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<Inapoi la Cuprins

 William Shakespeare








MARCUS ANTONIUS (ANTONY:) | triumvirs after death of Julius Caesar.






PUBLIUS | senators.










| conspirators against Julius Caesar.









| tribunes.



Of Cnidos a teacher of rhetoric. (ARTEMIDORUS:)

A Soothsayer (Soothsayer:)


Another Poet (Poet:)





MESSALA | friends to Brutus and Cassius.


Young CATO (CATO:) |








| servants to Brutus.






PINDARUS servant to Cassius.

CALPURNIA wife to Caesar.

PORTIA wife to Brutus.

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.

(First Citizen:)

(Second Citizen:)

(Third Citizen:)

(Fourth Citizen:)

(First Commoner:)

(Second Commoner:)


(First Soldier:)

(Second Soldier:)

(Third Soldier:)


SCENE Rome: the neighbourhood of Sardis: the neighbourhood

of Philippi.



SCENE I Rome. A street.

[Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and certain Commoners]

FLAVIUS Hence! home, you idle creatures get you home:

Is this a holiday? what! know you not,

Being mechanical, you ought not walk

Upon a labouring day without the sign

Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?

First Commoner Why, sir, a carpenter.

MARULLUS Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?

What dost thou with thy best apparel on?

You, sir, what trade are you?

Second Commoner Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but,

as you would say, a cobbler.

MARULLUS But what trade art thou? answer me directly.

Second Commoner A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe

conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

MARULLUS What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?

Second Commoner Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet,

if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

MARULLUS What meanest thou by that? mend me, thou saucy fellow!

Second Commoner Why, sir, cobble you.

FLAVIUS Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

Second Commoner Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I

meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's

matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon

to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I

recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon

neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.

FLAVIUS But wherefore art not in thy shop today?

Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?

Second Commoner Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself

into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday,

to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph.

MARULLUS Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome,

To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!

O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,

Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft

Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,

To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,

Your infants in your arms, and there have sat

The livelong day, with patient expectation,

To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:

And when you saw his chariot but appear,

Have you not made an universal shout,

That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,

To hear the replication of your sounds

Made in her concave shores?

And do you now put on your best attire?

And do you now cull out a holiday?

And do you now strew flowers in his way

That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood? Be gone!

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,

Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.

FLAVIUS Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,

Assemble all the poor men of your sort;

Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears

Into the channel, till the lowest stream

Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.

[Exeunt all the Commoners]

See whether their basest metal be not moved;

They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.

Go you down that way towards the Capitol;

This way will I disrobe the images,

If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.

MARULLUS May we do so?

You know it is the feast of Lupercal.

FLAVIUS It is no matter; let no images

Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about,

And drive away the vulgar from the streets:

So do you too, where you perceive them thick.

These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing

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 A public place.

[Flourish. Enter CAESAR; ANTONY, for the course;


CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among

them a Soothsayer]

CAESAR Calpurnia!

CASCA Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

CAESAR Calpurnia!

CALPURNIA Here, my lord.

CAESAR Stand you directly in Antonius' way,

When he doth run his course. Antonius!

ANTONY Caesar, my lord?

CAESAR Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,

To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,

The barren, touched in this holy chase,

Shake off their sterile curse.

ANTONY I shall remember:

When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd.

CAESAR Set on; and leave no ceremony out.


Soothsayer Caesar!

CAESAR Ha! who calls?

CASCA Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

CAESAR Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,

Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR What man is that?

BRUTUS A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

CAESAR Set him before me; let me see his face.

CASSIUS Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

CAESAR What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.

Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

[Sennet. Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS]

CASSIUS Will you go see the order of the course?


CASSIUS I pray you, do.

BRUTUS 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.

CASSIUS 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.

BRUTUS Cassius,

Be not deceived: 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 behaviors;

But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--

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.

CASSIUS 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?

BRUTUS No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,

But by reflection, by some other things.

CASSIUS 'Tis just:

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,

That you have no such mirrors as will turn

Your hidden worthiness into your eye,

That you might see your shadow. I have heard,

Where many of the best respect in Rome,

Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus

And groaning underneath this age's yoke,

Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.

BRUTUS Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,

That you would have me seek into myself

For that which is not in me?

CASSIUS Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:

And since you know you cannot see yourself

So well as by reflection, I, your glass,

Will modestly discover to yourself

That of yourself which you yet know not of.

And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:

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 know

That I profess myself in banqueting

To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

[Flourish, and shout]

BRUTUS What means this shouting? I do fear, the people

Choose Caesar for their king.

CASSIUS Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think you would not have it so.

BRUTUS 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.

CASSIUS 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 Caesar; 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,

Caesar said to me 'Darest 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 proposed,

Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'

I, as Aeneas, 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 Caesar. And this man

Is now become a god, and Cassius is

A wretched creature and must bend his body,

If Caesar 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.

[Shout. Flourish]

BRUTUS Another general shout!

I do believe that these applauses are

For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar.

CASSIUS Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep 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 Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?

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 'em,

Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.

Now, in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,

That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!

When went there by an age, since the great flood,

But it was famed with more than with one man?

When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,

That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?

Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,

When there is in it but one only man.

O, you and I have heard our fathers say,

There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd

The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome

As easily as a king.

BRUTUS 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 moved. 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.

CASSIUS I am glad that my weak words

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

BRUTUS The games are done and Caesar is returning.

CASSIUS 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 CAESAR and his Train]

BRUTUS I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,

The angry spot doth glow on Caesar'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 senators.

CASSIUS Casca will tell us what the matter is.

CAESAR Antonius!

ANTONY Caesar?

CAESAR 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.

ANTONY Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;

He is a noble Roman and well given.

CAESAR 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 moved 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 Caesar.

Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,

And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

[Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his Train, but CASCA]

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

BRUTUS Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,

That Caesar looks so sad.

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

BRUTUS I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

CASCA Why, there was a crown offered him: and being

offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,

thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

BRUTUS What was the second noise for?

CASCA Why, for that too.

CASSIUS They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

CASCA Why, for that too.

BRUTUS Was the crown offered 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.

CASSIUS Who offered him the crown?

CASCA Why, Antony.

BRUTUS Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

CASCA I can as well be hanged 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

offered it to him again; then he put it by again:

but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his

fingers off it. And then he offered it the third

time; he put it the third time by: and still as he

refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their

chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps

and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because

Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked

Caesar; 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.

CASSIUS But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?

CASCA He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at

mouth, and was speechless.

BRUTUS 'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.

CASSIUS No, Caesar 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,

Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not

clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and

displeased them, as they use to do the players in

the theatre, I am no true man.

BRUTUS What said he when he came unto himself?

CASCA Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the

common herd was glad he refused the crown, he

plucked me ope his doublet and offered 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 desired

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 Caesar had

stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.

BRUTUS And after that, he came, thus sad, away?


CASSIUS Did Cicero say any thing?

CASCA Ay, he spoke Greek.

CASSIUS To what effect?

CASCA Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the

face again: but those that understood him smiled at

one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own

part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more

news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs

off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you

well. There was more foolery yet, if I could

remember it.

CASSIUS Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?

CASCA No, I am promised forth.

CASSIUS Will you dine with me to-morrow?

CASCA Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner

worth the eating.

CASSIUS Good: I will expect you.

CASCA Do so. Farewell, both.


BRUTUS What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle when he went to school.

CASSIUS So is he now in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprise,

However he puts on this tardy form.

This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,

Which gives men stomach to digest his words

With better appetite.

BRUTUS 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.

CASSIUS I will do so: till then, think of the world.


Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,

Thy honourable metal may be wrought

From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet

That noble minds keep ever with their likes;

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

Caesar 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

Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:

And after this let Caesar seat him sure;

For we will shake him, or worse days endure.




SCENE III The same. A street.

[Thunder and lightning. Enter from opposite sides,

CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO]

CICERO Good even, Casca: brought you Caesar home?

Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?

CASCA Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth

Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,

I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds

Have rived 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.

CICERO 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 glared 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 noon-day upon the market-place,

Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies

Do so conjointly meet, let not men say

'These are their reasons; they are natural;'

For, I believe, they are portentous things

Unto the climate that they point upon.

CICERO Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:

But men may construe things after their fashion,

Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.

Come Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow?

CASCA He doth; for he did bid Antonius

Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.

CICERO Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky

Is not to walk in.

CASCA Farewell, Cicero.



CASSIUS Who's there?

CASCA A Roman.

CASSIUS Casca, by your voice.

CASCA Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!

CASSIUS A very pleasing night to honest men.

CASCA Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

CASSIUS Those that have known the earth so full of faults.

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,

Submitting me unto the perilous night,

And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,

Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;

And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open

The breast of heaven, I did present myself

Even in the aim and very flash of it.

CASCA But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?

It is the part of men to fear and tremble,

When the most mighty gods by tokens send

Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

CASSIUS You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life

That should be in a Roman you do want,

Or else you use not. You look pale and gaze

And put on fear and cast yourself in wonder,

To see the strange impatience of the heavens:

But if you would consider the true cause

Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,

Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,

Why old men fool and children calculate,

Why all these things change from their ordinance

Their natures and preformed faculties

To monstrous quality,--why, you shall find

That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,

To make them instruments of fear and warning

Unto some monstrous state.

Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man

Most like this dreadful night,

That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars

As doth the lion in the Capitol,

A man no mightier than thyself or me

In personal action, yet prodigious grown

And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

CASCA 'Tis Caesar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?

CASSIUS Let it be who it is: for Romans now

Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;

But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,

And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;

Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

CASCA Indeed, they say the senators tomorrow

Mean to establish Caesar as a king;

And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,

In every place, save here in Italy.

CASSIUS I know where I will wear this dagger then;

Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:

Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;

Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,

Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,

Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;

But life, being weary of these worldly bars,

Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

If I know this, know all the world besides,

That part of tyranny that I do bear

I can shake off at pleasure.

[Thunder still]

CASCA So can I:

So every bondman in his own hand bears

The power to cancel his captivity.

CASSIUS And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?

Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,

But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:

He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.

Those that with haste will make a mighty fire

Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,

What rubbish and what offal, when it serves

For the base matter to illuminate

So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief,

Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this

Before a willing bondman; then I know

My answer must be made. But I am arm'd,

And dangers are to me indifferent.

CASCA You speak to Casca, and to such a man

That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:

Be factious for redress of all these griefs,

And I will set this foot of mine as far

As who goes farthest.

CASSIUS There's a bargain made.

Now know you, Casca, I have moved already

Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans

To undergo with me an enterprise

Of honourable-dangerous consequence;

And I do know, by this, they stay for me

In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night,

There is no stir or walking in the streets;

And the complexion of the element

In favour's like the work we have in hand,

Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

CASCA Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.

CASSIUS 'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait;

He is a friend.

[Enter CINNA]

Cinna, where haste you so?

CINNA To find out you. Who's that? Metellus Cimber?

CASSIUS No, it is Casca; one incorporate

To our attempts. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?

CINNA I am glad on 't. What a fearful night is this!

There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.

CASSIUS Am I not stay'd for? tell me.

CINNA Yes, you are.

O Cassius, if you could

But win the noble Brutus to our party--

CASSIUS Be you content: good Cinna, take this paper,

And look you lay it in the praetor's chair,

Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this

In at his window; set this up with wax

Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,

Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.

Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?

CINNA All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone

To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,

And so bestow these papers as you bade me.

CASSIUS That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.

[Exit CINNA]

Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day

See Brutus at his house: three parts of him

Is ours already, and the man entire

Upon the next encounter yields him ours.

CASCA O, he sits high in all the people's hearts:

And that which would appear offence in us,

His countenance, like richest alchemy,

Will change to virtue and to worthiness.

