Page images

Flav. Thou art a cobler, art thou ?

Cob. Truly, Sir, all, that I live by, is the awl: I: meddle with no tradefmen's matters, nor woman's matters; but with-all, I am, indeed, Sir, a furgeon to old fhoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neatsleather have gone upon my handy-work.

Flav. But wherefore art not in thy fhop to day? Why doft thou lead these men about the streets?

Cob. Truly, Sir, to wear out their shoes, to get " my felf into more work." But, indeed, Sir, we make holiday to fee Cafar, and to rejoice in his triumph.

Mar. Wherefore rejoice! what conqueft brings he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels ?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome!
Knew you not Pompey? many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms; and there have fate
The live-long day with patient expectation,
To fee great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
And when you faw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an univerfal fhout,
That Tyber trembled underneath his banks
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in his concave shores ?

And do you now put on your best attire ?
And do you now cull out an holiday?
And do you now ftrew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Be gone-

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the Gods, to intermit the plague,
That needs muft light on this ingratitude.

Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and for that fault
Affemble all the poor men of your fort;
Draw them to Tyber's bank, and weep your tears

Into the channel, 'till the lowest stream
Do kifs the most exalted fhores of all.

[Exeunt Commoners.
See, whe're their baseft mettle be not mov'd;
They vanish tongue-ty'd in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way tow'rds the Capitol,
This way will I; difrobe the images,
If you do find them* deck'd with ceremonies.
Mar. May we do so ?

You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
Flav. It is no matter, let no images
Be hung with Cafar's trophies; I'll about,
And drive away the vulgar from the streets:
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
Thefe growing feathers, pluckt from Cæfar's wing,
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch;
Who else would foar above the view of men,
And keep us all in fervile fearfulness. [Exeunt feverally.


Enter Cæfar, Antony, for the Course, Calphurnia, Porcia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Caffius, Cafca, a


Caf. Calpburnia,

Cafe. Peace, ho! Cæfar speaks.

Caf. Calphurnia,
Calp. Here, my lord.

Caf. Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his Courfe-


Ant. Cæfar, my lord.

Caf. Forget not in your speed, Antonius, To touch Calpburnia; for our Elders fay,

*-deck'd with ceremonies. ] Ceremonies, for religious orna ments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cafar's trophies ; i. e. fuch as he had dedicated to the Gods.


- foar above the view of men,] Paterculus fays of this Cafar, animo fuper bumanam & naturam & fidem evectus, which is finely expreffed, if we understand it to fignify that he afpired to a power that was contrary to the rights of nature, and to the duty and good faith he owed his country.


B 3

The barren, touched in this holy chafe,
Shake off their fteril curfe.

Ant. I fhall remember.

When Cæfar fays, do this; it is perform'd.
Caf. Set on, and leave no ceremony out.
Sooth. Caefar,

Caf Ha! who calls ?

Gasc. Bid every noife be ftill: peace yet again.
Caf. Who is it in the Prefs, that calls on me?
1 hear a tongue, thriller than all the musick,
Cry, Cafar. Speak; Cæfar is turn'd to hear.
Sooth Beware the Ides of March.

Cef. What man is that?

Bru. A foothfayer bids you beware the Ides of

Caf. Set him before me, let me fee his face.
Caf. Fellow, come from the throng, look upon Cæfar.
Caf. What fay'ft thou to me now? fpeak once again.
Sooth. Beware the Ides of March.

Caf. He is a dreamer, let us leave him; pass.
[Exeunt Cæfar and Train


Manent Brutus and Caffius.

Caf. Will you go see the order of the Course t
Bru. Not I,

Caf. I pray you, do.

Bru. I am not gamefom; I do lack fome part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony:
Let me not hinder, Caffius, your defires s
I'll leave you.

Caf. Brutus, I do obferve you now of late
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And fhew of love, as I was wont to have ;
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.

Bru. Caffius,

Be not deceiv'd: if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Meerly upon myfelf. Vexed I am,


Of late, with paffions of fome difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself; ·
Which give fome foil, perhaps, to my behaviour:
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd,
Among which number, Caffius, be you one;
Nor conftrue any farther my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the fhews of love to other men.

Caf. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your paffion;

By means whereof, this breaft of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you fee your face?
Bru. No, Caffius; for the eye fees not itself,
But by reflexion from fome other things.

Caf. 'Tis juft.

That of yourself, which yet you know not of.
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To ftale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new proteftor; if you know,
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after fcandal them; or if you know,
That I profefs myfelf in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

[ocr errors]

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no fuch mirrors, as will turn
Your hidden worthinefs into your eye,
That you might fee your fhadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
(Except immortal Cæfar) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoak,
Have wifh'd, that noble Brutus had his eyes.

Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Caffius,
That you would have me seek into myself,
For that which is hot in me ?.

Caf. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear s And fince you know, you cannot fee yourself So well as by reflexion; I, your glafs, Will modeftly discover to yourself

[Flourish and bout

Bru. What means this fhouting? I do fear, the
Chufe Cafar for their King.
Caf. Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think, you would not have it fo.
Bru. I would not, Caffius; yet I love him well :
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it, that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye, and Death i'th' other,
* And I will look on Death indifferently:
For, let the Gods fo fpeed me, as I love
The name of Honour, more than I fear Death,

Caf. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, Honour is the subject of my story:
I cannot tell, what you and other men
Think of this life; but for my fingle felf,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of fuch a thing as I myfelf.
I was born free as Cafar, fo were you;
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
"3. For once upon a raw and gufty day,


2 And I will look on both indifferently;] This is a contradiction to the lines immediately fucceeding.. If he lov'd bonour, more than be fear'd death, how could they be both indifferent to him? Honour thus is but in equal balance to death, which is not fpeaking at all like Brutus: for, in a foldier of any ordinary pretenfions, honour fhould always preponderate. We muft certainly read,

And I will look on death indifferently.

What occafion'd the corruption, I prefume, was, the transcribers imagining the adverb indifferently must be applied to two things oppos'd. But the ufe of the word does not demand it; nor does Shakespear always apply it fo. In the prefent paffage it fignifies neglectingly; without fear, or concern: And fo Cafca afterwards, again in this act, employs it.

And dangers are to me indifferent.

I weigh them not; nor am deterr'd on the score of Danger.

3 For once upon a raw and gufty day, &c.] This was the com-. mon exercife of fuch of the Roman nobility as delighted in the fe


« PreviousContinue »