Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come, when it will come.

Enter FLAVIUS, r.

What say the augurers?

Fla. They would not have you to stir forth to-day : Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,

They could not find a heart within the beast.

Cas. (R. C.) The gods do this in shame of cowardice. Cæsar should be a beast without a heart, [Exit Flavius, R. If he should stay at home to-day for fear :

No; Cæsar shall go forth.

Cal. (L. c.) Alas, my lord!

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.

Do not go forth to-day: Call it my fear,

That keeps you in the house, and not your own :
We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house,
And he shall say, you are not well to-day:
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.

Cas. Mark Antony shall say I am not well :
And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
Enter DECIUS, R.

Here's Decius; he shall go and tell them so.

Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar: I come to fetch you to the senate-house.

Cæs. And you are come in very happy time,

To bear my greeting to the senators,

And tell them, that I will not come to-day :
Cannot, is false! and, that I dare not, falser,
I will not come to-day: Tell them so, Decius.
Cal. Say he is sick.

Cæs. Shall Cæsar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.

Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laugh'd at, when I tell them so.

Cæs. (c.) The cause is in my will, I will not come That is enough to satisfy the senate;

But, for your private satisfaction,

Because I love you, I will let you know.
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home.
She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,
Which like a fountain, with a hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans

That could be moved 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 Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

[Music.-Exeunt L. all but Brutus, Casca, and Cassius. Cas. (c.) You pull'd me by the cloak: Would you speak with me?

Bru. (L. c.) Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced today,

That Cæsar looks so sad.

Cas. Why, you were with him, were you not?

Bru. I should not then ask Casca what hath chanced. Cas. Why, there was a crown offered him; and being offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus and then the people fell a shouting.

Brn. What was the second noise for?

Cas. Why, for that too.

Cas. They shouted thrice: What was the last cry for? Cas. Why, for that too.

Bru. Was the crown offered him thrice?

Cas. Ay, marry, was't; and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the other; and at every put by, mine honest neighbours shouted.

Cas. Who offered him the crow?.

Cas. Why, Antony.

Bru. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

Cas. 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; 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 offered 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 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 nightcaps, 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. [Goes R.

Cas. (R. C.) But soft, I pray you? What! Did Cæsar

swoon?

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

Bru. (L. c.) 'Tis very like he hath the falling sickness. Cas. No. Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we've 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 used to do the players in the theatre, I am no

true man.

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

Casca. [Crosses to Brutus.] Marry, before he fell down, when he pieceived 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 his infirmity. 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 you i' the face again But those that understood him, smiled at one another, and shook their heads; but for mine own part it was Greek to me.--Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it. [Going L. Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ? Casca. (L.) No; I am promised forth.

Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

Casca. 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 Casca. L.

Bru. (L. c.) What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle, when he went to school.

Cas. (c.) 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. (c.) I will do so.

Bru. (R. c.) Till then, my nobld friend, chew upon this; 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.-Fare you well.

[Exit, R.

Cas. (c.) Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,

Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is disposed: Therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes :
For who so firm, that cannot be seduced?

Cæsar doth bear me hard: But he loves Brutus :
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me.-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
Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

[Exit, R.

ACT II.

SCENE I.-Rome.-A Street.-Thunder and Lightning.

Enter CASSIUS, R. meeting CASCA, L.

Cas. (R.) Who's there?

Casca. (L.) A Roman.

Cas. (c.) Casca, by your voice.

Casca. (c.) Cassius, what night is this?

Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.

Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

Cus. Those that have known the earth so full of faults.

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,

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:
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:

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 bondman 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 Romans 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; But 1 am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a man
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold my hand :
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;
And I will set this foot of mine as far
As who goes furthest.

Cas. There's a bargain made.

Now, know you, Casca, I have moved already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,

To undergo, with me, an enterprise

Of honourable dangerous consequence :

« AnteriorContinua »