A line-by-line translation

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Translation Act 1, Scene 2

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A trumpet sounds. CAESAR enters, along with ANTONY who is dressed for a traditional foot race, as well as CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA, followed by great crowd of commoners, including a SOOTHSAYER. MURELLUS and FLAVIUS follow after.

CAESAR

Calphurnia!

CAESAR

Calphurnia!

CASCA

Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

CASCA

Hey, quiet down! Caesar speaks.

CAESAR

Calphurnia!

CAESAR

Calphurnia!

CALPHURNIA

Here, my lord.

CALPHURNIA

Here I am, my lord.

CAESAR

Stand you directly in Antonius' way When he doth run his course. —Antonius!

CAESAR

Stand directly in Antonius’ path as he runs the race.

[To ANTONY] Antonius!

ANTONY

Caesar, my lord.

ANTONY

Yes, my lord Caesar?

CAESAR

Forget not in your speed, Antonius, To touch Calphurnia, for our elders say The barren, touchèd in this holy chase, Shake off their sterile curse.

CAESAR

Antonius, while you’re running don’t forget to touch Calphurnia. As our elders say, if an infertile woman is touched during this holy race, she’ll escape the curse of sterility.

ANTONY

I shall remember.When Caesar says, “do this,” it is performed.

ANTONY

I will remember. When Caesar says “do this,” it is done.

CAESAR

Set on, and leave no ceremony out.

CAESAR

Go on, then, and don’t leave out any of the proper rituals.

Music plays.

SOOTHSAYER

Caesar!

SOOTHSAYER

Caesar!

CAESAR

Ha! Who calls?

CAESAR

Hey! Who’s calling me?

CASCA

Bid every noise be still. Peace yet again.

CASCA

Everyone, be quiet! Again, quiet!

The music stops.

CAESAR

Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry “Caesar!” —Speak. Caesar is turned to hear.

CAESAR

Who is it in the crowd that’s calling me? I hear a voice that's shriller than any of this music, calling out “Caesar!” Speak. Caesar is listening.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware the ides of March.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware March 15th.

CAESAR

What man is that?

CAESAR

Who is saying that?

BRUTUS

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

BRUTUS

A soothsayer tells you to beware March 15th.

CAESAR

Set him before me. Let me see his face.

CAESAR

Bring him to me. Let me see his face.

CASSIUS

Fellow, come from the throng. Look upon Caesar.

CASSIUS

Man, step out of the crowd. Stand before Caesar.

The SOOTHSAYER approaches.

CAESAR

What sayst thou to me now? Speak once again.

CAESAR

What are you saying to me now? Say it again.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware the ides of March.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware March 15th.

CAESAR

He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass!

CAESAR

He’s crazy. Let’s leave him. Continue on!

Trumpets play. Everyone exits, except BRUTUS and CASSIUS.

CASSIUS

Will you go see the order of the course?

CASSIUS

Are you going to come watch the race?

BRUTUS

Not I.

BRUTUS

Not me.

CASSIUS

I pray you, do.

CASSIUS

Please, come and watch it.

BRUTUS

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.

BRUTUS

I’m not feeling festive. I lack some of Antony’s lively, competitive spirit. But don’t let me stop you from doing what you want, Cassius. I’ll leave you alone.

CASSIUS

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 your friend that loves you.

CASSIUS

Brutus, I’ve been watching you recently. I’ve noticed that you seem less friendly toward me than I’m used to. You’ve been rough and unfriendly to me, your friend who loves you.

BRUTUS

Cassius, Be not deceived. If I have veiled my look, I turn the trouble of my countenance Merely upon myself. Vexèd I am Of late with passions of some difference, Conceptions only proper to myself, Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors. But let not therefore, my good friends, be grieved— Among which number, Cassius, be you one— Nor construe any further my neglect Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, Forgets the shows of love to other men.

BRUTUS

Cassius, don’t be fooled. If I seem unfriendly, it’s because my troubled looks are actually directed at myself. Lately I’ve been overwhelmed with private thoughts and conflicting emotions, which must have affected my behavior. But my good friends should not be troubled—and I count you as a good friend, Cassius. And they should not see anything more in my distant behavior than that poor Brutus—who is at war with himself—has forgotten to show affection to others.

CASSIUS

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?

CASSIUS

Brutus, I misunderstood your feelings. And for that reason, I kept to myself a number of important thoughts. Good Brutus, tell me, can you see your face?

