Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

OF this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius, is universally celebrated ; but I have never been

; strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shake

peare's plays ; his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seem to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius.

JOHNSON. Decius Brutus is put in the following play for Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says-ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugulatus est; justissimasque optimè de se merito viro C. Cæsari penas dedit. Cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere : Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perisse.

Lib. ii. c. 64.
Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter amicos
Cæsaris, ingratus, cui trans-Alpina fuisset
Gallia Cæsareo nuper commissa favore.
Non illum conjuncta fides, non nomen amici
Deterrere potest.---.
Ante alios Decimus, cui fallere, nomen amici
Præcipue dederat, ductorem sæpe morantem
Incitat.---Supplem. Lucani.

STEEVENS. Shakespeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus arose from the old translation of Plutarch.

FARMER. The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows : About the middle of February A. U. C. 709, a frantic festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honour of Cæsar, when the regal crown was offered to him by Antony. On the 15th of March in the same year he was slain. November 27, A. U. C. 710, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus near Bononia, and there adjusted their cruel proscription.

A. U. C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi.

UPTON.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

JULIUS CÆSAR.
OCTAVIUS CÆSAR,
MARCUS ANTONIUS,

triumvirs after the death of Julius

Cæsar
M. Æmil. LEPIDUS,
CICERO, PUBLIUS, Popilius LENA ; senators,
MARCUS BRUTUS,
CASSIUS,
CASCA,
TREBONIUS,
LIGARIUS,

conspirators against Julius Caesar.
DECIUS BRUTUS,
METELLUS CIMBER,
CINNA,
Flavius and MARULLUS, tribunes.
ARTEMIDORUS, a sophist of Cnidos.
A Soothsayer.
Cinna, a poet. Another Poet.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young Cato, and VOLUM-

NIUS ; friends to Brutus and Cassius. VARRO, Clitus, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDA

NIUS; servants to Brutus. PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.

CALPHURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
Portia, wife to Brutus.

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.

SCENE, during a great part of the play, at Rome : after

wards at Sardis ; and near Philippi.

ACT I. SCENE I.-Rome. A Street. Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS,

and a Rabble of Citizens.

Flavius.
Hence

ENCE ; home, you idle creatures, get you home ;
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk,
Upon a labouring day, without the sign
Of

your profession ?--Speak, what trade art thou ?
1 Cit. Why, sir, a carpenter.

Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on ?
-You; sir ; what trade are you?

2 Cit. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.

Mar. But what trade art thou ? Answer me directly. 2 Cit. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe

I conscience ; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soals. Mar. What trade, thou knave; thou naughty knave.

what trade ? 2 Cit. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me : yet,

if

you be out, sir, I can mend you. Mar. What meanest thou by that ? Mend me,

thou

a

saucy fellow ?

a

2 Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou ?

2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl : 1 meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes ; when they are in great danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neats-leather, have gone upon my handy-work.

Flav. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day ? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets ?

Cob. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday, to see Cæsar, and to rejoice in his triumph.

Mar. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home What tributaries follow him to Rome, Vol. VIII.

A 2

то

grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ? You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things ! 0, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, Knew you not Pompey ? Many a time and oft Have you climb'd

up

to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops.
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The live-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome :
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tyber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in her concave shores ?
And do you now put on your best attire ?
And do you now cull out a holiday ?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood !
Begone;
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.

Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
Assemble all the poor men of your sort ;
Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all. [Ex. Citizens
See, whe'er their basest metal be not mov'd ;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol ;
This way will I : Disrobe the images,
If
you

do find them deck'd with ceremonies.'
Mar. May we do so ?
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal. .

Flav. It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies. I'll about,
And drive away the vulgar from the streets :
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Cæsar's wing:
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch ;
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.

[Ereunt. [1] Ceremonies, for religious ornaments. Thus afterwards, he explains them by Cæsar's trophies; i. e, such as he bad dedicated to the gods.

WARBURTON

SCENE II.-The same. A public Place. Enter, in procession,

with music, CESAR; Antony, for the course ; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, Decius, CICERO, BRUTUS, Cassius, and CASCA, a great Crowd following ; among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia, Casca. Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.. [Music ceases. Cæs. Calphurnia, Cal. Here, my lord.

Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius? way, When he doth run his course.- -Antonius.

Ant. Cæsar, my lord.

Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calphurnia : for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their steril curse.

Ant. I shall remember :
When Cæsar says, Do this, it is perform’d:

Cæs. Set on ; and leave no ceremony out. [Music.
Sooth. Cæsar.
Cæs. Ha! who calls ?
Casca. Bid every noise be still :—Peace yet again.

[Music ceuses.
Cæs. Who is it in the press, that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry, Cæsar :-Speak ; Cæsar is turn’d to hear.

Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. What man is that?
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March.
Cæs. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Casca. Fellow, come from the throng. Look upon Cæsar.
Cæs. What say’st thou to me now? Speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him ;-pass.

[Sennet. Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ?
Bru. Not I.
Cas. I pray you, do.

Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassiuş, your desires ;
I'll leave you.

Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late :
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And show. of love, as I was wont to have :

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »