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Julius Caesar - Act 3, scene 1
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Navigate this workJulius Caesar - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
In the street Caesar brushes aside Artemidorus’s attempt to warn him of the conspiracy. Once inside the Capitol, the conspirators gather around Caesar under the guise of pleading for the return of an exile. Beginning with Casca they stab Caesar to death and bathe their arms and hands in his blood. Ignoring Cassius’s advice, Brutus gives Antony permission to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Pretending to support Brutus, Antony plans to use this opportunity to turn the Roman people against the conspirators.Flourish. Enter Caesar, Antony, Lepidus; Brutus, Cassius,
Casca, Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna; Publius,
⌜Popilius,⌝ Artemidorus, the Soothsayer, ⌜and other
Senators and Petitioners.⌝
CAESAR 1154 The ides of March are come.
SOOTHSAYER 1155 Ay, Caesar, but not gone.
ARTEMIDORUS 1156 Hail, Caesar. Read this schedule.
1157 Trebonius doth desire you to o’erread,
1158 5 At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
1159 O Caesar, read mine first, for mine’s a suit
1160 That touches Caesar nearer. Read it, great Caesar.
1161 What touches us ourself shall be last served.
1162 Delay not, Caesar; read it instantly.
1163 10 What, is the fellow mad?
PUBLIUS 1164 Sirrah, give place.
1165 What, urge you your petitions in the street?
1166 Come to the Capitol.
⌜Caesar goes forward, the rest following.⌝
p. 95POPILIUS, ⌜to Cassius⌝
1167 I wish your enterprise today may thrive.
CASSIUS 1168 15What enterprise, Popilius?
POPILIUS 1169 Fare you well.⌜He walks away.⌝
BRUTUS 1170 What said Popilius Lena?
1171 He wished today our enterprise might thrive.
1172 I fear our purpose is discoverèd.
1173 20 Look how he makes to Caesar. Mark him.
1174 Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.—
1175 Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
1176 Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back,
1177 For I will slay myself.
BRUTUS 1178 25 Cassius, be constant.
1179 Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes,
1180 For look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.
1181 Trebonius knows his time, for look you, Brutus,
1182 He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
⌜Trebonius and Antony exit.⌝
1183 30 Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go
1184 And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.
1185 He is addressed. Press near and second him.
1186 Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
1187 Are we all ready? What is now amiss
1188 35 That Caesar and his Senate must redress?
1189 Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,
1190 Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
1191 An humble heart.
p. 97CAESAR 1192 I must prevent thee, Cimber.
1193 40 These couchings and these lowly courtesies
1194 Might fire the blood of ordinary men
1195 And turn preordinance and first decree
1196 Into the ⌜law⌝ of children. Be not fond
1197 To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood
1198 45 That will be thawed from the true quality
1199 With that which melteth fools—I mean sweet
1201 Low-crookèd curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
1202 Thy brother by decree is banishèd.
1203 50 If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
1204 I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
1205 Know: Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause
1206 Will he be satisfied.
1207 Is there no voice more worthy than my own
1208 55 To sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s ear
1209 For the repealing of my banished brother?
1210 I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,
1211 Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
1212 Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
1213 60 What, Brutus?
1214 Pardon, Caesar; Caesar, pardon!
1215 As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall
1216 To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
1217 I could be well moved, if I were as you.
1218 65 If I could pray to move, prayers would move me.
1219 But I am constant as the Northern Star,
1220 Of whose true fixed and resting quality
1221 There is no fellow in the firmament.
1222 The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks;
p. 991223 70 They are all fire, and every one doth shine.
1224 But there’s but one in all doth hold his place.
1225 So in the world: ’tis furnished well with men,
1226 And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive.
1227 Yet in the number I do know but one
1228 75 That unassailable holds on his rank,
1229 Unshaked of motion; and that I am he
1230 Let me a little show it, even in this:
1231 That I was constant Cimber should be banished
1232 And constant do remain to keep him so.
1233 80 O Caesar—
CAESAR 1234 Hence. Wilt thou lift up Olympus?
1235 Great Caesar—
CAESAR 1236 Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
CASCA 1237 Speak, hands, for me!
⌜As Casca strikes, the others rise up and⌝ stab Caesar.
CAESAR 1238 85Et tu, Brutè?—Then fall, Caesar.
1239 Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
1240 Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
1241 Some to the common pulpits and cry out
1242 “Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement.”
