Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT III. - Julius Cæsar
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ACT III. - William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
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Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above.
A crowd of People; among themArtemidorusand the Soothsayer. Flourish. EnterCæsar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius,and Others.
[To the Soothsayer.] The idea of March are come.
Ay, Cæsar; but not gone.
Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.
Trebonius doth desire you to o’er-read,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
O Cæsar! read mine first; for mine’s a suit
That touches Cæsar nearer. Read it, great Cæsar.
What touches us ourself shall be last serv’d
Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
What! is the fellow mad?
Sirrah, give place.
What! urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
Cæsargoes up to the Senate-House, the rest following. All the Senators rise.
I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive.
What enterprise, Popilius?
Fare you well.
What said Popilius Lena?
He wish’d to-day our enterprise might thrive.
I fear our purpose is discovered.
Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him.
Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[ExeuntAntonyandTrebonius. Cæsarand the Senators take their seats.
Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
He is address’d; press near and second him.
Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
That Cæsar and his senate must redress?
Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
A humble heart,—
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies,
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree
Into the law of children. Be not fond,
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw’d from the true quality
With that which melteth fools; I mean sweet words,
Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished:
If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar’s ear
For the repealing of my banish’d brother?
I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar;
Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon:
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
I could be well mov’d if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place:
So, in the world; ’tis furnish’d well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak’d of motion: and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this,
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus!
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
Speak, hands, for me!
[They stab Cæsar.
Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Cæsar!
Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,
‘Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’
People and senators be not affrighted;
Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid.
Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
And Cassius too.
Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar’s
Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer;
There is no harm intended to your person,
Nor to no Roman else; so tell them, Publius.
And leave us, Publius; lest that the people,
Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Do so; and let no man abide this deed
But we the doers.
Fled to his house amaz’d.
Men, wives and children stare, cry out and run
As it were doomsday.
Fates, we will know your pleasures.
That we shall die, we know; ’tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
Grant that, and then is death a benefit:
So are we Cæsar’s friends, that have abridg’d
His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar’s blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords:
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place;
And waving our red weapons o’er our heads,
Let’s all cry, ‘Peace, freedom, and liberty!’
Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er,
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport,
That now on Pompey’s basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!
So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be call’d
The men that gave their country liberty.
What! shall we forth?
Ay, every man away:
Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter a Servant.
Soft! who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.
Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down;
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving:
Say I love Brutus, and I honour him;
Say I fear’d Cæsar, honour’d him, and lov’d him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolv’d
How Cæsar hath deserv’d to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I’ll fetch him presently.
I know that we shall have him well to friend.
I wish we may: but yet have I a mind
That fears him much; and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
But here comes Antony. Welcome, Mark Antony.
O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if ye bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die:
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
O Antony! beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands and this our present act,
You see we do, yet see you but our hands
And this the bleeding business they have done:
Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome—
As fire drives out fire, so pity pity—
Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony;
Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts
Of brothers’ temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
Your voice shall be as strong as any man’s
In the disposing of new dignities.
Only be patient till we have appeas’d
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause
Why I, that did love Cæsar when I struck him,
Have thus proceeded.
I doubt not of your wisdom.
Let each man render me his bloody hand:
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you;
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand;
Now, Decius Brutus, yours; now yours, Metellus;
Yours, Cinna; and, my valiant Casca, yours;
Though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all,—alas! what shall I say?
My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Cæsar, O! ’tis true:
If then thy spirit look upon us now,
Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death,
To see thy Antony making his peace,
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes,
Most noble! in the presence of thy corse?
Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay’d, brave hart;
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand,
Sign’d in thy spoil, and crimson’d in thy leth
O world! thou wast the forest to this hart;
And this, indeed, O world! the heart of thee.
How like a deer, strucken by many princes,
Dost thou here lie!
Pardon me, Caius Cassius:
The enemies of Cæsar shall say this;
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
I blame you not for praising Cæsar so;
But what compact mean you to have with us?
Will you be prick’d in number of our friends,
Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed
Sway’d from the point by looking down on Cæsar.
Friends am I with you all, and love you all,
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons
Why and wherein Cæsar was dangerous.
Or else were this a savage spectacle.
Our reasons are so full of good regard
That were you, Antony, the son of Cæsar,
You should be satisfied.
That’s all I seek:
And am moreover suitor that I may
Produce his body to the market place;
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
Speak in the order of his funeral.
You shall, Mark Antony.
Brutus, a word with you.
[Aside toBrutus.] You know not what you do; do not consent
That Antony speak in his funeral:
Know you how much the people may be mov’d
By that which he will utter?
By your pardon;
I will myself into the pulpit first,
And show the reason of our Cæsar’s death:
What Antony shall speak, I will protest
He speaks by leave and by permission,
And that we are contented Cæsar shall
Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies.
It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
I know not what may fall; I like it not.
Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar’s body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
But speak all good you can devise of Cæsar,
And say you do ’t by our permission;
Else shall you not have any hand at all
About his funeral; and you shall speak
In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
After my speech is ended.
Be it so;
I do desire no more.
Prepare the body then, and follow us.
[Exeunt all butAntony.
O! pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers;
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,
Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue,
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity chok’d with custom of fell deeds:
And Cæsar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Cæsar, do you not?
I do, Mark Antony.
Cæsar did write for him to come to Rome.
He did receive his letters, and is coming;
And bid me say to you by word of mouth—
[Seeing the body.
Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep.
Passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water. Is thy master coming?
He lies to-night within seven leagues of Rome.
Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc’d:
Hare is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet;
Hie hence and tell him so. Yet, stay awhile;
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corpse
Into the market-place; there shall I try,
In my oration, how the people take
The cruel issue of these bloody men;
According to the which thou shalt discourse
To young Octavius of the state of things.
Lead me your hand.
The Same. The Forum.
EnterBrutusandCassius,and a throng of Citizens.
We will be satisfied: let us be satisfied.
Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
Cassius, go you into the other street,
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let ’em stay here;
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And public reasons shall be rendered
Of Cæsar’s death.
I will hear Brutus speak.
I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
[ExitCassius,with some of the Citizens; Brutusgoes into the pulpit.
The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!
Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause; and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar’s, to him I say, that Brutus’ love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
None, Brutus, none.
Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
EnterAntonyand Others, withCæsar’sbody.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart: that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.
Live, Brutus! live! live!
Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
Give him a statue with his ancestors.
Let him be Cæsar.
Cæsar’s better parts
Shall be crown’d in Brutus.
We’ll bring him to his house with shouts and clamours.
Peace! silence! Brutus speaks.
Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.
Do grace to Cæsar’s corpse, and grace his speech
Tending to Cæsar’s glories, which Mark Antony,
By our permission, is allow’d to make.
I do entreat you, not a man depart,
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.
Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
Let him go up into the public chair;
We’ll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.
For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.
What does he say of Brutus?
He says, for Brutus’ sake,
He finds himself beholding to us all.
’Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
This Cæsar was a tyrant.
Nay, that’s certain:
We are bless’d that Rome is rid of him.
Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.
You gentle Romans,—
Peace, ho! let us hear him.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Cæsar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,—
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men,—
Come I to speak in Cæsar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know,
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
If thou consider rightly of the matter,
Cæsar has had great wrong.
Has he, masters?
I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.
If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
Now mark him; he begins again to speak.
But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! if I were dispos’d to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Cæsar;
I found it in his closet, ’tis his will.
Let but the commons hear this testament—
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar’s wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.
We’ll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.
The will, the will! we will hear Cæsar’s will.
Have patience, gentle friends; I must not read it:
It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov’d you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of Cæsar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
’Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For if you should, O! what would come of it.
Read the will! we’ll hear it, Antony;
You shall read us the will, Cæsar’s will.
Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it.
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb’d Cæsar; I do fear it.
They were traitors: honourable men!
The will! the testament!
They were villains, murderers. The will! read the will.
You will compel me then to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?
You shall have leave.
A ring; stand round.
Stand from the hearse; stand from the body.
Room for Antony; most noble Antony.
Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.
Stand back! room! bear back!
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle: I remember
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
’Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii.
Look! in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;
And, as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar follow’d it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv’d
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar’s angel:
Judge, O you gods! how dearly Cæsar lov’d him.
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey’s status,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
O! what a fall was there, my countrymen;
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish’d over us.
O! now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity; these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what! weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, with traitors.
O piteous spectacle!
O noble Cæsar!
O woeful day!
O traitors! villains!
O most bloody sight!
We will be revenged.
Fire!—Kill!—Slay! Let not a traitor live.
Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
We’ll hear him, we’ll follow him, we’ll die with him.
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend; and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know,
Show you sweet Cæsar’s wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
We’ll burn the house of Brutus.
Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.
Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
Peace, ho!—Hear Antony,—most noble Antony.
Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
Wherein hath Cæsar thus deserv’d your loves?
Alas! you know not: I must tell you then.
You have forgot the will I told you of.
Most true. The will! let’s stay and hear the will.
Here is the will, and under Cæsar’s seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
Most noble Cæsar! we’ll revenge his death.
O royal Cæsar!
Hear me with patience.
Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæsar! when comes such another?
Never, never! Come, away, away!
We’ll burn his body in the holy place,
And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.
Take up the body.
Go fetch fire.
Pluck down benches.
Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
[Exeunt Citizens, with the body.
Now let it work: mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt!
Enter a Servant.
How now, fellow!
Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
Where is he?
He and Lepidus are at Cæsar’s house.
And thither will I straight to visit him.
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
And in this mood will give us any thing.
I heard him say Brutus and Cassius
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
Belike they had some notice of the people,
How I had mov’d them. Bring me to Octavius.
The Same. A Street.
I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Cæsar,
And things unlucky charge my fantasy:
I have no will to wander forth of doors,
Yet something leads me forth.
What is your name?
Whither are you going?
Where do you dwell?
Are you a married man, or a bachelor?
Answer every man directly.
Ay, and briefly.
Ay, and wisely.
Ay, and truly, you were best.
What is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I dwell? Am I a married man, or a bachelor? Then, to answer every man directly and briefly, wisely and truly: wisely I say, I am a bachelor.
That’s as much as to say, they are fools that marry; you’ll bear me a bang for that, I fear. Proceed; directly.
Directly, I am going to Cæsar’s funeral.
As a friend or an enemy?
As a friend.
That matter is answered directly.
For your dwelling, briefly.
Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
Your name, sir, truly.
Truly, my name is Cinna.
Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.
I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
I am not Cinna the conspirator.
It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
Tear him, tear him! Come, brands, ho! firebrands! To Brutus’, to Cassius’; burn all. Some to Decius’ house, and some to Casca’s; some to Ligarius’. Away! go!