William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 153 of 224)
Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 153 of 224)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world,

Did lose his lustre : I did hear him groan :

Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans

Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,

Alas I it cried, ** Give me some drink, Titinius,"

As a sick gLrl. Te gods, it doth amaze me,

A man of such a feeble temper should

So fi;et the start of the majestic world,

And bear the palm alone. [Shout, ItourM,

Brtu Another general shout I
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap*d on Cesar.

Cos, Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow
Like a Colossus : and we petty men
Walk under his hu^ legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates :
The fanh, dear Brutus, is not in our stars.
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Ciesar : What should be hi that Csesar ?
Why should that name be sounded more than

Write them together, yowrs is as fair a name ;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well ;
Weigh them, it is as heavy ; conjure with them,
Bmtuf will start a spirit as soon as Ciesar.

Now in the names of all the gods at once.
Upon what meat doth this our Ciesar feed.
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd I
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods !
When went there by an age, since the great flood.
But it was fiim'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk 'd of Rome,
That her wide walks encompass'd but one man?
Mow is it Rome indeed, and room enough.
When there is in it but one only man.
OI yoo and I have heard our Others say.
There was a Brutus once that would have brooked
The eternal devil to keep his sUte in Rome,
As easily as a kine .

Bru, That you do love me, I am nothing jealous :
What you would work me to, I have some aim ;
How Ihave thought of this, and of these times,
I shall reooont hereafter ; for this present,
I would not so with love I might entreat you.
Be any further mov'd. What you have stud,
I will consider; what you have to say.
I will with patience hear : and find a tune
Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this ;
Brutus had rather be a yillager,
Than to repate himself a son of Rome



Under these hard conditions as this time
Ia like to lay upon us.

Cos, I am glad that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire fren

Bit-mier CaUB and hU Tram,

Bnu The games are done, and CsBsar is returning.

Cos, As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, aiher his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note to^^ay.

Bru, I will do so : — But, look yon, Cassiua^
The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow.
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calphumia's cheek is pale: and Cicero
Looks with such ferret ana such fiery eyes,
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross*d in conference by some senators.

Cos. Cascawill tell us what the matter is.

Cces, Antonius.

AnU Csesar.

Cces, Let me have men about me that are fat ;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungi^^ look;
He thinks too much : such men are dangerous.

Ant, Fear him not, Caesar, he's not dangerous ,
He is a noble Roman, and well nven.

CdM. 'Wouldhewerefatter:— Butlfearhimnot*
Tet If my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spareCassius. He reads maoh ;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men : he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony ; he hears no music :
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock'd himself, and scom*d his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at anything.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease.
Whiles they behold a greater than themselTest
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell ^ee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar.
Come on ray right hand, for this ear is dea^
And tdl me truly what thou think%t of him.

[Exeunt Cjbbar and hit Train, Casoa

Caaoa. Yoa puU'd me by the cloak : Would you
speak with me ?

Bru, Ayy Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day,
That Caesar looks so sad ?

Ca9ca. Why, you were with him, were you not ?

Bru, I should not then ask Casca what had

Ca$ca, Why, there was a crown offered him
and being offered him, he nut it by with the back
of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a'

Bru, What was the second noise for?

Caaea. Why, for that too.

Oa§. They shouted thrice: What was the last
cry for?

Ca$ea, Why, for that too.

Bru, Was tne crown offer'd him thrice?

Ca$ca, Ay, marry was't, and he put it by thrice,
every time gentler than other ; and at eveiy patting
by, mine honest neighbours shouted.

Cat, Who offerea him the crown?

0(f8ca, Why, Antony.

Bru. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casoa.

Casca, I can as well be hanged as tell the
manner of it : it was mere foolery. I did not mark
it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown ;^
,rt tw« not . crown nej^j^JieY^^C^^e


oorooets;— and, as 1 told ron, ho put it by once;
but for all that, to mj thinking, be would fain
have had it. Then be offered it to him again;
then he pat it by again : but, to my thinking, he
was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then
he offered it the third time ; he pat it the third
time by: and still as he refused it, the rabbleraent
booted, and clapped their chapped hands, and threw
op their sweaty niglitcaps. and uttered such a deal
ot stinking breath because Cassar refused the crown,
that it had almost dioked Csesar ; for he swooned,
and fell down at it : And tor mine own part, I durst
not Uugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving
the bad air.

Coi, Bat, soft, I pray yoa : What? Did CsBsar
swoon ?

Caaea, Ue fell down in the market-plaoei and
fbamed at mouth, and was speechless.

Bru. 'Tis very like : he hath the tailing sickness.

Cas. No, Caesar huth it not; but you, and I,
And honest Casca, we have the fallmg sickness.

Oaaco. 1 know not what you mean by that; but
I am sure C»sar fell down. If the tag-rag people
did not dap him, and hiss him, according as he
pleased and displeased them, as they used to do
the players in the theatre, I am no true man.

JBru, What said he, when he came unto himself?

Casca, Marry, before he fell down, when he
perceived the common herd was ^lad 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, 1 would I might go to hell among
the rogues -.—and so he fell. When he canr.e to
himself again, he said, If he had done or said any-
tliing amiss, he desired their worships to think it
was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where
I stood, cried »*Alas, good soul I"— and forgave
him with all their hearts : But there's no heed to
be taken of them ; if Caesar 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.

Cos. To what effect?

Casca, Nay, an I tell yon that 111 ne*er look
ron i* the face again : But those that understood
him smiled at one another, and shook their heads :
But for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I
oonld tell you more news too: Marullas and
Flavins, for palling scarfs off Caesar's images, are
put to silenee. Fare you well. There was more
foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Cos, Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?

Casca. No, I am promised forth.

Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow ?

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

Cos. Good ; I will expect you.

Casca. Do so : farewell both. [Exit Casoa.

Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be I
He was quick mettle when he went to school.

Cas, iM> he is now, in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprise.
However he pots on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest hla words
With better appetite.

Bru. And BO It is. For this time I will leave you
To-morrow, if yoo please to speak with me,
I will come home to you ; or, if yoo will,
'^ome home to me, and I will wait for yoib


Cas. I will do M »— till flien, think of theworld.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is disuos'd : Therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes:
For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd ?
Caesar duth bear me hard : But he loves Brotns:
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 liome holds of his name; wherein obseorely
Caesar s ambition shall be glanced at:
And, arter this, let Caesar seat him Mure ;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.


8CENB IIL—Thssams. A Sirset.

ThundsrandlAghtning. Enter Jromoppositssidn,
Casca, with his sword drawn, and Cicebo.

Cie. Good even, Casca: Brought you Caesar
Why are you breathless? and why stare you so f

Casca. Are not you mov*d, wheoi all the sway
of earth
Shakes like a thing nnfirmP O Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks ; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam.
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds x
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.

Cic Why, saw you anything more wondcrfW ?

Caaoa. A common slave (you know him well
by sight)
Held op his left hand, which did flame and bom
Like twenty torches joined ; and yet his hand.
Not sensible of fire, remained unscorch'd.
Besides (I have not since 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 hm<dred ghastly women.
Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bmi of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, 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 portentoos things
Unto the dimate that they point upon.

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time :
But men may construe things, alter their fiishion,
Clean from the porpose of the things themselves.
Comes Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow ?

Casca. He doth ; for he did bid Antonios
Bend word to you he would be there to-morrow.

Cic Good night then, Casoa: this disturbed
Is not to walk in.

Caaoa. Farewell, Cicero. [Exit dOBio

EiUer CA8BID8.

Cos. Who^ there?

Casoa, A Roman. ~

^^ Digitize(^^!f<«»Vy<wn^cnoe-


Oatoa. Your ear b good. Caaiiiu, what night

Ca$. A very pleasing night to honest men.

Oaaca, Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

Oat, Those that have known the earth so full
of faults.
For my part, I have walk'd ahont the streets,
Babmittmg me unto the perilous night ;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bard mj bosom to the tli under-stone :
And when the crosH-blue lightning eeem'd to open
The breast of Heaven, I did pmsent myself
Bven in the aim and very flash of it.

Ca$ca, But wherefore did you so much tempt
the heavens P
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most miffhty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful herams to astonish us.

Cm. Tou are dull, Casoa: and those sparks of
That should be in a Boman you do want,
Or else you use not : Tou look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and east yourself in wonder,
To see the stran^ce impatience of the heavens:
But if TOU would ooasider 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 c^culate ;
Why all these things change from their ordinanoe,
Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality,— why, you shall find,
That Heaven hath infused them with these sj^irits,
To make them instruments of fear and wanung
Unto some monstrous state.
Now could 1, Casca, name to thee a man
Most like this dreadful night ;
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roara
As doth the lion in the Capitol :
A man no mightier than tn3r8elf, or me,
In personal action ; yet prodigious grown,
And fearftil, as these strange eruptions are.

Oatea. Tis Caesar that you mean: Is it not,

Cat, Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors,
BuL woe the while! our fkthers' minds are dead,
And we are governed with our mother's spirits;
Oar yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Catoa, Indeed they say the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Csesar as a king :
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land.
In every place, save here in Italy.

Cat» 1 know where I will wear thia dagger
Cassias from bondage will deliver Cassiua:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most

Therein, ye gods, yon tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airleaa dungeon, nor strong; links of iroii,
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 manny that I do bear
I can alMke off at pleasure. [Thunder thlL

Catoa, So can I :

80 every bondman in bis own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.

Cat, And why ahould Cnaar be a tyrant tbenV
Vbor niaa \ 1 know he woaldnol be a wolf «


But that he sees the Romans are bat auee^ :
He were no lion were not liomans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws : What trash is Home.
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
80 vile a thing as Caesar ! But, O, grief!
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak thia
Before a willing bondman : then I know
My answer must be made : But I am arm*d,
And dangers are to me indifierent.

Catea. Tou speak to Casca: and to such a man
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold my hand :
Be factious for redress of all these griefiii
And I will set this foot of mine as far
As who goes far^^est

Cat, There's a banrain made.

Now know you, Casca, I have movM 'Uready
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo with me an enterprise
Of honourable-dangerous oonsequ^ice;
And I do know by this they stay for me
In Pompey's porch: For now, wis fearful night*
There is no stir or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element
In &vour*s like the work we have in hand.
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

EftUer CiNNA.

Caaca, Stand close awhile, for here comes one
in haste.

Cat, Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait ;
He is a friend.— Cinna, where haste you so?

Cm, To find out you: Who's that? Metellas

Cat, No, it is Casoa ; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?

Cin, I am glad ont What a fearful night is
There's two or three of as have seen strange

Cat, Am I not staid for? Tell me.

Cin, Yes, you are.

O, Cassins, if you could but win the noble Brutus
To our party

Cat, Be you content: Good Cinna, take this
And look you, lay it in the orator's chair,
Where Brutus may but fina it ; and throw this
In at his window : set this ap with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue : all this done.
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find ua
Is Decins Brutus and Trebonius there?

Cin. All, but Metellus Cimber ; and he's gone
To seek yoo at your house. Well, I will hie,
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.

Cat, That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.

[Exit CiMMA
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.

Caaca, O, he sits high in all the people's hearts *
And that which would appear ofienoe m as,
His countenance, like richest alchymy.
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.

Cat, Him, and his worth, and oar great need oi
Ton have right well oonoeited. Let as go.
For it is after midnight , aiK< ere day
We will awake him. and be sure of him. \E30tml.

Digitized by





SCENE h-^Thetame, Bmtxui% Orchard.

Enter Bbutus.

Bru, What LuciasI bo!—
I cannot, by the progress of the stvs,
Give guess how near to^j. - Lucius, I say I—
I would it were my fiiult to sleep so soundly. —
When, Lucius, when! Awake, I sayl What,

.Sk<er LuGiiiB.

Luc Caird yon, my lord ?

Bru, Get me a taper in my study, Lucius :
When it is lighted, come and call me here.

Luc I will, my lord. [Exit,

Bru, It must be by his death : and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him.
But for the general. Ue would be crown'd :—
How that mi^ht change his nature, there's the

It is tne bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking. Crown him ?->

And theuj I grant, we put a sting in him.
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power: And, to speak truth of

I have not known when his affections swayed
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder.
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face :
But when he once attains the utmost round,
Ue then unto the ladder turns his bade,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend : So Csesar may ;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the

Will bear no colour for the thing he is.
Fashion it thus ; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities :
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg.
Which, hatoh'di would as his Idnd grow mis-
And kill him in the sheU.

Be-enter Lvcnm,

Luc The taper bumeth in ^our closet, sir.
Searching the window for a flint, I found
ThiH paper, thus seal'd up ; and, I am sure,
It did not lie there when I went to bed.

Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March r

Luc I know not, sir.

Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word.

Luc I will, sir. [Exit,

Bru. The exhalations, whizsing in the air.
Give so much light that 1 may read by them.

[OpcHM the Utter, and reads.
** Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself.
Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress I

Brutus, thou sleep'st; awakel"

Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.
" Shall Rome, &o " Thus must I piece it out;
Shall Rome stand onder one man's awe? What 1

My ancestors did firom the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.

Speak, strike, redress l"— Am I entreated

To speak and strike? O Romet I make Cm

If the reoress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus 1

Bctnter hJJCW9.

Luc Sir, Marcn is wasted fourteen days.


Bru. Tis good. Go to the gate: somebody
knocks. [Exit Lucius.

Since Caasius first did whet me against Caesar
I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasraa, or a hideous dream :
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council ; and the state of a man.
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

Bender Lucius.

Luc Sir, *tis your brother Cassias at the door»
Who doth desire to see you.

Bru, Is he alone?

Luc No, sir, there are more with him.

Bru. Do you know them ?

Luc No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their
And half their faces buried in their doaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of fitvour.

Bru. Let them enter.

[Exit Lucius
They are the Action. Conspiracy I
Sham^ thou to show thy dangerous brow by

When evils are most free ? O, then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thj monstrous visage? Seek none. Con-
spiracy ;
Hide it in smiles and affiibility :
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.

Enter Cabsujs^ Cabga, Decius, Cinha, Mbtbllub


Cos. I think we are too bold upon your rest:
Good morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you?

Bru. 1 have been up this hour ; awake all nigfat
Know I these men that come along with you ?

Cob. Yes, every man of tliem ; and no man here
But honours you : and everv one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of yon*
This is Trebonius.

Bru, He u welcome hither.

Ca$. This, Decius Brutus.

Bru, He is welcome too.

Cos. This, Casca ; this, Cinna ; and this Metellus

Bru. They are all welcome.
What watchful cares do interpose themsdvea
Betwixt your eyes and night?

Coi, Shall I entreat a word ? [They uihiiper.

Dec Here lies the east : Doth not the day break

Ca$oa. No.

Oin. O, pardon, sir, it doth ; and yon grey lines
That fret the clouds are messens^rs of dayw iQ

Onfoo. YoQ flhtll eonfeM that ^-oii are both
Bere, as I point mj sword, the sun arises ;
Which is a great war growing on the iooth,
Weighing the joathml season of the year.
Some two months hence, np higher toward the

He first presents his fire ; and the high east
Stands, is the Capitol, directly here.
Bru. Give me jour hands all over, one by one.
Cas» And let as swear oar resolution.
Bru, No, not an oath : If not the face of men,
The sufferance of our seals, the time% abuse, —
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed ;
So let high-sighted tyranny range on.
Till each man drop by lottery. Bat if
As I am sore they do, bear nre enough
To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women ; then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but oar own cause
To prick us to redress? what other bond
Than secret Romaa**, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter? and what other oath,
Than honesty to honesty engaged,
That this shall be. or we wiU foil for it ?
Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous.
Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Sooh creatorea as men doubt : but do not stain
The eren virtue of our enterprise.
Nor the insnppressive metal of our spirits.
To think that, or our cause, or our performance,
Did need an oath ; when every drop of blood.
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears.
Is guilty of a several bastardy.
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath passed from him.

Cos, But what of Cicero ? Shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
Casca, Let us not leave him out
Cm, No, by no means.

Met. O let OS have him ; for his silver hairs
Will porchase as a good opinion.
And boy inen*s voices to commend oar deeds :
It shall be said his lodgment rul'd our hands ;
Oar youths and wifdness shall no whit appear.
Bat ail be buried in his gravity.
Bru, O, name him not ; let as not break with
For he will never follow anything
That other men begin*
Got. Then leave him out

Oatea^ Indeed, he is not fit.
Dee, Shall no man else be touched bat only

Gis. Dedus, well urg*d :— I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should oatlive Cassar : we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver ; and you know his means,
If he improve them, may well btretcb so &r
ks to annoy as all : which to prevent,
Let Antony and Cesar fall together.
Bru, Our coarse will seem too bloody, Cains
To eat the head off^ and then hack the limbs;
Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards:
For Antony is but a limb of CaBsar.
Let OS be sacrificers, bat not butchers, Caias.
We all stand up agsiinst the spirit of Caesar ;
And in the spirit of men there is no bhKMl :
O, that we then could come bv Csisar's spirit,
And not difmeaiber Gaosarl Bat, alas.

C.E8AB. 656

Cnsar mast bleed for it I And, gentle friends,
Let*s kill him boldly, bat not wrathfully ;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:
And let oar hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir an their servants to an act of rage,
And atter seem to chide them. Thb shall make

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 153 of 224)