1243 90 People and Senators, be not affrighted.
1244 Fly not; stand still. Ambition’s debt is paid.
1245 Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
DECIUS 1246 And Cassius too.
BRUTUS 1247 Where’s Publius?
1248 95 Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
1249 Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar’s
1250 Should chance—
1251 Talk not of standing.—Publius, good cheer.
1252 There is no harm intended to your person,
1253 100 Nor to no Roman else. So tell them, Publius.
1254 And leave us, Publius, lest that the people,
1255 Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
1256 Do so, and let no man abide this deed
1257 But we the doers.
⌜All but the Conspirators exit.⌝
CASSIUS 1258 105Where is Antony?
TREBONIUS 1259 Fled to his house amazed.
1260 Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run
1261 As it were doomsday.
BRUTUS 1262 Fates, we will know your
1263 110 pleasures.
1264 That we shall die we know; ’tis but the time,
1265 And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
1266 Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life
1267 Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
1268 115 Grant that, and then is death a benefit.
1269 So are we Caesar’s friends, that have abridged
1270 His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
1271 And let us bathe our hands in Caesar’s blood
1272 Up to the elbows and besmear our swords.
1273 120 Then walk we forth, even to the marketplace,
1274 And, waving our red weapons o’er our heads,
1275 Let’s all cry “Peace, freedom, and liberty!”
1276 Stoop then, and wash.
⌜They smear their hands and swords with Caesar’s blood.⌝
1277 How many ages hence
1278 125 Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
1279 In ⌜states⌝ unborn and accents yet unknown!
1280 How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
1281 That now on Pompey’s basis ⌜lies⌝ along
1282 No worthier than the dust!
CASSIUS 1283 130So oft as that shall be,
1284 So often shall the knot of us be called
1285 The men that gave their country liberty.
1286 What, shall we forth?
CASSIUS 1287 Ay, every man away.
1288 135 Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels
1289 With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter a Servant.
1290 Soft, who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.
1291 Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel.
1292 Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down,
1293 140 And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
1294 Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
1295 Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving.
1296 Say, I love Brutus, and I honor him;
1297 Say, I feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him.
1298 145 If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
1299 May safely come to him and be resolved
1300 How Caesar hath deserved to lie in death,
1301 Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead
1302 So well as Brutus living, but will follow
1303 150 The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
p. 1051304 Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
1305 With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
1306 Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman.
1307 I never thought him worse.
1308 155 Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
1309 He shall be satisfied and, by my honor,
1310 Depart untouched.
SERVANT 1311 I’ll fetch him presently.
1312 I know that we shall have him well to friend.
1313 160 I wish we may; but yet have I a mind
1314 That fears him much, and my misgiving still
1315 Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
1316 But here comes Antony.—Welcome, Mark Antony!
1317 O mighty Caesar, dost thou lie so low?
1318 165 Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils
1319 Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.—
1320 I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
1321 Who else must be let blood, who else is rank.
1322 If I myself, there is no hour so fit
1323 170 As Caesar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument
1324 Of half that worth as those your swords made rich
1325 With the most noble blood of all this world.
1326 I do beseech you, if you bear me hard,
1327 Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
1328 175 Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
1329 I shall not find myself so apt to die;
1330 No place will please me so, no mean of death,
p. 1071331 As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,
1332 The choice and master spirits of this age.
1333 180 O Antony, beg not your death of us!
1334 Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
1335 As by our hands and this our present act
1336 You see we do, yet see you but our hands
1337 And this the bleeding business they have done.
1338 185 Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
1339 And pity to the general wrong of Rome
1340 (As fire drives out fire, so pity pity)
1341 Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part,
1342 To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony.
1343 190 Our arms in strength of malice, and our hearts
1344 Of brothers’ temper, do receive you in
1345 With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
1346 Your voice shall be as strong as any man’s
1347 In the disposing of new dignities.
1348 195 Only be patient till we have appeased
1349 The multitude, beside themselves with fear;
1350 And then we will deliver you the cause
1351 Why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him,
1352 Have thus proceeded.
ANTONY 1353 200 I doubt not of your wisdom.
1354 Let each man render me his bloody hand.
1355 First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you.—
1356 Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand.—
1357 Now, Decius Brutus, yours;—now yours,
1358 205 Metellus;—
1359 Yours, Cinna;—and, my valiant Casca, yours;—
1360 Though last, not least in love, yours, good
1362 Gentlemen all—alas, what shall I say?
1363 210 My credit now stands on such slippery ground
1364 That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
p. 1091365 Either a coward or a flatterer.—
1366 That I did love thee, Caesar, O, ’tis true!
1367 If then thy spirit look upon us now,
1368 215 Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death
1369 To see thy Antony making his peace,
1370 Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes—
1371 Most noble!—in the presence of thy corpse?
1372 Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
1373 220 Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
1374 It would become me better than to close
1375 In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
1376 Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bayed, brave
1378 225 Here didst thou fall, and here thy hunters stand
1379 Signed in thy spoil and crimsoned in thy Lethe.
1380 O world, thou wast the forest to this hart,
1381 And this indeed, O world, the heart of thee.
1382 How like a deer strucken by many princes
1383 230 Dost thou here lie!
1384 Mark Antony—
ANTONY 1385 Pardon me, Caius Cassius.
1386 The enemies of Caesar shall say this;
1387 Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
1388 235 I blame you not for praising Caesar so.
1389 But what compact mean you to have with us?
1390 Will you be pricked in number of our friends,
1391 Or shall we on and not depend on you?
1392 Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed
1393 240 Swayed from the point by looking down on Caesar.
1394 Friends am I with you all and love you all,
1395 Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons
1396 Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.
1397 Or else were this a savage spectacle.
p. 1111398 245 Our reasons are so full of good regard
1399 That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar,
1400 You should be satisfied.
ANTONY 1401 That’s all I seek;
1402 And am, moreover, suitor that I may
1403 250 Produce his body to the marketplace,
1404 And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
1405 Speak in the order of his funeral.
1406 You shall, Mark Antony.
CASSIUS 1407 Brutus, a word with you.
1408 255 ⌜Aside to Brutus.⌝ You know not what you do. Do
1409 not consent
1410 That Antony speak in his funeral.
1411 Know you how much the people may be moved
1412 By that which he will utter?
BRUTUS, ⌜aside to Cassius⌝ 1413 260 By your pardon,
1414 I will myself into the pulpit first
1415 And show the reason of our Caesar’s death.
1416 What Antony shall speak I will protest
1417 He speaks by leave and by permission,
1418 265 And that we are contented Caesar shall
1419 Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies.
1420 It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
CASSIUS, ⌜aside to Brutus⌝
1421 I know not what may fall. I like it not.
1422 Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar’s body.
1423 270 You shall not in your funeral speech blame us
1424 But speak all good you can devise of Caesar
1425 And say you do ’t by our permission,
1426 Else shall you not have any hand at all
1427 About his funeral. And you shall speak
1428 275 In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
1429 After my speech is ended.
p. 113ANTONY 1430 Be it so.
1431 I do desire no more.
1432 Prepare the body, then, and follow us.
All but Antony exit.
1433 280 O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
1434 That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.
1435 Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
1436 That ever livèd in the tide of times.
1437 Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
1438 285 Over thy wounds now do I prophesy
1439 (Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips
1440 To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue)
1441 A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
1442 Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
1443 290 Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
1444 Blood and destruction shall be so in use
1445 And dreadful objects so familiar
1446 That mothers shall but smile when they behold
1447 Their infants quartered with the hands of war,
1448 295 All pity choked with custom of fell deeds;
1449 And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
1450 With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
1451 Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
1452 Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
1453 300 That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
1454 With carrion men groaning for burial.
Enter Octavius’ Servant.
1455 You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?
SERVANT 1456 I do, Mark Antony.
1457 Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.
1458 305 He did receive his letters and is coming,
p. 1151459 And bid me say to you by word of mouth—
1460 O Caesar!
1461 Thy heart is big. Get thee apart and weep.
1462 Passion, I see, is catching, ⌜for⌝ mine eyes,
1463 310 Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
1464 Began to water. Is thy master coming?
1465 He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.
1466 Post back with speed and tell him what hath
1468 315 Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
1469 No Rome of safety for Octavius yet.
1470 Hie hence and tell him so.—Yet stay awhile;
1471 Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corpse
1472 Into the marketplace. There shall I try,
1473 320 In my oration, how the people take
1474 The cruel issue of these bloody men,
1475 According to the which thou shalt discourse
1476 To young Octavius of the state of things.
1477 Lend me your hand.
They exit ⌜with Caesar’s body.⌝