Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.
Decius, go tell them that Caesar won’t come.

DECIUS

Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
70Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so.

DECIUS

Most mighty Caesar, give me some reason, so I won’t be laughed at when I tell them so.

CAESAR

The cause is in my will. I will not come.
That is enough to satisfy the senate.
But for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know.
75Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home.
She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,
Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood. And many lusty Romans
Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.
80And these does she apply for warnings and portents
And evils imminent, and on her knee
Hath begged that I will stay at home today.

CAESAR

The reason is that it’s what I want. I’m not coming. That’s enough for the senate. But for your private satisfaction, because I love you, I’ll tell you. Calphurnia, my wife, is keeping me at home. Last night, she dreamed she saw a statue of me with a hundred holes in it, like a fountain with pure blood flowing from it, and many happy Romans came smiling and washed their hands in it. She takes these signs for warnings and predictions of terrible evils to come, and, on her knee, she begged me to stay home today.

DECIUS

This dream is all amiss interpreted.
It was a vision fair and fortunate.
85Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
90This by Calphurnia’s dream is signified.

DECIUS

This dream has been interpreted all wrong. It was a good and lucky vision. Your statue spouting blood through many holes, in which many smiling Romans bathed, means that you’ll provide great Rome with sustaining blood, and that great men will strive to get some token of approval from your holy blood. This is what Calphurnia’s dream means.

CAESAR

And this way have you well expounded it.

CAESAR

You’ve offered an excellent interpretation.

DECIUS

I have, when you have heard what I can say.
And know it now: the senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.

DECIUS

I will have when you hear the rest of what I have to say. The senate has decided to give mighty Caesar a crown today.