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To monstrous quality, - why, you shall find

That heaven hath infus'd 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

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.



So can I:

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,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,
What rubbish and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate

So vile a thing as Cæsar! But, O grief,
Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this
Before a willing bondman; then I know
My answer must be made. But I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca, and to such a man
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:
Be factious for redress of all these griefs,

And I will set this foot of mine as far

As who


goes farthest.



There's a bargain made. 120

Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise

Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me


In Pompey's porch for now, this fearful night,
There is no stir or walking in the streets;

And the complexion of the element

In favour's like the work we have in hand,

Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.


106. [hinds. A double sense of deer, and menial servant.] 125. [by this=by this time.]

Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in


Cas. 'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait;

He is a friend.

Enter CINNA.

Cinna, where haste you so?

Cin. To find out you. Who's that?


Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate


l'o our attempts. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?

Cin. I am glad on 't. What a fearful night is this! There's two or three of us have seen strange sights. Cas. Am I not stay'd for? tell me.

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Cas. Be you content: good Cinna, take this paper,

And look you lay it in the prætor's chair,

Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window; set this up with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?

Cin. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,
And so bestow these papers as you
bade me.
Cas. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.

Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day
See Brutus at his house: three parts of him

146. [See Act I., Sc. 2, 1. 159.]


[Exit Cinna

148. Is Decius Brutus and, etc. Mere heedless writing; not the " grammar " of Shakespeare's time. So in line 154, below, "three parts of him is," etc.

Is ours already, and the man entire

Upon the next encounter yields him ours.

Casca. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts: And that which would appear offence in us,

His countenance, like richest alchemy,

Will change to virtue and to worthiness.


Cas. Him and his worth and our great need of him You have right well conceited. Let us go, For it is after midnight; and ere day

We will awake him and be sure of him.



BRUTUS's orchard.

SCENE I. Rome.


Bru. What, Lucius, ho!

I cannot by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.
When, Lucius, when? awake, I say! what, Lucius !


Luc. Call'd you, my lord?

Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:

When it is lighted, come and call me here.

Luc. I will, my lord.


Bru. It must be by his death: and for my part, 10

I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:

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159. [countenance = favor. Here again one may note the curious interchange in meaning in all these words, face," "favor," "countenance." We use the last with similar significance, both as a verb and as a noun.]

5. When . . . when ?= Will you ever come? pression of impatience

- an ex

How that might change his nature, there's the ques


It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking.


Crown him?--

And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorse from power: and, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 't is a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. So Cæsar may.




Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. Searching the window for a flint, I found This paper, thus seal'd up; and, I am sure, It did not lie there when I went to bed.

19. [Remorse = pity.]

[Gives him the letter.

20. affections does not mean love, but prejudices, habits of mind, taste, feeling excited by a man's surroundings; that which he affects and which affects him.

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