Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

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CAESAR

(aside to ANTONY) Would he were fatter! But I fear him not.
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
200I 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.
205Seldom 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,
210And 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

(speaking so that only ANTONY can hear) I wish he were fatter! But I’m not afraid of him. And yet, if I were capable of fearing anyone, Cassius would be the first man I’d avoid. He reads a lot, he’s a keen observer, and he sees the hidden motives in what men do. He doesn’t like plays the way you do, Antony. He doesn’t listen to music. He rarely smiles, and when he does smile, he does so in a self-mocking way, as if he scorns himself for smiling at all. Men like him will never be comfortable while someone ranks higher than themselves, and therefore they’re very dangerous. I’m telling you what should be feared, not what I fear—because after all, I am Caesar. Come over to my right side, because this ear is deaf, and tell me what you really think of Cassius.
Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his train except CASCA
Trumpets play. CAESAR exits with all his followers except CASCA.

CASCA

215 (to BRUTUS)
You pulled me by the cloak. Would you speak with me?

CASCA

(to BRUTUS) You tugged on my cloak. Do you want to speak with me?

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

Yes, Casca. Tell us what happened today that put Caesar in such a serious mood.

CASCA

Why, you were with him, were you not?

CASCA

But you were with him, weren’t you?

BRUTUS

220I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

BRUTUS

If I were, I wouldn’t need to ask you 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

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