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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 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, 'Dar'st 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

Is now become a god, and Cassius is

A wretched creature and must bend his body
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,

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 propos'd,
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 bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cæsar. And this man

101 with: against

105 Accoutred: clad






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;




109 hearts of controversy: contesting courage

122 his lips forsook their normal redness as cowardly soldiers forsake their flag 123 bend: glance

124 his: its

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 nalm alone.





Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.
Cas. 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 Cæsar: what should be in that 'Cæsar'?
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; 144
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
'Brutus' will start a spirit as soon as 'Cæsar'.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,

150 lost bloods: lost the art of breeding noble persons
151 the great flood: Deucalion's, not Noah's
152 fam'd with: famous for






129 temper: constitution

130 get the start of: outstrip (in the race of life)

135 Colossus: gigantic statue astride the mouth of the harbor of


That her wide walks 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
Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.


Bru. 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 mov'd. 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.



jealous: doubtful aim: inkling

170 chew: ponder


161 nothing: not at all
162 work: induce
165 so: if; cf. n.
169 meet: fit


I am glad

That my weak words have struck but thus much show Of fire from Brutus.



Bru. The games are done and Cæsar is returning. Cas. 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.

Enter Cæsar and his Train.

154 walks; cf. n.

155 Rome: then often pronounced 'Room' 158 Brutus: Lucius Junius, who expelled the Tarquins, ca. 510 B. C. 159 state: throne, rulership

brook'd: tolerated


166 mov'd: persuaded, urged 173 as: such as

Bru. I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar'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.
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Antonius!

Ant. Cæsar.

Cas. 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.

Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous; He is a noble Roman, and well given.

Cas. 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

185 ferret: ferret-like, i.e., small and red

187 conference: debate

192 Sleek-headed: unruffled by deep plotting 196 well given: well disposed

203 he... music; cf. n.



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 mov'd to smile at anything.
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 Cæsar.






198 my name; cf. n. 208 Whiles: whilst, while

Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
Sennet. Exeunt Cæsar and his Train [except
Casca. You pull'd me by the cloak; would you
speak with me?

Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day, That Cæsar looks so sad.



Casca. Why, you were with him, were you not? Bru. I should not then ask Casca what had chanc'd.

Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him; and, being offered him, he put it by with the 220 back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

Bru. What was the second noise for?


Why, for that too. 224 Cas. They shouted thrice: what was the last cry


Casca. Why, for that too.

Bru. 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. Cas. Who offered him the crown?

Casca. Why, Antony. 232 Bru. 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; 238 but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain

216 sad: grave, serious

228 marry: properly an invocation of the Virgin 238 coronets: laurel garland of a Lupercal runner

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