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Scene One

[Before the Capitol] Flourish. Enter Cæsar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, De

cius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Artemidorus, [Popilius,] Publius, the Sooth

sayer (and Others). Cæs. [To the Soothsayer.] The ides of March are




Sooth. Ay, Cæsar; but not gone.
Art. Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.

Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o’er-read, 4 At your best leisure, this his humble suit.

Art. O Cæsar, read mine first; for mine's a suit That touches Cæsar nearer. Read it, great Cæsar. Cæs. What touches ourself shall be last

Art. Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
Cæs. What, is the fellow mad?

Sirrah, give place.
Cæs. What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
[Cæsar goes up to the Senate-House, the rest

following.) Pop. I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive. Cas. What enterprise, Popilius?

Fare you well.

[Advances to Cæsar.] Bru. What said Popilius Lena? Scene One S. d. Before ... Capitol; cf. n. 3 schedule: written scroll

8 serv'd: attended to 22 constant: unmoved 28 prefer: present, offer 29 address'd: ready 36 couchings: prostrations courtesies: bowings 38 pre-ordinance: what is already ordained 39 law of children: arbitrary uncertainty fond: foolish



Cas. He wish'd to-day our enterprise might thrive.

16 I fear our purpose is discovered.

Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him.

Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention. Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known, 20 Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back, For I will slay myself. Bru.

Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change. 24
Cas. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you,

He draws Mark Antony out of the way.

[Exeunt Antony and Trebonius.] Dec. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go, And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.

28 Bru. He is address'd; press near and second him. Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

Cæs. Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
That Cæsar and his senate must redress?
Met. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant

Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
A humble heart,

[Kneeling.] Cæs.

I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings and these lowly courtesies, 36 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 Cæsar bears such rebel blood

40 That will be thaw'd from the true quality With that which melteth fools; I mean sweet words, Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banished:

44 If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him, I spurn

thee like a cur out of my way. Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause Will he be satisfied.

48 Met. Is there no voice more worthy than my own, To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear For the repealing of my banish'd brother?

Bru. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar; 52
Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.

Cæs. What, Brutus !

Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon:
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

Cæs. I could be well mov'd if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me:
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,

64 But there's but one in all doth hold his place: So, in the world; 'tis furnish'd well with men, And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive; Yet in the number I do know but one 40 rebel: ungovernable

42 With: by 43 Low-crooked: low-bending curtsies: same as 'courtesies,' line 36 spaniel: servile, obsequious

47, 48 Cf. n. 51 repealing: recalling 54 freedom of repeal: free, unconditional recall

59 Cf. n. 61 resting: stationary

63 painted: decorated 67 apprehensive: intelligent




That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak'd of motion: and that I am he
Let me a little show it, even in this,
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so.

73 Cin. O Cæsar,Cæs.

Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus ? Dec. Great Cæsar, Cæs.

Doth not Brutus bootless kneel? Casca. Speak, hands, for me!


They stab Cæsar. Cæs. Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Cæsar! Dies.

Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

Cas. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, 80 'Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement !

Bru. People and senators, be not affrighted; Fly not; stand still; ambition's debt is paid.

[Exeunt all but the Conspirators and Publius.] Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutus. Dec.

And Cassius too. 84 Bru. Where's Publius? Cin. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny. Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæ

sar's Should chance

88 Bru. Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer; There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else; so tell them, Publius.

Cas. And leave us, Publius; lest that the people, 92 Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.

69 holds on: maintains rank: position 75 bootless: unavailingly 80 common pulpits: public rostra 89 good choer: be of good cheer, undismayed


Bru. Do so; and let no man abide this deed But we the doers.

[Exit Publius.]
Enter Trebonius.
Cas. Where is Antony?

Fled to his house amaz’d.
Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run,
As it were doomsday.

Fates, we will know your pleasures.
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon. 100

Casca. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life Cuts off so many years of fearing death.

Bru. Grant that, and then is death a benefit: So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridg'd 104 His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords: Then walk we forth, even to the market-place; 108 And waving our red weapons o'er our heads, Let's all cry, 'Peace, freedom, and liberty !

Cas. Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence Shall this our lofty scene be acted over, In states unborn and accents yet unknown!

Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey's basis lies along, No worthier than the dust! Cas.

So oft as that shall be, 116
So often shall the knot of us be call’d
The men that gave their country liberty.

Dec. What, shall we forth?


Ay, every man away: 94 abide: pay the penalty for

97 wives: women 100 drawing . ... out: prolonging their life stand upon: lay stress 115 Pompey's basis: pedestal of Pompey's statue along: outstretched 117 knot: group

on, worry about

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