CASSIUS Him and his worth and our great need of him

You have right well conceited. Let us go,

For it is after midnight; and ere day

We will awake him and be sure of him.




SCENE I Rome. BRUTUS's orchard.

[Enter BRUTUS]

BRUTUS What, Lucius, ho!

I cannot, by the progress of the stars,

Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!

I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.

When, Lucius, when? awake, I say! what, Lucius!

[Enter LUCIUS]

LUCIUS Call'd you, my lord?

BRUTUS Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:

When it is lighted, come and call me here.

LUCIUS I will, my lord.


BRUTUS It must be by his death: and for my part,

I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

But for the general. He would be crown'd:

How that might change his nature, there's the question.

It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;

And that craves wary walking. Crown him?--that;--

And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,

That at his will he may do danger with.

The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins

Remorse from power: and, to speak truth of Caesar,

I have not known when his affections sway'd

More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,

That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,

Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;

But when he once attains the upmost round.

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.

Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel

Will bear no colour for the thing he is,

Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,

Would run to these and these extremities:

And therefore think him as a serpent's egg

Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,

And kill him in the shell.

[Re-enter LUCIUS]

LUCIUS The taper burneth in your closet, sir.

Searching the window for a flint, I found

This paper, thus seal'd up; and, I am sure,

It did not lie there when I went to bed.

[Gives him the letter]

BRUTUS Get you to bed again; it is not day.

Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?

LUCIUS I know not, sir.

BRUTUS Look in the calendar, and bring me word.

LUCIUS I will, sir.


BRUTUS The exhalations whizzing in the air

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, &c. Speak, strike, redress!

Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!'

Such instigations have been often dropp'd

Where I have took them up.

'Shall Rome, &c.' Thus must I piece it out:

Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome

The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.

'Speak, strike, redress!' Am I entreated

To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise:

If the redress will follow, thou receivest

Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!

[Re-enter LUCIUS]

LUCIUS Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.

[Knocking within]

BRUTUS 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.


Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,

I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:

The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

[Re-enter LUCIUS]

LUCIUS Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door,

Who doth desire to see you.

BRUTUS Is he alone?

LUCIUS No, sir, there are moe with him.

BRUTUS Do you know them?

LUCIUS No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears,

And half their faces buried in their cloaks,

That by no means I may discover them

By any mark of favour.

BRUTUS Let 'em enter.


They are the faction. O conspiracy,

Shamest thou to show 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? Seek none, conspiracy;

Hide it in smiles and affability:

For if thou path, thy native semblance on,

Not Erebus itself were dim enough

To hide thee from prevention.

[Enter the conspirators, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS


CASSIUS I think we are too bold upon your rest:

Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?

BRUTUS I have been up this hour, awake all night.

Know I these men that come along with you?

CASSIUS 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.

BRUTUS He is welcome hither.

CASSIUS This, Decius Brutus.

BRUTUS He is welcome too.

CASSIUS This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.

BRUTUS They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

CASSIUS Shall I entreat a word?

[BRUTUS and CASSIUS whisper]

DECIUS BRUTUS Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?


CINNA 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 deceived.

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.

BRUTUS Give me your hands all over, one by one.

CASSIUS And let us swear our resolution.

BRUTUS No, not an oath: if not the face of men,

The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse,--

If these be motives weak, break off betimes,

And every man hence to his idle bed;

So let high-sighted 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 engaged,

That this shall be, or we will fall for it?

Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,

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 insuppressive 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

Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.

CASSIUS But what of Cicero? shall we sound him?

I think he will stand very strong with us.

CASCA Let us not leave him out.

CINNA No, by no means.

METELLUS CIMBER O, let us have him, for his silver hairs

Will purchase us a good opinion

And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:

It shall be said, his judgment ruled our hands;

Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,

But all be buried in his gravity.

BRUTUS O, name him not: let us not break with him;

For he will never follow any thing

That other men begin.

CASSIUS Then leave him out.

CASCA Indeed he is not fit.

DECIUS BRUTUS Shall no man else be touch'd but only Caesar?

