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Sc. II

Meet both 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.

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That my weak words have struck but thus much show
Of fire from Brutus.

BRU. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
CASS. 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.

Re-enter CASAR and his Train.

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:
Calpurnia'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 Senator.
CASS. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
CES. Antonius-

ANT. Cæsar?

CAS. Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean 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.

CES. 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:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit




That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease

Whiles they behold a greater than themselves;
And therefore are they very dangerous.

I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd

Than what I fear, for always I am Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.


[Sennet. Exeunt CESAR and all his Train
but CASCA.

CASCA. You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak
with me?

BRU. Ay, Casca: tell us what hath chanc'd to-day,

That Cæsar looks so sad.

CASCA. Why, you were with him, were you not?

BRU. I should not, then, ask Casca what had chanc'd. 219
CASCA. Why, there was a crown offer'd him; and, being

offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
thus; and then the People fell a-shouting.

BRU. What was the second noise for?

CASCA. Why, for that too.

CASS. They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
CASCA. Why, for that too.

BRU. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?

CASCA. Ay, marry, was 't; and he put it by thrice, every

time gentler than other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbours shouted.

CASS. Who offer'd him the crown?

CASCA. Why, Antony.

BRU. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.


CASCA. I can as well be hang'd as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown: yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets: and, as I told you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offer'd it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offer'd it the third time; he put it the third time by and still, as he refus'd it, the rabblement


Sc. II

Sc. II

hooted, and clapp'd their chopp'd hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and utter'd such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refus'd the crown, that it had almost chok'd Cæsar; for he swounded, and fell down at it: and, for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.


CASS. But, soft! I pray you: what, did Cæsar swound? CASCA. He fell down in the Market-Place, and foam'd at mouth, and was speechless.

BRU. "Tis very like: he hath the falling sickness.1

CASS. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASCA. I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag People did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleas'd and displeas'd them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.


BRU. What said he when he came unto himself?
CASCA. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd
the common herd was glad he refus'd the crown, he
pluck'd me ope his doublet, and offer'd them his throat
to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, if I
would not have taken him at a word, I would I might
go to Hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When
he came to himself again, he said, If he had done or
said any thing amiss, he desir'd their Worships to think
it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I
stood, cried Alas, good Soul! and forgave him with
all their hearts. But there's no heed to be taken of
them: if Cæsar had stabb'd their mothers, they would
have done no less.

BRU. And, after that, he came thus sad away ?


CASS. Did Cicero say any thing?

CASCA. Ay; he spoke Greek.

CASS. To what effect?


CASCA. Nay; an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again but those that understood him smil'd at one another, and shook their heads; but, for mine own

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part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

CASS. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?

CASCA. NO; I am promis'd forth.

CASS. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

CASCA. Ay; if I be alive, and your mind hold, and

dinner worth the eating.




Sc. II

CASS. Good; I will expect you.

CASCA. Do so: farewell, both.


BRU. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle when he went to school.

CASS. So is he now, in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprise,

However he puts on this tardy1 form.

This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,

Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

BRU. And so it is. For this time I will leave you :
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,

I will come home to you; or,

if you will,

Come home to me, and I will wait for you. CASS. I will do so: till then, think of the world.


[Exit BRUTUSs.

Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos'd: therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd?
Cæsar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus :
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,

As if they came from several citizens,
Writings all tending to the great opinion

That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at:

And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;

For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

1 boorish.




2 hath a grudge against me.


SCENE III. The Same. A Street.

Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides,
CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO.

CIC. Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar home?
Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?
CASCA. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway1 of Earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,

I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious Ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds:
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in Heaven,

Or else the World, too saucy with the Gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.

CIC. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
CASCA. A common slave (you know him well by sight)
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 glar'd 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 noonday upon the Market-Place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
These are their seasons; 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,

1 government.




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