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 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, 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 any thing?
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

1 i. e. no honest man.

2 " Had I been a mechanic, one of the plebeians to whom he offered his throat.”



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


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. So he is 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 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 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 ; ? 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

1 “ The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its disposition, or what it is disposed to."

2 « Has an unfavorable opinion of me.”

3 Warburton thus explains this passage :-“ If I were Brutus (said he), and Brutus Cassius, he should not cajole me as I do him.”

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.


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 ?
Časca. Are not you moved, when all the sway of

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 threatening 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

Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches joined ; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched.
Besides, (I have not since put up my sword)
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared upon me, and went surly by,

1 “ Did you attend Cesar home ?” 2 «The whole weight or momentum of this globe.” 3“ A slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvellous burning flame out of his hande, insomuch as they that saw it thought he had been burnt; but when the fire was out, it was found that he had no hurt.”—North's Plutarch. 4 The old copies erroneously read :

“Who glazed upon me.” Malone, determined to oppose himself to Steevens's reading of glared, reads gazed. Steevens has shown, from the Poet's own works, that his emendation is the true one.

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. Casca.

Farewell, Cicero. [Exit Cicero.

Enter Cassius.

Cas. Who's there?

A Roman.

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 walked about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus un braced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;'

1 Altogether, entirely.
2 What is now called a thunder bolt.

And, when the cross blue lightning seemed 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 preformed 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.

Cas. Let it be who it is; for Romans now

Is it not,

1 i. e.“why birds and beasts deviate from their condition and nature; why old men, fools, and children calculate ;” i. e. foretell or prophesy. At the suggestion of sir William Blackstone this last line has been erroneously pointed in all the late editions :

Why old men fools, and children calculate.” He observed, that “there was no prodigy in old men's calculating ; but who were so likely to listen to prophecies as children, fools, and the superstitious eld?

2 Portentous.

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