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I am not gamesome; I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony;
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires :
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late;
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And show of love, as I was wont to have;
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over friend that loves you.
Be not deceiv'd if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself, Vexed I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviour;
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd,
Among which number, Cassius, be you one;
Nor construe any farther my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the show of love to other men.
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection from some other thing.
Cas. 'Tis just.
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirror as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome
(Except immortal Cæsar), speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear; And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which yet you know not of.
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To ev'ry new protestor; if you know,
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandal them; or if you know,
That I profess myself in banquetting
To all the rout; then hold me dangerous.
Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the people Choose Cæsar for their king,
Cas. Ay? do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the gen'ral good,
Set Honour in one eye, and Death i' th' other,
And I will look on Death indiff'rently :
For let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of Honour more than I fear Death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.-
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life: but for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to he
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you;
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he.
For once upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with his shores,
Cæsar says to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?-Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear; so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake. "Tis true; this god did shake;
His coward lips did from their colour fly,
And that same eye, whose bend does awe the world,
Did lose it's lustre ; I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried-Give me some drink, Titinius—
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.
Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus! and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some times are masters of their fates;
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus-and Cæsar-what should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together yours is as fair a name :
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meats does this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd;
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods.
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
Oh! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus, one that would have brook'd
Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous :
would work mé to, I have some aim :
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter: for this present,
I would not (so with love I might entreat you)
any farther mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my
noble friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under such hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
Cas. I am glad that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
BELLARIUS, GUIDERIUS, AND ARVIRAGUS.
Bel. A GOODLY day! not to keep house, with such Whose roof's as low as ours: see! boys, this gate Instructs you how t'adore the Heav'ns; and bows you To morning's holy office. Gates of monarchs Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through, And keep their impious turbans on, without Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair Heav'n!
We house i' th' rock, yet use thee not so hardly
As prouder livers do.
Guid. Hail, Heav'n!
Aro. Hail, Heav'n!
Bel. Now for our mountain sport. Up to yond' hill,
Your legs are young. I'll tread these flats. Consider,
When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place which lessens and sets off;
And you may then revolve what tales I told you
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war;
That service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd. To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see ;
And often to our comfort shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold,
Than is the full wing'd eagle. Oh, this life
Is nobler than attending for a check :
Richer than doing nothing for a bauble;
Prouder than rustling in unpaid for silk.
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd :-no life to ours.
Guid. Out of your proof you speak; we, poor, unfledg'd, Have never wing'd from view o' th' nest; nor know What air's from home. Haply this life is best, If quiet life is best; sweeter to you, That have a sharper known; well corresponding With your stiff age: but unto us, it is A cell of ign'rance; travelling abed; A prison for a debtor that not dares To stride a limit.
Aro. What should we speak of,
When we are old as you? When we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December? how,
In this our pinching cave,
shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing;
We're beastly; subtle as the fox for prey,
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat,
Our valour is to chase what flies our cage
We make a choir, as doth the prison'd bird,
And sing out bondage freely.
Bel. How you speak!