William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

1. SCENE I. Rome. BRUTUS'S orchard.

[Enter Brutus.]

What, Lucius, ho!--
I cannot, by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day.--Lucius, I say!--
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.--
When, Lucius, when! Awake, I say! What, Lucius!

[Enter Lucius.]

Call'd you, my lord?

Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:
When it is lighted, come and call me here.

I will, my lord.


It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. 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 craves wary walking. Crown him?--that:
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
Th' abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorse from power; and, to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But, when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend: so Caesar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no color for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus,--that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which hatch'd, would, as his kind grow mischievous;
And kill him in the shell.

[Re-enter Lucius.]

The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
Searching the window for a flint I found
This paper thus seal'd up, and I am sure
It did not lie there when I went to bed.

Get you to bed again; it is not day.
Is not tomorrow, boy, the Ides of March?

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