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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 mook'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be moved 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 pull’d me by the cloak; Would you speak with me?
Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced 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 chanced.
Casca. Why, there was a crown offer'd him: and being offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
thus; and then the 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 neighbours shouted.
Cas. Who offered 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 coro
nets ;-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 the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and 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 swooned, 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 swoon?
Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at the 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 plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut.-An I had been a man of any occupation,t 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, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to 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
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 could 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 eating.
Cas. Good: I will expect you.
Casca. Do so: Farewell, both.
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 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 with me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. I will do so :—-till then, think of the world.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is disposed :* Therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes :
For who so firm, that cannot be seduced ?
Cæsar doth bear me hard it but he loves Brutus:
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humourf me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at the 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 glanced at:
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
[Exit. SCENE III.-The same. 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 you not moved, when all the sway of earth
Shakes, like a thing unfirm ? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have rived 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.
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 sight),
Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remaind unscorch'd.
Besides (I have not since put up my sword),
* Divert from its original constitution.
+ Has an unfavourable opinion of me. * Cajole. & Accompanied.
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared 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
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
Upon 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.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero.
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;
And thus embraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone:
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 heavens ?
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 infused 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 thews and limbs like to their ancestors;
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.
Casca. 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.
Casca. You speak to Casca, and to such a man,
That is no fleering tell-tale. Holdt my hand :
Be factious I for redress of all these griefs ;