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The same. A street.

Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides, Casca, with his sword drawn, and Cicero.

Cic. Good even, Casca: Brought you Cæsar

home*? Wliy are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? Casca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway of

Shakes, like a thing unfirm ? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat'ning 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.

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
Casca. A common slave (you know him well by

sight), Held up his left hapd, which did flame, and burn Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. Besides (I have not since put up my sword), Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who glar'd 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.

* Did you attend Cæsar home?

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 iipon.

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange disposed time:
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean* from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?

Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius Send word to you, he would be there to morrow.

Cic. Good night then, Casca : this disturbed sky Is not to walk in. Casca. Farewell, Cicero.

[Exit Cicero.

Enter Cassius.
Cas. Who's there?

A Roman.

Casca, by your voice, Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is

Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca, Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bar'd


bosom to the thunder-stonet: And, when the cross blue lightning seem'j to open The breast of heaven, I did presedi myself Even in the aim and very flash of it. Cusca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the

heavens ?

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It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
Cas. You are dull, Casca; aud those sparks of

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, wby all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind* ;
Why old men fools, and children calculate ;
Why all these things change, from their ordioance,
Their natures and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hall infus'd then with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear, and warning,
Upto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, open 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 Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cas.

Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Have thewes 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 to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king :
And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.

Cas. I kuow where { will wear this dagger then;

* Why they deviate from quality and nature.
+ Portentous,


Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stopy 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.

So can I:
So every boodman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.

Cas. Aud why should Cæsar 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 binds, Those that with haste will make a mighty fire, Begiu 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 Cæsar? But, O, grief! Where hast thou led me? I, perbaps, 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 t my haud :
Be factious 1 for redress of all these griefs ;
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.

There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprise
Of honourable dangerous consequence ;
And I do kuow, by this, they stay for me

• Deer

+ Here's my hand.

| Active.

lo Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night,
There is no stir, or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element
Is favour'd*, like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter Cinna.
Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in

Cas. 'Tis Cinya, I do know him by his gaitt;
He is a friend.-Cinna, where haste you so?
Cin. To find out you: Who's that? Metellus

Cas. No, it is Casca; ove incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?

Cin. I am glad on't. What a fearful night is this? There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.

Cas. Am I not staid for, Cinna? Tell me.

Cin. You are. O, Cassius, if you could but win The noble Brutus to our partyCas. Be you content: Good Cinna, take this

paper, And look you lay it in the prætor'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?

Cin. 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 tade me. Cas. 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 bi!n Is ours already: and the man entire, Upon the next encounter, yields him ours.


• Resembles.

+ Air of walking.

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