CASSIUS Decius, well urged: I think it is not meet,

Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,

Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him

A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,

If he improve them, may well stretch so far

As to annoy us all: which to prevent,

Let Antony and Caesar fall together.

BRUTUS 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 Caesar:

Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.

We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar;

And in the spirit of men there is no blood:

O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit,

And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,

Caesar 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 make

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 Caesar's arm

When Caesar's head is off.

CASSIUS Yet I fear him;

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar--

BRUTUS Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:

If he love Caesar, all that he can do

Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar:

And that were much he should; for he is given

To sports, to wildness and much company.

TREBONIUS There is no fear in him; let him not die;

For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.

[Clock strikes]

BRUTUS Peace! count the clock.

CASSIUS The clock hath stricken three.

TREBONIUS 'Tis time to part.

CASSIUS But it is doubtful yet,

Whether Caesar will come forth to-day, or no;

For he is superstitious grown of late,

Quite from the main opinion he held once

Of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies:

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.

DECIUS BRUTUS Never fear that: if he be so resolved,

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.

CASSIUS Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.

BRUTUS By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?

CINNA Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.

METELLUS CIMBER Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,

Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey:

I wonder none of you have thought of him.

BRUTUS 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.

CASSIUS The morning comes upon 's: we'll leave you, Brutus.

And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember

What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.

BRUTUS Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;

Let not our looks put on our purposes,

But bear it as our Roman actors do,

With untired spirits and formal constancy:

And so good morrow to you every one.

[Exeunt all but BRUTUS]

Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter;

Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber:

Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,

Which busy care draws in the brains of men;

Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.

[Enter PORTIA]

PORTIA Brutus, my lord!

BRUTUS Portia, what mean you? wherefore rise you now?

It is not for your health thus to commit

Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.

PORTIA Nor for yours neither. You've ungently, Brutus,

Stole from my bed: and yesternight, at supper,

You suddenly arose, and walk'd about,

Musing and sighing, with your arms across,

And when I ask'd you what the matter was,

You stared upon me with ungentle looks;

I urged you further; then you scratch'd your head,

And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot;

Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not,

But, with an angry wafture of your hand,

Gave sign for me to leave you: so I did;

Fearing to strengthen that impatience

Which seem'd too much enkindled, and withal

Hoping it was but an effect of humour,

Which sometime hath his hour with every man.

It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,

And could it work so much upon your shape

As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,

I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,

Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.

BRUTUS I am not well in health, and that is all.

PORTIA Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,

He would embrace the means to come by it.

BRUTUS Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.

PORTIA Is Brutus sick? and is it physical

To walk unbraced and suck up the humours

Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,

And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,

To dare the vile contagion of the night

And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air

To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;

You have some sick offence within your mind,

Which, by the right and virtue of my place,

I ought to know of: and, upon my knees,

I charm you, by my once-commended beauty,

By all your vows of love and that great vow

Which did incorporate and make us one,

That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,

Why you are heavy, and what men to-night

Have had to resort to you: for here have been

Some six or seven, who did hide their faces

Even from darkness.

BRUTUS Kneel not, gentle Portia.

PORTIA I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.

Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,

Is it excepted I should know no secrets

That appertain to you? Am I yourself

But, as it were, in sort or limitation,

To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,

And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs

Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,

Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.

BRUTUS You are my true and honourable wife,

As dear to me as are the ruddy drops

That visit my sad heart

PORTIA If this were true, then should I know this secret.

I grant I am a woman; but withal

A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:

I grant I am a woman; but withal

A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter.

Think you I am no stronger than my sex,

Being so father'd and so husbanded?

Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose 'em:

I have made strong proof of my constancy,

Giving myself a voluntary wound

Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience.

And not my husband's secrets?

BRUTUS O ye gods,

Render me worthy of this noble wife!

[Knocking within]

Hark, hark! one knocks: Portia, go in awhile;

And by and by thy bosom shall partake

The secrets of my heart.

