Back to main page
Download Julius Caesar
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
- PDF Download as PDF
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
- HTML Download as HTML
- TXT Download as TXT
- XML Download as XML
- TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)
Navigate this workJulius Caesar
Act 2, scene 1
Brutus anxiously ponders joining the conspiracy against Caesar. When he is brought one of the unsigned letters that Cassius has had left for him to find, Brutus decides to act. Visited by the conspirators, he agrees to join them but rejects their plan to kill Mark Antony as well as Caesar. When the other conspirators have left, Portia, Brutus’s wife, begs of him an explanation for his sudden change of mood. Brutus, joined by Caius Ligarius, departs for Caesar’s.Enter Brutus in his orchard.
BRUTUS 0584 What, Lucius, ho!—
0585 I cannot by the progress of the stars
0586 Give guess how near to day.—Lucius, I say!—
0587 I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.—
0588 5 When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!
LUCIUS 0589 Called you, my lord?
0590 Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.
0591 When it is lighted, come and call me here.
LUCIUS 0592 I will, my lord.He exits.
0593 10 It must be by his death. And for my part
0594 I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
0595 But for the general. He would be crowned:
0596 How that might change his nature, there’s the
0598 15 It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
0599 And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
0600 And then I grant we put a sting in him
0601 That at his will he may do danger with.
0602 Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
p. 510603 20 Remorse from power. And, to speak truth of Caesar,
0604 I have not known when his affections swayed
0605 More than his reason. But ’tis a common proof
0606 That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
0607 Whereto the ⌜climber-upward⌝ turns his face;
0608 25 But, when he once attains the upmost round,
0609 He then unto the ladder turns his back,
0610 Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
0611 By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.
0612 Then, lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel
0613 30 Will bear no color for the thing he is,
0614 Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
0615 Would run to these and these extremities.
0616 And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg,
0617 Which, hatched, would, as his kind, grow
0618 35 mischievous,
0619 And kill him in the shell.
0620 The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
0621 Searching the window for a flint, I found
0622 This paper, thus sealed up, and I am sure
0623 40 It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Gives him the letter.
0624 Get you to bed again. It is not day.
0625 Is not tomorrow, boy, the ⌜ides⌝ of March?
LUCIUS 0626 I know not, sir.
0627 Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
LUCIUS 0628 45I will, sir.He exits.
0629 The exhalations, whizzing in the air,
0630 Give so much light that I may read by them.
Opens the letter and reads.
0631 Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake, and see thyself!
0632 Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!
0633 50 “Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake.”
0634 Such instigations have been often dropped
0635 Where I have took them up.
0636 “Shall Rome, etc.” Thus must I piece it out:
0637 Shall Rome stand under one man’s awe? What,
0638 55 Rome?
0639 My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
0640 The Tarquin drive when he was called a king.
0641 “Speak, strike, redress!” Am I entreated
0642 To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
0643 60 If the redress will follow, thou receivest
0644 Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus.
LUCIUS 0645 Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.
0646 ’Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.
0647 Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,
0648 65 I have not slept.
0649 Between the acting of a dreadful thing
0650 And the first motion, all the interim is
0651 Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.
0652 The genius and the mortal instruments
0653 70 Are then in council, and the state of man,
0654 Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
0655 The nature of an insurrection.
0656 Sir, ’tis your brother Cassius at the door,
0657 Who doth desire to see you.
p. 55BRUTUS 0658 75 Is he alone?
0659 No, sir. There are more with him.
BRUTUS 0660 Do you know
0662 No, sir. Their hats are plucked about their ears,
0663 80 And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
0664 That by no means I may discover them
0665 By any mark of favor.
BRUTUS 0666 Let ’em enter.⌜Lucius exits.⌝
0667 They are the faction. O conspiracy,
0668 85 Sham’st thou to show thy dang’rous brow by night,
0669 When evils are most free? O, then, by day
0670 Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
0671 To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none,
0673 90 Hide it in smiles and affability;
0674 For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
0675 Not Erebus itself were dim enough
0676 To hide thee from prevention.
Enter the conspirators, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna,
Metellus, and Trebonius.
0677 I think we are too bold upon your rest.
0678 95 Good morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you?
0679 I have been up this hour, awake all night.
0680 Know I these men that come along with you?
0681 Yes, every man of them; and no man here
0682 But honors you, and every one doth wish
0683 100 You had but that opinion of yourself
0684 Which every noble Roman bears of you.
0685 This is Trebonius.
p. 57BRUTUS 0686 He is welcome hither.
0687 This, Decius Brutus.
BRUTUS 0688 105 He is welcome too.
0689 This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.
BRUTUS 0690 They are all welcome.
0691 What watchful cares do interpose themselves
0692 Betwixt your eyes and night?
CASSIUS 0693 110Shall I entreat a word?
