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Por. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards
him? Sooth. None that I know will be, much that I fear may
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow:
The throng that follows Cæsar at the heels,
Of senators, of prætors, common suitors,
Will crowd a feeble man almost to death;
I'll get me to a place more void, and there
Speak to great Cæsar as he comes along.
Por. I must go in.—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 Cæsar will not grant.—0, 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. [Ereunt.
SCENE 1.- The same. The Capitol; the Senate sitting. A crowd of people in the street leading to the Capitol; among
them ARTEMIDORUS, and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CÆSAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINNA, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPILIUS, PUBLIUS, and others. Cæs. The ides of March are come. Sooth. Ay, Cæsar; but not gone. Art. Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.
Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read, At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
Art. O, Cæsar, read mine first: for mine's a suit
That touches Cæsar nearer: read it, great Cæsar.
Cæs. What touches us ourself shall be last sery'd.
Art. Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
Cæs. What, is the fellow mad?
Sirrab, give place.
Cas. What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
CÆSAR enters the Capitol, the rest following. All the
Pop. I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive.
Cas. What enterprise, Popilius ?
Fare you well.
[Advances to CÆSAR. Bru. What said Popilius Lena ?
Cas. He wish'd, to-day our enterprise might thrive. I fear our purpose is discovered.
Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him.
Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.-
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes ;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
Cas. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus, he draws Mark Antony out of the way. Exeunt ANTONY and TREBONIUS. CÆSAR and the Senators
take their seats.
Dec. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
Bru. He is address’d: press near, and second him.
Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
Cæs. Are we all ready? what is now amiss,
That Cæsar, and his senate, must redress?
Met. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar, 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,
Into the law of children. Be not fond,
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood,
That will be thaw'd from the true quality
With that which melteth fools ; I mean sweet words,
Low crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished : .
If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn, for him,
I spurn thee, like a cur, out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong: nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
Met. Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear,
For the repealing of my banish'd brother?
Bru. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar;
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
Cæs. What, Brutus !
Pardon, Cæsar: Cæsar, pardon :
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
Cæs. I could be well mov'd if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me:
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
They are all fire, and every one doth shine;
But there's but one in all doth hold his place :
So, in the world: "Tis furnish'd well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet, in the number, I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak'd of motion : and that I am he.
Let me a little show it, even in this,
That I was constant Cimber should be banish'd,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Cin. O Cæsar,
Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus ?
Dec. Great Cæsar,-
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel? Casca. Speak, hands, for me. [CASCA stabs CÆSAR in the neck. CÆSAR catches hold of his
arm. He is then stabbed by several other Conspirators,
and at last by MARCUS BRUTUS. Cæs. Et tu, Brute ?—Then fall, Cæsar.
[Dies. The senators and people retire in confusion. Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead !Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
Cas. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, “ Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!"
Bru. People, and senators! be not affrighted ;
Fly not; stand still :-ambition's debt is paid.
Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutns.
And Cassius too.
Bru. Where's Publius ?
Cin. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar's
Bru. Talk not of standing ;-Publius, good cheer ; There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else: so tell them, Publius.
Cas. And leave us, Publius; lest that the people, Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Bru. Do so;—and let no man abide this deed But we the doers.
Where is Antony?
Tre. Fled to his house amaz'd :
Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run,
As it were doomsday.
Bru. Fates ! we will know your pleasures :-
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time,
And drawing days out that men stand upon.
Casca. Why he that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
Bru. Grant that, and then is death a benefit:
So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridg'd
His time of fearing death.-Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords :
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place;
And waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry, Peace, Freedom, and Liberty!
Cas. Stoop then, and wash.—How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over,
In states unborn, and accents yet unknown!
Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey's basis lies along, No worthier than the dust!
So oft as that shall be, So often shall the knot of us be call'd The men that gave their country liberty. Dec. What, shall we forth? Cas.
Ay, every man away; Brutus shall lead ; and we will grace his heels With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter a Servant. Bru. Soft, who comes here? A friend of Antony's.
Serv. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel; Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down; And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say : Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest; Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and lovivg;
Say, I lord Brutus, and I honour him;
Say, I fear'd Cæsar, honour'd him, and lord him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resol'd,
How Cæsar hath desery'd to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus,
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state,
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
Bru. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I'll fetch him presently. '[Exit Servant. Bru. I know that we shall have him well to friend.
Cas. I wish we may, but yet have I a mind That fears him much; and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
Bru. But here comes Antony.-Welcome, Mark Antony.
Ant. O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure?-Fare thee well.-
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die :
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
Bru. O Antony! beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands, and this our present act
You see we do, yet see you but our hands,
And this the bleeding business they have done :
Our hearts you see not, they are pitiful ;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome
(As fire drives out fire, so pity, pity)