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  • Title: Julius Caesar (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: John D. Cox
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-366-3

    Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Peer Reviewed

    Julius Caesar (Folio 1, 1623)

    Actus Secundus.
    615Enter 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 Caesar,
    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 Caesar 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 Caesar,
    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
    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
    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,
    The Tragedie of Julius Caesar 115
    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 Caesar?
    Cas. Decius well vrg'd: I thinke it is not meet,
    Marke Antony, so well belou'd of Caesar,
    790Should out-liue Caesar, 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 Caesar 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 Caesar.
    Let's be Sacrificers, but not Butchers Caius:
    800We all stand vp against the spirit of Caesar,
    And in the Spirit of men, there is no blood:
    O that we then could come by Caesars Spirit,
    And not dismember Caesar! But (alas)
    Caesar 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 Caesars Arme,
    When Caesars head is off.
    Cas. Yet I feare him,
    For in the ingrafted loue he beares to Caesar.
    Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not thinke of him:
    820If he loue Caesar, all that he can do
    Is to himselfe; take thought, and dye for Caesar,
    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 Caesar 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 Caesar 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. Exeunt.
    Manet Brutus.
    Boy: Lucius: Fast asleepe? It is no matter,
    Enioy the hony-heauy-Dew of Slumber:
    870Thou hast no Figures, nor no Fantasies,
    116The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
    Which busie care drawes, in the braines of men;
    Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
    Enter Portia.
    Por. Brutus, my Lord.
    875Bru.Portia: What meane you? wherfore rise you now?
    It is not for your health, thus to commit
    Your weake condition, to the raw cold morning.
    Por. Nor for yours neither. Y'haue vngently Brutus
    Stole from my bed: and yesternight at Supper
    880You sodainly arose, and walk'd about,
    Musing, and sighing, with your armes a-crosse:
    And when I ask'd you what the matter was,
    You star'd vpon me, with vngentle lookes.
    I vrg'd you further, then you scratch'd your head,
    885And too impatiently stampt with your foote:
    Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not,
    But with an angry wafter of your hand
    Gaue signe for me to leaue you: So I did,
    Fearing to strengthen that impatience
    890Which seem'd too much inkindled; and withall,
    Hoping it was but an effect of Humor,
    Which sometime hath his houre with euery man.
    It will not let you eate, nor talke, nor sleepe;
    And could it worke so much vpon your shape,
    895As it hath much preuayl'd on your Condltion,
    I should not know you Brutus. Deare my Lord,
    Make me acquainted with your cause of greefe.
    Bru. I am not well in health, and that is all.
    Por. Brutus is wise, and were he not in health,
    900He would embrace the meanes to come by it.
    Bru. Why so I do: good Portia go to bed.
    Por. Is Brutus sicke? And is it Physicall
    To walke vnbraced, and sucke vp the humours
    Of the danke Morning? What, is Brutus sicke?
    905And will he steale out of his wholsome bed
    To dare the vile contagion of the Night?
    And tempt the Rhewmy, and vnpurged Ayre,
    To adde vnto hit sicknesse? No my Brutus,
    You haue some sicke Offence within your minde,
    910Which by the Right and Vertue of my place
    I ought to know of: And vpon my knees,
    I charme you, by my once commended Beauty,
    By all your vowes of Loue, and that great Vow
    Which did incorporate and make vs one,
    915That you vnfold to me, your selfe; your halfe
    Why you are heauy: and what men to night
    Haue had resort to you: for heere haue beene
    Some sixe or seuen, who did hide their faces
    Euen from darknesse.
    920Bru. Kneele not gentle Portia.
    Por. I should not neede, if you were gentle Brutus.
    Within the Bond of Marriage, tell me Brutus,
    Is it excepted, I should know no Secrets
    That appertaine to you? Am I your Selfe,
    925But as it were in sort, or limitation?
    To keepe with you at Meales, comfort your Bed,
    And talke 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.
    930Bru. You are my true and honourable Wife,
    As deere to me, as are the ruddy droppes
    That visit my sad heart.
    Por. If this were true, then should I know this secret.
    I graunt I am a Woman; but withall,
    935A Woman that Lord Brutus tooke to Wife:
    I graunt I am a Woman; but withall,
    A Woman well reputed: Cato's Daughter.
    Thinke you, I am no stronger then my Sex
    Being so Father'd, and so Husbanded?
    940Tell me your Counsels, I will not disclose 'em:
    I haue made strong proofe of my Constancie,
    Giuing my selfe a voluntary wound
    Heere, in the Thigh: Can I beare that with patience,
    And not my Husbands Secrets?
    945Bru. O ye Gods!
    Render me worthy of this Noble Wife. Knocke.
    Harke, harke, one knockes: Portia go in a while,
    And by and by thy bosome shall partake
    The secrets of my Heart.
    950All my engagements, I will construe to thee,
    All the Charractery of my sad browes:
    Leaue me with hast. Exit Portia.
    Enter Lucius and Ligarius.
    Lucius, who's that knockes.
    955Luc. Heere is a sicke man that would speak with you.
    Bru. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.
    Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius, how?
    Cai. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
    Bru. O what a time haue you chose out braue Caius
    960To weare a Kerchiefe? Would you were not sicke.
    Cai. I am not sicke, if Brutus haue in hand
    Any exploit worthy the name of Honor.
    Bru. Such an exploit haue I in hand Ligarius,
    Had you a healthfull eare to heare of it.
    965Cai. By all the Gods that Romans bow before,
    I heere discard my sicknesse. Soule of Rome,
    Braue Sonne, deriu'd from Honourable Loines,
    Thou like an Exorcist, hast coniur'd vp
    My mortified Spirit. Now bid me runne,
    970And I will striue with things impossible,
    Yea get the better of them. What's to do?
    Bru. A peece of worke,
    That will make sicke men whole.
    Cai. But are not some whole, that we must make sicke?
    975Bru. That must we also. What it is my Caius,
    I shall vnfold to thee, as we are going,
    To whom it must be done.
    Cai. Set on your foote,
    And with a heart new-fir'd, I follow you,
    980To do I know not what: but it sufficeth
    That Brutus leads me on. Thunder
    Bru. Follow me then. Exeunt