Cic. Good euen, Caska: brought you Caesar home? Why are you breathlesse, and why stare you so? Cask. Are not you mou'd, when all the sway of Earth Shakes, like a thing vnfirme? O Cicero, I haue seene Tempests, when the scolding Winds Haue riu'd the knottie Oakes, and I haue seene Th' ambitious Ocean swell, and rage, and foame, To be exalted with the threatning Clouds: But neuer till to Night, neuer till now, Did I goe through a Tempest-dropping-fire. Eyther there is a Ciuill strife in Heauen, Or else the World, too sawcie with the Gods, Incenses them to send destruction

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderfull? Cask. A common slaue, you know him well by sight, Held vp his left Hand, which did flame and burne Like twentie Torches ioyn'd; and yet his Hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd vnscorch'd. Besides, I ha' not since put vp my Sword, Against the Capitoll I met a Lyon, Who glaz'd vpon me, and went surly by, Without annoying me. And there were drawne Vpon a heape, a hundred gastly Women, Transformed with their feare, who swore, they saw Men, all in fire, walke vp and downe the streetes. And yesterday, the Bird of Night did sit, Euen at Noone-day, vpon the Market place, Howting, and shreeking. When these Prodigies Doe so conioyntly meet, let not men say, These are their Reasons, they are Naturall: For I beleeue, they are portentous things Vnto the Clymate, that they point vpon

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange disposed time: But men may construe things after their fashion, Cleane from the purpose of the things themselues. Comes Caesar to the Capitoll to morrow? Cask. He doth: for he did bid Antonio Send word to you, he would be there to morrow

Cic. Good-night then, Caska: This disturbed Skie is not to walke in

Cask. Farewell Cicero.

Exit Cicero.

Enter Cassius.

Cassi. Who's there? Cask. A Romane

Cassi. Caska, by your Voyce

Cask. Your Eare is good. Cassius, what Night is this? Cassi. A very pleasing Night to honest men

Cask. Who euer knew the Heauens menace so? Cassi. Those that haue knowne the Earth so full of faults. For my part, I haue walk'd about the streets, Submitting me vnto the perillous Night; And thus vnbraced, Caska, as you see, Haue bar'd my Bosome to the Thunder-stone: And when the crosse blew Lightning seem'd to open The Brest of Heauen, I did present my selfe Euen in the ayme, and very flash of it

Cask. But wherefore did you so much tempt the Heauens? It is the part of men, to feare and tremble, When the most mightie Gods, by tokens send Such dreadfull Heraulds, to astonish vs

Cassi. You are dull, Caska: And those sparkes of Life, that should be in a Roman, You doe want, or else you vse not. You looke pale, and gaze, and put on feare, And cast your selfe in wonder, To see the strange impatience of the Heauens: But if you would consider the true cause, Why all these Fires, why all these gliding Ghosts, Why Birds and Beasts, from qualitie and kinde, Why Old men, Fooles, and Children calculate, Why all these things change from their Ordinance, Their Natures, and pre-formed Faculties, To monstrous qualitie; why you shall finde, That Heauen hath infus'd them with these Spirits, To make them Instruments of feare, and warning, Vnto some monstrous State. Now could I (Caska) name to thee a man, Most like this dreadfull Night, That Thunders, Lightens, opens Graues, and roares, As doth the Lyon in the Capitoll: A man no mightier then thy selfe, or me, In personall action; yet prodigious growne, And fearefull, as these strange eruptions are

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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