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310

Cas. Good: I will expect you.
Casca. Do so. Farewell, both.

[Exit. Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be! He was quick mettle when he went to school.

Cas. So is he now in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprise,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you :
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you ; or, if you will,
Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. I will do so : till then, think of the world.

[Exit Brutus. Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see, Thy honourable metal may be wrought From that it is disposed : therefore it is meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes; For who so firm that cannot be seduced ? Cæsar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus : If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, He should not humour me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at: And after this let Cæsar seat him sure; For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

320

[Exit. 303. tardy form, boorish Brutus should not work up.

on me, as I have done upon 317. bear me hard, bear a him. Others understand he' grudge against me.

of Cæsar. But this is foreign 319. He should not humour

me,

manner.

to the context.

[blocks in formation]

IO

Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides, CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO.

Cic. Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar home? Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? Casca. Are not you moved, when all the sway

of earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm ? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds :
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful ?
Casca. A common slave-you know him well

by sight-
Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches join'd, and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.
Besides—I ha' not since put up my sword-
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared upon me, and went surly by,
3. sway,

20 30

controlled and 21. glared; Rowe's emenda. regular order. The notion of tion for Ff glazed.' The

balanced swing,' or the like, Camb. edd. retain this, but more obvious to us,

Shakespeare always elsewhere supported by Shakespeare's use uses 'glare' and 'glaze' in their of the word.

perfectly distinct modern senses ; 18. Not sensible of, insensible and 'glaze' has not been ad

duced in any other.

is not

to.

Without annoying me: and there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday the bird of night did sit
Even at noon-day upon the market-place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
• These are their reasons; they are natural;'
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time :
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?

Casca. He doth ; for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.
Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed

sky Is not to walk in. Casca.

Farewell, Cicero. [Exit Cicero. 40

Enter CASSIUS.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca.

A Roman.
Cas.

Casca, by your voice. Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night

is this! Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men. Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so ? Cas. Those that have known the earth so full

of faults. 22. drawn, huddled.

cording their individual 23. Upon a heap, into a

bias. throng.

35. from, away from, con32. climate, region.

trary to. 34. after their fashion, ac- 42. what night, what a night. VOL. VIII

33

to

D

60

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night,
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;
And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open 50
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt

the heavens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods by tokens send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Cas. You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman you do want,
Or else you use not.

You look pale and gaze
And put on fear and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
But if you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
Why old men fool and children calculate,
Why all these things change from their ordinance
Their natures and preformed faculties
To monstrous quality,—why, you shall find
That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear and warning
Unto some monstrous state.
Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man

48. unbraced, with doublet as he might avoid them if he open.

Elizabethan dress is would consider the true case' assumed throughout. Cf. i. of the marvels. 2. 267.

64. from ; cf. v. 35. 50. cross, forked.

ib. kind, nature. 56. astonish, stun with terror. 65. fool, act like fools, lose

60. cast yourself in wonder, their heads ; Mitford's probable throw yourself into a state of emendation of Ff 'fooles.' wonder. Casca's fear

and

65. calculate, prognosticate. wonder are in so far voluntary 67. preformed, original.

70 80

Most like this dreadful night,
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol,
A man no mightier than thyself or me
In personal action, yet prodigious grown
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean ; is it not,

Cassius ?
Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors ;
But, woe the while ! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits ;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Casca. Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king ;
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.

Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then; Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius : Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong; Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat: Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit ; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself. If I know this, know all the world besides, That part of tyranny that I do bear I can shake off at pleasure. [Thunder still. Casca.

So can I: So every bondman in his own hand bears The power to cancel his captivity.

Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,

77. prodigious, portentous.
101. bondman (with a play on "bond').

90

100

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