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His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.

Cass. 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.



SCENE I. Rome. BRUTUS's orchard.


Brut. What, Lucius, ho!

I cannot, by the progress of the stars,

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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! 5


Luc. Call'd you, my lord?

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

When it is lighted, come and call me here.

Luc. I will, my lord.

[Exit. Brut. 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:
How that might change his nature, there's the


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It is the bright day that brings forth the adder; 15 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. Th' abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins Remorse from power; and, to speak truth of Cæsar, 20 I have not known when his affections sway'd More than his reason. But 'tis 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, 25 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, 30 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.

85 Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. Searching the window for a flint, I found

[Giving him a paper. This paper, thus seal'd up, and I am sure It did not lie there when I went to bed. Brut. Get you to bed again; it is not day. 40 Is not to-morrow, boy, the first of March? Luc. I know not, sir.

Brut. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. Luc. I will, sir.


Brut. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them. [Opens the paper and reads.

"Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake, and see thyself.
Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!"
"Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!"

Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.

"Shall Rome, etc." Thus must I piece it out: Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?

My ancestor did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.
"Speak, strike, redress!" Am I entreated

To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.

[Knocking within.




Brut. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks. 60

[Exit Lucius. Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,

I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,


Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

70 Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door, Who doth desire to see you.


Is he alone?

Luc. No, sir, there are more with him.


Do you know them? Luc. No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears, And half their faces buried in their cloaks,

75 That by no means I may discover them

By any mark of favour.

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[Exit Lucius.

They are the faction. O conspiracy,
Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then, by day
80 Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability;

For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough

85 To hide thee from prevention.


Cass. I think we are too bold upon your rest: Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?

Brut. I have been up this hour; awake, all night. Know I these men that come along with you? 90 Cass. Yes, every man of them; and no man here But honours you; and every one doth wish

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