⌜Brutus and Cassius⌝ whisper.
0694 Here lies the east; doth not the day break here?
CASCA 0695 No.
0696 O pardon, sir, it doth; and yon gray lines
0697 That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
0698 115 You shall confess that you are both deceived.
0699 Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,
0700 Which is a great way growing on the south,
0701 Weighing the youthful season of the year.
0702 Some two months hence, up higher toward the
0703 120 north
0704 He first presents his fire, and the high east
0705 Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.
BRUTUS, ⌜coming forward with Cassius⌝
0706 Give me your hands all over, one by one.
0707 And let us swear our resolution.
0708 125 No, not an oath. If not the face of men,
0709 The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse—
0710 If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
0711 And every man hence to his idle bed.
0712 So let high-sighted tyranny range on
p. 590713 130 Till each man drop by lottery. But if these—
0714 As I am sure they do—bear fire enough
0715 To kindle cowards and to steel with valor
0716 The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
0717 What need we any spur but our own cause
0718 135 To prick us to redress? What other bond
0719 Than secret Romans that have spoke the word
0720 And will not palter? And what other oath
0721 Than honesty to honesty engaged
0722 That this shall be or we will fall for it?
0723 140 Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,
0724 Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls
0725 That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
0726 Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain
0727 The even virtue of our enterprise,
0728 145 Nor th’ insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
0729 To think that or our cause or our performance
0730 Did need an oath, when every drop of blood
0731 That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
0732 Is guilty of a several bastardy
0733 150 If he do break the smallest particle
0734 Of any promise that hath passed from him.
0735 But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
0736 I think he will stand very strong with us.
0737 Let us not leave him out.
CINNA 0738 155 No, by no means.
0739 O, let us have him, for his silver hairs
0740 Will purchase us a good opinion
0741 And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.
0742 It shall be said his judgment ruled our hands.
0743 160 Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
0744 But all be buried in his gravity.
0745 O, name him not! Let us not break with him,
0746 For he will never follow anything
0747 That other men begin.
CASSIUS 0748 165Then leave him out.
CASCA 0749 Indeed, he is not fit.
0750 Shall no man else be touched, but only Caesar?
0751 Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet
0752 Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
0753 170 Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him
0754 A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
0755 If he improve them, may well stretch so far
0756 As to annoy us all; which to prevent,
0757 Let Antony and Caesar fall together.
0758 175 Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
0759 To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,
0760 Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
0761 For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
0762 Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
0763 180 We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,
0764 And in the spirit of men there is no blood.
0765 O, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit
0766 And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
0767 Caesar must bleed for it. And, gentle friends,
0768 185 Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully.
0769 Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
0770 Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.
0771 And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
0772 Stir up their servants to an act of rage
0773 190 And after seem to chide ’em. This shall make
0774 Our purpose necessary and not envious;
0775 Which so appearing to the common eyes,
0776 We shall be called purgers, not murderers.
p. 630777 And for Mark Antony, think not of him,
0778 195 For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm
0779 When Caesar’s head is off.
CASSIUS 0780 Yet I fear him,
0781 For in the engrafted love he bears to Caesar—
0782 Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.
0783 200 If he love Caesar, all that he can do
0784 Is to himself: take thought and die for Caesar.
0785 And that were much he should, for he is given
0786 To sports, to wildness, and much company.
0787 There is no fear in him. Let him not die,
0788 205 For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.
0789 Peace, count the clock.
CASSIUS 0790 The clock hath stricken
0792 ’Tis time to part.
CASSIUS 0793 210 But it is doubtful yet
0794 Whether Caesar will come forth today or no,
0795 For he is superstitious grown of late,
0796 Quite from the main opinion he held once
0797 Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
0798 215 It may be these apparent prodigies,
0799 The unaccustomed terror of this night,
0800 And the persuasion of his augurers
0801 May hold him from the Capitol today.
0802 Never fear that. If he be so resolved,
0803 220 I can o’ersway him, for he loves to hear
0804 That unicorns may be betrayed with trees,
0805 And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
0806 Lions with toils, and men with flatterers.
p. 650807 But when I tell him he hates flatterers,
0808 225 He says he does, being then most flatterèd.
0809 Let me work,
0810 For I can give his humor the true bent,
0811 And I will bring him to the Capitol.
0812 Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
0813 230 By the eighth hour, is that the uttermost?
0814 Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.
0815 Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,
0816 Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey.
0817 I wonder none of you have thought of him.
0818 235 Now, good Metellus, go along by him.
0819 He loves me well, and I have given him reasons.
0820 Send him but hither, and I’ll fashion him.
0821 The morning comes upon ’s. We’ll leave you,
0823 240 And, friends, disperse yourselves, but all remember
0824 What you have said, and show yourselves true
0826 Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily.
0827 Let not our looks put on our purposes,
0828 245 But bear it, as our Roman actors do,
0829 With untired spirits and formal constancy.
0830 And so good morrow to you every one.
All but Brutus exit.
0831 Boy! Lucius!—Fast asleep? It is no matter.
0832 Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.
0833 250 Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies
p. 670834 Which busy care draws in the brains of men.
0835 Therefore thou sleep’st so sound.
PORTIA 0836 Brutus, my lord.
0837 Portia! What mean you? Wherefore rise you now?
0838 255 It is not for your health thus to commit
0839 Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
0840 Nor for yours neither. You’ve ungently, Brutus,
0841 Stole from my bed. And yesternight at supper
0842 You suddenly arose and walked about,
0843 260 Musing and sighing, with your arms across,
0844 And when I asked you what the matter was,
0845 You stared upon me with ungentle looks.
0846 I urged you further; then you scratched your head
0847 And too impatiently stamped with your foot.
0848 265 Yet I insisted; yet you answered not,
0849 But with an angry wafture of your hand
0850 Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did,
0851 Fearing to strengthen that impatience
0852 Which seemed too much enkindled, and withal
0853 270 Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
0854 Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
0855 It will not let you eat nor talk nor sleep,
0856 And could it work so much upon your shape
0857 As it hath much prevailed on your condition,
0858 275 I should not know you Brutus. Dear my lord,
0859 Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
0860 I am not well in health, and that is all.
0861 Brutus is wise and, were he not in health,
0862 He would embrace the means to come by it.
0863 280 Why so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.
0864 Is Brutus sick? And is it physical
0865 To walk unbracèd and suck up the humors
0866 Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,
0867 And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
0868 285 To dare the vile contagion of the night
0869 And tempt the rheumy and unpurgèd air
0870 To add unto ⌜his⌝ sickness? No, my Brutus,
0871 You have some sick offense within your mind,
0872 Which by the right and virtue of my place
0873 290 I ought to know of. ⌜She kneels.⌝ And upon my
0875 I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
0876 By all your vows of love, and that great vow
0877 Which did incorporate and make us one,
0878 295 That you unfold to me, your self, your half,
0879 Why you are heavy, and what men tonight
0880 Have had resort to you; for here have been
0881 Some six or seven who did hide their faces
0882 Even from darkness.
BRUTUS 0883 300 Kneel not, gentle Portia.
⌜He lifts her up.⌝
0884 I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
0885 Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
0886 Is it excepted I should know no secrets
0887 That appertain to you? Am I your self
0888 305 But, as it were, in sort or limitation,
0889 To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
0890 And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the
0892 Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
0893 310 Portia is Brutus’ harlot, not his wife.
0894 You are my true and honorable wife,
0895 As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
0896 That visit my sad heart.
0897 If this were true, then should I know this secret.
0898 315 I grant I am a woman, but withal
0899 A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife.
0900 I grant I am a woman, but withal
0901 A woman well-reputed, Cato’s daughter.
0902 Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
0903 320 Being so fathered and so husbanded?
0904 Tell me your counsels; I will not disclose ’em.
0905 I have made strong proof of my constancy,
0906 Giving myself a voluntary wound
0907 Here, in the thigh. Can I bear that with patience,
0908 325 And not my husband’s secrets?
BRUTUS 0909 O you gods,
0910 Render me worthy of this noble wife!Knock.
0911 Hark, hark, one knocks. Portia, go in awhile,
0912 And by and by thy bosom shall partake
0913 330 The secrets of my heart.
0914 All my engagements I will construe to thee,
0915 All the charactery of my sad brows.
0916 Leave me with haste.Portia exits.
0917 Lucius, who ’s that knocks?
Enter Lucius and Ligarius.
0918 335 Here is a sick man that would speak with you.
0919 Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spoke of.—
0920 Boy, stand aside.⌜Lucius exits.⌝
0921 Caius Ligarius, how?
0922 Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
0923 340 O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
0924 To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!
0925 I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
0926 Any exploit worthy the name of honor.
0927 Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
0928 345 Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
0929 By all the gods that Romans bow before,
0930 I here discard my sickness.
⌜He takes off his kerchief.⌝
0931 Soul of Rome,
0932 Brave son derived from honorable loins,
0933 350 Thou like an exorcist hast conjured up
0934 My mortifièd spirit. Now bid me run,
0935 And I will strive with things impossible,
0936 Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?
0937 A piece of work that will make sick men whole.
0938 355 But are not some whole that we must make sick?
0939 That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
0940 I shall unfold to thee as we are going
0941 To whom it must be done.
LIGARIUS 0942 Set on your foot,
0943 360 And with a heart new-fired I follow you
0944 To do I know not what; but it sufficeth
0945 That Brutus leads me on.Thunder.
BRUTUS 0946 Follow me then.