Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

ing, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by : and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choaked Cæsar ; for he swooned, and fell down at it; And for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.

Cas. But, soft, I pray you : What? did Cæsar swoon?

Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.

Bru. 'Tis very like : he hath the falling-sickness.

Cas. No, Cæsar hath it not ; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.

Casca. I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure, Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he pleased, and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.

Bru. What said he, when he came unto liimself?

Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv') the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut.-An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues :- and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done or said, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was hisinfirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul!--and forgave him with all their hearts : But there's no heed to be taken of them ; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.

Bru: And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
Casca. Ay.
Cas. Did Cicero say any thing?
Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cas. To what effect ?

Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look your i'the face again : But those, that understood him, smiled at one another, and shook their heads : but, for mine own part, it was Greck to me. 1. could tell you more news too : Marullus aud Flavius, for pulling scarfs off [1] Had I been a mechanic, one of the plebeians to whom he offered Nis:

JOHNS, 19*

VOL. VI.

throat.

[ocr errors]

Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well.
There was more foolery yét, if I could remember it.

Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
Casca. No, I am promised forth.
Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

Cascą. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

Cas. Good; I will expect you.
Casca. Do so : farewell, both.

[Exit.
Brů. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be ??
He was quick mettle, when he went to school.

Cas. So is he now, in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprize,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words.
With better appetite.

Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you :
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you ; or, if you will,
Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. I will do so :-till then, think of the world.

(Exit BRUTUS,
Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
Brom that it is dispos'd :2 Therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes :
Por who so firm, that cannot be seduc'd ?
Cæsar doth bear me hard ; but he loves Brutus :
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me.3 I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings, all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name ; wherein obscurely
Casar's ambition shall be glanced at :
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure ;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure. [Exit.

[2] The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution. JOHNS.

13] The meaning, I think is this. “Cæsar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not bumour nie, " should not take told of any affection, so as to make me forger my principles, JOHNS.

[blocks in formation]

orut SCENE III.
oruit

SCENE III.
The same. À Street. Thunder and lightning. Enter, from op-

posite sides, Casca, with his sword drawn, and CICERO. Cic. Good even, Casca : Brought you Cæsar home? Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so?

Casca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway of earths
Shakes, like a thing unfirm ? 0 Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks ; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds :
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven ;
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful ?

Casca. A common slave (you know him well by sight,)
Held up his left hand, which did frame, and burn
Like twenty torches join'd ; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.
Besides, (I have not since put up my sword,)
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying ne: And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore, they saw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and shrieking: When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
These are their reasons,—They are natural ;
For, I believe, they are portentous things

Unto the climate that they point upon,
21 Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time :

But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?

Casca. He doth ; for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow.

blin

[5] The whole weight or momentom of this globe. JOHNS. [6] Glar'd has a singular propriety, as it is highly expressive of the Rerious scintillation of a lion's eye. 'STEEV.

Cic. Good night then, Casca : this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero.

[Erit CICERO
Enter CASSIUS.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca. A Roman.
Cas. Casca, by your voice.
Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this?
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so ?

Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of faults: For my part, I have walk'd about he streets, Submitting me unto the perilous night; And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see, Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone :6 And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open The breast of heaven, I did present myself Even in the aim and very flash of it.

Casc. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens? It is the part of men to fear and tremble, When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Cas. You are dull, Casca ; and those sparks of life That should be in a Roman, you do want, Or else you use not : You look pale, and gaze, And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder, To see the strange impatience of the heavens : But if you would consider the true cause, Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts, Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind ;? Why old men fools, and children calculate ; 8 Why all these things change, from their ordinance, Their natures, and pre-formed faculties, To monstrous quality ; why, you shall find, That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits, To make them instruments of fear, and warning, Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca, Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night ; That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars As doth the lion in the Capitol : A man no mightier than thyself, or me,

6] A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder. STEEV. 17] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. This line might vel haps be more properly placed after the next lines :

Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind ;

Why all these thing change from their ordinance. JOHNS. calculate here signifies tu foretel, to prophesy, WARB.

In personal action, yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius

Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Have thewes and limbs like to their ancestors ;
But, woe the while ! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits ; i
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king :
And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.

Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then ;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius :
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong ;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit -;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.

Casca. So can I :
So every londman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.

Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romaus are but sheep :
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire,
Begin it with weak straws: What trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar? But, O grief !
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman : then I know
My answer must be made :2 But I am arm’d,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca ; and to such a man,

[9] Prodigious is portentous.

STEEV. [1] Thewes is an obsolete word implying nerves or muscular strength

STEĚV. [2] I shall be called to account, and must answer as for seditious words.

JOHNS.

« AnteriorContinuar »