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Sc. I

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, etc. Speak, strike, redress!
Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!

Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.

Shall Rome, etc. Thus must I piece it out:

Shall Rome stand under one man's awe?

My ancestor did from the streets of Rome

The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a King.
Speak, strike, redress! Am I entreated so



To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receiv'st

Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus !

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.

[Knocking within.

BRU. "Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.



Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion,1 all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream :
The Genius and the mortal instruments2
Are then in council; and the State of Man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother3 Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.


Luc. No, Sir; there are moe with him.



Is he alone?

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Luc. No, Sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears,

And half their faces buried in their cloaks,

1 impulse.

2 the mind and the passions.

3 i.e. brother-in-law.

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They are the faction. O Conspiracy,

Sham'st thou to shew thy dangerous brow by night,

When Evils are most free? O, then, by day

Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough

To mask thy monstrous visage?


Hide it in smiles and affability:


Seek none, Con

For if thou put thy native semblance on,

Not Erebus itself were dim enough

To hide thee from prevention.

Enter the Conspirators, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA,

CASS. I think we are too bold upon your rest:
Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?
BRU. I have been up this hour, awake all night.
Know I these men that come along with you?
CASS. Yes, every man of them; and no man here
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.

He is welcome too.

CASS. This, Decius Brutus.



CASS. This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus


BRU. They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

CASS. Shall I entreat a word?


[BRUTUS and CASSIUS whisper.

DEC. Here lies the East: doth not the day break here?


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 deceiv'd.

I countenance.

Sc. I

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 North
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.
CASS. And let us swear our resolution.
BRU. No; not an oath: if not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse-
If these be weak motives, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-sighted1 Tyranny range on,
Till each man drop by lottery. But if these,
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women; then, Countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress? what other bond
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter? and what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engag'd

That this shall be, or we will fall for it?
Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous,2
Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor the insuppressive3 mettle of our spirits,
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath; when every drop of blood
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,

Is guilty of a several bastardy,

If he do break the smallest particle


any promise that hath pass'd from him.
CASS. But what of Cicero ? shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
CASCA. Let us not leave him out.


No; by no means.

3 insuppressible.

MET. O, let us have him; for his silver hairs

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Will purchase us a good opinion,

And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:
It shall be said, his judgment rul'd our hands;
Our youth and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.

BRU. O, name him not! let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing

That other men begin.


CASCA. Indeed he is not fit.

Then leave him out.

DEC. Shall no man else be touch'd but only Cæsar?
CASS. Decius, well urg'd. I think it is not meet

Mark Antony, so well-belov'd of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar: we shall find of1 him
A shrewd2 contriver; and, you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy3 us all which to prevent,
Let Antony and Cæsar fall together.

BRU. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
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 mark
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.

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Sc. I

Sc. I


Yet I do 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. [Clock strikes. BRU. Peace! count the clock.


TREB. 'Tis time to part.

The clock hath stricken three.

But it is doubtful yet,

Whe'r Cæsar will come forth to-day or no;
For he is superstitious grown of late,
Quite from the main1 opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.2
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 resolv'd,
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.

CASS. Nay; we will all of us be there to fetch3 him.
BRU. By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?
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.

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3 escort. 4 = is incensed with Cæsar.




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