« ПредишнаНапред »
justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, I came, saw, and overcame.”
“ But now behold,” says the Chorus in the Fifth Act of King Henry the Fifth, describing the triumphant return of the English monarch from the conquest of France,
In the quick forge and working-house of thought,
Go forth, and fetch their conquering Cæsar in. In the three parts of King Henry the Sixth, which are so thickly sprinkled with classical allusions of all kinds, there are several to the great Roman Dictator. Henry the Fifth! thy ghost I invocate; the Duke of Bedford apostrophizes his deceased brother in the First Part (i. I):—
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils !
Than Julius Cæsar, or bright In the next Scene the Maid, setting out to raise the siege of Orleans, and deliver her king and country, compares herself to
that proud insulting ship Which Cæsar and his fortunes bare at once. In the Second Part (iv. I) we have Suffolk, when - hurried away to execution by the seamen who had captured him, consoling himself with
Great men oft die by vile bezonians:
Pompey the great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.
what similar circumstances, thus appealing to Cade
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity. “O traitors! murderers !” Queen Margaret in the Third Part (v. 5) shrieks out in her agony
and rage, when the Prince her son is butchered before
her eyes :
They that stabbed Cæsar shed no blood at all, Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, If this foul deed were by to sequel it: He was a man; this, in respect, a child; And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. In King Richard the Third (iii. 1) is a passage of great pregnancy. “Did Julius Cæsar build that place, my lord?” the young Prince asks Buckingham, when it is proposed that he shall retire for a day or two to the Tower before his coronation. And, when informed in reply that the mighty Roman at least began the building, he further inquires,
Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it? “ It is upon record, my gracious lord,” answers Buckingham. On which the wise royal boy rejoins,
But say, my lord, it were not registered,
Even to the general all-ending day. And then, after a “What say you, uncle?” he explains the great thought that was working in his mind in these striking words:
That Julius Cæsar was a famous man:
For now he lives in fame, though not in life. Far away from anything Roman as the fable and locality of Hamlet are, various passages testify how much Cæsar was in the mind of Shakespeare while writing that Play. First, we have the famous passage (i. 1) so closely resembling one in the Second Scene of the Second Act of Julius Cæsar:
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse. I Then there is (iii. 2) the conversation between Hamlet and Polonius, touching the histrionic exploits of the latter in his university days: “I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i' the Capitol ; Brutus killed me.” " It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there” (surely, by the by, to be spoken aside, though not so marked). Lastly, there is the Prince's rhyming moralization (v.i):
Imperial Cæsar, dead and turned to clay,
* “ His conqueror” is the reading of all the Folios. “ This” was restored by Theobald from the Quarto of 1597, and has been adopted by Malone and most modern editors.
† Something is evidently wrong here; but even Mr. Collier's annotator gives us no help.
This passage, however, is found only in the Quartos, and is omitted in all the Folios. Nor, although retained by Mr. Collier in his “regulated ” text, is it stated to be restored by his MS. annotator.
O, that that earth which kept the world in awe
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw! Many notices of Cæsar occur, as might be expected, in Cymbeline. Such are the boast of Posthumus to his friend Philario (ii. 4) of the valor of the Brit
Worthy his frowning at;
When Julius Cæsar (whose remembrance yet
There be many Cæsars,
A kind of conquest
And Britons strut with courage; Our kingdom is stronger than it was at that time; and, as I said, there is no more such Cæsars; other of them may have crooked noses; but to owe such straight arms, none;
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
Ourselves to be. Lastly, we have a few references in Antony and Cleopatra; such as,
What was it
Your fine Egyptian cookery
Thyreus. Give me grace to lay
Cleopatra. — Your Cæsar's father oft, When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in, Bestowed his lips on that unworthy place As it rained kisses (iii. 11). These passages, taken all together, and some of them more particularly, will probably be thought to afford a considerably more comprehensive representation of “the mighty Julius” than the Play which bears his name. We cannot be sure that that Play was so entitled by Shakespeare. “The Tragedy of Julius Cæsar," or " The Life and Death of Julius Cæsar,” would describe no more than the half of it. Cæsar's part in it terminates with the opening of the