Abbildungen der Seite

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 tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil ftrife in heav'n ;
Or else the world, too faucy with the Gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.

Cic. Why, faw you any thing more wonderful ?
Casca. A common slave, you know him well by:

Held up his left hand, which did Aame and burn,
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.
Besides, (I ha' not fince 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 faw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the ftreets.
And yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Ev'n at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Houting and shrieking. When thee 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 fathion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Casar 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. Farewel, Cicero.

[Exit Cicero.
Enter Caffius.
Caf. Who's there :
Casca. A Roman.


Cas. Cafia, by your voice.
Casca. Your ear is good. Caffius, what night is this?
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heav'ns menace fo?
Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perillous 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 my

self Ev'n in the aim and very flash of it. Casca. 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, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Caf. 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,
And put on fear, and cast your self in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heav'ns:
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 has 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 thy self, or me,
In personal action ; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.


Cafta. 'Tis Cæfar 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' fpirits :
Our yoke and suff'rance shew us womanis.

Casca. Indeed, they say, the Senators to morrow
Mean to establish Cæfar as a King:
And he shall wear his Crown by sea 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 most strong ;
Therein, ye Gods, you tyrants do defeat ;
Nor ftony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airlefs dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit:
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss it self.
If I know this; know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.

Casca. 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 trash is Rome?
What rubbish, and what offal? when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate

(4) Have thews and Limbs) Mr. Pope has subjoin'd, to both his Editions, an Explanation of Thews, as if it' signified, manners or capacities. 'Tis certain, it sometimes has these significations ; but he's mistaken strangely to imagine it has any such Sense here: Nor, indeed, do I ever remember its being used by our Author in those acceptations. With him, I think, is always fignifies, Muscles, Sinews, bodily Strength,



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 must be made. But I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca, and to such a man,
That is no filearing 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 fartheft.

Caf: There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprize
Of honourable dang’rous consequence ;
And I do know, by this they stay 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 feav'rous, like the work we have in hand ;
Moft bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter Cinna.
Casca. Stand close a while, for here comes one in

Caf. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by. his

gate ; He is a friend. Cinna, where hafte you

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

Cal. 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 strange sights.

Cas. Am I not staid for? tell me,

Cin. Yes, you are. O Caffius! could you win the noble Brutus (s)

-Hold, my Hand.) This Comma must certainly be remov'd. Casca bids Cassius take his Hand, as it were to bind their League and Amity. So afterwards, in this Give me thy Hand, Mollala,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


To our party


Caf. 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 ; set this up with wax Upon old Brutus' Statue : all this done, Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us. Is Decius Brutus, and Treboniùs there ?

Cin. All, but Metellus Cimber, and he's gone To seek

you your house. Well, I will hie, And so bestow these papers, as you bade me. Caf. That done, repair to Pompey's Theatre.

[Exit Cinna, Come, Casca, 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. 0, 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 mid-night; and, ere day, We will awake him, and be sure of him. [Exeunt.


« ZurückWeiter »