Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Julius Caesar (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Julius Cæsar

Weighing the youthfull Season of the yeare.
740Some two moneths hence, vp higher toward the North
He first presents his fire, and the high East
Stands as the Capitoll, directly heere.
Bru. Giue me your hands all ouer, one by one.
Cas. And let vs sweare our Resolution.
745Brut. No, not an Oath: if not the Face of men,
The sufferance of our Soules, the times Abuse;
If these be Motiues weake, breake off betimes,
And euery man hence, to his idle bed:
So let high-sighted-Tyranny range on,
750Till each man drop by Lottery. But if these
(As I am sure they do) beare fire enough
To kindle Cowards, and to steele with valour
The melting Spirits of women. Then Countrymen,
What neede we any spurre, but our owne cause
755To pricke vs to redresse? What other Bond,
Then secret Romans, that haue spoke the word,
And will not palter? And what other Oath,
Then Honesty to Honesty ingag'd,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it.
760Sweare Priests and Cowards, and men Cautelous
Old feeble Carrions, and such suffering Soules
That welcome wrongs: Vnto bad causes, sweare
Such Creatures as men doubt; but do not staine
The euen vertue of our Enterprize,
765Nor th'insuppressiue Mettle of our Spirits,
To thinke, that or our Cause, or our Performance
Did neede an Oath. When euery drop of blood
That euery Roman beares, and Nobly beares
Is guilty of a seuerall Bastardie,
770If he do breake the smallest Particle
Of any promise that hath past from him.
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I thinke he will stand very strong with vs.
Cask. Let vs not leaue him out.
775Cyn. No, by no meanes.
Metel. O let vs haue him, for his Siluer haires
Will purchase vs a good opinion:
And buy mens voyces, to commend our deeds:
It shall be sayd, his iudgement rul'd our hands,
780Our youths, and wildenesse, shall no whit appeare,
But all be buried in his Grauity.
Bru. O name him not; let vs not breake with him,
For he will neuer follow any thing
That other men begin.
785Cas. Then leaue him out.
Cask. Indeed, he is not fit.
Decius. Shall no man else be toucht, but onely sar?
Cas. Decius well vrg'd: I thinke it is not meet,
Marke Antony, so well belou'd of sar,
790Should out-liue sar, we shall finde of him
A shrew'd Contriuer. And you know, his meanes
If he improue them, may well stretch so farre
As to annoy vs all: which to preuent,
Let Antony and sar fall together.
795Bru. Our course will seeme too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the Head off, and then hacke the Limbes:
Like Wrath in death, and Enuy afterwards:
For Antony, is but a Limbe of sar.
Let's be Sacrificers, but not Butchers Caius:
800We all stand vp against the spirit of sar,
And in the Spirit of men, there is no blood:
O that we then could come by sars Spirit,
And not dismember sar! But (alas)
sar must bleed for it. And gentle Friends,
805Let's kill him Boldly, but not Wrathfully:
Let's carue him, as a Dish fit for the Gods,
Not hew him as a Carkasse fit for Hounds:
And let our Hearts, as subtle Masters do,
Stirre vp their Seruants to an acte of Rage,
810And after seeme to chide 'em. This shall make
Our purpose Necessary, and not Enuious.
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd Purgers, not Murderers.
And for Marke Antony, thinke not of him:
815For he can do no more then sars Arme,
When sars head is off.
Cas. Yet I feare him,
For in the ingrafted loue he beares to sar.
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not thinke of him:
820If he loue sar, all that he can do
Is to himselfe; take thought, and dye for sar,
And that were much he should: for he is giuen
To sports, to wildenesse, and much company.
Treb. There is no feare in him; let him not dye,
825For he will liue, and laugh at this heereafter.
Clocke strikes.
Bru. Peace, count the Clocke.
Cas. The Clocke hath stricken three.
Treb. 'Tis time to part.
830Cass But it is doubtfull yet,
Whether sar will come forth to day, or no:
For he is Superstitious growne of late,
Quite from the maine Opinion he held once,
Of Fantasie, of Dreames, and Ceremonies:
835It may be, these apparant Prodigies,
The vnaccustom'd Terror of this night,
And the perswasion of his Augurers,
May hold him from the Capitoll to day.
Decius. Neuer feare that: If he be so resolu'd,
840I can ore-sway him: For he loues to heare,
That Vnicornes may be betray'd with Trees,
And Beares with Glasses, Elephants with Holes,
Lyons with Toyles, and men with Flatterers.
But, when I tell him, he hates Flatterers,
845He sayes, he does; being then most flattered.
Let me worke:
For I can giue his humour the true bent;
And I will bring him to the Capitoll.
Cas. Nay, we will all of vs, be there to fetch him.
850Bru. By the eight houre, is that the vttermost?
Cin. Be that the vttermost, and faile not then.
Met. Caius Ligarius doth beare sar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey;
I wonder none of you haue thought of him.
855Bru. Now good Metellus go along by him:
He loues me well, and I haue giuen him Reasons,
Send him but hither, and Ile fashion him.
Cas. The morning comes vpon's:
Wee'l leaue you Brutus,
860And Friends disperse your selues; but all remember
What you haue said, and shew your selues true Romans.
Bru. Good Gentlemen, looke fresh and merrily,
Let not our lookes put on our purposes,
But beare it as our Roman Actors do,
865With vntyr'd Spirits, and formall Constancie,
And so good morrow to you euery one.
Manet Brutus.
Boy: Lucius: Fast asleepe? It is no matter,
Enioy the hony-heauy-Dew of Slumber:
870Thou hast no Figures, nor no Fantasies,