Page images

But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently 3 :
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death,

Caf. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell, what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you :
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, Dar'f thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
Aud fwim to yonder point ? - Upon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow : fo, indeed, he did.
The corent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lufty finews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cæfar cry'd, Help me, Cafinus, or I fink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, fo, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

8 Dr. Warburton has a long note on this occasion, which is very triling. When Brutus first names bonour and death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but as the image kindles in his mind, he fets bonour above life Is not bis natural? JOHNSON.

loan :

If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake :
His coward lips did from their colour Aly';
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cry'd, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a fick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestick world";
And bear the palm alone.

[Shout. Flourillo.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cäsar.

Caf. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates ;.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings..
Brutus, and Cæfar: What should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be founded more than yours
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;.
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well ;.
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
Brutus will itart a spirit as soon as Cæsar. [Shouto.
Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great ? Age, thou art sham’d:
Rome, thou hat loft.che, breed of noble bloods!.

B 5


9 A plain man would have said, the colour fled from bis lips, and not bis lips from their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false a piece of wit : a poor quibble, alluding to a coward Aying from his colours.

This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games.

O! you

When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,

That her wide walks encompass’d but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.

and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once?, that would have brook'd
The eternal devil 3 to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king:

Bru. 'That you do love me, I am nothing jealous ;
What you would work me to, I have some aim :
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, fo with love I might entreat you,
Be any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will confider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things,
Till then, my noble friend, chew


this 4

* ;
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us S.

Caf. I am glad, that my weak words
Have struck but thus much shew of fire from Brutus.

Re-ente CÆSAR, and his Train,
Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.

Caf. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the Neeve;
And he will, after his four fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day.

Bru. I will do fo:- But, look you, Caffius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,



Tbere was a Brutus once, ] i, ç. Lucius Junius Brutus,
3 I should think that our authour wrote rather, infernal devil.

I would continue to read eternal devil. STEEVINS.
* Consider this at leisure; ruminate on this.
5 As, in our authour's age, was frequently used in the sense of tbat.

And all the rest look like a chidden train :
Calphurnia's cheek is pale ; and Cicero
Looks with such ferreto and such firy eyes,
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross'd in conference by some senators,

Caf. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar.
Cay. Let me have men about me, that are fatz:
Sleek-headed men, and such as fleep o'nights: .
Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look ;
He thinks too much : fuch men are dangerous.

Ant. Fear him not, Cæfar, he's not dangerous ;
He is a noble Roman, and well given..

Cæj. 'Would he were fatter: -But I fear him not:
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Caffius. He reads much';
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou doft, Antony; he hears no mufick :
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his fpirit

That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves;.
And therefore are they very dangerous,
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear; for always I am Cæfar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

[Exeunt CÆSAR, and his train. CASCA ftays bebind. Casca. You pulld me by the cloak; Would you speak

with me?
Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day,
That Cæsar looks so sad.

Casca. Why you were with him, were you not ?
Bru. I should not then ak Casca what had chanc'd.



A ferret has red eyes.

Casca. Why, there was a crown offer'd him : and being offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus and then the people fell a' fhouting.

Bru. What was the second noise for?
Casca. Why for that too.
Caf. They shouted thrice; What was the laft cry for ?
Casca. Why for that too.
Bru. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?

Casca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than others and at every putting by, mine honest neighbours shouted.

Caf. Who offer'd him the crown?
Casca. Why, Antony.
Bru. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

Casca. I can as well be hang'd, as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery, I did not mark it, I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown ;--yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets ;-and, as I told you, he put it by once : but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offer'd it to him again ; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offer'd it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapp?d their chopp'd hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and utter'd such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Eæsar; for he swoon'd, and fell down at it: And for mine own part, I durft not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air. Caf. But, foft, I pray you: What I did Cæsar swoon?

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

Bru. 'Tis very like; he hath the falling. sickness.

Caf. 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 fure, Cæfar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he pleased, and dis


« PreviousContinue »