Dialogue from “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare ~~Assassination~~

Excerpt from Act III Scene I

Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above.
A crowd of people; among them Artemidorus and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius Brutus, Metellus Cimber, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius, and others.

CAESAR
[To the Soothsayer] The ides of March are come.

Soothsayer
Ay, Caesar; but not gone.

ARTEMIDORUS
Hail, Caesar! read this schedule.

DECIUS BRUTUS
Trebonius doth desire you to o’erread,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.

ARTEMIDORUS
O Caesar, read mine first; for mine’s a suit
That touches Caesar nearer: read it, great Caesar.

CAESAR
What touches us ourself shall be last served.

ARTEMIDORUS
Delay not, Caesar; read it instantly.

CAESAR
What, is the fellow mad?

PUBLIUS
Sirrah, give place.

CASSIUS
What, urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.

CAESAR goes up to the Senate-House, the rest following

POPILIUS
I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive.

CASSIUS
What enterprise, Popilius?

POPILIUS
Fare you well.

Advances to CAESAR

BRUTUS
What said Popilius Lena?

CASSIUS
He wish’d to-day our enterprise might thrive.
I fear our purpose is discovered.

BRUTUS
Look, how he makes to Caesar; mark him.

CASSIUS
Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.

BRUTUS
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.

CASSIUS
Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus.
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.

Exeunt ANTONY and TREBONIUS

DECIUS BRUTUS
Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar.

BRUTUS
He is address’d: press near and second him.

CINNA
Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

CAESAR
Are we all ready? What is now amiss
That Caesar and his senate must redress?

METELLUS CIMBER
Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart,–

Kneeling

CAESAR
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree
Into the law of children. Be not fond,
To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw’d from the true quality
With that which melteth fools; I mean, sweet words,
Low-crooked court’sies and base spaniel-fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished:
If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.

METELLUS CIMBER
Is there no voice more worthy than my own
To sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s ear
For the repealing of my banish’d brother?

BRUTUS
I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar;
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.

CAESAR
What, Brutus!

CASSIUS
Pardon, Caesar; Caesar, pardon:
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

CAESAR
I could be well moved, if I were as you:
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me:
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place:
So in the world; ’tis furnish’d well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion: and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this;
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so.

CINNA
O Caesar,–

CAESAR
Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus?

DECIUS BRUTUS
Great Caesar,–

CAESAR
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

CASCA
Speak, hands for me!

CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and BRUTUS stab CAESAR

CAESAR
Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.

Dies

CINNA
Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

CASSIUS
Some to the common pulpits, and cry out
‘Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’

BRUTUS
People and senators, be not affrighted;
Fly not; stand stiff: ambition’s debt is paid.

 

William Shakespeare

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