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Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is

this?

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 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 cross blue lightning seem'd 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; Why all these things change, from their ordinance, Their natures, and pre-formed 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:

Cassius?

Is it not,

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 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.

So

Casca.

So can I:

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. Hold my hand':
Be factious 10 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 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.

Enter CINNA.

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.
Cin.

You are. O, Cassius, if you could but win

The noble Brutus to our party

Yes,

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 Cinna.

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. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts:
And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchymy,

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.

[Exeunt.

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