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Their natures and pre-formed 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.
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius ?
Cas. 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.
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.
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.
Casca. So can I:
So every 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. Holdt my hand :
Be factious; for redress of all these griefs ;
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.
Cas. 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 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 haste.
Cas. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend.-Cinna, where haste you so ?
Cin. To find out you: Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid 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.
Cas. Am I not staid for, Cinna? Tell me.
You are. 0, Cassius, if you could but win
The noble Brutus to our party-
Cas. Be you content: Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the prætor'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?
Cin. 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.
Cas. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre. [Exit Cixxa.
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.
Casca. 0, he sits high, in all the people's hearts :
And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchyny,
Will change to virtue, and to worthiness.
Cas. 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 1.—The same. BRUTUS' Orchard.
Bru. 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 soundły.-
When, Lucius, when !* Awake, I say: What, Lucius !
Luc. Calld you, my lord ?
Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
Luc. I will, my lord.
Bru. 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.
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorset from power: And, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But'tis a common proof, I
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 Cæsar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no colour 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 niischievous;
And kill him in the shell.
Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, Sir.
Searching the window for a flint, I found
This paper, thus sealed up; and, I am sure,
It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?
Luc. I know hot, Sir.
Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
Luc. I wiil, Sir.
* An exclamation of impatience.
Bru. 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, fc. 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 callid 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.
Re-enter LUCIUS. Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days. [Knock within.
Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks. [Exit LUCIUS.
Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
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.
Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.
Bru. Is he alone ?
Luc. No, Sir, there are more with him.
Bru. No you know them ?
Luc. 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 favour. *
Bru. Let them 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 path thy native semblanceť on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.
† Walk in thy true form.
Enter CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, METELLUS CIMBER,
Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest :
Good morrow, Brutus; Do we trouble you ?
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.
Know I these men, that come along with you ?
Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,
But honours you; and every one doth wish,
You had but that opinion of yourself,
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
Bru. He is welcome hither.
Cas. This Decius Brutus.
Bru. He is welcome too.
Cas. This, Casca; this, Cinna;
And this, Metellus Cimber.
Bru. They are all welcome.
What watchful cares do interpose themselves
Betwixt your eyes and night?
Cas. Shall I entreat a word ?
Dec. Here lies the east: Doth not the day break here?
Cin. O, pardon, Sir, it doth; and yon grey lines,
That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.
Casca, 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.
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Cas. And let us swear our resolution.
Bru. 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 rage 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
* Public opinion.
† By decimation.