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Cas. Good; I will expect you.
Casca. Do so: Farewell, both.
[Erit Casca, Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be! He was quick mettle, when he went to school.
Cas. So is he now, in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprize,
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 :
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.
[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
7 Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos’d:] The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution.
doth bear me hard :) i. e. has an unfavourable opinion of
9 If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, He should not humour me.
e.] The meaning, I think, is this : Cæsar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles. Johnson.
Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
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 any thing more wonderful ?
Casca. A common slave (you know him well by sight,) Held 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,
Brought you Cæsar home?] Did you attend Cæsar home?
sway of earth —] The whole weight or momentum of this globe.
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.
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
Cas. Who's there?
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
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 my bosom to the thunder stone*:
3 Clean from the purpose - ] Clean, is altogether, entirely.
thunder-stone :) A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder.
And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the
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; and those sparks of life
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, why 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 ordinance,
Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infus’d them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear, and warning,
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, opens 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, Cassius?
Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now Have thewes and limbs* like to their ancestors;
5 Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; &c.] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature.
and children calculate :] Calculate here signifies to foretell or prophesy.
prodigious grown,] Prodigious is portentous. 8 Have thewes and limbs – ] Thewes is an obsolete word implying nerves or muscular strength.
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 know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius :
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony 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 bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
Cas. And 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 hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire,
Begin 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, perhaps, 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.
My answer must be made :] I shall be called to account, and must answer as for seditious words.