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So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
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 know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and shout. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the
people Choose Cæsar for their king. Cas.
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 would 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 Tyber chafing with her shores,
1 Johnson has erroneously given the meaning of allurement to stale, in this place. “To stale with ordinary oaths my love,” is “ to prostitute my love."
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point ? Upon the word,
Accoutered as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow ; so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roared; 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 proposed,
Cæsar cried, 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 Tyber,
Did I the tired 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 fever 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 temper3 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 heaped 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
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. [Shout.
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 shamed !
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods !
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man ?
When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,
That her wide walls? encompassed but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus? once, that would have brooked
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 ; 3
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,
Be any further moved. What
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this ; 4
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome,
Under these hard conditions as 5 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 crossed 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 mocked himself, and scorned 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 feared, 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 pulled 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 offered him; and being offered 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
Casca. Why, for that too.
Bru. Was the crown offered 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 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 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 the 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 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