Imatges de pÓgina

And men have loft their reafon.-Bear with me,
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæfar,
And I muft paufe 'till it come back to me.

But yesterday the word of Cæfar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none fo poor to do him reverence.
O mafters! if I were difpos'd to ftir

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I fhould do Brutus wrong, and Caffius wrong;
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather chuse
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong fuch honourable men.
But here's a parchment with the feal of Cæfar;
I found it in his clofet, 'tis his will;..
Let but the commons hear this teflament,
(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read)
And they would go and kifs dead Cæfar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his facred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And dying, mention it within their Wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

Unto their iffue.

4 Pleb. We'll hear the will; read it, Mark Antony. All. The will; the will; we will hear Cæfar's will. Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;

It is not meet you know how Cæfar lov'd you;
You are not wood, you are not ftones, but men:
And, being men, hearing the will of Cæfar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
Tis good you know not, that you are his heirs


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For if

you fhould-O what would come of it? 4 Pleb. Read the will, we will hear it, Antony : You shall read us the will, Cæfar's will.

Ant. Will you be patient? will you stay a while? (I have o'er-fhot myself, to tell you of it.) I fear, I wrong the honourable men, Whose daggers have stabb'd Cæsar.

-I do fear it.

4 Pleb. They were traitors-honourable men! All. The will! the teftament!

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Ant. You will compel me then to read the will? Then make a ring about the corps of Cæfar, And let me fhew you him, that made the will. Shall I defcend, and will you give me leave? All. Come down.

2 Pleb. Defcend,

[He comes down from the pulpit.

Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. You all do know this mantle; I remember, The first time ever Cæfar put it on ;

"Twas on a fummer's evening in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii-

Look in this place, ran Caffius' dagger through;-
See, what a rent the envious Cafca made.-
Through this, the well-beloved Brutus ftabb'd;
And as he pluck'd his curfed fteel away,
Mark, how the blood of Cæfar follow'd it!
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd,
If Brutus fo unkindly knock'd, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæfar's ange'.
Judge, oh you Gods! how dearly Cæfar lov'd him;
This, this, was the unkindeft cut of all;

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For, when the noble Cæfar faw him ftab,
Ingratitude, more ftrong than traitors arms,
Quite vanquish'd him; then burit his mighty heart;

·F 5


And, in (1) this mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's ftatue, '
(Which all the while ran blood) great Cæfar fell.
O what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down :
Whilft bloody treason flourish'd over us.

O now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
The dint of pity; thefe are gracious drops.
Kind fouls! what, weep you, when you but behold
Our Cæfar's vefture wounded? look you here!
Here is himself, marr'd, as you fee, by traitors.
1 Pleb. O piteous fpectacle!


2 Pleb. We will be reveng`d; revenge; about→→→ feek-burn-fire-kill-flay! let not a traitor live. Ant. Good friends, fweet friends, let me not stir

you up

To fuch a fudden flood of mutiny :

They, that have done this deed, are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas! I know not,
That made them do it: they are wife and honourable;
And will, no doubt, with reafons anfwer you.
I come not, friends, to fteal away your hearts;
I am no orator, as Brutus is:

But, as you know me all, a plain, blunt man, (12) That love my friend; and that they know full well,

That give me publick leave to fpeak of him:
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action or utt'rance, nor the power of speech,

(11) This] Upton vulg. his. "The action and the emphafis is highly improved by this eafy change." The reader may fee a fevere comment on a note of Mr. Warburton's, concerning this mantle in the 14th page of the Preface to Upton's obfervations on Shakespear.

(12) See Vol. I. p. 177. n, 6,


To ftir mens blood; I only speak right on.

I tell you that, which you yourfelves do know;
Shew you fweet Cæfar's wounds, poor, poor dumb

mouths !

And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your fpirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæfar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rife and mutiny.

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-Ever note, Lucilius,

When love begins to ficken and decay,

It ufeth an enforced ceremony;

There are no tricks in plain and fimple faith:
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant fhew and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody fpur,
They fall their creft, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial.

SCENE III. Changes to the Infide of Brutus's
Re-enter Brutus and Caffius.

Caf. (13) That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this *

You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella,


(13) That, &c.] I fhall not ufe any apology for quoting this celebrated fcene entire ; fince to have taken any particular paffages from it, would have spoilt the beauty of the whole: Its excellence is fo generally known, and fo greatly admired, that there remains


For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein, my letter (praying on his fide,.
Because I knew the man) was flighted of.

Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
Caf. In fuch a time as this, it is not meet
That (14) ev'ry nice offence fhould bear its com-


Bru. Yet let me tell you, Caffius, you yourself Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm; To fell, and mart your offices for gold, To undefervers.

little to be faid concerning it: There is a famous fcene of the · like kind between Agamemnon and Menelaus, in the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides, which Mr. Dryden judges inferior to this; the reader may see what he fays upon this head in his preface to Troilus and Crefida, in which he himself has introduced a fimilar fcene: Beaumont and Fletcher, charmed, I fuppofe, with the Applause our author met with for this fcene, (which we find particularly commended in fome verfes prefix'd to the first folio impreffion of his works,

Or till I hear a fcene more nobly take,

Than what thy half-fword parlying Romans make)


They, I fay, have endeavour'd to imitate him, but with their fual fuccefs, in the Maid's Tragedy, where two virtuous perfons, as here and in Euripides, rais'd by natural degrees to the extremity of paffion, are conducted to the declination of that paflion, and conclude with the warm renewing of their friend

hip." See the Maid's Tragedy, Act 3. Mr. Gildon in his remarks on Shakespear's works, at the end of his poems, has tranfdated the quarreling scene from Euripides, in which, if a good deal of the fpirit has evaporated, the reader will yet in fome measure be able to judge of its merits. See Shakespear's poems, Sewel's P. 388.


(14) Ev'ry nice, &c.] This may be well-understood and explained by every flight or trifling offence; but I am to imagine the author gave it,

That every offence fhou'd bear nice comment.

It was fo eafy for the word nice to have been removed from its proper place: bis comment is in the folio, which fhews there is fomething wrong; and the metre by this reading is as perfect, nay more fo, than by the other,


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