Act I, Scene 3
Rome. A street.
- Thunder and lightning.
- Enter from opposite sides Casca with his sword drawn and
Cicero1 - 2
- Good even, Casca; brought you Caesar home?
- Why are you breathless, and why stare you so?
Casca3 - 13
- Are not you mov’d, when all the sway of earth
- Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
- I have seen tempests when the scolding winds
- Have riv’d the knotty oaks, and I have seen
- Th’ ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
- To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds;
- But never till tonight, never till now,
- Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
- Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
- Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
- Incenses them to send destruction.
- Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
Casca15 - 32
- A common slave—you know him well by sight—
- Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
- Like twenty torches join’d; and yet his hand,
- Not sensible of fire, remain’d unscorch’d.
- Besides—I ha’ not since put up my sword—
- Against the Capitol I met a lion,
- Who glaz’d upon me, and went surly by,
- Without annoying me. And there were drawn
- Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
- Transformed with their fear, who swore they saw
- Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
- And yesterday the bird of night did sit
- Even at noon-day upon the market-place,
- Howting and shrieking. When these prodigies
- Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
- “These are their reasons, they are natural”;
- For I believe they are portentous things
- Unto the climate that they point upon.
Cicero33 - 36
- Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time;
- But men may construe things after their fashion,
- Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
- Comes Caesar to the Capitol tomorrow?
Casca37 - 38
- He doth; for he did bid Antonio
- Send word to you he would be there tomorrow.
Cicero39 - 40
- Good night then, Casca; this disturbed sky
- Is not to walk in.
- Farewell, Cicero.
- Exit Cicero.
- Enter Cassius.
- Who’s there?
- A Roman.
- Casca, by your voice.
- Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
- A very pleasing night to honest men.
- Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
Cassius48 - 55
- Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
- For my part, I have walk’d about the streets,
- Submitting me unto the perilous night;
- And thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
- Have bar’d my bosom to the thunder-stone;
- And when the cross blue lightning seem’d to open
- The breast of heaven, I did present myself
- Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca56 - 59
- But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
- It is the part of men to fear and tremble
- When the most mighty gods by tokens send
- Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
Cassius60 - 81
- You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
- That should be in a Roman you do want,
- Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
- And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
- To see the strange impatience of the heavens;
- But if you would consider the true cause
- Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
- Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
- Why old men, fools, and children calculate,
- Why all these things change from their ordinance,
- Their natures, and preformed faculties,
- To monstrous quality—why, you shall find
- That heaven hath infus’d them with these spirits,
- To make them instruments of fear and warning
- Unto some monstrous state.
- Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
- Most like this dreadful night,
- That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
- As doth the lion in the Capitol—
- A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
- In personal action, yet prodigious grown,
- And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
- ’Tis Caesar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?
Cassius83 - 87
- Let it be who it is; for Romans now
- Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;
- But woe the while, our fathers’ minds are dead,
- And we are govern’d with our mothers’ spirits;
- Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.
Casca88 - 91
- Indeed, they say, the senators tomorrow
- Mean to establish Caesar as a king;
- And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
- In every place, save here in Italy.
Cassius92 - 103
- I know where I will wear this dagger then;
- Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.
- Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
- Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat;
- Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
- Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
- Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
- But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
- Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
- If I know this, know all the world besides,
- That part of tyranny that I do bear
- I can shake off at pleasure.
- Thunder still.
Casca104 - 106
- So can I;
- So every bondman in his own hand bears
- The power to cancel his captivity.
Cassius107 - 119
- And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?
- Poor man, I know he would not be a wolf,
- But that he sees the Romans are but sheep;
- He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
- Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
- Begin it with weak straws. What trash is Rome?
- What rubbish and what offal? When it serves
- For the base matter to illuminate
- So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief,
- Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
- Before a willing bondman; then I know
- My answer must be made. But I am arm’d,
- And dangers are to me indifferent.
Casca120 - 124
- You speak to Casca, and to such a man
- That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand.
- Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
- And I will set this foot of mine as far
- As who goes farthest.
Cassius125 - 135
- There’s a bargain made.
- Now know you, Casca, I have mov’d already
- Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
- To undergo with me an enterprise
- Of honorable-dangerous consequence;
- And I do know, by this they stay for me
- In Pompey’s Porch; for now, this fearful night,
- There is no stir or walking in the streets;
- And the complexion of the element
- In favor’s like the work we have in hand,
- Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
- Enter Cinna.
- Stand close a while, for here comes one in haste.
Cassius137 - 138
- ’Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait,
- He is a friend. Cinna, where haste you so?
- To find out you. Who’s that? Metellus Cimber?
Cassius140 - 141
- No, it is Casca, one incorporate
- To our attempts. Am I not stay’d for, Cinna?
Cinna142 - 143
- I am glad on’t. What a fearful night is this!
- There’s two or three of us have seen strange sights.
- Am I not stay’d for? Tell me.
Cinna145 - 147
- Yes, you are.
- O Cassius, if you could
- But win the noble Brutus to our party—
Cassius148 - 154
- Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
- And look you lay it in the praetor’s chair,
- Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
- In at his window; set this up with wax
- Upon old Brutus’ statue. All this done,
- Repair to Pompey’s Porch, where you shall find us.
- Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
Cinna155 - 157
- All but Metellus Cimber, and he’s gone
- To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,
- And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
Cassius158 - 162
- That done, repair to Pompey’s theatre.
- Exit Cinna.
- Come, Casca, you and I will yet, ere day,
- See Brutus at his house. Three parts of him
- Is ours already, and the man entire
- Upon the next encounter yields him ours.
Casca163 - 166
- O, he sits high in all the people’s hearts;
- And that which would appear offense in us,
- His countenance, like richest alchymy,
- Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
Cassius167 - 170
- Him and his worth, and our great need of him,
- You have right well conceited. Let us go,
- For it is after midnight, and ere day
- We will awake him and be sure of him.