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Julius Caesar: Act 2 Scene 2
Scene II CAESAR's house.
- [Thunder and lightning. Enter CAESAR, in his
- Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:
- Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
- 'Help, ho! they murder Caesar!' Who's within?
- [Enter a Servant]
- My lord?
- Go bid the priests do present sacrifice
- And bring me their opinions of success.
- I will, my lord.
- [Enter CALPURNIA]
- What mean you, Caesar? think you to walk forth?
- You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
- Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten'd me
- Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall see
- The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
- Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
- Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
- Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
- Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
- A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
- And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
- Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
- In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
- Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
- The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
- Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
- And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
- O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,
- And I do fear them.
- What can be avoided
- Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
- Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
- Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
- When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
- The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
- Cowards die many times before their deaths;
- The valiant never taste of death but once.
- Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
- It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
- Seeing that death, a necessary end,
- Will come when it will come.
- [Re-enter Servant]
- What say the augurers?
- They would not have you to stir forth to-day.
- Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
- They could not find a heart within the beast.
- The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
- Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
- If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
- No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
- That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
- We are two lions litter'd in one day,
- And I the elder and more terrible:
- And Caesar shall go forth.
- Alas, my lord,
- Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
- Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear
- That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
- We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house:
- And he shall say you are not well to-day:
- Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
- Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
- And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
- [Enter DECIUS BRUTUS]
- Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
- DECIUS BRUTUS
- Caesar, all hail! good morrow, worthy Caesar:
- I come to fetch you to the senate-house.
- And you are come in very happy time,
- To bear my greeting to the senators
- And tell them that I will not come to-day:
- Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:
- I will not come to-day: tell them so, Decius.
- Say he is sick.
- Shall Caesar send a lie?
- Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
- To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?
- Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
- DECIUS BRUTUS
- Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
- Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.
- The cause is in my will: I will not come;
- That is enough to satisfy the senate.
- But for your private satisfaction,
- Because I love you, I will let you know:
- Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
- She dreamt to-night she saw my statua,
- Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
- Did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans
- Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:
- And these does she apply for warnings, and portents,
- And evils imminent; and on her knee
- Hath begg'd that I will stay at home to-day.
- DECIUS BRUTUS
- This dream is all amiss interpreted;
- It was a vision fair and fortunate:
- Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
- In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
- Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
- Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
- For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.
- This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.
- And this way have you well expounded it.
- DECIUS BRUTUS
- I have, when you have heard what I can say:
- And know it now: the senate have concluded
- To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
- If you shall send them word you will not come,
- Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
- Apt to be render'd, for some one to say
- 'Break up the senate till another time,
- When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.'
- If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
- 'Lo, Caesar is afraid'?
- Pardon me, Caesar; for my dear dear love
- To our proceeding bids me tell you this;
- And reason to my love is liable.
- How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!
- I am ashamed I did yield to them.
- Give me my robe, for I will go.
- [Enter PUBLIUS, BRUTUS, LIGARIUS, METELLUS, CASCA,
- TREBONIUS, and CINNA]
- And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
- Good morrow, Caesar.
- Welcome, Publius.
- What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?
- Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,
- Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy
- As that same ague which hath made you lean.
- What is 't o'clock?
- Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.
- I thank you for your pains and courtesy.
- [Enter ANTONY]
- See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,
- Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.
- So to most noble Caesar.
- Bid them prepare within:
- I am to blame to be thus waited for.
- Now, Cinna: now, Metellus: what, Trebonius!
- I have an hour's talk in store for you;
- Remember that you call on me to-day:
- Be near me, that I may remember you.
- Caesar, I will:
- and so near will I be,
- That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
- Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;
- And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
- [Aside] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
- The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon!