Page images

Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.

Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,

By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection from some other thing.
Cas. "Tis just,

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirror as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
(Except immortal Cæsar) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd, that noble Brutus had his eyes.

Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself,
For that which is not in me?

Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;
And since you know you cannot see yourself,
So well as by reflection; I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself,

That of yourself, which yet you know not of.
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus :
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love,
To every new protestor; if you know,
That 1 do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

[Flourish and Snouts.

Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the people

Chuse Cæsar for their king.


Cas. Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
Lut wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it, that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye, and death i'th' other,
And I will look on both indifferently:
For let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honour, more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story:
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but for my single self,"
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Cæsar, so were you;
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.—
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with his shores,
Cæsar says to me," Dar'st thou, Cassius, now,
Leap in with me into this angry flood,

And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,

And bade him follow: so indeed he did
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it,
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cry'd," Help me, Cassius, or I sink."
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

Did from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder,
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber,
Did I the tired Cæsar and this man

Is now become a god;

and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him
He had a fever, when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark

How he did shake 'tis true, this god did shake
His coward lips did from their colour fly,,

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world? Did lose its 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! it cry'd" Give me some drink, Titinius"— As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me


A man of such a feeble temper, should

So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.

Bru. Another general shout!


I do believe, that these applauses are

For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar. Cat. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,

Like a Colossus; and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs, and peep about

To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

Men at sometimes are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Brutus and Cæsar! what should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name:
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well:
Weigh them, it is as heavy conjure with them,
Brutus will start a spirit, as soon as Cæsar.
Now, in the name of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods.
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man ?


When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
Oh ! you and I have heard our fathers say,

There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd
Th'eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.

Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim;
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter: for this present,
I would not (so with love I might entreat you)
Be any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer such high things.
Cos. I am glad that my weak words

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you,
What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.

Bru. I will do so;

Enter Cesar and his Train.

But look you, Cassius,-

The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train.

Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cos. Antonius-
Ant. Cæsar!

Cas. Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleekheaded men, and such as sleep o'nights:
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous:
He is a noble Roman, and well given.

Cces. Would he were fatter; but I fear him not: Yet, if my name were liable to fear,

I do not know the man I should avoid,

So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
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 scorn'd his spirit,
'That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
Whilst they behold a greater than themselves;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear for always I am Cæsar.
Come, tell me truly, what thou think'st of him.

[Exeunt CESAR and his Train. Casca. You pulled me by the cloak; would you speak with me?

Bru. Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanc'd, to-day, That Casar looks so sad.

Casca. Why, you were with him, were you not? Bru. I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him; and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus, and then the people fell a-shouting.

Bru. What was the second noise for ?

Casca. Why, fur that too.

Cos. They shouted thrice, what was the last cry for? Casca. Why, for that too.

Bru. Was the crown offered him three times ? Casca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the other; and at every putting by mine honest neighbours shouted,

Cas. Who offered him the crown?

Casca. Why, Antony.

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

Casca. I can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it; it was mere foolery, I did not mark it. I saw

« PreviousContinue »