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Cannot, is false; and that I dare not, falser;
I will not come to-day: Tell them so, Decius.
Cal. Say, he is sick.
Cas. Shall Cæsar send a lie ?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.
Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause, Lest I be laugh’d at, when I tell them so.
Cæs. The cause is in my will, I will not come;
That is enough to satisfy the senate.
But, for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know,
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,
Which, like a fountain, with a hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it.
And these does she apply for warnings, portents,
And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begg’d, that I will stay at home to-day.
Dec. This dream is all amiss interpreted ;
It was a vision, fair and fortunate :
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bath’d,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood; and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.
Cas. And this way have you well expounded it.
Dec. I have, when you have heard what I can say:
And know it now; The senate have concluded
To give, this day, a crown to mighty Cæsar.
If you shall send them word, you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be render'd, for some one to say,
Break up the senate till another time,
When Cæsar's wife shall meet with better dreams.
If Cæsar hide himself, shall they not whisper,
Lo, Cæsar is afraid ?
Pardon me, Cæsar; for my dear, dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this;
And reason to my love is liable.
Cas. How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphur-
I am ashamed I did yield to them.---
Give me my robe, for I will go :---
Enter PUBLIUS, Brutus, LIGARIUS, METELLUS,
CASCA, TREBONIUS, and CINNA. And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
Pub. Good morrow, Cæsar.
Cas. Welcome, Publius.---
What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?---
Good morrow, Casca.---Caius Ligarius,
Cæsar was ne'er so much your enemy,
As that same ague which hath made you lean.---
What is't o'clock ?
Bru. Cæsar, 'tis strucken eight.
Cas. I thank you for your pains and courtesy.
See! Antony, that revels long o'nights,
Is notwithstanding up: Good morrow, Antony.
Ant. So to most noble Cæsar.
Cas. Bid them prepare within :--I am to blame to be thus waited for.--Now, Cinna :--Now, Metellus :--What, Trebonius ! I have an hour's talk in store for you ; Remember that you call on me to-day: Be near me, that I may remember you. Treb. Cæsar, I will :---and so near will I be,
[Aside. That your best friends shall wish I had been further. Cæs. Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with
me; And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
Bru. That every like is not the same, O Cæsar, The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon! [Exeunt.
SCENE III.--The same. A Street near the Capitol.
Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a paper. Art. Cæsar, beware of Brutus ; take heed of Cassius ; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna ; trust not Trebonius ; mark well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Casar. If thou be’st not immortal, look about you : Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover,
Here will I stand, till Cæsar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.
My heart laments, that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.
If thou read this, O Cæsar, thou may'st live;
If not, the fates with traitors do contrive.
SCENE IV.- The same. Another Part of the same
Street, before the House of BRUTUS.
Enter Portia and Lucius.
Por. I pr’ythee, boy, run to the senate-house ;
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone:
Why dost thou stay?
Luc. To know my errand, madam.
Por. I would have had thee there, and here again,
Ere I can tell thee what thou should'st do there.---
O, constancy, be strong upon my side!
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel ! -
Art thou here yet?
Luc. Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?
Por. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth : And take good note,
What Cæsar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! what noise is that?
Luc. I hear none, madam.
Por. Pr’ythee, listen well:
I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.
Luc. Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.
Por. Come hither, fellow :
Which way hast thou been?
Sooth. At mine own house, good lady.
Por. What is't o'clock ?
Sooth. About the ninth hour, lady.
Por. Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol ?
Sooth. Madam, not yet; I go to take my stand,
To see him pass on to the Capitol.
Por. Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not !
Sooth. That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar To be so good to Cæsar, as to hear me. I shall beseech him to befriend himself. Por. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended to
wards him? Sooth. None that I know will be, much that I fear
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow :
The throng that follows Cæsar at the heels,
Of senators, of prætors, common suitors,
Will croud 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. [Exit.
Por. I must go in.---Ah me! how weak a thing
The heart of woman is ! O Brutus !
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprize!