Imágenes de páginas

Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? by the Gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Tho'it do split you. For, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mouth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.

Caf. Is it come to this ?

Bru. You say, you are a better foldier ; Let it appear so; make your vaunting true, And it shall please me well.

For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Caf. You wrong me every way-you wrong me,

Brutus ;
I said, an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say, better?-

Bru. If you did, I care not.
Caf. When Cæfar liv'd, he durft not thus have

mov'd me. Bru. Peace, peace, you durft not so have tempted

Caf. I durst not?
Bru. No.
Caf. What? durst not tempt him?
Bru. For your


durst not.
Caf. Do not presume too much upon my love ?
I may do that, I shall be forry for.

Bru. You have done that you should be forry for. There is no terror, Casius, in your

For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me, as the idle wind,
Which I respect not.

I did send to you
For certain lums of gold, which you deny'd me;
For I can raise no money by vile means ;
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, (15) than to wring


15) Than to wring, &c.} This inimitable passage is not only higłły in character, but as Mr. Warburton has observed, is most


From the bard hands of peasants their vile trash,
By any indirection. I did fend
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you deny'd me; was that done like Casius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Caffius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows


Toʻlock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, Gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dash him to pieces !

Cal. I deny'd you not.
Bru. You did.

Caf. I did not he was but a fool,
That brought my answer back.- Brutus hath riv'd


A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

Bru. I do not, 'till you practise them on me.
Caf. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.

Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
For Cafsus is a weary of the world :
Hated by one he loves ; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman: all his faults observ'd;
Set in a note-book, learn'd and con’d by rote,
To cast into my teeth. 0 I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes—There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast within, a heart
Dearer than Pluius's mine, richer than gold ;
If that thou beeft a Roman, take it forth.
I that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart;
Strike as thou didit at Cæfar ; for I know,
When thou didst hate him worft, thou lov’dst him

better Than ever thou lov’dst Caffius.


happily expressed. “ To wring implies both to get injustly, and to use force in getting: and hard hands fignify both the peasants great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold."

Brų. Sheath your dagger;
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O Caffius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger, as the fint bears fire;
Who much enforced, shews a hasty spark,
And strait is cold again.

Caf. Hath Cassius liv'd
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temperd vexeth him?

Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Caf. Do you confess so much ? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart too.

Cas. O Brutus !
Bru. What's the matter?
Caf. Have you not love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour, which my mother gave me,
Makes me forgetful?

Bru. Yes, Casius, and from henceforth
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you








Bru. O Cafius, I am fick of many griefs.

Caf. Of your philosophy you make no use,
If you give place to accidental evils.

Bru. No man bears forrow better- Porcia's dead.
Caf. Ha! Porcia!
Bru. She is dead.

Caf. How 'scap'd I killing, when I crost you fo?
O insupportable and touching lofs !
Upon what sickness?

Bru. Impatient of my abfence;
And grief, that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong: (for with her death
That tidings came) with this she fell distract,
And (her attendants absent) swallow'd fire.

Cal And dy'd lo?
Bru. Even fo.
Caf. O ye immortal Gods !


[ocr errors]

Enter Boy with wine and tapers. Bru. Speak no more of her; give me a bowl of wine.

[Drinks. Caf. My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge. Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'er-swell the cup; I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love.

Scene V. Opportunity to be feiz'd on all Affairs.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune ;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now a-float:
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

[blocks in formation]

The Parting of Brutus and Cassius. Bru. No, Casus, no; think not, thou noble Roo

inan, That ever Brutus will


bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind. But this same day
Must end that work the ides of March began;
And, whether we shall ineet again, I know not ;
Therefore our everlasting farewel take;
For ever, and for ever, farewel, Casíus !
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile ;
If not, why then this parting was well made.

Caf. For ever, and for ever, farewel, Brutus !
If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed :
If not, 'tis true, this parting was well made.

Bru. Why then, lead on. O, that a man might know
The end of this day's business ere it come!
But it fufficeth, that the day will end ;
And then the end is known.



Melancholy, the Parent of Error.
Oh, hateful error, melancholy's child !
Why dost thou shew to the apt thoughts of men
The things that are not? error, soon conceiv'd,
Thou never com'ít unto a happy birth,
But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee.

Antony's Character of Brutus. This was the noblest Roman of them all : All the conspirators, save only he, Did, that they did, in envy of great Cæfar: He, only, in a general honest thought, And common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements So mixt in him, that nature might stand up, (16) And say to all the world; “ This was a man !"

(16) It may perhaps be needless to inform the Reader, that the Duke of Buckingham, displeas'd with what the critics esteem fo great a fault in this play, the death of Julius Cæfar, in the third act, hath made two plays of it : but I am afraid the lovers of Shakespear will be apt to place that nobleman's performance on a level with the rest of those who have attempted to alter, or amend Shakespear.

General Observations.

THE assassination of Julius Cæfar (says Mrs. Griffiths) is a fact famous, in history; but notwithstanding the heroic opinion which the world has been taught to conceive of it, I confess that I have ever reputed its fame as a matter of notoricty rather than of applause.

I shall only consider this action in the person of Brutus alone, because it has been thought that he was the only one among the conspirators who had engaged in it upon principle solely, as Antonry has said above.

Pluiarch has debated this subject, in his comparison of Brutus with Dion ; and, in my opinion, seems to condemnit, upon the whole. At least, if we take in the character he there draws


« AnteriorContinuar »