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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

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England. Another part of the battlefield


SALISBURY. I did not think the King so stor'd with friends.
PEMBROKE. Up once again; put spirit in the French;
If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
SALISBURY. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
PEMBROKE. They say King John, sore sick, hath left the field.

Enter MELUN, wounded

MELUN. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
SALISBURY. When we were happy we had other names.
PEMBROKE. It is the Count Melun.
SALISBURY. Wounded to death.
MELUN. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out King John, and fall before his feet;
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take
By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and many moe with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
Even on that altar where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.
SALISBURY. May this be possible? May this be true?
MELUN. Have I not hideous death within my view,
Retaining but a quantity of life,
Which bleeds away even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Why should I then be false, since it is true
That I must die here, and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do will the day,
He is forsworn if e'er those eyes of yours
Behold another day break in the east;
But even this night, whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Paying the fine of rated treachery
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives.
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your King;
The love of him-and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman-
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the field,
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my soul
With contemplation and devout desires.
SALISBURY. We do believe thee; and beshrew my soul
But I do love the favour and the form
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight,
And like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd,
And calmly run on in obedience
Even to our ocean, to great King John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New flight,
And happy newness, that intends old right.
Exeunt, leading off MELUN


England. The French camp

Enter LEWIS and his train

LEWIS. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set,
But stay'd and made the western welkin blush,
When English measure backward their own ground
In faint retire. O, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
And wound our tott'ring colours clearly up,
Last in the field and almost lords of it!


MESSENGER. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
LEWIS. Here; what news?
MESSENGER. The Count Melun is slain; the English lords
By his persuasion are again fall'n off,
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
LEWIS. Ah, foul shrewd news! Beshrew thy very heart!
I did not think to be so sad to-night
As this hath made me. Who was he that said
King John did fly an hour or two before
The stumbling night did part our weary pow'rs?
MESSENGER. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
LEWIS. keep good quarter and good care to-night;
The day shall not be up so soon as I
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. Exeunt


An open place wear Swinstead Abbey

Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally

HUBERT. Who's there? Speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
BASTARD. A friend. What art thou?
HUBERT. Of the part of England.
BASTARD. Whither dost thou go?
HUBERT. What's that to thee? Why may I not demand
Of thine affairs as well as thou of mine?
BASTARD. Hubert, I think.
HUBERT. Thou hast a perfect thought.
I will upon all hazards well believe
Thou art my friend that know'st my tongue so well.
Who art thou?
BASTARD. Who thou wilt. And if thou please,
Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets.
HUBERT. Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night
Have done me shame. Brave soldier, pardon me
That any accent breaking from thy tongue
Should scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
BASTARD. Come, come; sans compliment, what news abroad?
HUBERT. Why, here walk I in the black brow of night
To find you out.
BASTARD. Brief, then; and what's the news?
HUBERT. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
BASTARD. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
HUBERT. The King, I fear, is poison'd by a monk;
I left him almost speechless and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time
Than if you had at leisure known of this.
BASTARD. How did he take it; who did taste to him?
HUBERT. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,
Whose bowels suddenly burst out. The King
Yet speaks, and peradventure may recover.
BASTARD. Who didst thou leave to tend his Majesty?
HUBERT. Why, know you not? The lords are all come back,
And brought Prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the King hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his Majesty.
BASTARD. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide-
These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
Myself, well-mounted, hardly have escap'd.
Away, before! conduct me to the King;
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come. Exeunt


The orchard at Swinstead Abbey


PRINCE HENRY. It is too late; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly, and his pure brain.
Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,
Doth by the idle comments that it makes
Foretell the ending of mortality.


PEMBROKE. His Highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
That, being brought into the open air,
It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
PRINCE HENRY. Let him be brought into the orchard here.
Doth he still rage? Exit BIGOT
PEMBROKE. He is more patient
Than when you left him; even now he sung.
PRINCE HENRY. O vanity of sickness! Fierce extremes
In their continuance will not feel themselves.
Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now
Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds
With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death should sing.
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
SALISBURY. Be of good comfort, Prince; for you are born
To set a form upon that indigest
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.

Re-enter BIGOT and attendants, who bring in
KING JOHN in a chair

KING JOHN. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
It would not out at windows nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom
That all my bowels crumble up to dust.
I am a scribbled form drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrink up.
PRINCE HENRY. How fares your Majesty?
KING JOHN. Poison'd-ill-fare! Dead, forsook, cast off;
And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much;
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait
And so ingrateful you deny me that.
PRINCE HENRY. O that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!
KING JOHN. The salt in them is hot.
Within me is a hell; and there the poison
Is as a fiend confin'd to tyrannize
On unreprievable condemned blood.

Enter the BASTARD

BASTARD. O, I am scalded with my violent motion
And spleen of speed to see your Majesty!
KING JOHN. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye!
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burnt,
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Are turned to one thread, one little hair;
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
And then all this thou seest is but a clod
And module of confounded royalty.
BASTARD. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
Where God He knows how we shall answer him;
For in a night the best part of my pow'r,
As I upon advantage did remove,
Were in the Washes all unwarily
Devoured by the unexpected flood. [The KING dies]
SALISBURY. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.
My liege! my lord! But now a king-now thus.
PRINCE HENRY. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a king, and now is clay?
BASTARD. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
To do the office for thee of revenge,
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Now, now, you stars that move in your right spheres,
Where be your pow'rs? Show now your mended faiths,
And instantly return with me again
To push destruction and perpetual shame
Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
SALISBURY. It seems you know not, then, so much as we:
The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.
BASTARD. He will the rather do it when he sees
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
SALISBURY. Nay, 'tis in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath dispatch'd
To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the Cardinal;
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To consummate this business happily.
BASTARD. Let it be so. And you, my noble Prince,
With other princes that may best be spar'd,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
PRINCE HENRY. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
For so he will'd it.
BASTARD. Thither shall it, then;
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.
SALISBURY. And the like tender of our love we make,
To rest without a spot for evermore.
PRINCE HENRY. I have a kind soul that would give you thanks,
And knows not how to do it but with tears.
BASTARD. O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.
This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true. Exeunt





by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

JULIUS CAESAR, Roman statesman and general
OCTAVIUS, Triumvir after Caesar's death, later Augustus Caesar,
first emperor of Rome
MARK ANTONY, general and friend of Caesar, a Triumvir after his death
LEPIDUS, third member of the Triumvirate
MARCUS BRUTUS, leader of the conspiracy against Caesar
CASSIUS, instigator of the conspiracy
CASCA, conspirator against Caesar
CINNA, " " "
CALPURNIA, wife of Caesar
PORTIA, wife of Brutus
CICERO, senator
FLAVIUS, tribune
MARULLUS, tribune
CATO, supportor of Brutus
MESSALA, " " "
ARTEMIDORUS, a teacher of rhetoric
CINNA, a poet
VARRO, servant to Brutus
CLITUS, " " "
CLAUDIO, " " "
STRATO, " " "
LUCIUS, " " "
PINDARUS, servant to Cassius
The Ghost of Caesar
A Soothsayer
A Poet
Senators, Citizens, Soldiers, Commoners, Messengers, and Servants


SCENE: Rome, the conspirators' camp near Sardis, and the plains of Philippi.

Rome. A street.

Enter Flavius, Marullus, and certain Commoners.

FLAVIUS. Hence, home, you idle creatures, get you home.
Is this a holiday? What, know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a laboring day without the sign
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
FIRST COMMONER. Why, sir, a carpenter.
MARULLUS. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
You, sir, what trade are you?
SECOND COMMONER. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am
but, as you would say, a cobbler.
MARULLUS. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
SECOND COMMONER. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
MARULLUS. What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?
SECOND COMMONER. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet,
if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
MARULLUS. What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
SECOND COMMONER. Why, sir, cobble you.
FLAVIUS. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
SECOND COMMONER. Truly, Sir, all that I live by is with the awl; I
meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with
awl. I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in
great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.
FLAVIUS. But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
SECOND COMMONER. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes to get myself
into more work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Caesar
and to rejoice in his triumph.
MARULLUS. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day with patient expectation
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks
To hear the replication of your sounds
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Be gone!
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
FLAVIUS. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
Assemble all the poor men of your sort,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
Exeunt all Commoners.
See whether their basest metal be not moved;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I. Disrobe the images
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.
MARULLUS. May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
FLAVIUS. It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about
And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soar above the view of men
And keep us all in servile fearfulness. Exeunt.

A public place.

Flourish. Enter Caesar; Antony, for the course; Calpurnia, Portia,
Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca; a great crowd follows,
among them a Soothsayer.

CAESAR. Calpurnia!
CASCA. Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
Music ceases.
CAESAR. Calpurnia!
CALPURNIA. Here, my lord.
CAESAR. Stand you directly in Antonio's way,
When he doth run his course. Antonio!
ANTONY. Caesar, my lord?
CAESAR. Forget not in your speed, Antonio,
To touch Calpurnia, for our elders say
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
ANTONY. I shall remember.
When Caesar says "Do this," it is perform'd.
CAESAR. Set on, and leave no ceremony out. Flourish.
CAESAR. Ha! Who calls?
CASCA. Bid every noise be still. Peace yet again!
CAESAR. Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry "Caesar." Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
SOOTHSAYER. Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR. What man is that?
BRUTUS. A soothsayer you beware the ides of March.
CAESAR. Set him before me let me see his face.
CASSIUS. Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
CAESAR. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
SOOTHSAYER. Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR. He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
Sennet. Exeunt all but Brutus and Cassius.
CASSIUS. Will you go see the order of the course?
CASSIUS. I pray you, do.
BRUTUS. I am not gamesome; I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
CASSIUS. Brutus, I do observe you now of late;
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have;
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
BRUTUS. Cassius,
Be not deceived; if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved-
Among which number, Cassius, be you one-
Nor construe any further my neglect
Than that poor Brutus with himself at war
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
CASSIUS. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
BRUTUS. No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself
But by reflection, by some other things.
CASSIUS. 'Tis just,
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye
That you might see your shadow. I have heard
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
BRUTUS. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
CASSIUS. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear,
And since you know you cannot see yourself
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 on 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.
BRUTUS. What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Caesar for their king.
CASSIUS. Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
BRUTUS. 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.
CASSIUS. 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 Caesar, 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,
Caesar said to me, "Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood
And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
Accoutred 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 proposed,
Caesar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I sink!
I, as Aeneas 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 tired Caesar. And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body
If Caesar 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 luster. 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. Shout. Flourish.
BRUTUS. Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar.
CASSIUS. 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 Caesar: what should be in that "Caesar"?
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 'em,
"Brutus" will start a spirit as soon as "Caesar."
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar 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 talk'd of Rome
That her wide walls encompass'd 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 brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.
BRUTUS. 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,
Be any further moved. What you have said
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:
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.
CASSIUS. I am glad that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

Re-enter Caesar and his Train.

BRUTUS. The games are done, and Caesar is returning.
CASSIUS. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note today.
BRUTUS. I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calpurnia'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.
CASSIUS. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
CAESAR. Antonio!
ANTONY. Caesar?
CAESAR. 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.
ANTONY. Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman and well given.
CAESAR. 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 moved to smile at anything.
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 Caesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and all his Train but Casca.
CASCA. You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?
BRUTUS. Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today
That Caesar looks so sad.
CASCA. Why, you were with him, were you not?
BRUTUS. I should not then ask Casca what had 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 ashouting.
BRUTUS. What was the second noise for?
CASCA. Why, for that too.
CASSIUS. They shouted thrice. What was the last cry for?
CASCA. Why, for that too.
BRUTUS. Was the crown offered him thrice?
CASCA. Ay, marry, wast, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler
than other, and at every putting by mine honest neighbors
CASSIUS. Who offered him the crown?
CASCA. Why, Antony.
BRUTUS. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
CASCA. I can as well be hang'd 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 chopped hands
and threw up their sweaty nightcaps and uttered such a deal of
stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had
almost choked Caesar, for he swounded 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.
CASSIUS. But, soft, I pray you, what, did Caesars wound?
CASCA. He fell down in the marketplace and foamed at mouth and was
BRUTUS. 'Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness.
CASSIUS. No, Caesar 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 Caesar fell
down. If the tagrag 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.
BRUTUS. 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 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 anything 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 Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done
no less.
BRUTUS. And after that he came, thus sad, away?
CASSIUS. Did Cicero say anything?
CASCA. Ay, he spoke Greek.
CASSIUS. 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 Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well.
There was more foolery yet, if could remember it.
CASSIUS. Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?
CASCA. No, I am promised forth.
CASSIUS. Will you dine with me tomorrow?
CASCA. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth
the eating.
CASSIUS. Good, I will expect you.
CASCA. Do so, farewell, both. Exit.
BRUTUS. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
He was quick mettle when he went to school.
CASSIUS. 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.
BRUTUS. And so it is. For this time I will leave you.
Tomorrow, 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.
CASSIUS. I will do so. Till then, think of the world.
Exit Brutus.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see
Thy honorable mettle may be wrought
From that it is disposed; therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
Caesar 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
Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at.
And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure. Exit.

A street. Thunder and lightning.

Enter, from opposite sides, Casca, with his sword drawn, and Cicero.

CICERO. Good even, Casca. Brought you Caesar home?
Why are you breathless, and why stare you so?
CASCA. Are not you 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 threatening clouds,
But never till tonight, 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.
CICERO. 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 remain'd unscorch'd.
Besides- I ha' not since put up my sword-
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glaz'd 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 noonday upon the marketplace,
Howling 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.
CICERO. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time.
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Caesar to the Capitol tomorrow?
CASCA. He doth, for he did bid Antonio
Send word to you he would be there tomorrow.
CICERO. Good then, Casca. This disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
CASCA. Farewell, Cicero. Exit Cicero.

Enter Cassius.

CASSIUS. Who's there?
CASCA. A Roman.
CASSIUS. Casca, by your voice.
CASCA. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
CASSIUS. A very pleasing night to honest men.
CASCA. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
CASSIUS. 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 unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunderstone;
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.
CASSIUS. 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 Caesar that you mean, is it not, Cassius?
CASSIUS. 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 tomorrow
Mean to establish Caesar as a king,
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land
In every place save here in Italy.
CASSIUS. 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. Thunder still.
CASCA. So can I.
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
CASSIUS. And why should Caesar 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 Caesar? 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. Hold, my hand.
Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
And I will set this foot of mine as far
As who goes farthest.
CASSIUS. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise
Of honorable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know by this, they stay for me
In Pompey's Porch. For now, this fearful night,
There is no stir or walking in the streets,
And the complexion of the element
In favor's like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter Cinna.

CASCA. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
CASSIUS. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend. Cinna, where haste you so?
CINNA. To find out you. Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
CASSIUS. No, it is Casca, one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?
CINNA. I am glad on't. What a fearful night is this!
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.
CASSIUS. Am I not stay'd for? Tell me.
CINNA. Yes, you are.
O Cassius, if you could
But win the noble Brutus to our party-
CASSIUS. Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the praetor's chair,
Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window; set this up with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue. All this done,
Repair to Pompey's Porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
CINNA. All but Metellus Cimber, and he's gone
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
CASSIUS. That done, repair to Pompey's Theatre.
Exit Cinna.
Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day
See Brutus at his house. Three parts of him
Is ours already, and the man entire
Upon the next encounter yields him ours.
CASCA. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts,
And that which would appear offense in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
CASSIUS. Him and his worth and our great need of him
You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight, and ere day
We will awake him and be sure of him. Exeunt.



Enter Brutus in his orchard.

BRUTUS. What, Lucius, ho!
I cannot, by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.
When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!

Enter Lucius.

LUCIUS. Call'd you, my lord?
BRUTUS. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
LUCIUS. I will, my lord. Exit.
BRUTUS. It must be by his death, and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder
And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power, and, to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. So Caesar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no color for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus, that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which hatch'd would as his kind grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.

Re-enter Lucius.

LUCIUS. The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
Searching the window for a flint I found
This paper thus seal'd up, and I am sure
It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Gives him the letter.
BRUTUS. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Is not tomorrow, boy, the ides of March?
LUCIUS. I know not, sir.
BRUTUS. Look in the calendar and bring me word.
LUCIUS. I will, sir. Exit.
BRUTUS. The exhalations whizzing in the air
Give so much light that I may read by them.
Opens the letter and reads.
"Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake and see thyself!
Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!"

"Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!"
Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.
"Shall Rome, etc." Thus must I piece it out.
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.
"Speak, strike, redress!" Am I entreated
To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!

Re-enter Lucius.

LUCIUS. Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.
Knocking within.
BRUTUS. 'Tis good. Go to the gate, somebody knocks.
Exit Lucius.
Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream;
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council, and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

Re-enter Lucius.

LUCIUS. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.
BRUTUS. Is he alone?
LUCIUS. No, sir, there are more with him.
BRUTUS. Do you know them?
LUCIUS. No, sir, their hats are pluck'd about their ears,
And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favor.
BRUTUS. Let 'em enter. Exit Lucius.
They are the faction. O Conspiracy,
Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, Conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability;
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.

Enter the conspirators, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna,
Metellus Cimber, and Trebonius.

CASSIUS. I think we are too bold upon your rest.
Good morrow, Brutus, do we trouble you?
BRUTUS. I have been up this hour, awake all night.
Know I these men that come along with you?
CASSIUS. Yes, every man of them, and no man here
But honors you, and every one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
BRUTUS. He is welcome hither.
CASSIUS. This, Decius Brutus.
BRUTUS. He is welcome too.
CASSIUS. This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.
BRUTUS. They are all welcome.
What watchful cares do interpose themselves
Betwixt your eyes and night?
CASSIUS. Shall I entreat a word? They whisper.
DECIUS. Here lies the east. Doth not the day break here?
CINNA. O, pardon, sir, it doth, and yongrey lines
That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
CASCA. You shall confess that you are both deceived.
Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,
Which is a great way growing on the south,
Weighing the youthful season of the year.
Some two months hence up higher toward the north
He first presents his fire, and the high east
Stands as the Capitol, directly here.
BRUTUS. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
CASSIUS. And let us swear our resolution.
BRUTUS. No, not an oath. If not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse-
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-sighted tyranny range on
Till each man drop by lottery. But if these,
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
To kindle cowards and to steel with valor
The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress? What other bond
Than secret Romans that have spoke the word
And will not palter? And what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engaged
That this shall be or we will fall for it?
Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,
Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath; when every drop of blood
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.
CASSIUS. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
CASCA. Let us not leave him out.
CINNA. No, by no means.
METELLUS. O, let us have him, for his silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds.
It shall be said his judgement ruled our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.
BRUTUS. O, name him not; let us not break with him,
For he will never follow anything
That other men begin.
CASSIUS. Then leave him out.
CASCA. Indeed he is not fit.
DECIUS. Shall no man else be touch'd but only Caesar?
CASSIUS. Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all, which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together.
BRUTUS. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,
And in the spirit of men there is no blood.
O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit,
And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage
And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make
Our purpose necessary and not envious,
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him,
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm
When Caesar's head is off.
CASSIUS. Yet I fear him,
For in the ingrated love he bears to Caesar-
BRUTUS. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.
If he love Caesar, all that he can do
Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar.
And that were much he should, for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.
TREBONIUS. There is no fear in him-let him not die,
For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.
Clock strikes.
BRUTUS. Peace, count the clock.
CASSIUS. The clock hath stricken three.
TREBONIUS. 'Tis time to part.
CASSIUS. But it is doubtful yet
Whether Caesar will come forth today or no,
For he is superstitious grown of late,
Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
It may be these apparent prodigies,
The unaccustom'd terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers
May hold him from the Capitol today.
DECIUS. Never fear that. If he be so resolved,
I can o'ersway him, for he loves to hear
That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers;
But when I tell him he hates flatterers,
He says he does, being then most flattered.
Let me work;
For I can give his humor the true bent,
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
CASSIUS. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
BRUTUS. By the eighth hour. Is that the utter most?
CINNA. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.
METELLUS. Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey.
I wonder none of you have thought of him.
BRUTUS. Now, good Metellus, go along by him.
He loves me well, and I have given him reasons;
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him.
CASSIUS. The morning comes upon 's. We'll leave you, Brutus,
And, friends, disperse yourselves, but all remember
What you have said and show yourselves true Romans.
BRUTUS. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on our purposes,
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untired spirits and formal constancy.
And so, good morrow to you every one.
Exeunt all but Brutus.
Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter.
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber;
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.

Enter Portia.

PORTIA. Brutus, my lord!
BRUTUS. Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise you now?
It is not for your health thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
PORTIA. Nor for yours neither. have ungently, Brutus,
Stole from my bed; and yesternight at supper
You suddenly arose and walk'd about,
Musing and sighing, with your arms across;
And when I ask'd you what the matter was,
You stared upon me with ungentle looks.
I urged you further; then you scratch'd your head,
And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot.
Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not,
But with an angry waiter of your hand
Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did,
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seem'd too much enkindled, and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,
And, could it work so much upon your shape
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
BRUTUS. I am not well in health, and that is all.
PORTIA. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
BRUTUS. Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.
PORTIA. Is Brutus sick, and is it physical
To walk unbraced and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
To dare the vile contagion of the night
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus,
You have some sick offense within your mind,
Which by the right and virtue of my place
I ought to know of; and, upon my knees,
I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy and what men tonight
Have had resort to you; for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
BRUTUS. Kneel not, gentle Portia.
PORTIA. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort or limitation,
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs
Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.
BRUTUS. You are my true and honorable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
PORTIA. If this were true, then should I know this secret.
I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife.
I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman well reputed, Cato's daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so father'd and so husbanded?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose 'em.
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here in the thigh. Can I bear that with patience
And not my husband's secrets?
BRUTUS. O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife! Knocking within.
Hark, hark, one knocks. Portia, go in awhile,
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste. [Exit Portia.] Lucius, who's that knocks?

Re-enter Lucius with Ligarius.

LUCIUS. Here is a sick man that would speak with you.
BRUTUS. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.
Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius, how?
LIGARIUS. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
BRUTUS. O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!
LIGARIUS. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honor.
BRUTUS. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
LIGARIUS. By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!
Brave son, derived from honorable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible,
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?
BRUTUS. A piece of work that will make sick men whole.
LIGARIUS. But are not some whole that we must make sick?
BRUTUS. That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee, as we are going
To whom it must be done.
LIGARIUS. Set on your foot,
And with a heart new-fired I follow you,
To do I know not what; but it sufficeth
That Brutus leads me on.
BRUTUS. Follow me then. Exeunt.

Caesar's house. Thunder and lightning.

Enter Caesar, in his nightgown.

CAESAR. Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight.
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
"Help, ho! They murther Caesar!" Who's within?

Enter a Servant.

SERVANT. My lord?
CAESAR. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
SERVANT. I will, my lord. Exit.

Enter Calpurnia.

CALPURNIA. What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house today.
CAESAR. Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten'd me
Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
CALPURNIA. Caesar, I I stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar! These things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.
CAESAR. What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
Yet Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
CALPURNIA. When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
CAESAR. Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Re-enter Servant.

What say the augurers?
SERVANT. They would not have you to stir forth today.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
CAESAR. The gods do this in shame of cowardice.
Caesar should be a beast without a heart
If he should stay at home today for fear.
No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible.
And Caesar shall go forth.
CALPURNIA. Alas, my lord,
Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
Do not go forth today. Call it my fear
That keeps you in the house and not your own.
We'll send Mark Antony to the Senate House,
And he shall say you are not well today.
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
CAESAR. Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
And, for thy humor, I will stay at home.

Enter Decius.

Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
DECIUS. Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar!
I come to fetch you to the Senate House.
CAESAR. And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the senators
And tell them that I will not come today.
Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:
I will not come today. Tell them so, Decius.
CALPURNIA. Say he is sick.
CAESAR. Shall Caesar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far
To be afeard to tell greybeards the truth?
Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
DECIUS. Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.
CAESAR. The cause is in my will: I will not come,
That is enough to satisfy the Senate.
But, for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know.
Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home;
She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,
Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood, and many lusty Romans
Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.
And these does she apply for warnings and portents
And evils imminent, and on her knee
Hath begg'd that I will stay at home today.
DECIUS. This dream is all amiss interpreted;
It was a vision fair and fortunate.
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.
CAESAR. And this way have you well expounded it.
DECIUS. I have, when you have heard what I can say.
And know it now, the Senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
If you shall send them word you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be render'd, for someone to say
"Break up the Senate till another time,
When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams."
If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
"Lo, Caesar is afraid"?
Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this,
And reason to my love is liable.
CAESAR. How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!
I am ashamed I did yield to them.
Give me my robe, for I will go.

Enter Publius, Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca,
Trebonius, and Cinna.

And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
PUBLIUS. Good morrow,Caesar.
CAESAR. Welcome, Publius.
What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?
Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,
Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy
As that same ague which hath made you lean.
What is't o'clock?
BRUTUS. Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.
CAESAR. I thank you for your pains and courtesy.

Enter Antony.

See, Antony, that revels long o' nights,
Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.
ANTONY. So to most noble Caesar.
CAESAR. Bid them prepare within.
I am to blame to be thus waited for.
Now, Cinna; now, Metellus; what, Trebonius,
I have an hour's talk in store for you;
Remember that you call on me today;
Be near me, that I may remember you.
TREBONIUS. Caesar, I will. [Aside.] And so near will I be
That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
CAESAR. Good friends, go in and taste some wine with me,
And we like friends will straightway go together.
BRUTUS. [Aside.] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon! Exeunt.

A street near the Capitol.

Enter Artemidorus, reading paper.

ARTEMIDORUS. "Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come
not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; mark
well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast
wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men,
and it is bent against Caesar. If thou beest not immortal, look
about you. Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods
defend thee!
Thy lover, Artemidorus."
Here will I stand till Caesar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.
My heart laments that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.
If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayest live;
If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive. Exit.

Another part of the same street, before the house of Brutus.

Enter Portia and Lucius.

PORTIA. I prithee, boy, run to the Senate House;
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.
Why dost thou stay?
LUCIUS. To know my errand, madam.
PORTIA. I would have had thee there, and here again,
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.
O constancy, be strong upon my side!
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!
Art thou here yet?
LUCIUS. Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?
PORTIA. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth; and take good note
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy, what noise is that?
LUCIUS. I hear none, madam.
PORTIA. Prithee, listen well.
I heard a bustling rumor like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.
LUCIUS. Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

Enter the Soothsayer.

PORTIA. Come hither, fellow;
Which way hast thou been?
SOOTHSAYER. At mine own house, good lady.
PORTIA. What is't o'clock?
SOOTHSAYER. About the ninth hour, lady.
PORTIA. Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol?
SOOTHSAYER. Madam, not yet. I go to take my stand
To see him pass on to the Capitol.
PORTIA. Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?
SOOTHSAYER. That I have, lady. If it will please Caesar
To be so good to Caesar as to hear me,
I shall beseech him to befriend himself.
PORTIA. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards him?
SOOTHSAYER. None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow,
The throng that follows Caesar at the heels,
Of senators, of praetors, common suitors,
Will crowd a feeble man almost to death.
I'll get me to a place more void and there
Speak to great Caesar as he comes along. Exit.
PORTIA. I must go in. Ay me, how weak a thing
The heart of woman is! O Brutus,
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise!
Sure, the boy heard me. Brutus hath a suit
That Caesar will not grant. O, I grow faint.
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord;
Say I am merry. Come to me again,
And bring me word what he doth say to thee.
Exeunt severally.


Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above.
A crowd of people, among them Artemidorus and the Soothsayer.

Flourish. Enter Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus,
Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius, and others.

CAESAR. The ides of March are come.
SOOTHSAYER. Ay, Caesar, but not gone.
A Hail, Caesar! Read this schedule.
DECIUS. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er read,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
ARTEMIDORUS. O Caesar, read mine first, for mine's a suit
That touches Caesar nearer. Read it, great Caesar.
CAESAR. What touches us ourself shall be last served.
ARTEMIDORUS. Delay not, Caesar; read it instantly.
CAESAR. What, is the fellow mad?
PUBLIUS. Sirrah, give place.
CASSIUS. What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.

Caesar goes up to the Senate House, the rest follow.

POPILIUS. I wish your enterprise today may thrive.
CASSIUS. What enterprise, Popilius?
POPILIUS. Fare you well.
Advances to Caesar.
BRUTUS. What said Popilius Lena?
CASSIUS. He wish'd today our enterprise might thrive.
I fear our purpose is discovered.
BRUTUS. Look, how he makes to Caesar. Mark him.
Be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
BRUTUS. Cassius, be constant.
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.
CASSIUS. Trebonius knows his time, for, look you, Brutus,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
Exeunt Antony and Trebonius.
DECIUS. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.
BRUTUS. He is address'd; press near and second him.
CINNA. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
CAESAR. Are we all ready? What is now amiss
That Caesar and his Senate must redress?
METELLUS. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart. Kneels.
CAESAR. I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men
And turn preordinance and first decree
Into the law of children. Be not fond
To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw'd from the true quality
With that which melteth fools- I mean sweet words,
Low-crooked court'sies, and base spaniel-fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished.
If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
METELLUS. Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Caesar's ear
For the repealing of my banish'd brother?
BRUTUS. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
CAESAR. What, Brutus?
CASSIUS. Pardon, Caesar! Caesar, pardon!
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
CAESAR. I could be well moved, if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks;
They are all fire and every one doth shine;
But there's but one in all doth hold his place.
So in the world, 'tis furnish'd well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion; and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this;
That I was constant Cimber should be banish'd,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
CINNA. O Caesar-
CAESAR. Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?
DECIUS. Great Caesar-
CAESAR. Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
CASCA. Speak, hands, for me!
Casca first, then the other Conspirators
and Marcus Brutus stab Caesar.
CAESAR. Et tu, Brute?- Then fall, Caesar! Dies.
CINNA. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
CASSIUS. Some to the common pulpits and cry out
"Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!"
BRUTUS. People and senators, be not affrighted,
Fly not, stand still; ambition's debt is paid.
CASCA. Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
DECIUS. And Cassius too.
BRUTUS. Where's Publius?
CINNA. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
METELLUS. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar's
Should chance-
BRUTUS. Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer,
There is no harm intended to your person,
Nor to no Roman else. So tell them, Publius.
CASSIUS. And leave us, Publius, lest that the people
Rushing on us should do your age some mischief.
BRUTUS. Do so, and let no man abide this deed
But we the doers.

Re-enter Trebonius.

