Imatges de pÓgina

Cafca. 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, 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, Cafar fell down: If the tag-rag people did not clap him, "and hifs him, according as he pleas'd, and difpleas'd them, as they used to do the Players in the Theatre, I am no true man.

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 refus'd the Crown, he pluckt me ope his doublet, and offer'd 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 fo he fell. When he came to himself again, he faid, "If he had done, or

faid any thing amifs, he defir'd their Worships to "think it was his infirmity." Three or four wenches where I ftood, cry'd. "alas, good foul !". and forgave him with all their hearts: but there's no heed to be taken of them; if Cæfar had stabb'd their mothers, they would have done no less.

Bru. And after that, he came, thus fad, away?
Cafca. Ay.

Caf. Did Cicero fay any thing?

Cafca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Caf. To what effect?

Cafca. Nay, an' I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i'th' face again. But thofe, that understood him, fmil'd at one another, and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæfar's Images, are put to filence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Caf. Will you fup with me to night, Cafca?
Cafca. No, I am promis'd forth.

Caf. Will you dine with me to morrow?

Cafca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and

your dinner be worth the eating.


Caf. Good, I will expect you.

Cafca. Do fo: farewel Both.

Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be?
He was quick mettle, when he went to school.
Caf. So is he now, in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprize,
However he puts on this tardy form :
This rudeness is a fawce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digeft his words
With better appetite.


Bru. And fo 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.
Caf. I will do fo; till then, think of the world.
[Exit Brutus.

Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I fee,
Thy honourable Metal may be wrought
From what it is difpos'd; therefore 'tis meet,
That noble minds keep ever with their likes:
For who fo firm, that cannot be feduc'd?
Cefar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus.
If I were Brutus now, and he were Caffius,
He should not humour me.- I will, this night,
In feveral hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from feveral citizens,
Writings, all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name: Wherein obfcurely
Cafar's ambition shall be glanced at.

And, after this, let Cæfar feat him fure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.


Thunder and lightning. Enter Cafca, his word drawn; and Cicero, meeting him.

Cic. Good even, Cafea, brought you Cæfar home? Why are you breathlefs, and why ftare you fo?

Cafca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway of earth

Shakes likes a thing unfirm? O Cicero !

I have feen tempefts, when the fcolding winds

Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
Th' ambitious ocean fwell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threatning clouds:
But never till to night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempeft dropping fire.
Either there is a civil ftrife in heav'n;

Or else the world, too faucy with the Gods,
Incenfes them to fend deftruction.

Cic. Why, faw you any thing more wonderful?
Cafca. A common flave, you know him well by

Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn,
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
Not fenfible of fire, remain'd unfcorch'd.
Befides, (I ha' not fince put up my fword)

Against the Capitol I met a lion,

Who glar'd upon me, and went furly by,
Without annoying me. And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghaftly women,
Transformed with their fear; who fwore, they faw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday, the bird of night did fit,
Ev'n at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Houting and fhrieking. When thefe Prodigies
Do fo conjointly meet, let not men fay,
"These are their reasons, they are natural :"
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Unto the Climate, that they point upon.

Cic. Indeed, it is a ftrange difpofed time:
But men may conftrue things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæfar to the Capitol to morrow?

Cafca. He doth: for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you, he would be there to morrow.
Cic. Good night then, Cafca; this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.

Cafca. Farewel, Cicero.

Caf. Who's there?
Cafca. A Roman.

Enter Caffius.

[Exit Cicero.


Caf. Cafca, by your voice..

Cafea. Your ear is good. Caffius, what night is this!
Caf. A very pleafing night to honest men.

Cafca. Who ever knew the heavens menace fo?

Caf. Thofe, that have known the earth fo full of faults.

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,

Submitting me unto the perillous night;
And thus unbraced, Cafca, as you see,

Have bar'd my bofom to the thunder-ftone:

And when the cross blue lightning feem'd to open
The breaft of heav'n, I did prefent my felf

Ev'n in the aim and very flash of it.

Cafca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heav'ns?

It is the part of men to fear and tremble,

When the most mighty Gods, by tokens, fend
Such dreadful heralds to aftonish us.

Caf. You are dull, Cafca; and thofe fparks of life,
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Or elfe you use not; you look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast your self in wonder,
To fee the ftrange impatience of the heav'ns:
But if you would confider the true caufe,
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghofts,
Why birds and beafts, from quality and kind,
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 shall find,
That heaven has infus'd them with these spirits,
To make them inftruments of fear and warning
Unto fome monstrous stage.

Now could I, Cafea, 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 thy felf, or me,
In perfonal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as thefe ftrange eruptions are.


[ocr errors][merged small]

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; (4) But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead, And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits: Our yoke and fuffrance fhew us womanish.

Cafca. Indeed, they fay, the Senators to morrow
Mean to establish Cæfar as a King:
And he shall 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 airless dungeon, nor ftrong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the ftrength of spirit:
But life, being weary of thefe worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss it self.
If I know this; know all the world befides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.
Cafca. So can I.

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

Caf. And why should 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 ftraws. What trafh is Rome?
What rubbish, and what offal? when it ferves
For the base matter to illuminate

(4) Have thews and Limbs-] Mr. Pope has fubjoin'd, to both his Editions, an Explanation of Thews, as if it fignified, manners or capacities. 'Tis certain, it fometimes has thefe Significations;, but he's mistaken strangely to imagine it has any fuch Senfe here: Nor, indeed, do I ever remember its being used by our Author in those Acceptations. With him, I think, it always fignifies, Muscles, Sinews, bodily Strength.


« AnteriorContinua »