Imagens da página

I should do Brutus wrong, and Ca:lius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather chuse
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong tuch honourable men.
But here's a parchment, with the feal of Cæfar,
I found it in his closet, 'cis his will:
Let but the commons hear this teftament,
(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read)
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their iflue.

4 Pleb. We'll hear the will : Read it, Mark Antony. All. The will, the will:-We will hear Cæfar's

will. Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not

read it ; It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov'd you. You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; And, being men,, hearing the will of Cæsar, It will inflame you, it will make you mad. 'Tis good you know not, that you are his heirs ; For if you should, O what would come of it!

4 Pleb. Read the will; we will hear it, Antony; You shall read us the will; Cæsar's will.

Ant. Will you be patient? Will you stay a while ? I have o'er hot myself, to tell you of it. I fear, I wrong the honourable men, Whose daggers have stabb’d Cæfar: I do fear it.

4 Pleb. They were traitors : Honourable men! All. The will ! the testament !

2 Pleb. They were villains, murderers : The will! read the will !


F 2

Ant. You will compel me then to read the will? Then make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar, And let me shew you him that made the will. Shall I descend? And will you give me leave ?

All. Come down. 2 Pleb. Descend. (He comes down from the pulpit. 3 Pleb. You shall have leave. 4 Pleb. A ring; stand round. i Pleb. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body. 2 Pleb, Room for Antony ;-moft noble Antony. Ant. Nay, press not so upon me ; stand far off. All. Stand back ! room ! bear back!

Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. You all do know this mantle : I remember The first time ever Cæfar


it on ; 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, That day he overcame the Nervii.Look! in this place, ran Casius' dagger through: See, what a rent the envious Casca made : Through this, the well-beloved Brutus ftabb’d; And, as he pluck'd his cursed steel away, Mark, how the blood of Cæsar follow'd it; As rushing out of doors, to be resolv’d, If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no; For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel': Judge, O you Gods! how dearly Cæsar lov'd him! This was the most unkindest cut of all : For when the noble Cæfar saw him ftab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart : · And, in his mantle muffing up his face,


'For Brutus, as you know, was CÆSAR'S ANGEL :) This title of endearment is more than once introduced in Sidney's Arcadia.

STEEVENS. ? And, in his mantle, &c.] Read the lines thus,

And, in his mantle mufling up his face,
Which all the while ranblood, great Cæfar fell,
Even at the base of Pompey's ftatue.


Even at the base of Pompey's ftatue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
O now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
The dint of pitys: these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what, weep you, when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look you here !
Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, by traitors.

i Pleb. O piteous spectacle!
2 Pleb. O noble Cæsar!

Pleb. O woful day!
4 Pléb. O traitors, villains !
i Pleb. O most bloody fight!

2 Pleb. We will be reveng’d: revenge: about,— feek--burn,--fire--kill,--Day !--let not a traitor live.

Plutarch tells us, that Cæsar received many wounds in the face on this occasion, so that it might be said to run blood. But, instead of that, the statue, in this reading, and not the face, is said to do fo; it is plain these two lines should be transposed : And then the refiection, which follows,

O wbit a fall was there is natural, lamenting the disgrace of being at last subdued in that quarrel in which he had been compleat victor.

WARB. The image seems to be, that the blood of Cæfar flew upon the tatue, and trickled down it. And the exclamation,

O what a fall was there come follows better after

-griat Cefar fill, than with a line interposed.

JOHNSON. Perhaps Shakespeare meant that the very statue of Pompay lamented the fate of Cæsar in tears of blood Such poetical hyperboles are not uncommon. Pope, in his Eloisa, talks of

-fitying faints, whose flatues learn to wrep. Shakespeare has enumerated dews of blood among the prodigies on the preceding day, and, as I have since discovered, took these very words from Sir Thomas North’s Translation of Plutarch : "-against the very base whereon Pompey's image stood, which ran all a gore blood, till he was fain”

STEEVENS. 3 The dint of piry is the impression of pity.



F 3

Ant. Stay, countrymen,
1 Pleb. Peace there :--Hear the noble Antony.

2 Pleb. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him. Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir

you up Tó such a sudden food of mutiny. They, that have done this deed, are honourable : What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, That made them do it; they are wise, and honour

able, And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ; I am no orator, as Brutus is : But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, Thar love my friend, and that they know full well That give me publick leave to speak of him. 4 For I have neither writ, nor words, nor worth, Action nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men's blood: I only speak right on: I tell you that, which you yourselves do know; Shew you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor, dumb

And bid them speak for me.

But were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffe up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

All. We'll mutiny-
i Pleb. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
3 Pleb. Away then, come, seek the conspirators.
Ant. Yet hear me, countrynien; yet hear me speak.

* For I have neither wit, ] The old copy reads,

For I have neither writ, nor words, which may mean, I have no penned and premeditated oration,

JOHNSON. I have inserted the old reading.



All. Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony. Ant. Why, friends, you go to do you know not

what. Wherein hath Cæfar thus deserv'd your loves? Alas, you know not. I must tell you then. You have forgot the will, I told you of. All. Most true ;-the will,- let's stay, and hear the

will. Ant. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal. To every Roman citizen he gives, To every several man, seventy-five drachmas. 2 Pleb. Most noble Cæsar! We'll revenge his

death. 3 Pleb. O royal Cæsar ! Ant. Hear me with patience. All. Peace, ho!

Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new.planted orchards,

On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever ; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæfar: When coines such another?

i Pleb. Never, never: come, away, away:

On this fide Tiber;] The scene is here in the Forum near the Capitol, and in the most frequented part of the city ; but Cæsar's gardens were very remote from that quarter.

Trans Tiberim longe (ubat is, p:ope Cæsaris hortos, says Horace: and both the Naumachia and gardens of Cæsar were separated from the main city by the river; and lay out wide, on a line with Mount Janiculum. Our author therefore certainly wrote,

On that fide Tyber; and Plutarch, whom Shakespeare very diligently studied, in the life of Marcus Brutus, speaking of Cæsar's will, exprefly says, That he left to the public his gardens, and walks, beyond the Ti. ber

Theor. This emendation has been adopted by the subsequent editors ; but hear the old translation, where Shakespeare's Budy lay. “ He

bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome seventy five drachmas a

man, and he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, “ which he had on this side of the river Tiber.” FARMER.


-F 4

« AnteriorContinuar »