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I was born free as Cæsar, 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,
Cæsar said to me, “Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
I plunged in and bade? him follow.
The torrent roared, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews.
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I. sink!”
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises 4 bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cæsar.
[Shouting R.]

And this man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature, and must bend his body 5 If Cæsar 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 color fly, And that same eye whose bend? doth awe the world Did lose its lustre; I did hear him groan. Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans 1 Tiber (ti'běr): the Tiber River. 2 bade (băd): commanded; invited. 3 Æneas (-nē'ás): the mythological founder of Rome. 4 Anchises (ăn-ki’sẽz). 5 bend his body: bow. 6 The color fled from his lips; cf. a coward flying from his colors. 7 bend: glance when it is turned toward them.

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 1 should
So get the start of the majestic world
And bear the palm? alone.

(Loud and prolonged shouting R.] Brutus. Another general shout!

I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heaped on Cæsar.

Cassius listens a moment, until he can bear it no longer.
Cassius. Now, in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great?
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?
O, you and I have heard our fathers say
There was a Brutus once that would have brooked 3
The eternal devil to keep his state4 in Rome

As easily as a king.
Brutus. [Quietly.) What you would work me to, I have some

aim 5

How I have thought of this and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter;
Till then, my noble friend, chewe upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome

temper: constitution.
2 palm: the emblem of glory and superiority:
3 brooked: put up with, endured.

4 state: dignity or position; or perhaps his household his little court.

5 aim: guess.

6 chew. Chew is the literal meaning of ruminate, which means to think over or consider.


Under such hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.

[Even greater shouting off R.]
[Exeunt R.)

ACT II [Prolog.] In Brutus' garden

[Exit.] (Night. Thunder and lightning.]

[Brutus is discovered.] Brutus. Lucius! —

I cannot, by the progress of the stars 1
Give guess how near to day. Lucius
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly. —
Lucius! Awake!

Enter Lucius (R.).
Lucius. Called you, my lord?
Brutus. Get me a tapera in my study, Lucius.

When it is lighted, come and call me here.
Lucius. I will, my lord.

Exit R.
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 crowned:
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder –
And that craves 3 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

progress of the stars. No doubt he refers to telling the time of night from the position of the dippers. 2 taper (tā'pěr): candle.

craves (crāvz): requires. 4 that: do that.



Remorse from power; and, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections swayed
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof 2
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 Cæsar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent; think of him as a serpent's

Which hatched, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.

(Reënter Lucius R.]
Lucius. The taper burneth in your study, sir.

Searching the window for a flint, I found
This letter, and I am sure,
It did not lie there when I went to bed.

(Gives him a scroll.]
Brutus. Get you to bed again; it is not day.

[Exit Lucius R.] The meteors whizzing in the air Give so much light that I may read by them.

[Unrolls the scroll and reads. “Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself! Shall Rome,” and so on. “Speak, strike, redress!” 3 "Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake!” Such instigations have been often dropped Where I have picked them up. “Shall Rome " and so forth. Thus must I piece it out: Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome? 1 affections: feelings, inclinations. 3 redress (ré-dres'): set right. 2 proof: experience.


My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquino drive, when he was called a king.
0, Rome, I make thee promise,
If redress will follow, thou receivést
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!
[Knocking L.]

(Reënter Lucius R.] Go to the gate; somebody knocks.

[Exit Lucius L.)
Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
I have not slept.
Between the doing of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a hideous dream.
The spirit and the body
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

(Reënter Lucius L.). Lucius. Sir, 'tis Cassius at the door,

Who doth desire to see you. Brutus.

Is he alone? Lucius. No, sir, there are more with him. Brutus.

Do you know them? Lucius. No, sir;

They have their faces buried in their cloaks. Brutus. Let 'em enter. They are the conspirators.

[Exit Lucius L.) (Enter Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, and Trebonius, L.] Cassius. I think we are too bold upon your rest.

Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?
1 Tarquin (tär'kwîn): the last king of ancient Rome.
2 I make thee promise: I make thee a promise.
3 motion: impulse.

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