Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 1

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

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

Shall I entreat a word?

[BRUTUS and CASSIUS whisper apart.]

Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?


O, pardon, sir, it doth, and yon grey lines
That fret the clouds are messengers of day.

You shall confess that you are both deceived.
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.

Give me your hands all over, one by one.

And let us swear our resolution.

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 engaged,
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 enterprise,
Nor th' 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
Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.

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

Let us not leave him out.

No, by no means.

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 ruled our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.

O, name him not! let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.

Then leave him out.

Indeed, he is not fit.

Shall no man else be touch'd but only Caesar?

Decius, well urged. — I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all: which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together.

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 Caesar.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit,
And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
And after seem to chide 'em. This shall mark
Our purpose necessary, and not envious;
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm
When Caesar's head is off.

Yet I do fear him;
For in th' ingrafted love he bears to Caesar —

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