Cassius, be constant.
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes ;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
Cas. Trebonius knows his time ; for, look you,

He draws Mark Antony out of the way.


and the Senators take their seats. Dec. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him

go, And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.

Bru. He is addressed :1 press near, and second him. Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

Cæs. Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
That Cæsar and his senate must redress?
Met. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant

Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart :-

[Kneeling. Caes.

I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings, and these lowly courtesies, Might fire the blood of ordinary men; And turn pre-ordinance, and first decree, Into the law of children.4 Be not fond, To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood, That will be thawed from the true quality With that which melteth fools; I mean, sweet words, Low-crooked curt’sies, and base, spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banished; If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him, T spurn thee like a cur out of my way, . Know, Cæsar doth not wrong; nor without cause Will he be satisfied.5

1 i. e. he is ready.

2 According to the rules of modern grammar, Shakspeare should have written his hand. Ritson thinks the words 6 Are we all ready ? " should be given to Cinna, and not to Cæsar.

3 Pre-ordinance for ordinance already established.

4 The old copy erroneously reads the lane of children." Lawe, as anciently written, was easily confounded with lane.

5 Ben Jonson has shown the ridicule of this passage in the Induction to The Staple of News. He has been accused of quoting the passage Cin. O Casar,

Met. Is there no voice more worthy than my own, To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear, For the repealing of my banished brother ?

Bru. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar;
Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.

Cæs. What, Brutus!

Pardon, Cæsar ; Cæsar, pardon.
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

Ces. I could be well moved, if I were as you :
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fixed and resting quality,
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks ;
They are all fire, and every one doth shine;
But there's but one in all doth hold his place :
So, in the world. 'Tis furnished well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive ;
Yet, in the number, I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion ; 2 and, that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this;
That I was constant, Cimber should be banished,
And constant do remain to keep him so.

unfaithfully; but Mr. Tyrwhitt surmised, and Mr. Gifford is decidedly of opinion, that the passage originally stood as cited by Jonson; thus:

6 Met. Cæsar, thou dost me wrong.

Cæs. Cæsar did never wrong, but with just cause." Mr Tyrwhitt has endeavored to defend the passage by observing, that wrong is not always a synonymous term for injury; and that Cæsar is meant to say, that he doth not inflict any evil or punishment but with just cause. 6 The fact seems to be (says Mr. Gifford), that this verse, which closely borders on absurdity, without being absolutely absurd, escaped the Poet in the heat of composition; and being one of these quaint slips which are readily remembered, became a jocular and familiar phrase for reproving (as in the passage of Ben Jonson's Induction) the perverse and unreasonable expectations of the male or female gossips of the day.”

1 i.e. intelligent, capable of apprehending.

2 i. e. “still holds his place unshaken by suit or solicitation," of which the object is to move the person addressed.



Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus ? Dec. Great Cæsar, Cæs.

Doth not Brutus bootless kneel ? Casca. Speak, hands, for me.

[Casca stabs Cæsar in the neck. CÆSAR

catches hold of his arm. He is then stabbed by several other Conspirators, and at last by

MARCUS BRUTUS. Cæs. Et tu, Brute ? 1_Then, fall, Cæsar. [Dies. The Senators and People retire in

confusion. Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead !Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

Cas. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!

Bru. People, and senators! be not affrighted ;
Fly not; stand still :-ambition's debt is paid.

Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutus.?

And Cassius too.
Bru. Where's Publius?
Cin. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.

Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar's Should chance

Bru. Talk not of standing.–Publius, good cheer; There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else: so tell them, Publius.

Cas. And leave us, Publius; lest that the people, Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.

1 Neither Suetonius nor Plutarch furnished Shakspeare with this exclamation. It occurs in The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York, 1600; on which he formed the Third Part of King Henry VI. :

Et tu, Brute? Wilt thou stab Cæsar too ?” And is translated in Cæsar's Legend, Mirror for Magistrates, 1587 :

" And Brutus thou my sonne, quoth I, whom erst

I loved best."
The words probably appeared, originally, in the old Latin play on the
Death of Cæsar.

2 We have now taken leave of Casca. Shakspeare knew that he had a sufficient number of heroes on his hands, and was glad to lose an individual in the crowd. Casca's singularity of manners would have appeared to little advantage amid the succeeding war and tumult.



Bru. Do so ;-and let no man abide this deed, But we the doers.


Cas. Where's Antony ?

Fled to his house amazed :
Men, wives, and children, stare, cry out, and run,
As it were doomsday.

Bru. Fates! we will know your pleasures.That we shall die, we know ; 'tis but the time, And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

Cas. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life,
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.

Bru. Grant that, and then is death a benefit.
So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridged
His time of fearing death.-Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords:
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place;
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry, Peace! Freedom! and Liberty !

Cas. Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence,
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over,
In states unborn, and accents yet unknown!

Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey's basis lies along, No worthier than the dust! Cas.

So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be called
The men that gave our country liberty.

Dec. What, shall we forth?

Ay, every man away.
Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

Enter a Servant.

Bru. Soft, who comes here? A friend of Antony's. Serv. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;

Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down :
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving.
Say, I love Brutus, and I honor him ;
Say, I feared Cæsar, honored him, and loved him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe, that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolved
How Cæsar hath deserved to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living ; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus,
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state,
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.

Bru. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honor,
Depart untouched.
I'll fetch him presently.

[Exit Servant. Bru. I know that we shall have him well to friend

Cas. I wish we may; but yet have I a mind, That fears him much; and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.

Re-enter ANTONY.

Bru. But here comes Antony.-Welcome, Mark


Ant. O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure?-Fare thee well.
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend;
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:

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1 Johnson explains this: Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the public safety.” This explanation will derive support from the following speech of Oliver, in As You Like It, Act i. Sc. 1, when incensed at the high bearing of his brother Orlando :-“ Is it even so ? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness.”

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