Imatges de pÓgina

Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcafs fit for hounds.
And let our hearts, as fubtle masters do,
Stir up
their fervants to an act of rage,

And after feem to chide them.


* Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of flumber : Thou haft no figures nor no fantafies,

Which bufy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou fleep'ft fo found.


Portia's Speech to Brutus.

You've ungently, Brutus,

Stole from my bed and yefternight at fupper,
You fuddenly arofe and walk'd about,
Mufing and fighing, with your arms a-cross:
And, when I afk'd you what the matter was,
You ftar'd upon me with ungentle looks.

I urg'd you further; then you fcratch'd your head,
And too impatiently ftamp'd with your foot:
Yet I infifted, yet you answer'd not;

But with an angry wafture with your hand,
Gave fign for me to leave you: so I did,
Fearing to ftrengthen that impatience,
Which feem'd too much inkindled; and, withal,
Hoping it was but an effect of humour,
Which fometimes hath his hour with every man:
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor fleep;

*See p. 17 of this volume, and the 110th page of vol, I. See the 5th page of this volume,

[blocks in formation]

And could it work fo much upon your shape,
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.

SCENE IV. Calphurnia to Cæfar, on the Prodi gies feen the Night before his Death.


Cæfar, I never ftood on ceremonies,

Yet now they fright me: there is one within,
(Besides the things that we have heard and seen)
Recounts most horrid fights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets,

And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead.
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,

In ranks and fquadrons, and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the capitol :

'The noise of battle hurtled in the air;
Horfes did neigh, and dying men did groan;
And ghofts did fhriek, and fqueal about the streets.
O Cæfar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.

Caf. What can be avoided,

Whofe end is purpos'd by the mighty gods?
Yet Cæfar fhall go forth: for these predictions
Are to the world in general, as to Cæfar.

Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets feen; The heav'ns themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Against the Fear of Death

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once:

The reader will be agreeably entertained, if he turns to the beginning of Hamlet, where he will find an account of thefe prodigies from our author, Virgil, and Ovid.


Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me moft ftrange, that men fhould fear : (7) Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come, when it will come.


Danger knows full well,

That Cæfar is more dangerous than he. (8) We are two lions litter'd in one day, And I the elder and more terrible.


(9) My heart laments, that virtue cannot live Out of the teeth of emulation.



(10) Cæfar's fpirit, ranging for revenge, With Até by his fide, come hot from hell,

(7) Seeing, &c.]

The term of life is limited,

Ne may a man prolong nor fhorten it.

The foldier may not move from watchful fted,
Nor leave his ftand, until his captaine bed.



(8) We are, &c.] The old folios read Wee beare, which Mr. Theobald, ingeniously enough, altered to we were; and Mr. Upton to we are, which is not only nearer the traces of the letters, but more agreeable to the fenfe of the paffage: for Cæfar fpeaks all thro' in the prefent tense: Danger knows, that Cæfar is more dangerous than he: we are two lions, twins, litter'd in one day, and I am the elder and more terrible.

(9) See p. 70. foregoing. and n. 13.

(10) Cæfar's, &c.] Mr. Seward obferves, that in those terrible graces fpoken of juft now (note 5.) no followers of Shakespear approach fo near him as Beaumont and Fletcher; of which he adds the Lines here quoted as a ftrong proof:

F 3


Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice,
Cry, havock, and let flip the dogs of war."

SCENE. V. Brutus's Speech to the People.

If there be any in this affembly, any dear friend of Cæfar's, to him I fay, that Brutus's love to Cæfar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rofe against Cæfar, this is my answer; not that I lov'd Cæfar lefs, but that I lov'd Rome more. Had you rather Cæfar were living, and dye all flaves than that Cæfar were dead, to live all free-men? As Cæfar lov'd me, I weep for him ; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him but as he was ambitious, I flew him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. Who's here fo base, that would be a bond-man? If any, fpeak; for him have I offended. Who is here fo rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, fpeak; for him have I offended. Who is here fo vile, that will not love his country? If any, fpeak; for him have I offended.

Fix not your Empire

Upon the tomb of him, will shake all Egypt:
Whofe warlike groans will raife ten thousand fpirits,
Great as himself, in every hand a thunder.

Destructions darting from their looks.

The Falfe One, A. 2. S. 1.

There is fomething very great and aftonishing in the following paffage from Ben Johnson, tho' not very famous for fuch daring Rights. Catiline fays to his foldiers,

Methinks I fee death, and the furies waiting
What we will do, and all the beaven at leifure

For the great fpectacle. Draw then your fwords, &c.

See Catiline, A& 5.


SCENE VI. Antony's Funeral Oration.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears

I come to bury Cæfar, not to praise him.
The evil, that men do, lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Cæfar! noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæfar was ambitious;
If it were fo, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Cæfar anfwer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus, and the reft,
(For Brutus is an honourable man,
So are they all, all honourable men)
Come 1 to speak in Cæfar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and juft to me;
But Brutus fays, he was ambitious ;
And Brutus is an honourable man.

He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;

Did this in Cæfar feem ambitious?

When that the poor have cry'd, Cæfar hath wept ;
Ambition fhould be made of fterner ftuff.

Yet Brutus fays, he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did fee, that on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,

Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus fays, he was ambitious,

And, fure, he is an honourable man.

I speak not to difprove what Brutus fpoke;
But here I am to speak what I do know.

You all did love him once, not without cause:

What caufe with-holds you then to mourn for him?

O judgment thou art fled to brutish beafts,

F 4


« AnteriorContinua »