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Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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A trumpet sounds. CAESAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINNA, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPILLIUS, and PUBLIUS enter, along with a crowd that includes ARTEMIDORUS and the SOOTHSAYER .

CAESAR

[to the SOOTHSAYER] The ides of March are come.

CAESAR

[To the SOOTHSAYER] March 15th has come.

SOOTHSAYER

Ay, Caesar, but not gone.

SOOTHSAYER

Yes, Caesar, but the day is not over.

ARTEMIDORUS

[offering his letter] Hail, Caesar! Read this schedule.

ARTEMIDORUS

[Offering his letter] Hail, Caesar! Read this letter.

DECIUS

[offering CAESAR another paper] Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,At your best leisure, this his humble suit.

DECIUS

[Offering CAESAR another paper] Trebonius would like you to read his humble request for help, when you have the time.

ARTEMIDORUS

O Caesar, read mine first, for mine’s a suitThat touches Caesar nearer. Read it, great Caesar.

ARTEMIDORUS

Oh, Caesar, read mine first, for my letter actually pertains to you. Read it, great Caesar.

CAESAR

What touches us ourself shall be last served.

CAESAR

I will leave whatever pertains to me for last.

ARTEMIDORUS

Delay not, Caesar. Read it instantly.

ARTEMIDORUS

Don’t delay, Caesar. Read it immediately.

CAESAR

What, is the fellow mad?

CAESAR

What, is this man crazy?

PUBLIUS

[to ARTEMIDORUS] Sirrah, give place.

PUBLIUS

[To ARTEMIDORUS] Sir, stand aside.

CASSIUS

[to ARTEMIDORUS] What, urge you your petitions in the street?Come to the Capitol.

CASSIUS

[To ARTEMIDORUS] What? Are you trying to give Caesar your letter in the street? Do it at the Capitol.

CAESAR and the crowd with him go up to the senate house.

POPILLIUS

[to CASSIUS] I wish your enterprise today may thrive.

POPILLIUS

[To CASSIUS] I hope your efforts succeed today.

CASSIUS

What enterprise, Popillius?

CASSIUS

What efforts, Popillius?

POPILLIUS

Fare you well.

POPILLIUS

Good luck.

POPILLIUS approaches CAESAR.

BRUTUS

[to CASSIUS] What said Popillius Lena?

BRUTUS

[To CASSIUS] What did Popillius Lena say?

CASSIUS

[aside to BRUTUS] He wished today our enterprise might thrive.I fear our purpose is discoverèd.

CASSIUS

[To BRUTUS so that only he can hear] He wished that our efforts would succeed today. I’m afraid our plans have been discovered.

BRUTUS

Look how he makes to Caesar. Mark him.

BRUTUS

Look, he’s approaching Caesar. Watch 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.

CASSIUS

Be quick, Casca, because we're afraid our plans might be stopped. 

[To BRUTUS] Brutus, what will we do? If our plan is known, either Caesar or I will die, because I’ll kill myself if I can't kill him.

BRUTUS

Cassius, be constant.Popillius Lena speaks not of our purposes.For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.

BRUTUS

Cassius, be calm. Popillius Lena isn't telling Caesar about our plot. Look, he’s smiling, and Caesar’s expression hasn't changed.

CASSIUS

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

CASSIUS

Trebonius knows what he should do. Look, Brutus, he’s guiding Mark Antony out of the way.

TREBONIUS and ANTONY exit.

DECIUS

Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him goAnd presently prefer his suit to Caesar.

DECIUS

Where’s Metellus Cimber? He should go now to present his petition to Caesar.

BRUTUS

He is addressed. Press near and second him.

BRUTUS

They’re speaking to him. Move up close and second his petition.

CINNA

Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

CINNA

Casca, you raise your hand first.

CAESAR

Are we all ready? What is now amissThat Caesar and his senate must redress?

CAESAR

Are we all ready? What are the problems that Caesar and his senate should deal with?

