Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Julius Caesar (Modern)


[3.1]
1200Flourish.
Enter Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Artemidorus, Publius, [Popilius Lena,] and the Soothsayer.
Caesar The ides of March are come.
1205Soothsayer Ay, Caesar, but not gone.
Artemidorus Hail, Caesar! Read this schedule.
Decius Trebonius doth desire you to o'erread,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
Artemidorus O Caesar, read mine first, for mine's a suit
1210That 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.
1215Cassius What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
[Caesar and his train move away.]
Popilius I wish your enterprise today may thrive.
Cassius
What enterprise, Popilius?
Popilius
Fare you well.
[moves toward Caesar]
1220Brutus What said Popilius Lena?
Cassius He wished today our enterprise might thrive:
I fear our purpose is discoverèd.
Brutus Look how he makes to Caesar: mark him.
Cassius Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
1225Brutus, 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,
1230For 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 go,
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.
1235Brutus He is addressed. 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!
1240Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart.
Caesar
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
1245And turn preordinance and first decree
Into the lane of children. Be not fond
To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood
That will be thawed from the true quality
With that which melteth fools--I mean sweet words,
1250Low-crookèd curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banishèd.
If thou doest 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
1255Will 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 banished brother?
Brutus I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,
1260Desiring 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
1265To 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 fixed and resting quality,
1270There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumbered 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 furnished well with men,
1275And 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:
1280That I was constant Cimber should be banished,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Cinna
O Caesar--
Caesar
Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?
Decius
Great Caesar--
1285Caesar
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
Casca Speak, hands, for me!
They stab Caesar.
Caesar Et tu Brutè? --Then fall, Caesar!
Dies
Cinna Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
1290Run 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.
1295Casca
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
1300Should 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
1305Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Brutus Do so, and let no man abide this deed
But we the doers.
Enter Trebonius.
Cassius
Where is Antony?
1310Trebonius
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
1315And drawing days out that men stand upon.
Casca 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
1320His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Caesars 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,
1325Let's all cry, "Peace, freedom, and liberty!"
Cassius Stoop then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er,
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
Brutus How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
1330That 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 called
The men that gave their country liberty.
1335Decius
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.
1340Brutus 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;
1345Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving.
Say I love Brutus, and I honor him;
Say I feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolved
1350How 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,
1355With 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
1360Depart untouched.
Servant
I'll fetch him presently.
Exit servant.
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
1365Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
Enter Antony.
Brutus But here comes Antony: Welcome, Mark Antony.
Antony O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low?
1370Are 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
1375As 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,
1380Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die;
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
1385Brutus 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.
1390Our 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.
1395Our 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.
1400Brutus 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.
1405Antony
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;
1410Yours, 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:
1415Either a coward, or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Caesar, oh, '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,
1420Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes--
Most noble -- in the presence of thy corpse?
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
1425In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me Julius! Here was't thou bayed, brave hart,
Here did'st thou fall, and here thy hunters stand
Signed in thy spoil and crimsoned in thy Lethe.
O world! Thou wast the forest to this hart,
1430And 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.
1435The 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 pricked in number of our friends,
1440Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
Antony Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed
Swayed 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,
1445Why 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.
1450Antony
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.
1455Brutus
You shall, Mark Antony.
Cassius
Brutus, a word with you:
You know not what you do! Do not consent
That Antony speak in his funeral.
Know you how much the people may be moved
1460By 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
1465He 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.
1470Brutus 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
1475About 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.
1480Brutus 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
1485That ever livèd 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:
1490A 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,
1495That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quartered with the hands of war,
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds;
And Caesar's spirit ranging for revenge,
With Atè by his side come hot from hell,
1500Shall 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 Octavius' servant.
1505You 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--
1510O Caesar!
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,
Begin to water. Is thy master coming?
1515Servant He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.
Antony Post back with speed, And tell him what hath chanced.
Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet.
1520Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet stay awhile;
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corpse
Into the marketplace. There shall I try
In my oration how the people take
The cruel issue of these bloody men,
1525According to the which, thou shalt discourse
To young Octavius of the state of things.
Lend me your hand.
Exeunt