Actus Secundus.

Enter Brutus in his Orchard.

Brut. What Lucius, hoe? I cannot, by the progresse of the Starres, Giue guesse how neere to day- Lucius, I say? I would it were my fault to sleepe so soundly. When Lucius, when? awake, I say: what Lucius? Enter Lucius.

Luc. Call'd you, my Lord? Brut. Get me a Tapor in my Study, Lucius: When it is lighted, come and call me here

Luc. I will, my Lord. Enter.

Brut. It must be by his death: and for my part, I know no personall cause, to spurne at him, But for the generall. He would be crown'd: How that might change his nature, there's the question? It is the bright day, that brings forth the Adder, And that craues warie walking: Crowne him that, And then I graunt we put a Sting in him, That at his will he may doe danger with. Th' abuse of Greatnesse, is, when it dis-ioynes Remorse from Power: And to speake truth of Caesar, I haue not knowne, when his Affections sway'd More then his Reason. But 'tis a common proofe, That Lowlynesse is young Ambitions Ladder, Whereto the Climber vpward turnes his Face: But when he once attaines the vpmost Round, He then vnto the Ladder turnes his Backe, Lookes in the Clouds, scorning the base degrees By which he did ascend: so Caesar may; Then least he may, preuent. And since the Quarrell Will beare no colour, for the thing he is, Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented, Would runne to these, and these extremities: And therefore thinke him as a Serpents egge, Which hatch'd, would as his kinde grow mischieuous; And kill him in the shell. Enter Lucius.

Luc. The Taper burneth in your Closet, Sir: Searching the Window for a Flint, I found This Paper, thus seal'd vp, and I am sure It did not lye there when I went to Bed.

Giues him the Letter.

Brut. Get you to Bed againe, it is not day: Is not to morrow (Boy) the first of March? Luc. I know not, Sir

Brut. Looke in the Calender, and bring me word

Luc. I will, Sir. Enter.

Brut. The exhalations, whizzing in the ayre, Giue so much light, that I may reade by them.

Opens the Letter, and reades.

Brutus thou sleep'st; awake, and see thy selfe: Shall Rome, &c. speake, strike, redresse. Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake. Such instigations haue beene often dropt, Where I haue tooke them vp: Shall Rome, &c. Thus must I piece it out: Shall Rome stand vnder one mans awe? What Rome? My Ancestors did from the streetes of Rome The Tarquin driue, when he was call'd a King. Speake, strike, redresse. Am I entreated To speake, and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise, If the redresse will follow, thou receiuest Thy full Petition at the hand of Brutus. Enter Lucius.

Luc. Sir, March is wasted fifteene dayes.

Knocke within.

Brut. 'Tis good. Go to the Gate, some body knocks: Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, I haue not slept. Betweene the acting of a dreadfull thing, And the first motion, all the Interim is Like a Phantasma, or a hideous Dreame: The Genius, and the mortall Instruments Are then in councell; and the state of a man, Like to a little Kingdome, suffers then The nature of an Insurrection. Enter Lucius.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your Brother Cassius at the Doore, Who doth desire to see you

Brut. Is he alone? Luc. No, Sir, there are moe with him

Brut. Doe you know them? Luc. No, Sir, their Hats are pluckt about their Eares, And halfe their Faces buried in their Cloakes, That by no meanes I may discouer them, By any marke of fauour

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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