rogues and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done, or said, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul!--and forgave him with all their hearts : But there's no heed to be taken of them; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.

Bru. And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
Casca. Ay.
Cas. Did Cicero say any thing ?
Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cas. To what effect?

Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again: But those, that understood him, smiled 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 Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ?
Casca. No, I am promised forth.
Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

Cas. Good; I will expect you.
Casca. Do so : Farewell, both.

[Exit Casca. Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be? He was quick mettle, when he went to school.

Cas. So is he now, in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprize,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you: To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,


you will,

I will come home to you; or,

if Come home with me, and I will wait for you. Cas. I will do so :-till then, think of the world.

[E.rit BRUTUS. Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see, Thy honourable metal may be wrought From that it is dispos'd :? Therefore 'tis meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes : For who so firm, that cannot be seduc'd ? Cæsar doth bear me hard : But he loves Brutus: If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, He should not humour me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings, all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at: And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure; For we will shake him, or worse days endure.


[blocks in formation]

Thunder and Lightning. Enter, from opposite sides,

Casca, with his Sword drawn, and CICERO. Cic. Good even, Casca: Brought you Cæsar home?' Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? 7 Thy honourable metal may be wrought

From that it is dispos’d:] The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution. 6 doth bear me hard;] ie. has an unfavourable opinion of me.

If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,

ile should not humour me.] The meaning, I think, is this: Cesar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles. JOHNSON.

Brought you Cæsar home?] Did you attend Cæsar home?

[ocr errors]

Casca. Are not you mov’d, when all the sway

of earth? Shakes, like a thing unfirm? O Cicero, I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam, To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds : But never till to-night, never till now, Did I go through a tempest dropping fire. Either there is a civil strife in heaven; Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction.

Cis. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful? Casca. A common slave (you know him well by

sight) Held

up his left hand, which did flame, and burn Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. Besides, (I have not since put up my sword,) Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by, Without annoying me: And there were drawn Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, Transformed with their fear; who swore, they saw Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets. And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit, Even at noon-day, upon the market-place, Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies Do so conjointly meet, let not men say, 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 strange-disposed time: But men may construe things after their fashion,

sway of earth -] The whole weight or momentum of

this globe.

Clean from the purpose of the things themselves, Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?

Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow.

Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky Is not to walk in.

-Casca. Farewell, Cicero. (Exit CICERO.

Cas. Who's there?

A Roman.

Casca, by your voice. Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is

this? Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men. Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so? Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone :*
And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the

heavens ?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze,

3 Clean from the purpose — ] Clean is altogether, entirely.

4thunder-stone :) A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder.

And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens :
But if you would consider the true cause,
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds, and beasts, 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 monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear, and warning,
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
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 thyself, or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious grown, 7
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Casca. "Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not,

Cas. 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' spirits ;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish,

Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow Mean to establish Cæsar as a king : And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land, In every place, save here in Italy.

Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then ;

$ Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; &c.] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature.

and children calculate;} Calculate here signifies to foretel or prophesy.

7. prodigious grown,] Prodigious is portentous.

8 Have thewes and limbs ] Thewes is an obsolete word implying nerves or muscular strength.


« ForrigeFortsett »