Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

Caf. Brutus, I do observe you now of late :
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And shew of love, as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.

Bru. Cassius,
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am,
Of late, with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some foil, perhaps, to my behaviours :
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd;
Among which number, Cassius, be you one,
Nor construe any farther my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shews of love to other men
Caf. 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 reflexion by some other things.

Caf. 'Tis just :


Strange a band) Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.

JOHNSON - pasions of some difference,] With a fluctation of discordant opinions and desires.

JOHNSON. 8 The eye fees not itself,] So Sir John Davies in his poem on The Immortality of the Soul.

It is because the mind is like the eye,

Tbro' which it gathers knowledge by degrees ;
W bofe rays refle&t not, but spread outwardly ;

Not feeing itself, when other things it fees?
Again in Marfion's comedy of the Fawne, 1635.

“ Thus few strike fail until they run on shelf
The ese fees ali things but its proper felf.STEEYENŞ.


And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no fach mirrors, 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?

Caf. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear : And, since you know, you cannot see yourself So well as by reflexion ; 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 protester ; if you know, That I 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 shout. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear, the

Chuse Cæfar for their King.
Caf. Ay, do


fear it? Then must I think, you would not have it so.

Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :But wherefore do you hold me here so long? What is it, that you would impart to me?

9 To ftale with ordinary oaths my love, &c.] To invite every new protester to my affection by the fale or allurement of customary saths.


[merged small][ocr errors]

If it be aught toward the general good,
Set Honour in one eye, and Death i' the 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 Cæfar; 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 gufty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with his shores,
Cæsar, says to me, “ dar'st thou, Cassius, now
“ Leap in with me into this angry food,
“ And swim to yonder point?”–Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bid him follow: fo, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
With lufty finews; throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos’d,
Cæfar cry'd,

Help me, Caflius, or I link.” I, as Æneas, our great Ancestor, Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder The old Anchises bear, fo, from the waves of Tyber Did I the cired Cæfar: and this man is now become a God; and Calius iş

[ocr errors]

' And I will look on both indifferently;] Dr. Warburton has a long noce on this occasion, which is very triling. When Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them indiferent ; but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets bonour abave lise. Is not this natural:

JOHNSON. A wretched

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelelly 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 fy;
And that same eye, whose Bend doth awe the world,
Did lose its luftre: 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! ic cry'd—“ give me some drink, Titinius"-
As a fick girl. Ye Gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of luch a feeble temper should
So : get the start of the majestick world,
And bear the Palm alone.

[Shout. Flourish.
Bru. Anocher general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For ļome new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.

Caf. 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 dithonourable graves. Men at fome time are matters of their fates : The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

2 His coward lips did from their colour fly ;] A plain man would have said, the colour fled from his lips, and not his lips from their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false a piece of wit : a poor quibble, alluding to a coward flying from his colours.

WAR BURTON. 3 — git the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games. Tbe majestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their citizens set themselves on a footing with Kirgs, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion seems to be to the known story of Cæjar's great pattern Alexardir, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at the Olympic games, replied, Yes, if the racers were Kings. WARBURTON.




Brutus and Cæsar! what should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be founded, 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 'ein,
Brutus will start a spirit, as foon as Cæfar.
Now in the names of all the Gods at once,
Upon what meat does this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown fo great? Age, thou art sham'd:
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods !
When went there by an age, since the great food,
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 incompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome, indeed; and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
Oh! you and I have heard our fathers say,
s There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.

Bru. "That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What would you work me to, I have some aim.
How I have thought of shis, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter ; for this present,
I would not, fo with love I might intreat you,

4 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well.]
A similar thought occurs in Heywooa's Rape of Lucrece, 1614.

“ What diapafon's more in Tarquin's name
“ Than in a subject's? or what's Tullia
“ More in the sound, than should become the name
Of a poor maid?

STEEVENS. $ There was a Brutus once,] i.e. Lucius Junius Brutus. Steev.

6 — eternal devila-] I should think that our author wrote rather, infernal devil.

Johnson. I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (fays Caffius) would as foon have sutmitted to the perpetual dominion of a devil, as to the lajting government of a king.



« ZurückWeiter »