Imágenes de páginas


[ocr errors]

Cas. Those that have known the earth so full of Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat : faults.

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, For my part, I have walk'd about the streets, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Submitting me unto the perilous night;

Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,

But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone: Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open If I know this, know all the world besides,
The breast of heaven, I did present myself That part of tyranny that I do bear
Even in the aim and very flash of it.

I can shake off at pleasure. Thunder still. Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt Casca.

So can I:
the heavens ?


bondman in his own hand bears It is the part of men to fear and tremble,


to cancel his captivity. When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant, then ? Such dreadful heralds to astonish us. [life Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,

Cas. You are dull, Casca ; and those sparks of But that he sees the Romans are but sheep: That should be in a Roman you do want,

He were no lion, were not Romans hinds. Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze, Those that with haste will make a mighty fire And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder, Begin it with weak straws : what trash is Rome, To see the strange impatience of the heavens : What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves But if you would consider the true cause

For the base matter to illuminate Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts, So vile a thing as Cæsar !—but, O, grief ! Why birds and beasts, from quality and kind; b Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this Why old men fools, and children calculate ; Before a willing bondman; then I know Why all these things change from their ordinance, My answer must be made: but I am arm'd, Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,

And dangers are to me indifferent. To monstrousa quality ;-—why, you shall find, Casca. You speak to Casca ; and to such a man That heaven hath infus’d them with these spirits, That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold my hand : To make them instruments of fear and warning Be factious for redress of all these griefs ; Unto some monstrous state.

And I will set this foot of mine as far Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man

As who


farthest. Most like this dreadful night,


There's a bargain made. That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already As doth the lion in the Capitol,

Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans, A man no mightier than thyself or me,

To undergo with me an enterprise In personal action; yet prodigious grown,

Of honourable-dangerous consequence; And fearful, as these strange eruptions are. And I do know, by this, they stay for me Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean ; is it not, In Pompey's porch : for now, this fearful night, Cassius?

There is no stir or walking in the streets ; Cas. Let it be who it is: før Romans now And the complexion of the element Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors, In favour's like the work we have in hand, But, woe the while ! our fathers' minds are dead, Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible. [haste. And we are govern’d with our mothers' spirits ; Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Cas. 'Tis Cinna,—I do know him by his gait;
Casca. Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow He is a friend,
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king ;
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,

Enter CINNA.
In every place, save here in Italy.
Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then;

Cinna, where haste
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius :

Cin. To find out you.

Who's that? Metellus Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;



you so ?


– the thunder-stone:) " The thunder-stone is the imaginary produce of the thunder, which the ancients called Brontia, mentioned by Pliny (N. H. xxxvii. 10) as a species of gem, and as that which, falling with the lightning, does the mischief."CRAIK.

but the punctuation we adopt, which was long ago suggested by Blackstone, clearly gives the sense and antithesis intended, i.e. why we have all these fires, &c. why old men, in spite of their er. perience, have turned fools, and children prophesy.

- monstrous-) unnatural, ominously prophetic.

b Why birds and beasts, from quality and kind ;) That is, why they reverse their habits and nature.

c Why old men fools, and children calculate ;] The old copy points thus,

" Why old men, fools, and children calculate ;"

prodigious --) Portentous, ominous. f In favour's like) This is Johnson's reading. The folia bas, " Is Favors, like," &c. Capell proposed, “Is favoured like; Rowe, Is fererous like," &c.; and Mr. Hunter would substitute " It favours like," &c.


Cas. No, it is Casca ; one incorporate

To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie, To our attempts. An I stay'd for, Cinna? And so bestow these papers as you bade me. Cin. I am glad on’t. What a fearful night is Cas. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre. this!

[Exit Cinna. There's two or three of us have seen strange sights. Come, Casca, you and I will yet, ere day, Cas. Am I not stay'd for? tell me.

See Brutus at his house : three parts of him CIN.

Yes, you are. Is ours already; and the man entire, O, Cassius, if you could

Upon the next encounter, yields him ours. But win the noble Brutus to our party

Casca. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts : Cas. Be you content, good Činna; take this And that which would appear offence in us, paper,

His countenance, like richest alchemy, And look you lay it in the prætor's chair,

Will change to virtue and to worthiness.(3) Where Brutus may but find it;b and throw this Cas. Him, and his worth, and our great need In at his window; set this up with wax

of him, Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,

You have right well conceited. Let us go,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us. For it is after midnight; and, ere day,
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?

