Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: John D. Cox
Peer Reviewed

Julius Caesar (Folio 1, 1623)



Actus Secundus.



615
Enter Brutus in his Orchard.

Brut. What Lucius, hoe?
I cannot, by the progresse of the Starres,
Giue guesse how neere to day--- Lucius, I say?
I would it were my fault to sleepe so soundly.
620When Lucius, when? awake, I say: what Lucius?
Enter Lucius.
Luc. Call'd you, my Lord?
Brut. Get me a Tapor in my Study, Lucius:
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
625Luc. I will, my Lord.
Exit.
Brut. It must be by his death: and for my part,
I know no personall cause, to spurne at him,
But for the generall. He would be crown'd:
How that might change his nature, there's the question?
630It is the bright day, that brings forth the Adder,
And that craues warie walking: Crowne him that,
And then I graunt we put a Sting in him,
That at his will he may doe danger with.
Th'abuse of Greatnesse, is, when it dis-ioynes
635Remorse from Power: And to speake truth of sar,
I haue not knowne, when his Affections sway'd
More then his Reason. But 'tis a common proofe,
That Lowlynesse is young Ambitions Ladder,
Whereto the Climber vpward turnes his Face:
640But when he once attaines the vpmost Round,
He then vnto the Ladder turnes his Backe,
Lookes in the Clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend: so sar may;
Then least he may, preuent. And since the Quarrell
645Will beare no colour, for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would runne to these, and these extremities:
And therefore thinke him as a Serpents egge,
Which hatch'd, would as his kinde grow mischieuous;
650And kill him in the shell.
Enter Lucius.
Luc. The Taper burneth in your Closet, Sir:
Searching the Window for a Flint, I found
This Paper, thus seal'd vp, and I am sure
655It did not lye there when I went to Bed.
Giues him the Letter.
Brut. Get you to Bed againe, it is not day:
Is not to morrow (Boy) the first of March?
Luc. I know not, Sir.
660Brut. Looke in the Calender, and bring me word.
Luc. I will, Sir. Exit.
Brut. The exhalations, whizzing in the ayre,
Giue so much light, that I may reade by them.
Opens the Letter, and reades.
665Brutus thou sleep'st; awake, and see thy selfe:
Shall Rome, &c. speake, strike, redresse.
Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake.
Such instigations haue beene often dropt,
Where I haue tooke them vp:
670Shall Rome, &c. Thus must I piece it out:
Shall Rome stand vnder one mans awe? What Rome?
My Ancestors did from the streetes of Rome
The Tarquin driue, when he was call'd a King.
Speake, strike, redresse. Am I entreated
675To speake, and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redresse will follow, thou receiuest
Thy full Petition at the hand of Brutus.
Enter Lucius.
Luc. Sir, March is wasted fifteene dayes.
680
Knocke within.
Brut. 'Tis good. Go to the Gate, some body knocks:
Since Cassius first did whet me against sar,
I haue not slept.
Betweene the acting of a dreadfull thing,
685And the first motion, all the Interim is
Like a Phantasma, or a hideous Dreame:
The Genius, and the mortall Instruments
Are then in councell; and the state of a man,
Like to a little Kingdome, suffers then
690The nature of an Insurrection.
Enter Lucius.
Luc. Sir, 'tis your Brother Cassius at the Doore,
Who doth desire to see you.
Brut. Is he alone?
695Luc. No, Sir, there are moe with him.
Brut. Doe you know them?
Luc. No, Sir, their Hats are pluckt about their Eares,
And halfe their Faces buried in their Cloakes,
That by no meanes I may discouer them,
700By any marke of fauour.
Brut. Let 'em enter:
They are the Faction. O Conspiracie,
Sham'st thou to shew thy dang'rous Brow by Night,
When euills are most free? O then, by day
705Where wilt thou finde a Cauerne darke enough,
To maske thy monstrous Visage? Seek none Conspiracie,
Hide it in Smiles, and Affabilitie:
For if thou path thy natiue semblance on,
Not Erebus it selfe were dimme enough,
710To hide thee from preuention.

Enter the Conspirators, Cassius, Caska, Decius,
Cinna, Metellus, and Trebonius.

Cass. I thinke we are too bold vpon your Rest:
Good morrow Brutus, doe we trouble you?
715Brut. I haue beene vp this howre, awake all Night:
Know I these men, that come along with you?
Cass. Yes, euery man of them; and no man here
But honors you: and euery one doth wish,
You had but that opinion of your selfe,
720Which euery Noble Roman beares of you.
This is Trebonius.
Brut. He is welcome hither.
Cass. This, Decius Brutus.
Brut. He is welcome too.
725Cass. This, Caska; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus
Cymber.
Brut. They are all welcome.
What watchfull Cares doe interpose themselues
Betwixt your Eyes, and Night?
730Cass. Shall I entreat a word?
They whisper.
Decius. Here lyes the East: doth not the Day breake
heere?
Cask. No.
Cin. O pardon, Sir, it doth; and yon grey Lines,
735That fret the Clouds, are Messengers of Day.
Cask. You shall confesse, that you are both deceiu'd:
Heere, as I point my Sword, the Sunne arises,
Which is a great way growing on the South,
Weigh-