CASSIUS. Where is Antony?
TREBONIUS. Fled to his house amazed.
Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run
As it were doomsday.
BRUTUS. Fates, we will know your pleasures.
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time
And drawing days out that men stand upon.
CASSIUS. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
BRUTUS. Grant that, and then is death a benefit;
So are we Caesar's friends that have abridged
His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords;
Then walk we forth, even to the marketplace,
And waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry, "Peace, freedom, and liberty!"
CASSIUS. Stoop then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
BRUTUS. How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
That now on Pompey's basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!
CASSIUS. So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be call'd
The men that gave their country liberty.
DECIUS. What, shall we forth?
CASSIUS. Ay, every man away.
Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

Enter a Servant.

BRUTUS. Soft, who comes here? A friend of Antony's.
SERVANT. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel,
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down,
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving.
Say I love Brutus and I honor him;
Say I fear'd Caesar, honor'd him, and loved him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him and be resolved
How Caesar hath deserved to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead
So well as Brutus living, but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
BRUTUS. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied and, by my honor,
Depart untouch'd.
SERVANT. I'll fetch him presently. Exit.
BRUTUS. I know that we shall have him well to friend.
CASSIUS. I wish we may, but yet have I a mind
That fears him much, and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.

Re-enter Antony.

BRUTUS. But here comes Antony. Welcome, Mark Antony.
ANTONY. O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank.
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Caesar's death's hour, nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die;
No place will please me so, no means of death,
As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
BRUTUS. O Antony, beg not your death of us!
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands and this our present act
You see we do, yet see you but our hands
And this the bleeding business they have done.
Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome-
As fire drives out fire, so pity pity-
Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony;
Our arms in strength of malice, and our hearts
Of brothers' temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
CASSIUS. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's
In the disposing of new dignities.
BRUTUS. Only be patient till we have appeased
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause
Why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him,
Have thus proceeded.
ANTONY. I doubt not of your wisdom.
Let each man render me his bloody hand.
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you;
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand;
Now, Decius Brutus, yours; now yours, Metellus;
Yours, Cinna; and, my valiant Casca, yours;
Though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all- alas, what shall I say?
My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Caesar, O, 'tis true!
If then thy spirit look upon us now,
Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death
To see thy Antony making his peace,
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes,
Most noble! In the presence of thy corse?
Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay'd, brave hart,
Here didst thou fall, and here thy hunters stand,
Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy Lethe.
O world, thou wast the forest to this hart,
And this, indeed, O world, the heart of thee.
How like a deer strucken by many princes
Dost thou here lie!
CASSIUS. Mark Antony-
ANTONY. Pardon me, Caius Cassius.
The enemies of Caesar shall say this:
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
CASSIUS. I blame you not for praising Caesar so;
But what compact mean you to have with us?
Will you be prick'd in number of our friends,
Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
ANTONY. Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed
Sway'd from the point by looking down on Caesar.
Friends am I with you all and love you all,
Upon this hope that you shall give me reasons
Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.
BRUTUS. Or else were this a savage spectacle.
Our reasons are so full of good regard
That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar,
You should be satisfied.
ANTONY. That's all I seek;
And am moreover suitor that I may
Produce his body to the marketplace,
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
Speak in the order of his funeral.
BRUTUS. You shall, Mark Antony.
CASSIUS. Brutus, a word with you.
[Aside to Brutus.] You know not what you do. Do not consent
That Antony speak in his funeral.
Know you how much the people may be moved
By that which he will utter?
BRUTUS. By your pardon,
I will myself into the pulpit first,
And show the reason of our Caesar's death.
What Antony shall speak, I will protest
He speaks by leave and by permission,
And that we are contented Caesar shall
Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies.
It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
CASSIUS. I know not what may fall; I like it not.
BRUTUS. Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar's body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
But speak all good you can devise of Caesar,
And say you do't by our permission,
Else shall you not have any hand at all
About his funeral. And you shall speak
In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
After my speech is ended.
ANTONY. Be it so,
I do desire no more.
BRUTUS. Prepare the body then, and follow us.
Exeunt all but Antony.
ANTONY. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy
(Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue)
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds,
And Caesar's spirit ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Enter a Servant.

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?
SERVANT. I do, Mark Antony.
ANTONY. Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.
SERVANT. He did receive his letters, and is coming,
And bid me say to you by word of mouth-
O Caesar! Sees the body.
ANTONY. Thy heart is big; get thee apart and weep.
Passion, I see, is catching, for mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water. Is thy master coming?
SERVANT. He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.
ANTONY. Post back with speed and tell him what hath chanced.

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