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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 mis-

chievous ;
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.

Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?

Luc. I know not, sir.
Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
Luc. I will, sir.

[Erit. Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them.

[Opens the Letter, and reads. Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself. Shall Rome, &c. - Speak, strike, redress ! . Brutus, thou sleep'st ; awake Such instigations have been often dropp'd Where I have took them

up. Shall Rome, 8c. Thus, must I piece it out ; Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What!

Rome?

· Low steps.

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call’d a king.
Speak, strike, redress ! - Am I entreated then
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.

[Knock within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate ; somebody knocks.

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

Is he alone?
Luc. No, sir, there are more with him.
Bru.

Do
you

know them? Luc. No, sir ; their hats are pluck'd about their

ears,
And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favours.
Bru.

Let them enter.

[Exit Lucius.

2 Vision,

3 Countenance.

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,
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage ? Seek none, con-

spiracy ;
Hide it in smiles, and affability :
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus s itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.

Enter CassiuS, CASCA, Decius, CINNA, METEL

LUS CIMBER, and TREBONIUS.
Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest.
Good morrow, Brutus ; Do we trouble you ?

Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night. Know I these men, that come along with you?

Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,
But honours you : and every one doth wish,
You had but that opinion of yourself,
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
Bru.

He is welcome hither.
Cas. This Decius Brutus.
Bru.

He is welcome too.
Cas. This Casca : this, Cinna ;
And this, Metellus Cimber.
Bru.

They are all welcome. What watchful cares do interpose themselves Betwixt your eyes and night?

Cas. Shall I entreat a word ? [They whisper. Dec. Here lies the east : Doth not the day break

here? Casca. No. Cin. 0, pardon, sir, it doth ; and yon grey lines, That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.

• Walk in thy true form.

s Hell.

Casca. You shall confess, that you are both de

ceiv'd. Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises ; Which is a great way growing on the south, Weighing the youthful season of the year. Some two months hence, up higher toward the north He first presents his fire ; and the high east Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.

Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one. Cas. And let us swear our resolution.

Bru. No, not an oath: If not the face of men, The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse, If these be motives weak, break off betimes, And every man hence to his idle bed ; So let high-sighted tyranny range on, Till each man drop by lottery. But if these, As I am sure they do, bear fire enough To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour The melting spirits of women; then, countrymen What need we any spur, but our own cause, To prick us to redress ? what other bond, Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word, And will not palter ?? and what other oath, Than honesty to honesty engag’d, That this shall be, or we will fall for it? Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous , Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls That welcome wrongs ; unto bad causes swear Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain The even virtue of our enterprize, Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits, To think, that, or our cause, or our performance, Did need an oath; when every drop of blood, That every Roman bears, and nobly bears, Is guilty of a several bastardy, If he do break the smallest particle

7 Prevaricate.

6 Perhaps Shakspeare wrote faith.

8 Cautious. VOL. VIII.

Y

Of any promise that hath pass’d from him.

Cas. But what of Cicero ? Shall we sound him ? I think, he will stand very strong with us.

Casca. Let us not leave him out.
Cin.

No, by no means.
Met. O let us have him ; for his silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds :
It shall be said, his judgment ruld our hands ;
Our youths, and wildness, shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with

him ;'
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.
Cas.

Then leave him out.
Casca. Indeed, he is not fit.
Dec. Shall no man else be touch'd but only

Cæsar ?
Cas. Decius, well urg'd:- I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well belov'd of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar: We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver ; and, you know, his means,
If he improves them, may well stretch so far,
As to annoy us all : which to prevent,
Let Antony, and Cæsar, fall together.
Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius

Cassius,
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs ;
Like wrath in death, and envy' afterwards :
For Antony is but a limb of Cæsar.
Let us be sacrificers, but no butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cæsar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood :
O, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit,
And not dismember Cæsar! But, alas,
Cæsar mușt bleed for it! And, gentle friends,

9 Let us not break the matter to him.

1 Malice.

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