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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 shouted and clapped their chopped hands, and 245 threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; 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. Cas. But soft, I pray you:

what! did Cæsar swound?

252 Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless. Bru. 'Tis very like: he hath the falling-sickness.

Cas. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.

Casca. I know not what you mean by that; 258 but I am sure Cæsar 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



Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself?

Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd 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 268

244 still: always, ever

245 chopped: chapped, callous 249 swounded: fainted

252 soft: stop, wait 255 like: likely falling-sickness: epilepsy 259 tag-rag: beggarly, common

262 true: honest 267 me: expletive 'dative of interest ope: open doublet: Elizabethan jacket

268 An: if Exit.


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
anything amiss, he desired their worships to 273
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 Cæsar
had stabbed their mothers, they would have
done no less.
Bru. And after that he came, thus sad, away?

Casca. Ay.
Cas. Did Cicero say anything?

Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cas. To what effect?

Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll 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

I could tell you more news too; Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

292 Cas. Will you sup with me tc-night, Casca? Casca. No, I am promised forth.

1 Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

297 Cas. Good; I will expect you. Casca. Do so. Farewell, both.



269 occupation: artisan's calling
291 put to silence: dismissed, not killed
294 I have a previous engagement (to dine out)


Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be! 300 He was quick mettle when he went to school.

Cas. 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. Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you:

308 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. Cas. I will do so: till then, think of the world. 312

Exit Brutus. Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see, Thy honourable metal may be wrought From that it is dispos’d: therefore 'tis meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes ; For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd? Cæsar 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 324 Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at: And after this let Cæsar seat him sure; For we will shake him, or worse days endure. Exit.



301 quick mettle: high-spirited 304 However: notwithstanding that tardy form: sluggish manner. 312 the world: public affairs

315 that: that to which 318 bear me hard: dislike me

320 He .

.. me; cf. n. 321 several hands: different handwritings 327 or . . . endure: or suffer disastrous consequences of our attempt

Scene Three


[A Street] Thunder and lightning. Enter [from opposite sides]

Casca [with his sword drawn] and Cicero.
Cic. Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar home?
Why 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 anything more wonderful? Casca. A common slave-you know him well by


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 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
1 brought: escorted

3 sway: settled order 14 more: else (or, extraordinarily). 18 sensible of: vulnerable by, sensitive to 22, 23 drawn . . . heap: crowded together in a body




24 28


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.

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.
Farewell, Cicero.


Exit Cicero. Enter Cassius. Cas. Who's there? Casca.

A Roman. Cas.

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

this ! 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

faults. For my part, I have walk'd about the streets, Submitting me unto the perilous night, 26 bird of night: owl 32 climate: clime, region point upon: apply to 33 strange-disposed: of strange character 34 after fashion: according to men's own human predilection 35 Clean. purpose: quite apart from the true meaning 39 sky: air, state of weather

42 what night: what a night


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