Imatges de pÓgina


Why old men, fools, and children calculate;
Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures and pre-formed faculties

To monftrous quality; why, you fhall find,
That heaven has infus'd them with these fpirits,
To make them inftruments of fear and warning
Unto fome monstrous state.

Now could I, Cafca, name to thee a man
Moft like this dreadful night;

That thunders, lightens, opens Graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol;

A man no mightier than thy felf, or me,
In perfonal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

Cafca. 'Tis Cafar that you mean; is it not, Caffius?
Caf. 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' fpirits:
Our yoke and fuff'rance fhew us womanish.

Cafca. Indeed, they fay, the Senators to-morrow Mean to establish Cæfar as a King:

And he fhall wear his Crown by fea and land,
In every place, fave here in Italy.

Caf. I know, where I will wear this dagger then. Caffius from bondage will deliver Caffius.

Therein, ye Gods, you make the weak moft ftrong;
Therein, ye Gods, you tyrants do defeat;
Nor ftony tower, nor walls of beaten brafs,
Nor airlels dungeon, nor ftrong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the ftrength of spirit:

4-and children calculate;] Calculate here fignifies to foretel or prophefy: For the cuftom of foretelling fortunes by judicial Aftrology (which was at that time much in vogue) being performed by a long tedious calcu

lation, Shakespeare, with his ufual liberty, employs the fpecies [calculate] for the genus [foretel.]


Shakespeare found the liberty established. To calculate a nativity, is the technical term.


But life, being weary of thefe worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

If I know this; know all the world befides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can fhake off at pleasure.


Cafca. So can I:

every bondman in his own hand bears The power to cancel his captivity.

Caf. And why fhould Cæfar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he fees, the Romans are but sheep;
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with hafte will make a mighty fire,
Begin it with weak straws. What trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it ferves
For the base matter to illuminate

So vile a thing as Cafar? But, oh grief!
Where haft thou led me? I, perhaps, fpeak this
Before a willing bondman: then I know,

5 My answer must be made. But I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.


Cafca. You fpeak to Cafca, and to fuch a man,
That is no flearing tell-tale. Hold my hand:
7 Be factious for redrefs of all these griefs,
And I will fet this foot of mine as far,
As who goes fartheft.

Caf. There's a bargain made.

Now know you, Cafca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the nobleft-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprize
Of honourable dang'rous confequence;
And I do know, by this they stay for me

5 My answer must be made.-] I fhall be called to account, and muft anfwer as for feditious words,

-Hold my hand:] Is the

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In Pompey's Porch For now, this fearful night,
There is no ftir, or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element ...:
In favour's, like the work we have in hand;
Moft bloody, fiery, and moft terrible.

Enter Cinna....

Cafca. Stand close a while, for here comes one in


Caf. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend. Cinna, where hafte you fo?"

Cin. To find out you. Who's that, Metellus

Caf. No, it is Cafca, one incorporate

To our attempts. Am I not ftaid for, Cinna?

Cin. I'm glad on't. What a fearful night' is this?
There's two or three of us have feen ftrange fights.
Caf. Am I not ftaid for? Tell me.

Cin. Yes, you are. O Caffius! if you could
But win the noble Brutus to our party

Caf. Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,

And look you lay it in the Prætor's chair,

Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window; fet this up with wax

Upon old Brutus' Statue. All this done,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you fhall find us.
Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius there?

Cin. All, but Metellus Cimber, and he's gone
To feek you at your houfe. Well, I will hie,
And fo bestow thefe papers, as you bade me.
Caf. That done, repair to Pompey's Theatre.
[Exit Cinna.

8 Is fev'rous, like the work-]

The old edition reads,

It favours, like the work

I think we should read,

In favour's, like the work we

bave in band;


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Come, Cafca, you and I will, yet, ere day,
See Brutus at his houfe; three parts of him
Is ours already, and the man entire
Upon the next encounter yields him ours.

Cafca. O, he fits high in all the people's hearts;
And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchymy,

Will change to virtue and to worthiness.

Caf. Him, and his worth, and our great need of him,

You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight; and, ere day,

We will awake him, and be fure of him.




BRUTUS'S Garden.



HAT, Lucius! ho!

I cannot by the progrefs of the ftars, Give guess how near to day- Lucius, I fay!

-I would, it were my fault to fleep fo foundly.

When, Lucius, when? awake, I fay? what Lucius!

Enter Lucius.

Luc. Call'd you, my Lord?

Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius: When it is lighted, come and call me here.

C 4


Luc. I will, my Lord.


Bru. It must be by his death; and, for my part, I know no perfonal cause to spurn at him;

But for the general. He would be crown'd;

How that might change his nature, there's the queftion.

It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking: Crown him-that-
And then I grant we put a fting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
Th' abuse of Greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorfe from Power: and, to speak truth of Cafar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reafon. But 'tis a' common proof,
That lowlinefs is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, fcorning the base degrees
By which he did afcend. So Cefar may:

Then, left he may, prevent. And fince the quarrel
Will bear no colour, for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,

Would run to these, and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a ferpent's egg,
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mif-

And kill him in the shell.


Enter Lucius.

Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, Sir:
Searching the window for a flint, I found
This paper, thus feal'd up: and, I am fure,

Remorse from Power:- -]

2 -bafe degrees] Low fteps.
3 -as bis kind,-] According

Remorse, for mercy.
1 -common proof] Common to his nature.


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