« PředchozíPokračovat »
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me: And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird 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 portentous things
Upon the climate that they point upon.
Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?
Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow.
Cic. Good night, then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca. A Roman.
Cas. Casca, by your voice.
Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this?
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
Cas. Those, that have known the earth so full of faults.
For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And thus embraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone:
And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens ? It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
But if you would consider 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 calculate;
Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
Their natures and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear and warning,
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol:
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious* grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius ?
Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;
But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.
Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king:
And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.
Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
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 tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.
Casca. So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds."
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire,
Begin it with weak straws: What trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar? But, Q, grief!
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman; then I know
My answer must be made: But I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.
Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a man,
That is no fleering tell-tale. Holdt my hand:
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.
Cas. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprise
Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me
In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night
There is no stir, or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element,
Is favour'd, like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
Cas. "Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait;
He is a friend.-Cinna, where haste you so?
Cin. To find out you: Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?
Cin. I am glad on't. What a fearful night is this!
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.
Cas. Am I not staid for, Cinna? Tell me.
You are. O, Cassius, if you could but win
The noble Brutus to our party-
Cas. Be you content: Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the prætor's chair,
Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window: set this up with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius, there?
Cin. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
Cas. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.
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.
Casca. O, he sits high, in all the people's hearts:
And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchymy,
Will change to virtue, and to worthiness.
Cas. Him, and his worth, and our great need of him,
You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight; and, ere day,
We will awake him, and be sure of him.
SCENE I-The same. BRUTUS' Orchard.
Bru. What, Lucius! ho!
I cannot, by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how ear to day.-Lucius, I say!-
I would it were ny fault to sleep so soundly.
When, Lucius, when !* Awake, I say: What, Lucius!
Luc. Call'd you, 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.
Bru. It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:-
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking. Crown him?—That;-
And then, 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
Remorset from power: And, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,t
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face:
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees §
By which he did ascend: So Cæsar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
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, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous;
And kill him in the shell.
Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, Sir.
Searching the window for a flint, I found
This paper, thus sealed 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?
Luc. I know not, Sir.
Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
Luc. I will, Sir.
Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them.
[Opens the letter, and reads.
Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself.
Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress!
Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake.-
Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up.
Shall Rome, &c. Thus, must I piece it out;
Shall Rome stand under 'one man's we? What! Rome?
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.
Speak, strike, redress!-Am I entreated then
To speak, and strike? O Rome! I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus.
Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.
Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks. [Exit LUCIUS.
Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius, and the mortal instruments,
Are then in council; and the state of man
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door, Who doth desire to see you.
Bru. Is he alone?
Luc. No, Sir, there are more with him.
Bru. No you know them?
Luc. No, Sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears, And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favour.*
Bru. Let them enter.
They are the faction. O conspiracy!
Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free! O, then, by day,
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles, and affability:
For if thou path thy native semblancet on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.