BRUTUS

No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itselfBut by reflection, by some other things.

BRUTUS

No, Cassius, because the eye can’t see itself, except in reflections on other surfaces.

CASSIUS

'Tis just. And it is very much lamented, Brutus, That you have no such mirrors 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 Caesar, speaking of Brutus And groaning underneath this age’s yoke, Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.

CASSIUS

That’s a fact. But it’s a shame that you don’t have any mirrors in which to view your own worthiness, Brutus. I’ve heard many of the most respected Romans—with the exception of immortal Caesar—mention you while complaining of the burden of our current government, and wish that your eyes were working better.

BRUTUS

Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,That you would have me seek into myselfFor that which is not in me?

BRUTUS

Cassius, what dangers do you want to lead me into, by asking me to look inside myself for something that isn't in me?

CASSIUS

Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared 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 you yet know not of. And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus. Were I a common laugher, or did use To stale with ordinary oaths my love To every new protester, 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 banqueting To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

CASSIUS

Be prepared to listen, good Brutus. And since you know the best way to see yourself is by reflection, I'll act as your mirror and show to you the parts of yourself of which you are unaware, without exaggerating. Don’t be suspicious of what I say, noble Brutus. If I were some frivolous fool; or made the same stale vows of friendship to every new friend I met; or if you knew that I flatter men to their faces only to slander them once they're gone; or if you learn that I make declarations of friendship to all the mobs of people while at a feast, then, of course, don't believe me.

Trumpets play, and then a shout sounds.

BRUTUS

What means this shouting? I do fear, the peopleChoose Caesar for their king.

BRUTUS

What is the meaning of this shouting? I fear the people have made Caesar their king.

CASSIUS

Ay, do you fear it?Then must I think you would not have it so.

CASSIUS

Really, do you fear that? Then I must guess that you don’t want that to happen.

BRUTUS

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 general good, Set honor in one eye and death i' th' other, And I will look on both indifferently, For let the gods so speed me as I love The name of honor more than I fear death.

BRUTUS

I don’t, Cassius, even though I love Caesar dearly. But why do you keep me here so long? What is it that you want to tell me? If it’s for the general good of Rome, I’d do anything, even if it meant my death. May the gods grant me good favor only so long as I love honor more than I fear death.

CASSIUS

I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, As well as I do know your outward favor. Well, honor 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 be In awe of such a thing as I myself. I was born free as Caesar. 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 her shores, Caesar said to me, “Darest thou, Cassius, now Leap in with me into this angry flood And swim to yonder point?” Upon the word, Accoutred as I was, I plungèd in And bade him follow. So indeed he did. The torrent roared, 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 proposed, Caesar cried, “Help me, Cassius, or I sink!” I, as Aeneas, 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 Caesar. And this man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature and must bend his body If Caesar 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 color fly, And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world Did lose his luster. 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.

CASSIUS

I see that good quality in you, Brutus. It’s as familiar to me as your appearance. In fact, honor is what I want to discuss with you. I don’t know what you and other men think of this life. But, as for me, I’d rather not live at all than stand in awe of a man no better than myself. I was born as free as Caesar. So were you. We both have eaten as well, and we can both endure the winter's cold as well as he. Once, on a harsh and windy day, as the Tiber River swelled against its banks, Caesar said to me, “Cassius, would you dare to jump with me into this rough water and swim to that distant point?” The moment he said that—though I was still in my clothes—I jumped in and told him to follow. He did. The water roared, and we fought against it with all our strength, inspired to overcome it by our competitive natures. But before we could reach our destination, Caesar cried, “Help me, Cassius, or I'll sink!” Just like Aeneas carried on his shoulders his elderly father Anchises from the fires of Troy, I carry the tired Caesar from the waves of the Tiber. And this man has now become a god, while I am a wretched creature who must bow down if Caesar carelessly nods my way. When he was in Spain, Caesar had a fever. And when he was in its grip, I noticed how he shook. It’s true, this “god” was shaking! His cowardly lips lost their color, and that same eye whose gaze now terrifies the world lost its gleam. Yes, I heard him groan. And that tongue of his that ordered the Romans to listen to him and transcribe his speeches in their books cried like a sick girl, “Oh, get me a drink, Titinius.” Oh, by the gods, it amazes me that a man of such weak constitution could get an advantage over the entire world and carry the prize of victory alone.

