Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

again; then he put it by again; but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement shouted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned, and fell down at it. And, for my own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips,

and receiving the bad air. 83 Cas. But, soft, I pray you. What! did Cæsar swoon?

Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless. 85. Bru. 'Tis very like: he hath the falling sickness. 86. Cas. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness. 87. Casca. I know not what you mean by that; but I am

sure Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.

Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself? 89. Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived

the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut. — An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said any. thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul!-- and forgave him with all their hearts. But there's no heed to be taken of them: if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less. Bru. And after that he came thus sad away? Casca. Ay. Cas. Did Cicero say anything? Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.

Cas. To what effect? 95. Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne’er look you i' the

face again. But those that understood him smiled at one

102.

another, and shook their heads; but, for my own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ? 97. Casca. No, I am promised forth.

Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?

Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

Cas. Good: I will expect you.
Casca. Do so. Farewell, both. [Exit Casca.

Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle when he went to school. 103 Cas. So is he now, in execution

Of any bold or nobl enterprise,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words

With better appetite. 104. Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you :

To-morrow if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,

Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
105. Cas. I will do so:— till then, think of the world.

[Exit BRUTUS.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honorable metal may be wrought
From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm, that cannot be seduced ?
Cæsar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure. [Exit.

SCENE III.

The same.

A Street. Thunder and Lightning: Enter, from opposite sides, Casca,

with his sword drawn, and CICERO. 106. Cic. Good even, Casca. Brought you Cæsar home?

Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so? 107. Casca. Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth

Shakes, like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have rived the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds :
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,

Incenses them to send destruction. 108. Cic. Why, saw you anything more wonderful? log. Casca. A common slave (you know him well by sight)

Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches joined; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched.
Besides (I have not since put up my sword),
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared 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 saw
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday the bird of night did sit,
Even at noonday, upon the market-place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these 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 fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?

IIO.

120.

Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow.
112

Cic. Good night, then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero.

[Exit Cicero.
Enter CASSIUS.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca. A Roman.

Cas. Casca, by your voice. 117. Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what a night is

this!
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

Cas. Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
For my part, I have walked about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone:
And, when the cross blue lightning seemed to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the

heavens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send

Such dreadful heralds to astonish us. 122. Cas. 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 yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
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 hath infused 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 thyself or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: is it not, Cassius? 124. Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now

Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors,
But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are governed with our mothers' spirits;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king :
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,

In every place, save here in Italy.
126. Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger, then;

Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius :
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless 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 itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear
I can shake off at pleasure.

[Thunder still i27. Casca. So can I:

So every bondman in his own hand bears

The power to cancel his captivity.
128. Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant, then?

Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar! But, O, grief!

« ПредишнаНапред »