Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

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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
60That 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 true. And it’s too bad, Brutus, that you don’t have any mirrors that could display your hidden excellence to yourself. I’ve heard many of the noblest Romans—next to immortal Caesar—speaking of you, complaining of the tyranny of today’s government, and wishing that your eyes were working better.

BRUTUS

65Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?

BRUTUS

What dangers are you trying to lead me into, Cassius, that you want me to look inside myself for something that’s not there?

CASSIUS

Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear.
And since you know you cannot see yourself
70So 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
75To 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
80To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

CASSIUS

I’ll tell you, good Brutus. And since you know you can see yourself best by reflection, I’ll be your mirror and show you, without exaggeration, things inside you that you can’t see. And don’t be suspicious of me, noble Brutus. If I were your average fool, or if I made my feelings for you worthless by making the same promises of friendship to everybody, or if you’d seen me first flattering men, hugging them tightly, and later slandering them behind their backs, or if you hear that I drunkenly declare friendship at banquets with all the rabble, only then, of course, go ahead and assume I’m dangerous.
Flourish, and shout within
Trumpets play offstage, and then a shout is heard.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

Why are they shouting? I’m afraid 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, are you afraid of that? Then I have to assume you don’t want him to be king.