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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, CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course ;
CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA, a great crowd following ; among them a Soothsayer. Cas. Calphurnia, Casca. Peace, ho; Cæsar speaks.
[Music ceases. Cæs.
Calphurnia Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.-Antonius,
Ant. Cæsar, my lord,
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calphurnia: for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
I shall remember:
When Cæsar says “Do this,” it is perform’d.
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
Cæs. Ha! Who calls ?
Casca. Bid every noise be still:—Peace yet again.
Cæs. Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry, Cæsar : Speak; Cæsar is turn'd to hear.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.1
What man is that?
Bru. A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Cæs. Set him before me; let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cæs. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer: let us leave him ;-pass.
[Senet. Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ?
Bru. Not I.
Cas. I pray you, do.
(1) The Romans divided their month into three parts; the Kalends, Nones, and Ides. The ides of March began on the 15th, and lasted till the end of the month.
(2) A senet is a kind of solemn movement or march.
Bru. 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.
Cas. 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 deceiv'd: 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 behaviour :
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd;
(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.
Cas. 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?
Bru. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
Cas. 'Tis just :
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your bidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
of the best respect in Rome, (Except immortal Cæsar,) speaking of Brutus, And groaning underneath this age's yoke, Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepard to hear:
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly di to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus:
(1) With discordant and fuctuating opinions and wishes, .,
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
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and shout. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the people Choose Cæsar for their king. Cas.
Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. 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 honour 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 honour more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour 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 Cæsar; 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,
Cæsar said to me, “Dar'st 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 propos'd,
Cæsar cried, “ Help me, Cassius, or I sink.”
I, as Æneas, 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 Cæsar : And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar 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 colour fly;
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his lustre: 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.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.
Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and about
To find ourselves dishonourable 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 Cæsar: What should be in that Cæsar?
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 Cæsar.
Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods !
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walks encompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
0! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
(1) Lucius Junius Brutus is here alluded to, by whose means the family of the Tarquins, ancient kings of Rome, were dethroned and banished for ever, and the very name of king abolished.
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.
Bru. 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 mov'd. 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.
Cas. I am glad that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Re-enter CÆSAR and his Train. Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.
Bru. I will do so :-But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train :
Calphurnia'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.
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’nights:
Yond' Cassius has a lear, and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman, and well given.
Cæs. '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: