Изображения страниц

Cæs. Good friends, go in, and taste some wine

with me;

And we, like friends, will straightway go together.

Bru. That every like is not the same, O Cæsar, The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon! [Exeunt.


The Same. A Street near the Capitol.

Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a Paper. Art. Cæsar, beware of Brutus ; take heed of Cassius; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; mark well Metellus Cinber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Cæsar. If thou be’st not immortal, look about you : Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee ! Thy lover,


Here will I stand, till Cæsar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.
My heart laments, that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation 4.
If thou read this, O Cæsar, thou may'st live;
If not, the fates with traitors do contrive 5. [Exit.


emulation,] Here, as on many other occasions, this word is used in an unfavourable sense, somewhat like-factious, envious, or malicious rivalry. So, in Troilus and Cressida :

“ Whilst emulation in the army crept.” STEEVENS. 15- the fates with traitors do contrive.] The fates join with traitors in contriving thy destruction. Johnson.


The Same. Another Part of the same Street, before

the House of BRUTUS.

Enter PORTIA and Lucius. Por. I pr’ythee, boy, run to the senate-house; Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone: Why dost thou stay 6 ? Luc.

To know my errand, madam. Por. I would have had thee there, and here again, Ere I can tell thee what thou should'st do there.O constancy, be strong upon my side! Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue ! I have a man's mind, but a woman's might. How hard it is for women to keep counsel !Art thou here yet ? Luc.

Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else ?
And so return to you, and nothing else ?
Por. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look

For he went sickly forth: And take good note,
What Cæsar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! what noise is that ?

Luc. I hear none, madam.

Pr’ythee, listen well:
I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.


Why dost thou stay? &c.] Shakspeare has expressed the perturbation of King Richard the Third's mind by the same in

cident :

[ocr errors]

Dull, unmindful villain !
Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke?-

Cat. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' pleasure, “What from your grace I shall deliver to him.”


Luc. Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

Enter Soothsayer? Por.

Come hither, fellow : Which way hast thou been? Sooth.

At mine own house, good lady. Por. What is't o'clock ? Sooth.

About the ninth hour, lady. Por. Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol ?

Sooth. Madam, not yet; I go to take my stand, To see him pass on to the Capitol. Por. Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou

not? Sooth. That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar To be so good to Cæsar, as to hear me, I shall beseech him to befriend himself. Por. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended

towards him? Sooth, None that I know will be, much that I

fear may chance Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow : The throng that follows Cæsar at the heels, Of senators, of prætors, common suitors, Will croud a feeble man almost to death : I'll get me to a place more void, and there Speak to great Cæsar as he comes along. [Exit.

Por. I must go in.-Ah me! how weak a thing The heart of woman is! O Brutus!


* Enter Soothsayer.] The introduction of the Soothsayer here is unnecessary, and, I think, improper. All that he is made to say, should be given to Artemidorus ; who is seen and accosted by Portia in his passage from his first stand, p. 68, to one more convenient, p. 70. TYRWHITT.

8 None that I know will be, much that I fear MAY CHANce. Sir Thomas Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, omits-may chance, which I regard as interpolated words ; for they render the line too long by a foot, and the sense is complete without them.


[ocr errors]

The heavens speed thee in thine enterprize!
Sure, the boy heard me:-Brutus hath a suit",
That Cæsar will not grant.-0, I grow faint:-
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord;
Say, I am merry: come to me again,
And bring me word what he doth say to thee.



The Same. The Capitol; the Senate sitting.

A Croud of People in the Street leading to the Capitol; among them ARTEMIDORUS, and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CÆSAR, BRUTUS, CASsius, Casca, Decius, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, Cinna, Antony, LEPIDUS, POPILIUS, PUBLIUS, and Others. CÆs. The ides of March are come. Sooth. Ay, Cæsar; but not gone. Art. Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.

Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read, At your best leisure, this his humble suit.

Art. 0, Cæsar, read mine first; for mine's a suit That touches Cæsar nearer; Read it, great Cæsar.

Cæs. What touches us ourself, shall be last serv'd.
Art. Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
CÆs. What is the fellow mad?

Sirrah, give place. Cas. What, urge you your petitions in the street ? Come to the Capitol.

9 Brutus hath a suit, &c.] These words Portia addresses to Lucius, to deceive him, by assigning a false cause for her present perturbation. Malone.

Cæsar enters the Capitol, the rest following.

All the Senators rise. Pop. I wish, your enterprize to-day may thrive. Cas. What enterprize, Popilius ? Pop.

Fare you well.

[Advances to Cæsar. Bru. What said Popilius Lena ? CAs. He wish’d, to-day our enterprize might

thrive. I fear, our purpose is discovered.

Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: Mark him.

Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.Brutus, what shall be done ? If this be known, Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back?, For I will slay myself.

1- Mark him.] The metre being here imperfect, I think we should be at liberty to read :-“Mark him well.

So, in the paper read Artemidorus, p. 68 :-“ Mark well Metellus Cimber.”

STEEVENS. 2 Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,] I believe Shakspeare wrote :

“ Cassius on Cæsar never shall turn back.” The next line strongly supports this conjecture. If the conspiracy was discovered, and the assassination of Cæsar rendered impracticable by "prevention," which is the case supposed, Cassius could have no hope of being able to prevent Cæsar from “ turning back” (allowing turn back” to be used for return back;") and in all events this conspirator's “ slaying himselfcould not produce that effect,

Cassius had originally come with a design to assassinate Cæsar, or die in the attempt, and therefore there could be no question now concerning one or the other of them falling. The question now stated is, if the plot was discovered, and their scheme could not be effected, how each conspirator should act ; and Cassius declares, that, if this should prove the case, he will not endeavour to save himself by flight from the Dictator and his partizans, but instantly put an end to his own life.

The passage in Plutarch's Life of Brutus, which Shakspeare appears to have had in his thoughts, adds such strength to this

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »