SHAKESPEARE: JULIUS CAESAR , FRAGMENTO 12
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A room in Caesar's palace.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter Caesar, in his nightgown.]
Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight:
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
"Help, ho! They murder Caesar!"--Who's within?
[Enter a Servant.]
Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
I will, my lord.
What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten me
Ne'er look but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan;
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar,these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them!
What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.--
What say the augurers?
They would not have you to stir forth to-day.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home today for fear.
No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;
And Caesar shall go forth.
Alas, my lord,
Your wisdom is consumed in confidence!
Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
We'll send Mark Antony to the Senate-house,
And he shall say you are not well to-day:
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
And, for thy humor, I will stay at home.
Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar:
I come to fetch you to the Senate-house.
And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the Senators,
And tell them that I will not come to-day.
Cannot, is false; and that I dare not, falser:
I will not come to-day. Tell them so, Decius.