A shout offstage. Trumpets play.

BRUTUS

Another general shout!I do believe that these applauses areFor some new honors that are heaped on Caesar.

BRUTUS

More shouting from the crowd! I think this applause is for some new honor given to Caesar.

CASSIUS

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 dishonorable graves. Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars But in ourselves, that we are underlings. Brutus and Caesar—what should be in that “Caesar?” 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 “Caesar.” Now in the names of all the gods at once, Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed! Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods! When went there by an age, since the great flood, But it was famed with more than with one man? When could they say till now, that talked of Rome, That her wide walks encompassed but one man? Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough, When there is in it but one only man. Oh, you and I have heard our fathers say, There was a Brutus once that would have brooked Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome As easily as a king.

CASSIUS

Why, sir, he straddles the narrow world like a giant, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peek out just to find our graves, as if we were slaves. Men can be masters of their fate. Brutus, our problem is not destiny, but ourselves. “Brutus” and “Caesar"—what's special about “Caesar?” Why should that name be shouted more than yours? Write them together—yours looks just as good. Say them—yours is just as pleasant to say. Weigh them—it’s just as heavy. Do magic with them, and “Brutus” will call up a spirit just as well as “Caesar.” Now, in the name of all the gods, I ask you what meat Caesar has eaten that has made him grow to be so great? The people of our time should be ashamed! Rome has lost the ability to raise noble men! When was there an age, since the great flood, that didn’t contain more than one famous man? When could anyone speaking of Rome say, before now, that just one man ruled the entire city? Indeed, now Rome only has room for one man. Oh, you and I have heard our fathers say that once there was a Brutus—your ancestor—who would have let the devil reign in the Roman Republic before he would allow a king.

BRUTUS

That you do love me, I am nothing jealous. What you would work me 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, Be any further moved. 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 these hard conditions as this time Is like to lay upon us.

BRUTUS

I do not doubt that you love me. I’m starting to understand what you would like me to do. I'll tell you what I think about this and about what’s happening in Rome later. For the moment—in the name of our friendship—I would prefer that you not try to do any more persuading. I’ll think over what you’ve said; I’ll listen patiently to whatever else you have to say; and I’ll find an appropriate time for us to consider and make a decision about such weighty matters. Until then, my noble friend, think about this: I would rather be some villager than call myself a citizen of Rome during the difficult situation these times are likely to put us through.

CASSIUS

I am glad that my weak wordsHave struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

CASSIUS

I’m glad that my weak words have forced even this small show of passion from you.

CAESAR enters with his followers, including CASCA.

BRUTUS

The games are done and Caesar is returning.

BRUTUS

The games are finished, and Caesar is returning.

CASSIUS

As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,And he will, after his sour fashion, tell youWhat hath proceeded worthy note today.

CASSIUS

As they pass by, grab Casca by the sleeve. In his sour way, he'll tell you if anything important happened today.

BRUTUS

I will do so. But, look you, Cassius, The angry spot doth glow on Caesar’s brow, And all the rest look like a chidden train. Calphurnia’s cheek is pale, and Cicero Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes As we have seen him in the Capitol Being crossed in conference by some senators.

BRUTUS

I’ll do so. But look there, Cassius. Caesar's face is full of anger while everyone with him look like they’ve been scolded. Calphurnia’s face is pale, and Cicero’s eyes are darting and angry, just as they get when senators argue with him during sessions at the Capitol.

CASSIUS

Casca will tell us what the matter is.

CASSIUS

Casca will tell us what's happened.

As CAESAR and ANTONY talk, BRUTUS pulls CASCA by the sleeve.

CAESAR

Antonio.

CAESAR

Antonio.

ANTONY

Caesar.

ANTONY

Caesar.

CAESAR

[aside to ANTONY] Let me have men about me that are fat, Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

CAESAR

[To ANTONY so that only he can hear] I want the men around me to be fat, well-groomed men who sleep soundly through the night. Cassius over there has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Men like that are dangerous.

ANTONY

[aside to CAESAR] Fear him not, Caesar. He’s not dangerous.He is a noble Roman and well given.

ANTONY

[To CAESAR so that only he can hear] Don’t be afraid of him, Caesar. He's not dangerous. He’s a noble Roman with an honorable character.

