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JULIUS CÆSAR.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

JULIUS CÆSAR.

LUCILIUS, OCTAVIUS CÆSAR,

triumvirs after TITINIUS, friends to Brutus and MARCUS ANTONIUS, the death of MESSALA,

Cassius.
M. ÆMILIUS LEPIDUS, Julius Cæsar. VOLUMNIUS,
POPILIUS LENA, a Senator.

CLITUS,
MARCUS BRUTUS,

CLAUDIUS, CASSIUS,

STRATO, servants to Brutus. CASCA,

LUCIUS, TREBONIUS,

conspirators against DARDANIUS, LIGARIUS,

Julius Cæsar.

PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.
DECIUS BRUTUS,

CALPURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
METELLUS CIMBER,
CINNA,

Senators, Citizens, Guards, AttendA Soothsayer.

SCENE: Rome; the neighbourhood of Sardis; the neighbourhood of Philippi.

ants, &c.

THE ARGUMENT.

(B.C. 45–42.)

PART I. -Julius Cæsar, having been created Consul of Rome for the second time in B.C. 48, has returned from Spain, where he has vanquished the sons of Pompey in the Battle of Munda (B.C. 45). The lower orders, who hail him as a conquering hero, wish to celebrate his triumph; but Cassius and other patrician rivals are jealous of his popularity; and the Tribunes remind the people that his victories have been gained over their fellow-countrymen. Cæsar, on his way to celebrate the festival of the Lupercalia, on the ides of February, B.C. 44, is warned by a soothsayer in the crowd to beware the ides of March—a warning which he disregards. Cæsar, not without reason, is suspected by his envious rivals of aiming at the sovereign power. The impulsive Cassius succeeds in engaging the calm and philosophic Brutus in a plot for his destruction, as the only means of saving Rome. The blunt Casca, Trebonius, Metellus Cimber, and others enter into the conspiracy. Calpurnia, Cæsar's wife, influenced by supernatural omens, tries to dissuade him from exposing himself in the Senate ; but to no purpose.

PART II.-Afraid of being thought superstitious and cowardly, he goes to the Senate House on the ides of March; and while the conspirators pretend to present a petition to him, he is stabbed at the base of Pompey's Pillar, first by Casca, then by his associates, and at last by Marcus Brutus. Afterwards Brutus, addressing the citizens in the Forum, endeavours to justify the murder of Cæsar by representing him as an ambitious tyrant, and the enemy of a free constitution. But Antony follows him in a skilful oration, in which he works upon the popular feelings, by representing Cæsar as the friend of the lower orders. With well-feigned unwillingness he reads to them Cæsar's will, and exposes his mangled body. In his will Cæsar names the people as his personal heirs ; and Antony stirs up their sympathy with the fallen consul to such a degree, that they call out for vengeance upon his murderers. Brutus and Cassius, with their partisans, are forced to flee from Rome; and the government is committed to a triumvirate, consisting of. Octavius Cæsar, Lepidus, and Antony.

PART III.-Brutus and Cassius form their camp near Sardis. Here a violent dissension between these leaders is healed by the forbearance of the former, and the impetuous good-heartedness of the latter. Octavius and Antony, with their army, follow the conspirators to the East. The rival armies meet on the plains of Philippi. The wing led by Brutus defeats Octavius; but Cassius is overthrown by Antony. Unable to sustain this disgrace, and ignorant of Brutus's success, Cassius kills himself. Antony then turns upon Brutus and overpowers him. He is on the point of being taken prisoner, when, having in vain besought one and another of his followers to put an end to his life, he runs on his sword, which is held for him by Strato, his servant, and dies. So the death of Cæsar is avenged even with the swords that killed him.

PART 1.

SCENE-A PUBLIC PLACE.

Flourish. Enter CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA,

PORTIA, DECIUS, BRUTUS, Cassius, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.

Sooth. Cæsar!
Cæs. Ha! who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still: peace yet again !
Cæs. Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry “Cæsar!”—Speak; Cæsar is turned to hear.

Sooth. Beware* the ides of March.
Cæs.

What man is that?
Bru. A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Cæs. Set him before me; let me see his face.

10
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Cæsar.
Cæs. What sayest thou to me now? speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer; let us leave him :—pass.

[Sennet. Exeunt all except Brutus and Cassius.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ?
Bru. Not I.
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome :

* I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires ;

20
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness

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I'll leave you.

40

And show of love as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.

[Flourish, and shout.
Brú. What means this shouting? I do.fear the people
Choose Cæsar for their king.
Cas.

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

30
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?
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 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 her shores,

50
Cæsar said to me, “Darest 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 roared, 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 cried, “Help me, Cassius, or I sink !"

60
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

70

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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, it cried, “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.

[Shout. Flourish. 80
Bru. Another general shout !
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heaped on Cæsar.

Cas. 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 some time are masters of their fates :
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

90
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 'em,-
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great ?-Age, thou art shamed !
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods !

100 When went there by an age, since the great flood, But it was famed with more than with one man ? When could they say till now, that talked of Rome, That her wide walls encompassed 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, There was a Brutus once that would have brooked The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome As easily as a king.

110 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 moved. 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.
Till then, my noble friend, chew* upon

this:

120 Brutus had rather be a villager,

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Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.

Cas. 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.

130
Re-enter CÆSAR and his Train.
Bru. I will do so.—But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train :
Calpurnia's cheek is.pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being crossed in conference by some senators.

Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Antonius, -
Ant. Cæsar?

140
Cæs. Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights :
Yond* 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.

Cos. 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 ;

150
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 mocked himself and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at anything.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease
Whiles * they behold a greater than themselves ;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be feared

160 Than what I fear; for always I am Cæsar. Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.

[Sennet. Exeunt Cæsar and all his Train, but Casca. Casca. You pulled me by the cloak; would you speak with

me ? Bru. Ay, Casca ; tell us what hath chanced to-day, That Cæsar looks so sad.

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