All my engagements I will construe to thee,

All the charactery of my sad brows:

Leave me with haste.


Lucius, who's that knocks?

[Re-enter LUCIUS with LIGARIUS]

LUCIUS He is a sick man that would speak with you.

BRUTUS Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.

Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius! how?

LIGARIUS Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

BRUTUS O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,

To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

LIGARIUS I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand

Any exploit worthy the name of honour.

BRUTUS Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,

Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

LIGARIUS By all the gods that Romans bow before,

I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!

Brave son, derived from honourable loins!

Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up

My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,

And I will strive with things impossible;

Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?

BRUTUS A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

LIGARIUS But are not some whole that we must make sick?

BRUTUS That must we also. What it is, my Caius,

I shall unfold to thee, as we are going

To whom it must be done.

LIGARIUS Set on your foot,

And with a heart new-fired I follow you,

To do I know not what: but it sufficeth

That Brutus leads me on.

BRUTUS Follow me, then.





[Thunder and lightning. Enter CAESAR, in his


CAESAR Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:

Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,

'Help, ho! they murder Caesar!' Who's within?

[Enter a Servant]

Servant My lord?

CAESAR Go bid the priests do present sacrifice

And bring me their opinions of success.

Servant I will, my lord.



CALPURNIA What mean you, Caesar? think you to walk forth?

You shall not stir out of your house to-day.

CAESAR Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten'd me

Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall see

The face of Caesar, they are vanished.

CALPURNIA Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,

Yet now they fright me. There is one within,

Besides the things that we have heard and seen,

Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.

A lioness hath whelped in the streets;

And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,

In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,

Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;

The noise of battle hurtled in the air,

Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,

And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.

O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,

And I do fear them.

CAESAR What can be avoided

Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?

Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions

Are to the world in general as to Caesar.

CALPURNIA When beggars die, there are no comets seen;

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

CAESAR Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

[Re-enter Servant]

What say the augurers?

Servant They would not have you to stir forth to-day.

Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,

They could not find a heart within the beast.

CAESAR The gods do this in shame of cowardice:

Caesar should be a beast without a heart,

If he should stay at home to-day for fear.

No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well

That Caesar is more dangerous than he:

We are two lions litter'd in one day,

And I the elder and more terrible:

And Caesar shall go forth.

CALPURNIA Alas, my lord,

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.

Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear

That keeps you in the house, and not your own.

We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house:

And he shall say you are not well to-day:

Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.

CAESAR Mark Antony shall say I am not well,

And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.


Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.

DECIUS BRUTUS Caesar, all hail! good morrow, worthy Caesar:

I come to fetch you to the senate-house.

CAESAR And you are come in very happy time,

To bear my greeting to the senators

And tell them that I will not come to-day:

Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:

I will not come to-day: tell them so, Decius.

CALPURNIA Say he is sick.

CAESAR Shall Caesar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,

To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?

Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.

DECIUS BRUTUS Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.

CAESAR 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:

Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:

She dreamt to-night she saw my statua,

Which, like a fountain with an 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, and portents,

And evils imminent; and on her knee

Hath begg'd that I will stay at home to-day.

DECIUS BRUTUS 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 bathed,

Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck

Reviving blood, and that great men shall press

For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.

This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.

CAESAR And this way have you well expounded it.

DECIUS BRUTUS 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 Caesar.

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 Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.'

If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper

'Lo, Caesar is afraid'?

Pardon me, Caesar; for my dear dear love

To our proceeding bids me tell you this;

And reason to my love is liable.

CAESAR How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!

I am ashamed I did yield to them.

Give me my robe, for I will go.



And look where Publius is come to fetch me.

PUBLIUS Good morrow, Caesar.

CAESAR Welcome, Publius.

What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?

Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,

Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy

As that same ague which hath made you lean.

What is 't o'clock?

BRUTUS Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.

CAESAR I thank you for your pains and courtesy.

[Enter ANTONY]

See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.

ANTONY So to most noble Caesar.

CAESAR 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.

TREBONIUS Caesar, I will:

Pagina urmatoare>

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