CAESAR

[aside to ANTONY] Would he were fatter! But I fear him not. Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much. He is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays, As thou dost, Antony . He hears no music. Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort As if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit That could be moved to smile at anything. Such men as he be never at heart’s ease Whiles they behold a greater than themselves, And therefore are they very dangerous. I rather tell thee what is to be feared Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar. Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.

CAESAR

[To ANTONY so that only he can hear] If only he were fatter! But I’m not afraid of him. Yet, if I myself were capable of fear, I don’t know of any man I would avoid more than skinny Cassius. He reads a lot. He’s a skilled observer, and he sees the hidden motives behind men’s actions. He doesn’t enjoy plays like you do, Antony. He never listens to music. He almost never smiles. Though when he does smile, he does it as if he’s mocking the part of himself that could be inspired to smile by anything. Men like  him can never be content as long as they know that there is someone better and more powerful than they are. And therefore they’re very dangerous. I’m telling you what should be feared rather than what I fear, because, after all, I am Caesar. Step over to my right side, because my left ear is deaf, and tell me honestly what you think of Cassius.

Trumpets play. CAESAR exits with all his followers except CASCA.

CASCA

[to BRUTUS] You pulled me by the cloak. Would you speak with me?

CASCA

[To BRUTUS] You pulled on my cloak. Do you want to speak with me?

BRUTUS

Ay, Casca. Tell us what hath chanced todayThat Caesar looks so sad.

BRUTUS

Yes, Casca. Tell us what happened today that made Caesar seem so unhappy.

CASCA

Why, you were with him, were you not?

CASCA

Well, weren’t you with him?

BRUTUS

I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

BRUTUS

If I were with him, I wouldn’t be asking what happened.

CASCA

Why, there was a crown offered him; and, being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

CASCA

Well, a crown was offered to him, and, when it was offered, he pushed it away with the back of his hand, like this—and then the people started shouting.

BRUTUS

What was the second noise for?

BRUTUS

What was the second noise for?

CASCA

Why, for that too.

CASCA

For that same thing.

CASSIUS

They shouted thrice. What was the last cry for?

CASSIUS

They shouted three times. What was the last cry for?

CASCA

Why, for that too.

CASCA

For the same thing.

BRUTUS

Was the crown offered him thrice?

BRUTUS

The crown was offered to him three times?

CASCA

Ay, marry, was ’t, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other, and at every putting-by mine honest neighbors shouted.

CASCA

Yes, that's right, it was. And he pushed it away three times, but each time more gently than the last. And each time he pushed it away, my noble countrymen cheered.

CASSIUS

Who offered him the crown?

CASSIUS

Who offered him the crown?

CASCA

Why, Antony.

CASCA

Antony.

BRUTUS

Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

BRUTUS

Tell us what it was like, noble Casca.

CASCA

I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it. It was mere foolery. I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown (yet ’twas not a crown neither, ’twas one of these coronets) and, as I told you, he put it by once—but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it . Then he offered it to him again, then he put it by again—but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time. He put it the third time by. And still, as he refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their chopp'd hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar—for he swooned and fell down at it. And for mine own part, Idurst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

CASCA

I'd just as soon be hanged than describe it! It was all foolishness. I paid no attention. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown—though it wasn’t a real crown, it was more like a wreath—and, as I told you, Caesar refused it once. Although, in my opinion, he would’ve gladly taken it. Then Antony offered it to him again, and Caesar refused it again—though, in my opinion, he didn't want to take his hand off it. Then Antony offered it the third time, and Caesar refused it the third time. Yet even as he refused it, the masses hooted and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their sweaty hats, and roared out such a load of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it nearly choked Caesar, who fainted and fell down. As for me, I didn’t dare laugh because I feared opening my lips and inhaling the stinking air.

CASSIUS

But soft, I pray you. What, did Caesar swoon?

CASSIUS

Stop for a moment, please. What, did Caesar faint?

CASCA

He fell down in the marketplace, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.

CASCA

He fell down in the marketplace and foamed at the mouth and couldn't speak.

BRUTUS

'Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness.

BRUTUS

That’s very likely. He has epilepsy, the falling sickness.

CASSIUS

No, Caesar hath it not. But you and IAnd honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASSIUS

No, Caesar doesn’t have it. But you and I, and honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASCA

I know not what you mean by that, but I am sure Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him according as he pleased and displeased them, asthey use to do the players in the theatre, I am no trueman.

