Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Julius Caesar (Modern)


[2.2]
Thunder and lightning. Enter Julius Caesar in his nightgown.
985Caesar Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight.
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
"Help, ho, they murder Caesar!" Who's within?
Enter a servant.
990Servant 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.
995Calpurnia 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 threatened me
Ne'er looked but on my back. When they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanishèd.
1000Calpurnia Caesar, I never 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 lionness hath whelpèd in the streets,
1005And graves have yawned and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds
In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war,
Which drizzeled blood upon the Capitol.
The noise of battle hurtled in the air:
1010Horses do 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
1015Whose 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
1020Caesar 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,
1025Will come when it will come.
Enter a servant.
Caesar
What say the augurers?
Servant They would not have you to stir forth today.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
1030They 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
1035That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
We are two lions littered in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;
And Caesar shall go forth.
Calpurnia
Alas, my Lord,
1040Your 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.
1045Let 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.
1050Decius 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--
1055Cannot, 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 stretched mine arm so far
1060To be afeard to tell gray-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
Decius Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so.
Caesar The cause is in my will; I will not come.
1065That 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,
1070Which 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
1075Hath begged 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,
1080Signifies 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.
1085Decius 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
1090Apt to be rendered 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"?
1095Pardon 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 ashamèd I did yield to them.
1100Give me my robe, for I will go.
Enter Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius, Cinna, and Publius.
And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
Publius
Good morrow, Caesar.
1105Caesar
Welcome, Publius.
What, Brutus, are you stirred 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.
1110What 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,
1115Is 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,
1120I 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.
1125Caesar Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me.
And we, like friends, will straight way go together.
Brutus [aside] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon.
Exeunt