall be said, his judgment ruled our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.
O, name him not! let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.
Then leave him out.
Indeed, he is not fit.
Shall no man else be touch'd but only Caesar?
Decius, well urged.--I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all: which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together.
Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit,
And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
And after seem to chide 'em. This shall mark
Our purpose necessary, and not envious;
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm
When Caesar's head is off.
Yet I do fear him;
For in th' ingrafted love he bears to Caesar--
Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:
If he love Caesar, all that he can do
Is to himself,--take thought and die for Caesar.
And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.
There is no fear in him; let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
Peace! count the clock.
The clock hath stricken three.
'Tis time to part.
But it is doubtful yet
Whether Caesar will come forth today or no;
For he is superstitious grown of late,
Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
It may be these apparent prodigies,
The unaccustom'd terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers
May hold him from the Capitol to-day.
Never fear that: if he be so resolved,
I can o'ersway him, for he loves to hear
That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers:
But when I tell him he hates flatterers,
He says he does, being then most flattered.
Let me work;
For I can give his humor the true bent,
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?
Be that the uttermost; and fail not then.
Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey:
I wonder none of you have thought of him.
Now, good Metellus, go along by him:
He loves me well, and I have given him reason;
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him.
The morning comes upon 's. We'll leave you, Brutus;--
And, friends, disperse yourselves, but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.
Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on our purposes,
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untired spirits and formal constancy:
And so, good morrow to you every one.--
[Exeunt all but Brutus.]
Boy! Lucius!--Fast asleep? It is no matter;
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber:
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
Brutus, my lord!
Portia, what mean you? wherefore rise you now?
It is not for your health thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw-cold morning.
Nor for yours neither. You've ungently, Brutus,
Stole from my bed: and yesternight, at supper,
You suddenly arose, and walk'd about,
Musing and sighing, with your arms across;
And, when I ask'd you what the matter was,
You stared upon me with ungentle looks:
I urged you further; then you scratch'd your head,
And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot:
Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not;
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seem'd too much enkindled; and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humour,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep;
And, could it work so much upon your shape
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
I am not well in health, and that is all.
Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.
Is Brutus sick? and is it physical
To walk unbraced and suck up the humours
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
To dare the vile contagion of the night,
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;
You have some sick offense within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of: and, upon my knees,
I charge you, by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love, and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy, and what men to-night
Have had resort to you; for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
Kneel not, gentle Portia.
I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort or limitation,--
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs
Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.
You are my true and honorable wife;
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
If this were true, then should I know this secret.
I grant I am a woman; but withal
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:
I grant I am a woman; but withal
A woman well reputed, Cato's daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so father'd and so husbanded?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose 'em.
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here in the thigh: can I bear that with patience
And not my husband's secrets?
O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife!
Hark, hark, one knocks: Portia, go in awhile;
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart:
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste.
--Lucius, who's that knocks?
[Re-enter Lucius with Ligarius.]
Here is a sick man that would speak with you.
Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.--
Boy, stand aside.--Caius Ligarius,--how?
Vouchsafe good-morrow from a feeble tongue.
O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!
I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.
Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness. Soul of Rome!
Brave son, derived from honorable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible;
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?
A piece of work that will make sick men whole.
But are not some whole that we must make sick?
That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee, as we are going,
To whom it must be done.
Set on your foot;
And with a heart new-fired I follow you,
To do I know not what: but it sufficeth
That Brutus leads me on.
Follow me then.
SCENE II. A room in Caesar's palace.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter Caesar, in his nightgown.]
Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight:
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
"Help, ho! They murder Caesar!"--Who's within?
[Enter a Servant.]
Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
I will, my lord.
What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten me
Ne'er look but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan;
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar,these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them!
What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.--
What say the augurers?
They would not have you to stir forth to-day.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home today for fear.
No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;
And Caesar shall go forth.
Alas, my lord,
Your wisdom is consumed in confidence!
Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
We'll send Mark Antony to the Senate-house,
And he shall say you are not well to-day:
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
And, for thy humor, I will stay at home.
Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar:
I come to fetch you to the Senate-house.
And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the Senators,
And tell them that I will not come to-day.
Cannot, is false; and that I dare not, falser:
I will not come to-day. Tell them so, Decius.
Say he is sick.
