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BRU. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him.
CASS. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purpose;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
CASS. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[Exeunt ANTONY and TREBONIUS.
DEC. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
BRU. He is address'd: press near and second him.
CIN. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
CES. Are we all ready? What is now amiss
That Cæsar and his Senate must redress?
MET. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These crouchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree1
Into the play of children. Be not fond,2
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw'd from the true quality
With that which melteth fools; I mean, sweet words,
Low-crooked court'sies, and base spaniel-fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished:
If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him,
spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
MET. Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear
For the repealing3 of my banish'd brother?
BRU. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar;
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
1 i.e. already decreed once for all.
ACT III CES. What, Brutus !
Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon:
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
CAS. I could be well mov'd, if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me :
But I am constant as the Northern Star,
Of whose true-fix'd and resting1 quality
There is no fellow in the Firmament.
The Skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
They are all fire, and every one doth shine;
But there's but one in all doth hold his place:
So in the World; 'tis furnish'd well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive ;2
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,3
Unshak'd of motion; and that I am he,
Let me a little shew it, even in this:
That I was constant Cimber should be banish'd,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
[CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and MARCUS BRUTUS stab CÆSAR.
CES. Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Cæsar!
CIN. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
CASS. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out
Liberty, Freedom, and Enfranchisement !
BRU. People, and Senators, be not affrighted;
Fly not; stand still: Ambition's debt is paid.
CASCA. Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
CIN. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
MET. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar's
1 perdurable. 2 understanding. * keeps his pace and place. 4 platforms.
BRU. Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer;
There is no harm intended to your person,
Nor to no Roman else: so tell them, Publius.
CASS. And leave us, Publius; lest that the People,
Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
BRU. Do so: and let no man abide this deed,
But we the doers.
Fled to his house amaz'd.
Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run
As it were Doomsday.
Fates, we will know your pleasures:
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time,
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.1
CASS. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
BRU. Grant that, and then is death a benefit:
So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridg'd
His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords :
Then walk we forth, even to the Market-Place,
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry Peace, Freedom, and Liberty!
CASS. Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In States unborn and accents yet unknown!
BRU. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport,
That now on Pompey's basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!
So often shall the knot of us be call'd
The men that gave their country liberty. DEC. What, shall we forth?
Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
BRU. Soft! who comes here?
SERV. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down;
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say :
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving:
Say I love Brutus, and I honour him;
Say I fear'd Cæsar, honour'd him, and lov'd him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolv'd
How Cæsar hath deserv'd to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
BRU. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I'll fetch him presently.
BRU. I know that we shall have him well to friend.
CASS. I wish we may : but yet have I a mind
That fears him much; and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.1
BRU. But here comes Antony.
Welcome, Mark Antony.
ANT. O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, Gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank :2
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die:
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
BRU. O Antony, beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands and this our present act,
You see we do; yet see you but our hands,
And this the bleeding business they have done :
Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome
(As fire drives out fire, so pity pity)
Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony,
Our arms no strength of malice, and our hearts
Of brothers' temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
CASS. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's
In the disposing of new dignities.
BRU. Only be patient till we have appeas'd
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause,
Why I, that did love Cæsar when I struck him,
Have thus proceeded.
I doubt not of your wisdom.
Let each man render me his bloody hand:
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you;
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand;
Now, Decius Brutus, your's; now your's, Metellus ;
Your's, Cinna; and, my valiant Casca, your's;
Though last, not least in love, your's, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all-alas, what shall I say?
My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Cæsar, O, 'tis true: