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Julius Caesar: Act II, Scene 1

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Julius Caesar
Act II, Scene 1

Scene 1

Rome. Brutus’s orchard.

  1. Enter Brutus in his orchard.

Brutus

1 - 5
  1. What, Lucius, ho!
  2. I cannot by the progress of the stars
  3. Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!
  4. I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.
  5. When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!
  1. Enter Lucius.

Lucius

6
  1. Call’d you, my lord?

Brutus

7 - 8
  1. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.
  2. When it is lighted, come and call me here.

Lucius

9
  1. I will, my lord.
  1. Exit.

Brutus

10 - 34
  1. It must be by his death; and for my part,
  2. I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
  3. But for the general. He would be crown’d:
  4. How that might change his nature, there’s the question.
  5. It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
  6. And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
  7. And then I grant we put a sting in him
  8. That at his will he may do danger with.
  9. Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
  10. Remorse from power; and to speak truth of Caesar,
  11. I have not known when his affections sway’d
  12. More than his reason. But ’tis a common proof
  13. That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
  14. Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
  15. But when he once attains the upmost round,
  16. He then unto the ladder turns his back,
  17. Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
  18. By which he did ascend. So Caesar may;
  19. Then lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel
  20. Will bear no color for the thing he is,
  21. Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
  22. Would run to these and these extremities;
  23. And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg,
  24. Which, hatch’d, would as his kind grow mischievous,
  25. And kill him in the shell.
  1. Enter Lucius.

Lucius

35 - 38
  1. The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
  2. Searching the window for a flint, I found
  3. This paper, thus seal’d up, and I am sure
  4. It did not lie there when I went to bed.
  1. Gives him the letter.

Brutus

39 - 40
  1. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
  2. Is not tomorrow, boy, the ides of March?
    Nov 3, 2020 Miko
    The original texts of the play have Brutus asking if tomorrow is "the first of March". Modern editions change it to the ides of March to be consistent with the famous line "beware the Ides of March". However, it might be that Shakespeare intentionally had the discrepancy. At the time this play was written, around 1599, Protestant countries such as England had a significantly different calendar than Catholic countries. At issue was a correction in the calendar ordered by Pope Gregory XIII that in 1582 the days of October 5-14 would be eliminated. Doing so corrected the calendar so it would be in sync with the solar calendar.

    However, Protestant countries did not choose to follow the pope's orders, and so there was a growing discrepancy between calendars. The Ides of March was in fact approximately two weeks off between England and Catholic countries such as Italy.

    Without further evidence, it's hard to say if Shakespeare made a mistake or intentionally had the innacuracy.

Lucius

41
  1. I know not, sir.

Brutus

42
  1. Look in the calendar, and bring me word.

Lucius

43
  1. I will, sir.
  1. Exit.

Brutus

44 - 58
  1. The exhalations whizzing in the air
  2. Give so much light that I may read by them.
  3. Opens the letter and reads.
  4. Brutus, thou sleep’st; awake, and see thyself!
  5. Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!”
  6. Brutus, thou sleep’st; awake!”
  7. Such instigations have been often dropp’d
  8. Where I have took them up.
  9. Shall Rome, etc.” Thus must I piece it out:
  10. Shall Rome stand under one man’s awe? What, Rome?
  11. My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
  12. The Tarquin drive when he was call’d a king.
  13. Speak, strike, redress!” Am I entreated
  14. To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,
  15. If the redress will follow, thou receivest
  16. Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!
  1. Enter Lucius.

Lucius

59
  1. Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.
  1. Knock within.

Brutus

60 - 69
  1. ’Tis good. Go to the gate, somebody knocks.
  2. Exit Lucius.
  3. Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,
  4. I have not slept.
  5. Between the acting of a dreadful thing
  6. And the first motion, all the interim is
  7. Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.
  8. The Genius and the mortal instruments
  9. Are then in council; and the state of a man,
  10. Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
  11. The nature of an insurrection.
  1. Enter Lucius.

Lucius

70 - 71
  1. Sir, ’tis your brother Cassius at the door,
  2. Who doth desire to see you.

Brutus

72
  1.                             Is he alone?

Lucius

73
  1. No, sir, there are more with him.

Brutus

74
  1.                                   Do you know them?

Lucius

75 - 78
  1. No, sir, their hats are pluck’d about their ears,
  2. And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
  3. That by no means I may discover them
  4. By any mark of favor.

Brutus

79 - 88
  1.                       Let ’em enter.
  2. Exit Lucius.
  3. They are the faction. O Conspiracy,
  4. Sham’st thou to show thy dang’rous brow by night,
  5. When evils are most free? O then, by day
  6. Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
  7. To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, Conspiracy!
  8. Hide it in smiles and affability;
  9. For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
  10. Not Erebus itself were dim enough
  11. To hide thee from prevention.
  1. Enter the conspirators, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna,
  2. Metellus, and Trebonius.

Cassius

89 - 90
  1. I think we are too bold upon your rest.
  2. Good morrow, Brutus, do we trouble you?

Brutus

91 - 92
  1. I have been up this hour, awake all night.
  2. Know I these men that come along with you?

Cassius

93 - 97
  1. Yes, every man of them; and no man here
  2. But honors you; and every one doth wish
  3. You had but that opinion of yourself
  4. Which every noble Roman bears of you.
  5. This is Trebonius.

Brutus

98
  1.                    He is welcome hither.

Cassius

99
  1. This, Decius Brutus.

Brutus

100
  1.                      He is welcome too.

Cassius

101
  1. This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.

Brutus

102 - 104
  1. They are all welcome.
  2. What watchful cares do interpose themselves
  3. Betwixt your eyes and night?

Cassius

105
  1. Shall I entreat a word?
  1. They whisper.

Decius Brutus

106
  1. Here lies the east; doth not the day break here?

Casca

107
  1. No.

Cinna

108 - 109
  1. O, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines
  2. That fret the clouds are messengers of day.

Casca

110 - 116
  1. You shall confess that you are both deceiv’d.
  2. Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,
  3. Which is a great way growing on the south,
  4. Weighing the youthful season of the year.
  5. Some two months hence, up higher toward the north
  6. He first presents his fire, and the high east
  7. Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.

Brutus

117
  1. Give me your hands all over, one by one.

Cassius

118
  1. And let us swear our resolution.

Brutus

119 - 145
  1. No, not an oath! If not the face of men,
  2. The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse
  3. If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
  4. And every man hence to his idle bed;
  5. So let high-sighted tyranny range on,
  6. Till each man drop by lottery. But if these
  7. (As I am sure they do) bear fire enough
  8. To kindle cowards, and to steel with valor
  9. The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
  10. What need we any spur but our own cause
  11. To prick us to redress? What other bond
  12. Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word
  13. And will not palter? And what other oath
  14. Than honesty to honesty engag’d
  15. That this shall be, or we will fall for it?
  16. Swear priests and cowards, and men cautelous,
  17. Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls
  18. That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
  19. Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain
  20. The even virtue of our enterprise,
  21. Nor th’ insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
  22. To think that or our cause or our performance
  23. Did need an oath; when every drop of blood
  24. That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
  25. Is guilty of a several bastardy,
  26. If he do break the smallest particle
  27. Of any promise that hath pass’d from him.

Cassius

146 - 147
  1. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
  2. I think he will stand very strong with us.

Casca

148
  1. Let us not leave him out.

Cinna

149
  1.                           No, by no means.

Metellus

150 - 155
  1. O, let us have him, for his silver hairs
  2. Will purchase us a good opinion,
  3. And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.
  4. It shall be said his judgment rul’d our hands;
  5. Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
  6. But all be buried in his gravity.

Brutus

156 - 158
  1. O, name him not; let us not break with him,
  2. For he will never follow any thing
  3. That other men begin.

Cassius

159
  1.                       Then leave him out.

Casca

160
  1. Indeed he is not fit.

Decius Brutus

161
  1. Shall no man else be touch’d but only Caesar?

Cassius

162 - 168
  1. Decius, well urg’d. I think it is not meet,
  2. Mark Antony, so well belov’d of Caesar,
  3. Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him
  4. A shrewd contriver; and you know, his means,
  5. If he improve them, may well stretch so far
  6. As to annoy us all; which to prevent,
  7. Let Antony and Caesar fall together.

Brutus

169 - 190
  1. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
  2. To cut the head off and then hack the limbs
  3. Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
  4. For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
  5. Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
  6. We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,
  7. And in the spirit of men there is no blood;
  8. O that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit,
  9. And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
  10. Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
  11. Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
  12. Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
  13. Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
  14. And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
  15. Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
  16. And after seem to chide ’em. This shall make
  17. Our purpose necessary, and not envious;
  18. Which so appearing to the common eyes,
  19. We shall be call’d purgers, not murderers,
  20. And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
  21. For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm
  22. When Caesar’s head is off.

Cassius

191 - 192
  1.                            Yet I fear him,
  2. For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar

Brutus

193 - 197
  1. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.
  2. If he love Caesar, all that he can do
  3. Is to himselftake thought and die for Caesar;
  4. And that were much he should, for he is given
  5. To sports, to wildness, and much company.

Trebonius

198 - 199
  1. There is no fear in him; let him not die,
  2. For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
  1. Clock strikes.

Brutus

200
  1. Peace, count the clock.

Cassius

201
  1.                         The clock hath stricken three.

Trebonius

202
  1. ’Tis time to part.

Cassius

203 - 211
  1.                    But it is doubtful yet
  2. Whether Caesar will come forth today or no;
  3. For he is superstitious grown of late,
  4. Quite from the main opinion he held once
  5. Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
  6. It may be these apparent prodigies,
  7. The unaccustom’d terror of this night,
  8. And the persuasion of his augurers
  9. May hold him from the Capitol today.

Decius Brutus

212 - 221
  1. Never fear that. If he be so resolv’d,
  2. I can o’ersway him; for he loves to hear
  3. That unicorns may be betray’d with trees,
  4. And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
  5. Lions with toils, and men with flatterers;
  6. But when I tell him he hates flatterers
  7. He says he does, being then most flattered.
  8. Let me work;
  9. For I can give his humor the true bent,
  10. And I will bring him to the Capitol.

Cassius

222
  1. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.

Brutus

223
  1. By the eight hour; is that the uttermost?

Cinna

224
  1. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.

Metellus

225 - 227
  1. Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,
  2. Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey;
  3. I wonder none of you have thought of him.

Brutus

228 - 230
  1. Now, good Metellus, go along by him.
  2. He loves me well, and I have given him reasons;
  3. Send him but hither, and I’ll fashion him.

Cassius

231 - 233
  1. The morning comes upon’s. We’ll leave you, Brutus,
  2. And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember
  3. What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.

Brutus

234 - 243
  1. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
  2. Let not our looks put on our purposes,
  3. But bear it as our Roman actors do,
  4. With untir’d spirits and formal constancy.
  5. And so good morrow to you every one.
  6. Exeunt. Manet Brutus.
  7. Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter,
  8. Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.
  9. Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,
  10. Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
  11. Therefore thou sleep’st so sound.
  1. Enter Portia.

Portia

244
  1.                                   Brutus, my lord!

Brutus

245 - 247
  1. Portia! What mean you? Wherefore rise you now?
  2. It is not for your health thus to commit
  3. Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.

Portia

248 - 267
  1. Nor for yours neither. Y’ have ungently, Brutus,
  2. Stole from my bed; and yesternight at supper
  3. You suddenly arose and walk’d about,
  4. Musing and sighing, with your arms across;
  5. And when I ask’d you what the matter was,
  6. You star’d upon me with ungentle looks.
  7. I urg’d you further; then you scratch’d your head,
  8. And too impatiently stamp’d with your foot.
  9. Yet I insisted, yet you answer’d not,
  10. But with an angry wafter of your hand
  11. Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did,
  12. Fearing to strengthen that impatience
  13. Which seem’d too much enkindled; and withal
  14. Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
  15. Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
  16. It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep;
  17. And could it work so much upon your shape
  18. As it hath much prevail’d on your condition,
  19. I should not know you Brutus. Dear my lord,
  20. Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.

Brutus

268
  1. I am not well in health, and that is all.

Portia

269 - 270
  1. Brutus is wise, and were he not in health,
  2. He would embrace the means to come by it.

Brutus

271
  1. Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.

Portia

272 - 289
  1. Is Brutus sick? And is it physical
  2. To walk unbraced and suck up the humors
  3. Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick?
  4. And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
  5. To dare the vile contagion of the night,
  6. And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
  7. To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus,
  8. You have some sick offense within your mind,
  9. Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
  10. I ought to know of; and upon my knees
  11. I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
  12. By all your vows of love, and that great vow
  13. Which did incorporate and make us one,
  14. That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
  15. Why you are heavy, and what men tonight
  16. Have had resort to you; for here have been
  17. Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
  18. Even from darkness.

Brutus

290
  1.                     Kneel not, gentle Portia.

Portia

291 - 299
  1. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
  2. Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
  3. Is it excepted I should know no secrets
  4. That appertain to you? Am I yourself
  5. But, as it were, in sort or limitation.
  6. To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
  7. And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs
  8. Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
  9. Portia is Brutus’ harlot, not his wife.

Brutus

300 - 302
  1. You are my true and honorable wife,
  2. As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
  3. That visit my sad heart.

Portia

303 - 314
  1. If this were true, then should I know this secret.
  2. I grant I am a woman; but withal
  3. A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife.
  4. I grant I am a woman; but withal
  5. A woman well reputed, Cato’s daughter.
  6. Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
  7. Being so father’d and so husbanded?
  8. Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose ’em.
  9. I have made strong proof of my constancy,
  10. Giving myself a voluntary wound
  11. Here, in the thigh; can I bear that with patience,
  12. And not my husband’s secrets?

Brutus

315 - 323
  1.                               O ye gods!
  2. Render me worthy of this noble wife!
  3. Knock.
  4. Hark, hark, one knocks! Portia, go in a while,
  5. And by and by thy bosom shall partake
  6. The secrets of my heart.
  7. All my engagements I will construe to thee,
  8. All the charactery of my sad brows.
  9. Leave me with haste.
  10. Exit Portia.
  11.                      Lucius, who’s that knocks?
  1. Enter Lucius and Caius Ligarius.

Lucius

324
  1. Here is a sick man that would speak with you.

Brutus

325 - 327
  1. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.
  2. Boy, stand aside.
  3. Exit Lucius.
  4. Caius Ligarius, how?

Ligarius

328
  1. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

Brutus

329 - 330
  1. O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
  2. To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

Ligarius

331 - 332
  1. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
  2. Any exploit worthy the name of honor.

Brutus

333 - 334
  1. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
  2. Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

Ligarius

335 - 341
  1. By all the gods that Romans bow before,
  2. I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!
  3. Brave son, deriv’d from honorable loins!
  4. Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur’d up
  5. My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
  6. And I will strive with things impossible,
  7. Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?

Brutus

342
  1. A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

Ligarius

343
  1. But are not some whole that we must make sick?

Brutus

344 - 346
  1. That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
  2. I shall unfold to thee, as we are going,
  3. To whom it must be done.

Ligarius

347 - 350
  1. Set on your foot,
  2. And with a heart new-fir’d I follow you,
  3. To do I know not what; but it sufficeth
  4. That Brutus leads me on.
  1. Thunder.

Brutus

351
  1.                          Follow me then.
  1. Exeunt.
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