Imatges de pÓgina

A man of fuch a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestick world2,
And bear the palm alone.

Bru. Another general shout!

I do believe, that these applaufes are

[Shout. Flourish.

For fome new honours that are heap'd on Cæfar.
Caf. Why, man, he doth beftride the narrow world,
Like a Coloffus; and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs 3, and peep about
To find ourselves difhonourable graves.
Men at fome time are mafters 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 Cæfar ?
Why fhould 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 start a spirit as soon as Cæfar.


2 — get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games. The majestick world is a fine periphrafis for the Roman empire: their citizens fet themfelves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allufion feems to be to the known ftory of Cæfar's great pattern Alexander, who being afked, Whether he would run the courfe at the Olympic games, replied, Yes, if the racers were Kings. WARBURTON.

That the allufion is to the prize allotted in games to the foremost in the race, is very clear. All the reft exifted, I apprehend, only in Dr. Warburton's imagination. MALONE.

3- and we petty men

Walk under bis buge legs,] So, as an anonymous writer has obferved, in Spenfer's Faery Queen, B. IV. c. 10.

But I the meaneft man of many more,

"Yet much disdaining unto him to lout,
"Or creep between bis legs." MALONE.

4 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;] A fimilar thought oc curs in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1614:

What diapafon's more in Tarquin's name

"Than in a fubject's? or what's Tullia

"More in the found, than fhould become the name

Of a poor maid ?" STEEVENS.


Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæfar feed,
That he is grown fo great? Age, thou art fham'd:
Rome, thou haft loft the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, fince the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they fay till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walks encompafs'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.

O! you and I have heard our fathers fay,

There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As eafily as a king.

Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have fome aim:
How I have thought of this, and of thefe times,
I fhall recount hereafter; for this prefent,
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 fay,

I will with patience hear: and find a time
Both meet to hear, and anfwer, fuch high things,
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this';
Brutus had rather be a villager,

Than to repute himself a fon of Rome

Under thefe hard conditions as this time

Is like to lay upon us3.

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5 There was a Brutus once,] i. e. Lucius Junius Brutus. STEEV. eternal devil-] I fhould think that our authour wrote rather, infernal devil. JOHNSON.

I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (lays Caffius,) would as foon bave fubmitted to the perpetual dominion of a dæmon, as to the lafting government of a king. STEEVENS.

7 - chew upon this ;] Confider this at leifure; ruminate on this.

8 Under thefe bard conditions as this time


Is like to lay upon us.] As, in our authour's age, was frequently ufed in the fenfe of that. So, in North's Tranflation of Plutarch, 1579; "infomuch as they that faw it, thought he had been burnt."



Caf. I am glad, that my weak words

Have ftruck but thus much fhew of fire from Brutus.

Re-enter CESAR, and his Train.

Bru. The games are done, and Cæfar is returning.
Caf. As they pafs by, pluck Casca by the fleeve;
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 Cæfar's brow,
And all the reft look like a chidden train:
Calphurnia's cheek,is pale; and Cicero
Looks with fuch ferret and fuch firy eyes,
As we have feen him in the Capitol,
Being crofs'd in conference by fome fenators.
Caf. Cafca will tell us what the matter is.
Caf. Antonius.

Ant. Cæfar.

Caf. Let me have men about me, that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and fuch as fleep o'nights':
Yond' Caffius 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.

Caf. 'Would he were fatter:-But I fear him not: Yet if my name were liable to fear,

ferret-] A ferret has red eyes. JOHNSON.

1 Sleek-beaded men, &c.] So, in fr Thomas North's translation of Plutarch, 1579. "When Cæfar's friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended fome mischief towards him; he answered them again, as for those fat men and smooth-cumbed heads, (quoth he) I never reckon of them; but these pale-visaged and carrionlean-people, I fear them moft; meaning Brutus and Caffius."

And again :

"Cæfar had Caffius in great jealousy, and suspected him much; whereupon he said on a time, to his friends, what will Caffius do, think you? I like not his pale looks." STEEVENS.

2 'Would be were fatter :-] Jonfon in his Bartholomew-fair, 1614, unjuftly fneers at this paffage, in Knockham's fpeech to the Pig-woman. "Come, there's no malice in fat folks; I never fear thee, an I can 'scape, tby lean moon-salf there," "WARBURTON.

I do

I do not know the man I fhould avoid

So foon as that spare Caffius. He reads much;
He is a great obferver, and he looks

Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou doft, Antony; he hears no musick 3:
Seldom he fmiles; and fmiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's cafe,
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'ft of him.

[Exeunt CESAR, and his train. CASCA ftays behind. Cajca. You pull'd me by the cloak; Would you speak with me?

Bru. Ay, Cafca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day, That Cæfar looks fo fad.

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

Bru. I fhould not then afk Casca what had chanc'd. Cafea. 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 fecond noise for?

Cafca. Why for that too.

Caf. They fhouted thrice; What was the laft cry for? Cafca. Why for that too.

Bru. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?

Cafca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by, mine honeft neighbours fhouted.

Caf. Who offer'd him the crown ?

Cafca. Why, Antony.

3- •be bears no mufick ] Our authour confidered the having no de. light in mufick as fo certain a mark of an auftere difpofition, that in The Merchant of Venice he has pronounced, that

"The man that hath no mufick in his foul,

"Is fit for treafons, ftratagems, and fpoils." MALONE.


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

Cafca. 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 fweaty nightcaps, and utter'd fuch a deal of ftinking breath because Cæfar refused the crown, that it had almoft choked Cæfar; for he fwoon'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? did Cæfar fwoon ? Cafca. He fell down in the market-place, and foam'd at mouth, and was speechless.

Bru. 'Tis very like; he hath the falling-fickness.
Caf. No, Cæfar hath it not; but you, and I,
And honeft Cafca, we have the falling-fickness.

Cafea. 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 hifs him, according as he pleafed, and difpleased them, as they ufe to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man 5.

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

Cafca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he pluck'd me ope his doublet, and offer'd them his throat to cut.-An I had been a man of any occupation, if I

4-one of thefe coronets;] So, in the old tranflation of Plutarch: "-he came to Cæfar, and prefented him a diadem wreathed about with laurel." STEEVENS.


no true man.-] No honeft man. See Vol. II.

p. 90, n. 6. MALONE. a man of any occupation,] Had I been a mechanick, one of the Plebeians to whom he offered his throat. JOHNSON.

So, in Coriolanus, A& IV. fc. vi:

66 You that flood fo much

"Upon the voice of occupation." MALONE. VOL. VII.



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