CASCA

I don’t know what you mean by that. But I’m sure Caesar fell down. If the masses didn’t clap for him or hiss at him based on whether he pleased or displeased them—just as they do for actors in the theater—then I’m a liar.

BRUTUS

What said he when he came unto himself?

BRUTUS

What did he say when he woke up?

CASCA

Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked meope his doublet and offered them his throat to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said anything amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches where I stood cried, “Alas, good soul!” and forgave him with all their hearts. But there’s no heed to be taken of them. If Caesar had stabbed their mothers they would have done no less.

CASCA

Well, before he fell down—when he realized the commoners were glad he refused the crown—he pulled open his jacket and offered them his throat to cut. If I were a common laborer and didn't take him at his word and cut his throat, then to hell with me. Then he fainted. When he came to, he said to the crowd that if he’d done or said anything wrong, he wanted them to know that it was caused by his sickness. Three or four women standing near me cried, “Alas, good soul!” and forgave him with all their hearts. But don't pay any attention to them—if Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have said the same thing.

BRUTUS

And after that he came thus sad away?

BRUTUS

And after all that he came this way looking so serious?

CASCA

Ay.

CASCA

Yes.

CASSIUS

Did Cicero say anything?

CASSIUS

Did Cicero say anything?

CASCA

Ay, he spoke Greek.

CASCA

Yes, he said something in Greek.

CASSIUS

To what effect?

CASSIUS

What did he say?

CASCA

Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne'er look you i' th' face again. But those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads. But, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too. Murellus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

CASCA

No, if I told you I understood what he was saying, I wouldn’t be able to look you in the eye. But those who did understand him smiled at one another and shook their heads. But, speaking for myself, it was Greek to me. But I have more news to tell you. Murellus and Flavius have been punished for pulling scarves off of statues of Caesar. Goodbye. There was more foolishness, too, but I can’t remember it.

CASSIUS

Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?

CASSIUS

Will you have dinner with me tonight, Casca?

CASCA

No, I am promised forth.

CASCA

No, I have another commitment.

CASSIUS

Will you dine with me tomorrow?

CASSIUS

Will you dine with me tomorrow?

CASCA

Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner worth the eating.

CASCA

Yes, if I’m still alive, and you’re still sane, and your dinner is worth eating.

CASSIUS

Good. I will expect you.

CASSIUS

Good. I’ll expect you.

CASCA

Do so. Farewell both.

CASCA

Do that. Farewell to both of you.

CASCA exits.

BRUTUS

What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!He was quick mettle when he went to school.

BRUTUS

What a dull man he’s become! He was so quick-witted when he was in school.

CASSIUS

So is he now in execution Of any bold or noble enterprise, However he puts on this tardy form. This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, Which gives men stomach to digest his words With better appetite.

CASSIUS

And he’s quick-witted now when it comes to carrying out any bold or noble enterprise, despite this show of being dull. The crudeness of his words is a kind of tasty sauce for the wisdom of what he says, which makes other people more likely to listen to him.

BRUTUS

And so it is. For this time I will leave you. Tomorrow, if you please to speak with me, I will come home to you. Or, if you will, Come home to me, and I will wait for you.

BRUTUS

That’s it exactly. For now, I’ll leave you. Tomorrow, if you’d like to speak with me, I’ll come to your house. Or, if you want, come to my house, and I’ll wait for you.

CASSIUS

I will do so. Till then, think of the world.

CASSIUS

I’ll do that. Until then, think of what’s best for the world.

BRUTUS exits.

CASSIUS

Well, Brutus, thou art noble. Yet I see Thy honorable mettle may be wrought From that it is disposed. Therefore it is meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes, For who so firm that cannot be seduced? Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, He should not humor me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely Caesar’s ambition shall be glancèd at. And after this let Caesar seat him sure, For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

CASSIUS

Well, Brutus, you’re noble. Yet I see that your honorable nature can be turned from its usual inclination. Therefore, it's better for noble men to spend time only with other noble men, because who is so firm that he can’t be seduced? Caesar doesn't like me, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, I wouldn’t have let him persuade me. Tonight I’ll throw a few letters through his window—each written with different handwriting, as if they came from different citizens—all saying how great his reputation is throughout all of Rome, while also hinting at Caesar’s ambition. And after this, Caesar won't be able to sit comfortably in his power, because we’ll either overthrow him, or suffer worse than we do now.

CASSIUS exits.

Julius caesar
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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.