METELLUS

[kneeling] Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,Metellus Cimber throws before thy seatAn humble heart—

METELLUS

[Kneeling] Most high, most mighty, and most powerful Caesar, Metellus Cimber kneels before you with a humble heart—

CAESAR

I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings and these lowly courtesies Might fire the blood of ordinary men And turn preordinance and first decree Into the law of children. Be not fond, To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood That will be thawed from the true quality With that which melteth fools —I mean, sweet words, Low-crookèd curtsies, and base spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banishèd. 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.

CAESAR

I must stop you, Cimber. Your kneeling and overly humble courtesies might flatter ordinary men to turn Roman law into some kind of child's game. But don’t be so foolish as to think that you can influence Caesar to do something that is not right through the tricks that persuade fools—flattery, low bows, and pathetic dog-like fawning. Your brother was banished by decree. If you kneel and beg and flatter for him, I’ll kick you like a dog out of my way. Know that Caesar does not punish him without good reason, and will not give him what he wants without good reason.

METELLUS

Is there no voice more worthy than my ownTo sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s earFor the repealing of my banished brother?

METELLUS

Is there no voice worthier than my own to sweetly ask the great Caesar to repeal the banishment of my brother?

BRUTUS

[kneeling] I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,Desiring thee that Publius Cimber mayHave an immediate freedom of repeal.

BRUTUS

[Kneeling]  Caesar, I kiss your hand, but not in flattery, as I also want you to repeal Publius Cimber’s banishment immediately.

CAESAR

What, Brutus?

CAESAR

What, Brutus?

CASSIUS

[kneeling] Pardon, Caesar. Caesar, pardon.As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fallTo beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

CASSIUS

[Kneeling] Caesar, pardon Publius. Caesar, pardon him. I throw myself down at your feet to beg that Publius Cimber regain his citizenship.

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-fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament. The skies are painted with unnumbered 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 furnished 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 banished, And constant do remain to keep him so.

CAESAR

I could be influenced if I were like you. If I could beg others to change their minds, begging would convince me, too. But I’m as steady as the northern star, whose stable and immobile quality has no equal in the sky. The skies are filled with countless stars. They are all made of fire, and every single one shines. But there's just one out of all of them that holds its central place. The world is the same way. It's full of men—and men are flesh and blood, and capable of understanding. Yet of them all, I know just one who is beyond questioning and immovable, who never shifts from his position. I am that man, and I will show you in this way: I was resolved that Cimber should be banished, and I am resolved that he should remain banished.

CINNA

[kneeling] O Caesar—

CINNA

[Kneeling] Oh, Caesar—

CAESAR

Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?

CAESAR

Enough! Would you try to lift up Mount Olympus?

DECIUS

[kneeling] Great Caesar—

DECIUS

[Kneeling] Great Caesar—

CAESAR

Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

CAESAR

Why are you kneeling, when even Brutus' kneeling is in vain?

CASCA

Speak, hands, for me!

CASCA

Hands, speak for me!

CASCA and the other conspirators stab CAESAR. BRUTUS stabs him last.

CAESAR

Et tu, Bruté? —Then fall, Caesar. [dies]

CAESAR

And you too, Brutus? 

[To himself] Then die, Caesar. [He dies]

CINNA

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

CINNA

Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run and shout it out in the streets.

CASSIUS

Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,“Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!”

CASSIUS

Some of us should go to the public platforms, and cry out, “Liberty, freedom, and full citizenship to all!”

Confusion. Some citizens and senators exit.

BRUTUS

People and senators, be not affrighted.Fly not. Stand still. Ambition’s debt is paid.

BRUTUS

People and Senators, don’t be afraid. Don’t leave. Stay here. Caesar alone had to die for his ambition.

CASCA

Go to the pulpit, Brutus.

CASCA

Go to the platform, Brutus.

DECIUS

And Cassius too.

DECIUS

And Cassius too.

BRUTUS

Where’s Publius?

BRUTUS

Where’s Publius?

CINNA

Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.

CINNA

Here, shocked by this rebellion.

METELLUS

Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar’sShould chance—

METELLUS

Stand close together, in case some friend of Caesar tries—

BRUTUS

Talk not of standing. —Publius, good cheer. There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else. So tell them, Publius.

BRUTUS

Don’t talk about standing together.

[To PUBLIUS] Publius, cheer up. We don’t mean any harm to you, or to any other Roman. Tell the people this, Publius.

CASSIUS

And leave us, Publius, lest that the people,Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.

CASSIUS

And leave us, Publius, in case the people should rush at us and harm you.

BRUTUS

Do so. And let no man abide this deedBut we the doers.

BRUTUS

Leave us. Let no man suffer the consequences of deed except we who did it.

PUBLIUS exits.

TREBONIUS enters.

CASSIUS

Where is Antony?

CASSIUS

Where’s Antony?

TREBONIUS

Fled to his house amazed.Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and runAs it were doomsday.

TREBONIUS

He ran to his house, stunned. Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run around as if it were doomsday.

BRUTUS

Fates, we will know your pleasures. That we shall die, we know. 'Tis but the time, And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

BRUTUS

We'll soon discover what the Fates want to happen to us. We already know that we'll all die one day. It's just a matter of when. Men try to control that by prolonging the time they have left to live as long as possible.

CASSIUS

Why, he that cuts off twenty years of lifeCuts off so many years of fearing death.

CASSIUS

Why, he who shortens his own life by twenty years also cuts off twenty years of worrying about death.

BRUTUS

Grant that, and then is death a benefit. So are we Caesar’s friends, that have abridged His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, And let us bathe our hands in Caesar’s blood Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords. Then walk we forth, even to the marketplace, And waving our red weapons o'er our heads Let’s all cry, “Peace, freedom, and liberty!”

BRUTUS

If you look at it that way, then death becomes a gift. This makes us Caesar’s friends, since we've shortened the time he would have spent fearing death. Kneel, Romans, kneel. And let’s wash our hands up to the elbows in Caesar’s blood, and smear our swords with it. Then we’ll walk outside, even to the public marketplace. And, waving our bloody swords over our heads, we'll cry, “Peace, freedom, and liberty!”

CASSIUS

Stoop, then, and wash.

CASSIUS

Kneel, then, and wash.

The conspirators smear their hands and swords with CAESAR’s blood.

CASSIUS

How many ages henceShall this our lofty scene be acted overIn states unborn and accents yet unknown!

CASSIUS

How many years from now will this epic scene be reenacted in countries that don’t yet exist, and in languages not yet known?!

BRUTUS

How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,That now on Pompey’s basis lies alongNo worthier than the dust!

BRUTUS

How many times will Caesar bleed in plays about this moment, just as he now lies beneath Pompey’s statue as worthless as dust?!

CASSIUS

So oft as that shall be,So often shall the knot of us be called“The men that gave their country liberty.”

CASSIUS

And every time that the play is shown, the group of us will be acclaimed as "the men who gave their country liberty."

DECIUS

What, shall we forth?

DECIUS

Well, should we go out?

CASSIUS

Ay, every man away.Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heelsWith the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

CASSIUS

Yes, every man should go. Brutus will lead the way, and we’ll follow him with the boldest and best hearts of Rome.

ANTONY'S SERVANT enters.

BRUTUS

Soft! Who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.

BRUTUS

Wait! Who’s coming? A friend of Antony’s.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

[kneeling] Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel. [falls prostrate] Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down, And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say: Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest. Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving. Say I love Brutus, and I honor him. Say I feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him. If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony May safely come to him and be resolved How Caesar hath deserved to lie in death, Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead So well as Brutus living , but will follow The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus Thorough the hazards of this untrod state With all true faith. So says my master Antony.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

[Kneeling] Brutus, my master told me to kneel just like this. [He lays down with his head down to the floor] And like this. He told me to prostrate myself, and, being on the ground like this, he told me to say: “Brutus is noble, wise, brave, and honest. Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving. Antony loves Brutus and honors him. Antony feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him. If Brutus will promise that Antony would be safe to come to him and hear and explanation why Caesar deserved to be killed, Mark Antony will not love dead Caesar as much as living Brutus. And he will follow noble Brutus through the hard times of this unprecedented state of affairs.” So says my master, Antony.

BRUTUS

Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman. I never thought him worse. Tell him, so please him come unto this place, He shall be satisfied and, by my honor, Depart untouched.

BRUTUS

Your master is a wise and brave Roman. I never thought otherwise. Tell him that if he wants to come here, he'll get a full explanation, and he’ll leave unharmed. I swear it on my honor.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

[rising] I’ll fetch him presently.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

[Standing up] I’ll get him now.

ANTONY'S SERVANT exits.

BRUTUS

I know that we shall have him well to friend.

BRUTUS

I know that we'll soon have Antony as a good friend to us.

CASSIUS

I wish we may. But yet have I a mind That fears him much, and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.

CASSIUS

I hope we do. But still, I fear him greatly, and my misgivings usually end up coming painfully true.

ANTONY enters.

BRUTUS

But here comes Antony.—Welcome, Mark Antony.

BRUTUS

But here comes Antony.

[To ANTONY] Welcome, Mark Antony.

ANTONY

O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well. —I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank. If I myself, there is no hour so fit As Caesar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world. I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years, I shall not find myself so apt to die. No place will please me so, no mean of death, As here by Caesar, and by you cut off, The choice and master spirits of this age.

ANTONY

[To CAESAR's body] Oh, mighty Caesar! Do you lie so low? Are all of your conquests, glories, triumphs, and successes now shrunk to such little value? Farewell. 

[To the conspirators] Gentlemen, I don’t know what you plan to do; who else you must kill; who else you think is corrupt. If it’s me, there’s no time as fitting as this hour of Caesar’s death, and no weapons even half as worthy as your swords— which have been made rich by being covered in the noblest blood in the whole world. I beg you, if you have a grudge against me, do what you want to do right now while your stained hands still smell of blood. Even if were I to live a thousand years, I would never find another moment when I would be as ready to die as I am now. There’s no place I’d rather die than next to Caesar, and no manner of death I'd prefer than being stabbed by you, the leaders of this new era.

BRUTUS

O Antony, beg not your death of us. Though now we must appear bloody and cruel— As by our hands and this our present act You see we do —yet see you but our hands And this the bleeding business they have done. Our hearts you see not. They are pitiful. And pity to the general wrong of Rome— As fire drives out fire, so pity pity— Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part, To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony. Our arms in strength of malice and our hearts Of brothers' temper do receive you in With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.

BRUTUS

Oh, Antony, don’t beg us to kill you. Though we must seem to be bloody and cruel right now to you—with our bloody hands and what we've just done—you’re only seeing our hands and the bloody work they've done. You have not seen into our hearts. They are full of pity for Caesar. But, just as fire drives out fire, our pity for the wrongs committed against Rome overcame our pity for Caesar and made us do what we did to Caesar. As for you, our swords have soft points that will not harm you, Mark Antony. Our arms—with the same strength they had in striking Caesar—and our hearts—filled with brotherly love—embrace you with kind love, good thoughts, and admiration.

CASSIUS

Your voice shall be as strong as any man’sIn the disposing of new dignities.

CASSIUS

Your influence will be as strong as anyone’s in the selection of new government officials.

BRUTUS

Only be patient till we have appeased The multitude, beside themselves with fear, And then we will deliver you the cause, Why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him, Have thus proceeded.

BRUTUS

Just be patient until we’ve calmed the masses, who are beside themselves with fear. And then we’ll explain to you why I—who loved Caesar even while I stabbed him—have done this.

ANTONY

I doubt not of your wisdom. Let each man render me his bloody hand. [shakes hands with the conspirators] First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you. —Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand. —Now, Decius Brutus, yours. —Now yours, Metellus. —Yours, Cinna. —And, my valiant Casca, yours. —Though last, not last in love, yours, good Trebonius. —Gentlemen all, alas, what shall I say? My credit now stands on such slippery ground That one of two bad ways you must conceit me, Either a coward or a flatterer —That I did love thee, Caesar, O, ’tis true. If then thy spirit look upon us now, Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death To see thy Antony making his peace, Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes— Most noble!—in the presence of thy corse? Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds, Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood, It would become me better than to close In terms of friendship with thine enemies. Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bayed, brave hart; Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand, Signed in thy spoil, and crimsoned in thy lethe. O world, thou wast the forest to this hart, And this indeed, O world, the heart of thee. How like a deer, strucken by many princes, Dost thou here lie!

ANTONY

I don’t doubt your wisdom. May each of you give me his bloody hand. [He shakes hands with the conspirators] 

[To BRUTUS] First, Marcus Brutus, I will shake your hand.

[To CASSIUS] Next, Caius Cassius, I take your hand. 

[To DECIUS] Now, Decius Brutus, yours. 

[To METELLUS] Now yours, Metellus. 

[To CINNA] Yours, Cinna. 

[To CASCA] And, my valiant Casca, yours. 

[To TREBONIUS] Though I shake your hand last, I do not love you the least, good Trebonius. 

[To the conspirators] All of you gentlemen, alas, what can I say? Now that we’ve shaken hands, my credibility stands on such slippery ground that you must think me either a coward or a flatterer. 

[To CAESAR's body] It is true that I loved you, Caesar. If your spirit is looking down upon us now, would it grieve you more than even your death to see your Antony making peace, and shaking the bloody hands of your enemies—most noble enemies!—in the presence of your corpse? If I had as many eyes as you have wounds, and they wept tears as fast as your wounds stream blood, even that would be more becoming than joining your enemies in friendship. Forgive me, Julius! Here is where you were brought down, like a brave deer surrounded by hunting dogs. Here is where you fell, and here your hunters still stand, stained and reddened by your blood. Oh, world, you were the forest to this deer. And this deer, oh world, was your dear. Now you lie here, so much like a deer, stabbed by many princes!

CASSIUS

Mark Antony—

CASSIUS

Mark Antony—

ANTONY

Pardon me, Caius Cassius.The enemies of Caesar shall say this;Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.

ANTONY

Pardon me, Caius Cassius. Even the enemies of Caesar would say the same. So, when said by a friend, it’s just a plain unemotional truth.

CASSIUS

I blame you not for praising Caesar so. But what compact mean you to have with us? Will you be pricked in number of our friends? Or shall we on, and not depend on you?

CASSIUS

I don’t blame you for praising Caesar as you do. But what agreement do you plan to make with us? Will you be marked down as one of our friends, or should we move on without depending on you?

ANTONY

Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed Swayed from the point by looking down on Caesar. Friends am I with you all and love you all Upon this hope: that you shall give me reasons Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.

ANTONY

Because I wanted to be your friend, I shook your hands. But, indeed, I was distracted when I looked down at Caesar. I am friends with you all and love you all, on one condition—that you will give me the reasons how and why Caesar was dangerous.

BRUTUS

Or else were this a savage spectacle! Our reasons are so full of good regard That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar, You should be satisfied.

BRUTUS

If we couldn't, killing him would have been just some savage act! Antony, our reasons are so well thought-out that even if you were Caesar’s son, you would be satisfied by them.

ANTONY

That’s all I seek. And am moreover suitor that I may Produce his body to the marketplace, And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, Speak in the order of his funeral.

ANTONY

That’s all I ask—and would also ask the favor that I be allowed to bring his body to the marketplace and stand on the platform and speak during his funeral ceremony, as a friend ought to do.

BRUTUS

You shall, Mark Antony.

BRUTUS

You may, Mark Antony.

CASSIUS

Brutus, a word with you . [aside to BRUTUS] You know not what you do. Do not consent That Antony speak in his funeral. Know you how much the people may be moved By that which he will utter?

CASSIUS

Brutus, may I speak with you? 

[To BRUTUS so that only he can hear] You don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t agree to let Antony speak at his funeral. Do you know how much the people could be stirred up by what he says?

BRUTUS

[aside to CASSIUS] By your pardon. I will myself into the pulpit first, And show the reason of our Caesar’s death. What Antony shall speak, I will protest, He speaks by leave and by permission, And that we are contented Caesar shall Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies. It shall advantage more than do us wrong.

BRUTUS

[To CASSIUS so that only he can hear] If you'll agree, I myself will stand on the platform first and explain the reason for Caesar’s death.  I will announce that Antony speaks with our permission, and I will say that we believe Caesar should be honored with all the usual and lawful ceremonies. It will help us more than it will do us harm.

CASSIUS

[aside to BRUTUS] I know not what may fall. I like it not.

CASSIUS

[To BRUTUS so that only he can hear] Anything could happen. I don’t like this.

BRUTUS

Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar’s body. You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, But speak all good you can devise of Caesar, And say you do ’t by our permission. Else shall you not have any hand at all About his funeral. And you shall speak In the same pulpit whereto I am going, After my speech is ended.

BRUTUS

Mark Antony, here, take Caesar’s body. You will not blame us in your funeral speech, but will say all the good you can think of about Caesar. And you will also say that you do all this with our permission. Otherwise, you won't take any part in his funeral. And you’ll speak on the same platform that I do, after I've finished my own speech.

ANTONY

Be it so.I do desire no more.

ANTONY

So be it. I want nothing more than that.

BRUTUS

Prepare the body then, and follow us.

BRUTUS

Prepare the body, then, and follow us.

Everyone exits except ANTONY.

ANTONY

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man That ever livèd in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! Over thy wounds now do I prophesy— Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue— A curse shall light upon the limbs of men. Domestic fury and fierce civil strife Shall cumber all the parts of Italy. Blood and destruction shall be so in use, And dreadful objects so familiar, That mothers shall but smile when they behold Their infants quartered with the hands of war, All pity choked with custom of fell deeds, And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge, With Ate by his side come hot from hell, Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war, That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.

ANTONY

Oh, pardon me, you bleeding corpse, for being quiet and friendly with these butchers! You are the remains of the noblest man that ever lived. May disaster strike the hand that shed this priceless blood. Over your wounds—which, like speechless mouths, open their red lips as if to beg me to speak—I predict that a curse will come down on us. Anger between brothers and fierce civil war will burden all of Italy. Blood and destruction will be so common and dreadful events so familiar, that mothers will just smile when they watch their babies cut to pieces by the hands of war. The sheer volume of evil deeds will choke people’s compassion. And Caesar’s ghost—searching for revenge with Atë by his side—will rush up from hell and cry in the voice of a king, “Havoc!” His ghost will unleash the dogs of war, so that this foul murder will cover the earth with men’s corpses, begging to be buried.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT enters.

ANTONY

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?

ANTONY

You serve Octavius Caesar, right?

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

I do, Mark Antony.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

I do, Mark Antony.

ANTONY

Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.

ANTONY

Caesar wrote to him that he should come to Rome.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He did receive his letters and is coming.And bid me say to you by word of mouth— [sees CAESAR’s body] O Caesar!—

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He received Caesar’s letters and is coming. He told me to say to you personally—[Seeing CAESAR's body] Oh, Caesar!—

ANTONY

Thy heart is big. Get thee apart and weep. Passion, I see, is catching, for mine eyes, Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, Began to water. Is thy master coming?

ANTONY

Your heart swells with sadness. Go find some privacy and weep. I see that grief is contagious. Seeing the tears of sorrow in your eyes makes my eyes begin to water. Is your master coming?

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.

OCTAVIUS' SERVANT

He is resting tonight within twenty miles of Rome.

ANTONY

Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanced. Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, No Rome of safety for Octavius yet. Hie hence, and tell him so.—Yet, stay awhile. Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corse Into the marketplace. There shall I try, In my oration, how the people take The cruèl issue of these bloody men. According to the which, thou shalt discourse To young Octavius of the state of things. Lend me your hand.

ANTONY

Ride quickly back to him, and tell him what has happened. This is now a Rome in mourning, a dangerous Rome. A Rome that is not safe for Octavius yet. Get going and tell him so. No, actually, stay a while. You shouldn't go back until I’ve carried the corpse into the marketplace. There I’ll figure out, through my speech, what the people think of the cruel deeds of these bloody men. Based on how the people respond, you’ll report back to young Octavius about the state of things. Help me with the body.

They exit with CAESAR’s body.

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.