Shall Caesar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth?--
Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.
The cause is in my will; I will not come:
That is enough to satisfy the Senate.
But, for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know:
Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
She dreamt to-night she saw my statua,
Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it:
And these does she apply for warnings and portents
And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begg'd that I will stay at home to-day.
This dream is all amiss interpreted:
It was a vision fair and fortunate.
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood; and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.
And this way have you well expounded it.
I have, when you have heard what I can say;
And know it now: The Senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
If you shall send them word you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be render'd, for someone to say
"Break up the Senate till another time,
When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams."
If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
"Lo, Caesar is afraid"?
Pardon me, Caesar; for my dear dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this;
And reason to my love is liable.
How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!
I am ashamed I did yield to them.
Give me my robe, for I will go.
[Enter Publius, Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca,
Trebonius, and Cinna.]
And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
Good morrow, Caesar.
What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?--
Good morrow, Casca.--Caius Ligarius,
Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy
As that same ague which hath made you lean.--
What is't o'clock?
Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.
I thank you for your pains and courtesy.
See! Antony, that revels long o'nights,
Is notwithstanding up.--Good morrow, Antony.
So to most noble Caesar.
Bid them prepare within:
I am to blame to be thus waited for.--
Now, Cinna;--now, Metellus;--what, Trebonius!
I have an hour's talk in store for you:
Remember that you call on me to-day;
Be near me, that I may remember you.
Caesar, I will. [Aside.] and so near will I be,
That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;
And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
[Aside.] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon!
SCENE III. A street near the Capitol.
[Enter Artemidorus, reading paper.]
"Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come
not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; mark
well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast
wrong'd Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men,
and it is bent against Caesar. If thou be'st not immortal, look
about you: security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods
Thy lover, Artemidorus."
Here will I stand till Caesar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.
My heart laments that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.--
If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayest live;
If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive.
SCENE IV. Another part of the same street, before the house of
[Enter Portia and Lucius.]
I pr'ythee, boy, run to the Senate-house;
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.
Why dost thou stay?
To know my errand, madam.
I would have had thee there, and here again,
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.--
[Aside.] O constancy, be strong upon my side!
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!--
Art thou here yet?
Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?
Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth: and take good note
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! what noise is that?
I hear none, madam.
Pr'ythee, listen well:
I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.
Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.
Come hither, fellow:
Which way hast thou been?
At mine own house, good lady.
What is't o'clock?
About the ninth hour, lady.
Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol?
Madam, not yet: I go to take my stand
To see him pass on to the Capitol.
Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?
That I have, lady: if it will please Caesar
To be so good to Caesar as to hear me,
I shall beseech him to befriend himself.
Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards him?
None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.
Good morrow to you.--Here the street is narrow:
The throng that follows Caesar at the heels,
Of Senators, of Praetors, common suitors,
Will crowd a feeble man almost to death:
I'll get me to a place more void, and there
Speak to great Caesar as he comes along.
I must go in.--[Aside.] Ah me, how weak a thing
The heart of woman is!--O Brutus,
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise!--
Sure, the boy heard me.--Brutus hath a suit
That Caesar will not grant.--O, I grow faint.--
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord;
Say I am merry: come to me again,
And bring me word what he doth say to thee.
SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting.
[A crowd of people in the street leading to the Capitol, among
them Artemidorus and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter Caesar,
Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna,
Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius, and others.]
The Ides of March are come.
Ay, Caesar; but not gone.
Hail, Caesar! read this schedule.
Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
O Caesar, read mine first; for mine's a suit
That touches Caesar nearer: read it, great Caesar.
What touches us ourself shall be last served.
Delay not, Caesar; read it instantly.
What, is the fellow mad?
Sirrah, give place.
What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
[Caesar enters the Capitol, the rest following. All the Senators
I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive.
What enterprise, Popilius?
Fare you well.
Advances to Caesar.
What said Popilius Lena?
He wish'd to-day our enterprise might thrive.
I fear our purpose is discovered.
Look, how he makes to Caesar: mark him.
Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.--
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.
Trebonius knows his time, for, look you, Brutus,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[Exeunt Antony and Trebonius. Caesar and the Senators take their
Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.
He is address'd; press near and second him.
Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
Are we all ready?
What is now amiss
That Caesar and his Senate must redress?
Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart.
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree
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