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And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandal them ; or if you
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous. (Flourish and show
Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
Choose Cæsar for their king.
Ay, do you fear it ?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :-
But wherefore do you hold me here so long ?
What is it that you wuuld impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honor in one eye, and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently :
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favor.
Well, honor is the subject of my story.-
I cannot tell, what you and other men
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 ?-Up
pon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,
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 cry'd, 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 tir'd Cæsar : And this man
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 lever when he was in Spain,
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 color fly;
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre : I did hear him groan :
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 palm alone.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honors 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 dishonorable 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 ;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
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,
That her wide walks encompass’d but one man?
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd
The 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,
any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hearand 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.
Cas. I am glad, that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Re-enter CÆSAR, and his Train. 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,
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 :
Calphurnia'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. 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.
Cæs. '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
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 any thing.
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.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.
[Exeunt CÆSAR and his Train. CASCA stays behind Casca You pulld me by the cloak; Would ou 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 hath chanc'd.
Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him: and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then tho people fell a' shouting.
Bru. What was the second noise for ?
Casca. Why, for that too.
Cas. They shouted thrice; What was the last cry for ?
Casca. Why, for that too.
Bru. Was the crown offer'd 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 neighbors shouted.
Cas. Who offer'd him the crown ?
Casca. Why, Antony.
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; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain 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 a third time; he put it the third time by : and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath, because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned, and fell down at it.
Cas. But, soft, I pray you: What? Did Cæsar swoon ?
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; 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 man.
Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself ?
Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he pluck'd me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut-an I had been a man of any occupation, I would have taken bim at a word—and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done, or said, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity.
Bru. And after that, he came, thus sad, away ?
Cas. Did Cicero say any thing ?
Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cas. To what effect ?
Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, l’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 me. 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 couid remember it.
Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ?
Casca. No, I am promised forth.
Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?
Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your
dinner worth the eating.
Cas. Good; I will expect you.
Casca. Do so: Farewell, both.
[Exit Casca. Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be ? He was quick mettle, when he went to school.
Cas. Šo is he now, in execution
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:
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 honorable 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 humor 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,
Cæsar's ambition shall be glanc'd at:
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure ;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.