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Navigate this workJulius Caesar
Act 2, scene 2
It is now the fifteenth of March. Calphurnia, Caesar’s wife, persuades him to stay home because she fears for his safety. Decius Brutus, arriving to accompany Caesar to the Capitol, convinces him that the senators plan to crown Caesar that day but that they may never renew their offer should they suspect he is afraid. Caesar changes his mind and decides to go. He is joined by Brutus and the rest of the conspirators, as well as by Mark Antony.Thunder and lightning. Enter Julius Caesar in his
0947 Nor heaven nor Earth have been at peace tonight.
0948 Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out
0949 “Help ho, they murder Caesar!”—Who’s within?
Enter a Servant.
SERVANT 0950 My lord.
0951 5 Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
0952 And bring me their opinions of success.
SERVANT 0953 I will, my lord.He exits.
0954 What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?
0955 You shall not stir out of your house today.
0956 10 Caesar shall forth. The things that threatened me
0957 Ne’er looked but on my back. When they shall see
0958 The face of Caesar, they are vanishèd.
0959 Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
0960 Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
0961 15 Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
0962 Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
0963 A lioness hath whelpèd in the streets,
0964 And graves have yawned and yielded up their dead.
0965 Fierce fiery warriors ⌜fought⌝ upon the clouds
0966 20 In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
0967 Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol.
0968 The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
0969 Horses ⌜did⌝ neigh, and dying men did groan,
p. 770970 And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
0971 25 O Caesar, these things are beyond all use,
0972 And I do fear them.
CAESAR 0973 What can be avoided
0974 Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
0975 Yet Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions
0976 30 Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
0977 When beggars die there are no comets seen;
0978 The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of
0980 Cowards die many times before their deaths;
0981 35 The valiant never taste of death but once.
0982 Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
0983 It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
0984 Seeing that death, a necessary end,
0985 Will come when it will come.
Enter a Servant.
0986 40 What say the augurers?
0987 They would not have you to stir forth today.
0988 Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
0989 They could not find a heart within the beast.
0990 The gods do this in shame of cowardice.
0991 45 Caesar should be a beast without a heart
0992 If he should stay at home today for fear.
0993 No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
0994 That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
0995 We ⌜are⌝ two lions littered in one day,
0996 50 And I the elder and more terrible.
0997 And Caesar shall go forth.
CALPHURNIA 0998 Alas, my lord,
0999 Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
p. 791000 Do not go forth today. Call it my fear
1001 55 That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
1002 We’ll send Mark Antony to the Senate House,
1003 And he shall say you are not well today.
1004 Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.⌜She kneels.⌝
1005 Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
1006 60 And for thy humor I will stay at home.
⌜He lifts her up.⌝
1007 Here’s Decius Brutus; he shall tell them so.
1008 Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar.
1009 I come to fetch you to the Senate House.
1010 And you are come in very happy time
1011 65 To bear my greeting to the Senators
1012 And tell them that I will not come today.
1013 Cannot is false, and that I dare not, falser.
1014 I will not come today. Tell them so, Decius.
1015 Say he is sick.
CAESAR 1016 70 Shall Caesar send a lie?
1017 Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far,
1018 To be afeard to tell graybeards the truth?
1019 Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
1020 Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
1021 75 Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so.
1022 The cause is in my will. I will not come.
1023 That is enough to satisfy the Senate.
1024 But for your private satisfaction,
1025 Because I love you, I will let you know.
1026 80 Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home.
p. 811027 She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,
1028 Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
1029 Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
1030 Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.
1031 85 And these does she apply for warnings and portents
1032 And evils imminent, and on her knee
1033 Hath begged that I will stay at home today.
1034 This dream is all amiss interpreted.
1035 It was a vision fair and fortunate.
1036 90 Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
1037 In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
1038 Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
1039 Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
1040 For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
1041 95 This by Calphurnia’s dream is signified.
1042 And this way have you well expounded it.
1043 I have, when you have heard what I can say.
1044 And know it now: the Senate have concluded
1045 To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
1046 100 If you shall send them word you will not come,
1047 Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
1048 Apt to be rendered, for someone to say
1049 “Break up the Senate till another time,
1050 When Caesar’s wife shall meet with better dreams.”
1051 105 If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
1052 “Lo, Caesar is afraid”?
1053 Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear dear love
1054 To your proceeding bids me tell you this,
1055 And reason to my love is liable.
1056 110 How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia!
1057 I am ashamèd I did yield to them.
1058 Give me my robe, for I will go.
p. 83Enter Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius,
Cinna, and Publius.
1059 And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
1060 Good morrow, Caesar.
CAESAR 1061 115 Welcome, Publius.—
1062 What, Brutus, are you stirred so early too?—
1063 Good morrow, Casca.—Caius Ligarius,
1064 Caesar was ne’er so much your enemy
1065 As that same ague which hath made you lean.—
1066 120 What is ’t o’clock?
BRUTUS 1067 Caesar, ’tis strucken eight.
1068 I thank you for your pains and courtesy.
1069 See, Antony that revels long a-nights
1070 Is notwithstanding up.—Good morrow, Antony.
ANTONY 1071 125So to most noble Caesar.
CAESAR, ⌜to Servant⌝ 1072 Bid them prepare within.—
1073 I am to blame to be thus waited for.⌜Servant exits.⌝
1074 Now, Cinna.—Now, Metellus.—What, Trebonius,
1075 I have an hour’s talk in store for you.
1076 130 Remember that you call on me today;
1077 Be near me that I may remember you.
1078 Caesar, I will. ⌜Aside.⌝ And so near will I be
1079 That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
1080 Good friends, go in and taste some wine with me,
1081 135 And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
1082 That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
1083 The heart of Brutus earns to think upon.