Puslapio vaizdai

For let the Gods fo fpeed me, as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death.

Caffius, in Contempt of Cæfar.

I was born free as Cafar, fo were you; We both have fed as well; and we can both Endure the winter's cold as well as he.

(2) For once upon a raw and gufty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with his fhores,
Cæfar fays to me, "dar'ft thou, Caffius, now


city: my principles lead me to purfue it: this is my end, my good: whatever comes in competition with the general good, will weigh nothing: death and honour are to me things of an indifferent nature: but, however, I freely acknowledge, that of thefe indifferent things, honour has my greatest eftcem, my choice and love: the very name of honour I love, more than I fear death." Upton's Obfervations on Shakespear, p. 314.

(2) For once, &c.] It is too well known that fwimming was an ufual exercife with the hardy and noble Romans, to infift upon it here: Horace makes it a mark of effeminacy to neglect it: and complains to Lydia, that he had enervated Sybaris, by making him afraid even to touch the yellow Tyber's fiream

Cur timet flavum Tyberim tangere?

See ode 8. 1. 7.

Julius Caefar was remarkable for his excellence in swimming: Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Falle One, thus nobly defcribe one of the moft illuftrious incidents of his life

But got near the fea,

In which his navy anchor'd, in one hand
Holding a fcroll he had, above the waves,
And in the other grasping faft his sword,
As it had been a trident forg'd by Vulcan
To calm the raging ocean; he made a way
As if he had been Neptune his friends, like
So many Tritons follow'd, their bold fhouts
Yielding a chearful mufic; we fhower'd darts
Upon 'em, but in vain: they reach'd their fhips,
And in their fafety we are funk: for Cefar
Prepares for war.
See the latter end of Act 5.

Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And fwim 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 controverfy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cafar cry'd, "help me, Caffius, or I fink."
I, as Encas, our great ancestor,

Did from the flames of Troy upon his fhoulder
The old Anchifes bear, fo, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cafar: and this man

Is now become a god; and Caffius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cafar carelefly but ned 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 fame eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lofe its luftre; I did hear him groan:
Aye, and that tongue of his, that bad the Romans
Mark him, and write his fpeeches in their books,
Alas! it cry'd-" give me fome drink, Titinius—
As a fick girl. Ye Gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of fuch a feeble temper should
(3) So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.

[Shout, flourish. Bru.

(3) So get, &c.] Mr. Warburton tell's us, "the image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games." Tho' that does not appear fo certain or neceffary, fince the allufion to any public games will do full as well; yet what he fays afterwards is more to the purpose: The majeflic world is a fine periphrafis for the Roman empire: their citizens fet themselves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion, Orbis Remanus." But the particular allufion feems to be to the known story of Cafar's great pattern, Alexander, who being asked whe


Bru. Another general shout!

I do believe that these applaufes are

For fome new honours that are heap'd on Cafar.
Caf. Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Coloffus: and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourfelves difhonourable graves.
Men at fometimes are mafters of their fates:
The fault, dear. Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Cæfar! what should be in that Cafar?
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 'em,
Brutus will start a fpirit as foon as Cafar.
Now in the name of all the Gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæfar feed,
That he is grown fo great? Age, thou art sham'd;
Rome, thou haft loft the breed of noble bloods.
When went there by an age, fince the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they fay, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man.

SCENE IV. Cæfar's Diflike of Caffius.

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 foon as that fpare Caffius. He reads much;


ther he would run the courfe at the Olympic games, replied, "yes, if the racers were kings." For this allufion alfo, there does not feem the leaft hint in the paffage; rather the contrary: Caffius wonders how fuch a feeble man fhould fo get the start of all the Romans, the majestic world, as to bear the palm alone? How he, feebler than the reft, fhould in the courfe out-ftrip 'em all, and carry off the prize

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He is a great observer; and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays,
As thou doft, Antony; (4) he hears no mufic:
Seldom he smiles; and fmiles in fuch a fort,
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 Cafar.

SCENE VII. Spirit of Liberty.

I know, where I will wear this dagger, then: Caffius from bondage will deliver Caffius. Therein, ye Gods, you make the weak moft strong; Therein, ye Gods, you tyrants do defeat: Nor ftony tower, nor walls of beaten brafs, Nor airless dungeon, nor ftrong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of fpirit: But life, being weary of thefe worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself. If I know this; know all the world befides, That part of tyranny, that I do bear, I can shake off at pleasure.


Ambition, covered with fpecious Humility.

But 'tis a common proof,
That lowlinefs is young ambition's ladder,


(4) He hears, &c.] Mr. Theobald obferves well here: "This is not a trivial obfervation, nor does our poet mean barely by it, that Caffius was not a merry, fprightly man, but that he had not a due temperament of harmony in his compofition: and


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, fcorning the base degrees
By which he did afcend.

Confpiracy, dreadful till executed.

(5) Between the acting of a dreadful thing, And the first motion, all the interim is


that, therefore, natures fo uncorrected, are dangerous." He hath finely dilated on this fentiment, in his Merchant of Venice.

The man that hath no mufic, &c.

(5) Between, &c.] Mr. Addifon has paraphrased this inimitable paffage, in his Cato, which always ferves to remind me of that excellent diftinction, made by Mr. Guthrie, in his Effay on Tra gedy, betwixt a poet and a genius:

O think what anxious moments pafs between
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods.
Oh 'tis a dreadful interval of time,

Fill'd up with horror all, and big with death,


Either Mr. Theobald or Mr. Warburton (which who can pronounce, fince the one prints the fame words in his preface, which the other ufes as his own in his notes! See Theobald's preface, vol. 1. p. 25. and Warburton on the paffage) either the one or the other of them have observed, "that nice critic, Dionyfius, of Halicarnaffus, confeffes, that he could not find those great strokes which he calls the terrible graces, any where fo frequent as in Homer. I believe the fuccefs would be the fame, likewise, if we fought for them in any other of our authors befides our British Homer, Shakespear. This defcription of the condition of confpirators has a pomp and terror in it, that perfectly astonishes ; our excellent Mr. Addifon, whofe modefty made him fometimes diffident in his own genius, but whofe exquifite judgment always led him to the fafeft guides, has paraphrafed this fine defcription: but we are no longer to expect thofe terrible graces, which he could not hinder from evaporating in the transfufion. We may obferve two things on his imitation: first, that the subjects


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