Imatges de pÓgina

it on ;

You all do know this mantle; I remember,
The first time ever Cæfar put
'Twas on a summer's evening in his tent,
That day' he overcame the Nervii-
Look! in this place, ran Caffius' dagger through;
See, what a rent the envious Casca made.--
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark, how the blood of Cæfar follow'd it!
As rushing out of doors, to be resolvid,
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel.
Judge, oh you Gods! how dearly Cefar lov'd him;
This, this, was the unkindest cut of all;
For, when the noble Cæfar saw him ftab,
Ingratitude more strong than traitors arms,
Quite vanquish'd him then burst his mighty heart;
And in (11) this mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
(Which all the while ran blood) great Cæfar fell.
O what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I and you, and all of us fell down:
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
O now you weep: and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity; these are gracious drops.
Kind souls ! what, weep you, when you

but behold Our Cæfaris velture wounded ? look you

here! Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, by traitors.

i Pleb. O piteous spectacle !
2 Plob. We will be reveng’d; revenge ;

about Seek--burn---fire-kill-llap! let not a traitor live. Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir

you up To such a sudden food of mutiny :


(11) This, &c.] Upton vulg. his. 66 The action and the emphasis is highly improved by this easy change.” The Reader may see a severe comment on a note of Mr. Warburton's, concerning this mantle in the 14th page of the preface to Upron's observations on Shakespear.

They, that have done this deed, are honourable.
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ;
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain, blunt man,
That love my friend; and that they know full well,
That give me public leave to speak of him:
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action or utt'rance, nor the power of speech,
To stir mens' blood ; I only speak right on.
I tell you that, which you yourselves do know;
Shew you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb

And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue

every wound of Cæsar, that should move The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.


Ceremony insincere.

-Ever note Lucilius,
When love begins to ficken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony:
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
· But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant shew and promise of their mettle ;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crest, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial,

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Changes to the inside of Brutus's


Re-enter Brutus and Cassius.

Caf. (12) That you have wrongd me doth appear

in this,
You have condemn’d and noted Lucius Pella,
For taking bribes here of the Sardians :
Wherein, my letter (praying on his fide,
Because I knew the man) was flighted of.

Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a cafe.
Caf. In such a time as this it is not meet


(12) That, &c.] I fall not use any apology for quoting this celebrated scene entire ; since to have taken any particular passages from it would have spoilt the beauty of the whole : Its excellence is so generally known, and so greatly admired, that there remains little to be said concerning it: There is a famous scene of the like kind between Agamemnon and Menelaus; in the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides, which Mr. Dryden judges inferior to this; the Reader may see what he says upon this head in his preface to Troilus and Creffida, in which he himself has introduced a similar scene : Beaumont and Fletcher, charmed, I suppose, with the applause our author met with for this scene, (which we find particularly commended in some verses prefix'd to the first folio impression of his works,

Or till I hear a scene more nobly take,
Than what thy half-sword parlying Roman make)

They, I say, have endeavoured to imitate him with their usual succes, in the Maid's Tragedy, where “ two virtuous persons, as bere and in Euripides, raised by natural degrees to ihe extremity of paflion, are conducted to the declination of that paffion, and conclude with the warm renewing of their friendship.” See the Maid's Tragedy, Act 3. Mr. Giidon in his remarks on Shakespear's works, at the end of his poems, has translated the quarrelling scene from Euripides, in which, if a good deal of the spirit has evaporated, the Reader will yet in some measure be able to judge of its merits. See Shakespear's Poems, Sewel's edit. p. 388.


That (13) ev'ry nice offence should bear its coma

Bru. Yet let me tell you, Casius, you yourself
Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm;
To sell, and mart your offices for gold,
To undefervers.

Caf. I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speak this ;
Or, by the Gods, this speech were else your last.

Bru. The name of Caffius honours this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide its head.

Cas, Chastisement !
Bru. Remember March, the ides of March re-

Did not great Julius bleed for justice' fake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world,
But for supporting robbers ; shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ?
And fell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus ?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

Caf. Brutus, bay not me,
I'll not endure it ; you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.


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(13) Every nice, &c.] This may be well understood and explained by every Night or trifling offence; but I am to imagine the author gave it,

That every offence should bear nice comment. It was so easy for the word nice to have been removed from its proper place : his comment is in the folio, which thews there is something wrong, and the metre by this reading is as perfect, Ray more so, than by the other,

Bru. Go to; you are not, (14) Casius..
Caf. I ain.
Bril. I say, you are not.
Caf. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself,
Have mind upon your bealth-tempt me no farther.

Bru, Away, flight man.
Caf. Is't possible?

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your

rash choler? Shall I be frighted when a madman stares ?

Caf. O Gods! ye Gods! must I endure all this? Bru. All this ! ay, more. Fret 'till your proud heart

breaks ; Go therv


flaves how choleric you are, And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?


(14) Va are not, Cafsnis.] See Mr. Warburton's note on the place; upon which Mr. Edwards, in his Canons of Criticism, P. 93. obferves thus, “ If Mr. Warburton had not been giddy with his ideas of bravery, disinterestedness, philosophy, honour, and patriotism, which have nothing to do here, he woulí have seen, that Caffius is the vocative case, not the nominative; and that Brutus does not mean to say, you are not an able fodicr; but he says, you are not an abler than I; a poist which it was far from being beneath his character to insist on.

If the words, you are not, Caspus, meant a new imputation en him for degeneracy, his mere denial of it is very fiat, and Brutus replying to that denial, by a mere repetition of his former affertion, without adding any reason for it, is still worse : whereas, if the words mean only a denial of what Caffius had jun faid, it is natural enough for each of them to maintain his ground, by a confident assertion of the truth of his opinion. And that the superiority of soldiership was the point of thz'r dispute, is most manifestly evident; by Brutus relumng it a little lower,

You say you are a better soldier, &c,

Upon which Cafius answers,

You wrong me ev'ry way; you wrong me, Brutus,
I said an elder soldier; not a better,
Did I say butler?

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