Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

So vile a thing as Cæfar? But, oh grief!
Where haft thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman: then I know,
My answer muft be made. But I am árm’d,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca, and to such a man,
That is no flearing tell-tale. Hold my hand : (5)
Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.

Caf. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the nobleft-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprize
Of honourable dang’rous consequence;
And I do know, by this they itay for me
In Pompey's Porch. For now, this fearful night,
There is no stir, or walking in the streets ;
And the complexion of the element
Is fev'rous, like the work we have in hand;
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter Cinna.
Casca, Stand close a while, for here comes one in hafte.
Cas. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend. Cinna, where haste you fo?

Cin. To find out you : who's that, Metellus Cimber?

Caf. No, it is Casca, one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?

Cin. I'm glad on't. What a fearful night is this ?
There's two or three of us have seen ftrange fights.

Caf. Am I not staid for? tell me.

Cin. Yes, you are.
O Calius! could you win the noble Brutus

To our party

(5)

Hold, my Hand.] This Comma must certainly be remov’d. Casca bids Casius take his Hand, as it were to bind their League and Amity. So afterwards, in this Play; Give me thy Hand, Meffala.

Cas.

up.

with wax

bade me.

Cas. 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 Upon old Brutus* Statue : all this done, Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us. Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius there?

Cin. All, but Metellus Cimber, and he's gone To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie, And so bestow these

papers, as

you Caf. That done, repair to Pompey's Theatre.

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

Casca. 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. [Exeunt.

1

· ACT

SKURS

ACT. II.
SCENE, BRUTUS's Garden.

Enter BRUTUS.

W

BRUTUS.
HAT, Lucius! ho !

I cannot by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day-Lucius, I say!
I would, it were my fault to sleep so foundly.
When, Lucius, when? awake, I fay! what, Lucius !

Enter Lucius.
Luc. Calld you, my Lord ?
Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius :
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
Luc. I will, my
Lord.

[Exit.
Bru. It must be by his death : and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him;
But for the general. He would be crown'd-
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
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 sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
Th' abuse of Greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorse from Power : and, to speak truth of Gafar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,
That lowliness 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, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend : so Cafar may:
Then, left he may, prevent. And since 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 serpent's egg,
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous ;
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 seal'd up; and, I am sure,
It did not lie there, when I went to bed.

[Gives him the letter. Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day: Is not to-morrow, boy, the Ides of March? (6)

Luc. I know not, Sir.

(6) Is not to-morrow, boy, the first of March ?) I dare pronounce a palpable Blunder here, which none of the Editors have ever been aware of. Brutus enquires whether the firft of March be come, and the Boy brings him word 'tis wasted 15 Days. Allowing Brutus to be a most contemplative Man, and his Thoughts taken up with high Matters, yet I can never agree, that he so little knew how Time went, as to be mistaken a whole Fortnight in the Reckoning. I'make no Scruple to affert, the Poet wrote Ides. But how could Ides, may it not be objected, be corrupted into first? 'What Similitude in the Traces of the Letters ? This Difficulty may very easily be solv'd, by only suppofing that the Word Ides in the Manuscript Copy happen'd to be wrote contractedly thus, js: The Players knew the Word well enough in the Contraction ; but when the MSS came to the Press, the Compositors were not so well informed in it: They knew, that jít frequently stood for forf; and bluna deringly thought that.js was meant to do fo too: and thence was deriv'd the Corruption of the Text. But that the Poet wrote Ides, we have this in Confirmation. Brutus makes the Enquiry on the Dawn of the very Day, in which Cæfar was kill'd in the Capitol." Now 'tis very well known, that this was on the 15th Day, which is the Ides, of Marcb. I ought to acknowledge, that my Friend Mr. Warburton likewise started this very Emendation, and commuaicated it to me by Letter.

Bru

Bru. Look in the kalendar, and bring me word.
Luc. I will, Sir.

(Exit. Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them.

[Opens the letter, and reads. Brutus, thou sleepA; awake, and see thyself.: Shall Rome, speak, ftrike, redress. Brutus, thou sleep'Ä : awake. Such inftigations have been often dropt, Where I have took them up : Shall Rome thus must I piece it out, • Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? what! Rome ? “ My ancestors did from the streets of Rome « The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a King." Speak, strike, redress, am I entreated then To speak, and strike ? O Rome! I make thee promise, If the redress will follow, thou receiv'it Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus !

Enter Lucius
Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days. (7)

[knocks within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; fome body knocks:

[Exit Lucius. Since Cafus first did whet me against Cæfar, I have not slept Between the acting of a dreadful thing, And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream: The Genius, and the mortal instruments Are then in council; and the state of man, Like to a little Kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection, :

Enter Lucius.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Caffius at the door, . (7) Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.] The Editors are fightly miltaken: It was wasted but 14 Days; this was the Dawn of the 15th, when the Boy makes his Report. 3

Who

« ZurückWeiter »