We will awake him, and be sure of him. [Exeunt. CIN. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

0, Cassius, if you could

But win the noble Brutus to our party-] In the folio this speech runs, or rather hobbles, thus,

“Yes, you are. O Cassius, If you could but winne the noble Brutus

which is intolerable; or, as given by Mr. Knight,

Yes, you are.
0, Cassius, if you could but win the noble Brutus

To our party;
which is not much better. We adopt the distribution of the lines
proposed by Mr. Craik, though even this will hardly satisfy the
requirements of an ear accustomed to Shakespearian rhythm.


To our party-"
And in modern editions the arrangement is,-

“ Yes You are.

O Cassius, if you could but win The noble Brutus to our party."

6 Where Brutus may but find it;] We should now say, “ Where only Brutus may find it.”


[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Bru. What, Lucius ! ho !-I cannot, by the progress of the stars, Give guess how near to day.-Lucius, I say

* When, Lucius, when ?] See note (1), p. 149, Vol I.

[ocr errors]

Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day, Enter Lucius.

Is not to-morrow, boy, the idese of March?

Luc. I know not, sir. Luc. Calld you, my lord ?

Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius : Luc. I will, sir.

[Exit. When it is lighted, come and call me here.

Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Luc. I will, my lord.

[Exit. Give so much light, that I may read by them. Bru. It must be by his death : and, for my

[Opens the letter and reads. part,

Brutus, thou sleep'st ; awake! and see thyself. I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress /But for the general,—he would be crown'd:* Brutus, thou sleep'st ; awake ! How that might change his nature, there's the Such instigations have been often dropp'd question.

Where I have took them up. It is the bright day that brings forth the adder; Shall Rome, &c. Thus must I piece it out ; And that craves wary walking. Crown him ?- Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What that ;

Rome? And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome That at his will he may do danger with.

The Tarquin drive, when he was call’d a king.
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins Speak, strike, redress 1-Am I entreated
Remorse from power: and, to speak truth of To speak, and strike ? O, Rome! I make theo

I have not known when his affections sway'd If the redress will follow, thou receivest
More than his reason. But 't is a common proof, Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus ! (1)
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face ;
But when he once attains the upmost round,

Re-enter Lucius.
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.
By which he did ascend: so Cæsar may ;

[Knocking without. Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody quarrel


[Exit Lucius. Will bear no colour for the thing he is,

Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar Fashion it thus ;—that what he is, augmented,

I have not slept. Would run to these and these extremities :

Between the acting of a dreadful thing And therefore think him as a serpent's egg,

And the first motion, all the interim is Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind,o grow mis- Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream : chievous;

The Genius and the mortal instruments
And kill him in the shell.

Are then in council ; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

[ocr errors]

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. Searching the window for a flint, I found

[Giving a letter. This paper, thus seald up; and, I am sure, It did not lie there when I went to bed.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother" Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.

Is he alone ?
Luc. No, sir, there are more' with him.


e the idea of March ?] In the folio, " the first of March : " corrected by Theobald.

I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

But for the general,-he would be crown'd:] This may either mean, I know no personal cause of enmity against him; only the general, i.e. the public good; or,- I know no personal cause, &c. only the general one, that he would be crowned.

b- he may do danger with.] He may do damage, or mischief with.

c – prevent.] We have before explained that to prevent (prevenire) in Shakespeare's day was always employed in the sense of come before, or anticipate ; whether the purpose of prevention were to hinder or to aid.

d - as his kind,-) According to his nature; or, like his species.

f -- fourteen days.) So Theobald. In the folio, "fifteene dayes." 8 — and the state of man,-) The original has, -" of a man;" Mr. Craik advocates the retention of the article; Mr. Dyce omits it, as having "evidently crept in by the mistake of the transcriber or compositor."

h your brother Cassius-] Cassius married Junia, the sister of Brutus.

i - there ure more with him.) Mr. Craik, here and in other passages where it occurs, retains the old form, mo; at one time we were inclined to do so likewise, but, upon consideration, thought it better to abide by this orthography only when it was demanded by the verse.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

their ears,

And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favour.

Let 'em enter

[Exit LUCIUS. They are the faction. 0, Conspiracy ! Sham’st thou to ow thy dangerous brow by

When evils are most free? O, then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage ?

Hide it in smiles and affability:
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.

Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest : Good-morrow, Brutus ; do we trouble you? Bru. I have been up this hour; awake all

night. Know I these men that come along with you? Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man

But honours you; and every one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.

He is welcome hither.
Cas. This, Decius Brutus.

He is welcome too. Cas. This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this,

Seek none,

[ocr errors]

- if thou path,–] “Path” is perhaps obscure, and the examples of its employment as a verb, which Steevens adduced, are hardly to the point; but who for a moment could admit the

Metellus Cimber.

possibility that put, as Coleridge suggested, was the genuine word?

« AnteriorContinuar »