Imagens das páginas

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 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. Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky Is not to walk in.



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

Cas. Who's there?

A Roman.

Casca, by your voice. Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night

is this!

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,

Casca. Farewell, Cicero. [Exit Cicero. 40 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.

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.

Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man Most like this dreadful night,

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.


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 fool 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 70
Unto some monstrous state.

Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now 80 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-mor

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,


[Thunder still. 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. 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.


[ocr errors]

There's a bargain made. 120
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
In favour's 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.

Enter CINNA.

Cinna, where haste you so?

[blocks in formation]

Remorse from power: and, to speak truth of

I have not known when his affections sway'd 20,
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 Cæsar may.
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the

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

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 mis-

And kill him in the shell.


Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. 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. [Gives him the letter Bru. Get you to bed again; it is not day. Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March? Luc. I know not, sir.


Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. Luc. I will, sir. [Exit.

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, &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
To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee

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. [Knocking within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks. [Exit Lucius. 60 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.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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.

He is welcome hither.
Cas. This, Decius Brutus.

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?


[Brutus and Cassius whisper. Dec. Here lies the east: doth not the day break here? Casca. No.

Cin. O, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon gray lines

That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
Casca. You shall confess that you are both

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


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.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

No, by no means.
Met. 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 judgement ruled our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.

Bru. O, name him not: let us not break with him; 150

For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.

Then leave him out.
Casca. Indeed he is not fit.
Dec. Shall no man else be touch'd but only

Cas. Decius, well urged: I think it is not meet,

Mark Antony, so well beloved of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar: 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 Cæsar fall together.


Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius

To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Cæsar:

Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cæsar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit,
And not dismember Cæsar! But, alas,
Cæsar 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 make
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 Cæsar's arm
When Cæsar's head is off.


Cas. Yet I fear him; For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar



Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:
If he love Cæsar, all that he can do

Is to himself, take thought and die for Cæsar:
And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness and much company.
Treb. There is no fear in him: let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter. 191
[Clock strikes.

Bru. Peace! count the clock.
The clock hath stricken three.
'Tis time to part.
But it is doubtful yet,
Whether Cæsar will come forth to-day, 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.

Dec. 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 humour the true bent,
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch




Brutus, my lord! Bru. 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.
Por. Nor for yours neither. You've ungently,

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

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.
Bru. I am not well in health, and that is all.
Por. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in

Bru. By the eighth hour: is that the utter-I

Cin. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.
Met. Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæsar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey:
I wonder none of you have thought of him.

Bru. Now, good Metellus, go along by him:
He loves me well, and I have given him reasons;
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him.


Cas. The morning comes upon 's: we'll leave you, Brutus.

And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all re-

What you have said, and show yourselves true

Bru. Good gentlemen look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on bur 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.



He would embrace the means to come by it.
Bru. Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.
Por. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical 261
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 offence within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
ought to know of: and, upon my knees,
I charm 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.


Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.


Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Por. I should not need, if you were gentle

Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, 280
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,
talk to you
Dwell in the

Bru. You are my true and honourable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.


Por. 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?



Cæsar, 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;

O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife!

[Knocking within.
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. [Exit Portia.] Lucius,

who's that knocks?

Re-enter LUCIUS with LIGARIUS.

Luc. Here is a sick man that would speak with you.


Bru. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.
Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius! how?
Lig. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble

Bru. O, what a time have you chose out,
brave Caius,

To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!
Lig. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.

Bru. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

Lig. By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome! 321
Brave son, derived from honourable 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?
Bru. A piece of work that will make sick
men whole.

Lig. But are not some whole that we must
make sick?

Bru That must we also. What it is, my

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.


SCENE II. Cæsar's house. Thunder and lightning. Enter Cæsar, in his night-gown.

Cæs. Nor heaven nor earth have been at
peace to-night:

Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
'Help, ho! they murder Cæsar! Who's within?

Enter a Servant.

Serv. My lord?

Cas. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice
And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my lord.



Cal. What mean you, Cæsar? think you to
walk forth?

You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
Cæs. Cæsar shall forth: the things that
threaten'd me
Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Cæsar, they are vanished.


And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;

Re-enter Servant.

What say the augurers? Serv. 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.
Cæs. The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Cæsar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Cæsar shall not: danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
Follow me, then. [Exeunt. And I the elder and more terrible:
And Cæsar 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.


Cas. Mark Antony shall say I am not well; And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war, 20
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


O Cæsar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear thein.


What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Cæsar.

Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets



The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Cas. Cowards die many times before their

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.



Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
Dec. Cæsar, all hail! good morrow, worthy

I come to fetch you to the senate-house.

Cæs. And you are come in very happy time, 60
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.
Cal. Say he is sick.
Shall Cæsar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,

« AnteriorContinuar »