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Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
105 So get the start of the majestic world, And bear the palm alone.
[A shout and flourish are heard again. Brutus.
Another general shout ! I do believe that these applauses are For some new honours that are heaped 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,
115 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 ! 126 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 talked of Rome, That her wide walls encompassed but one man ? 130 Now is it Rome indeed, and Room enough, When there is in it but one only man. Oh, you and I have heard our fathers say, There was a Brutus once that would have brooked The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome 135 As easily as a king.
Brutus. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous ; What
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,
140 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
Cassius. I am glad that my weak words 150 Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
SCENE II. THE TURN OF THE BALANCE. Brutus, after anxious thought, decides to join the movement
against Caesar. The night has been stormy and he cannot sleep. He walks in his garden before daybreak. The darkness is broken by occasional flashes of lightning as the storm begins to die away.
Enter Lucius, the page.
16 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 swayed More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Lucius. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. 35 Searching the window for a flint, I found This paper, thus sealed
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?
40 Lucius. I know not, sir. Brutus. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. Lucius. I will, sir.
[Exit. Brutus. The exhalations whizzing in the air Give so much light, that I may read by them. 45
[Opens the letter, and readsBrutus, thou sleep'st : awake, and see thyself. Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress!'-[A pause. Brutus, thou sleep'st : awake!' Such instigations have been often dropped Where I have took them up.
50 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 called a king. "Speak, strike, redress!' Am I entreated
55 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 !
SCENE III. THE MURDER OF CAESAR.
The scene is at first a street before the Capitol, or great
national temple of Rome ; then it changes to the Capitol
itself. The date is the 'ides', or 15th of March, 44 B.C. Enter Caesar in state, attended by Brutus, Cassius, Casca,
Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius, and Senators. A crowd comes in ; among them a Soothsayer, who has already prophesied danger to Caesar on the ides, and Artemidorus, who knows of the plot and hopes to warn Caesar. The procession advances to the front of the stage. Caesar [noticing the Soothsayer). The ides of March are
com2. Soothsayer. Aye, Caesar; but not gone. Artemidorus [coming forward with a paper). Hail,
Caesar! read this schedule. Decius [pushing him aside, and presenting another
paper which he snatches from Trebonius]. Trebonius
doth desire you to o'er-read, At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
5 Artemidorus. O Caesar! read mine first; for mine's
That touches Caesar nearer : read it, great Caesar. Caesar (taking the paper from Decius]. What touches
us ourself shall be last served. Artemidorus [excitedly, while Trebonius, Decius, and
Publius stand in his way]. Delay not, Caesar ; read
it instantly. Caesar. What, is the fellow mad ? Publius. Sirrah, give place. [They thrust him aside. 10
Caesar. What, urge you your petitions in the street ? Come to the Capitol. Caesar passes to the Capitol (that is, to the 'Shadow ' at
the back of the stage) ; the Senators go with him. Popilius [following with the Senators, and passing
Cassius). I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive. Cassius. What enterprise, Popilius ? Popilius.
Fare you well. [He advances to Caesar, Cassius looks confused.
Brutus [noticing Cassius' look]. What said Popilius Lena ?
15 Cassius. He wished to-day our enterprise might thrive. I fear our purpose is discovered.
Brutus. Look, how he makes to Caesar : mark him. Cassius.
Casca, Be sudden, for we fear prevention.
[Popilius kisses Caesar's hand. Brutus, what shall be done ? If this be known, Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back, For I will slay myself. Brutus.
Cassius, be constant : Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes; For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change. Cassius. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus,
25 He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[Exeunt Antony and Trebonius. Decius. Where is Metellus Cimber ? Let him go, And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.
[Metellus advances to Caesar. Brutus. He is addressed : press near and second him. Cinna. Casca, you are the first that rear your hand. Casca. Are we all ready ?
[He takes his place by Caesar's chair. Caesar.
What is now amiss, 31
I must prevent thee, Cimber. 35 These couchings and these lowly courtesies Might fire the blood of ordinary men, And turn pre-ordinance and first decree Into the law of children. Be not fond To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood, 40 That will be thawed 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, 45 I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.