Puslapio vaizdai

Caf. I an itching palm?

You know that you are Brutus, that speak this;
Or, by the gods, this fpeech were else your last.
Bru. The name of Caffius honours this corruption,
And chaftifement doth therefore hide its head:
Caf. Chaftifement !

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March re-

Did not great Julius bleed for juftice fake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! fhall one of us,
That ftruck the foremost man of all this world,
But for fupporting robbers; shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ?
And fell the mighty space of our large honours
For fo much trafh, as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than fuch a Roman.

Caf. Brutus, bay not me,

I'll not endure it; you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a foldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

Bru. Go to; you are not, (15) Caffius.


(15) You are not, Caffius.] See Mr. Warburton's note on the place; upon which Mr. Edwards in his Canons of Criticism, p. 93.. obferves thus, "If Mr. Warburton had not been giddy with his ideas of bravery, difintereftedness, philofophy, honour, and patriotifm, which have nothing to do here, he would have feen, that Caffius is the vocative cafe, not the nominative ; and: that Brutus does not mean to fay, you are not an able foldier; but he fays, you are not an abler than I; a point which it was far. from being beneath his character to infift on.

If the words, you are not Caffius, meant a new imputation on him for degeneracy, his mere denial of it is very flat, and Brutus, replying to that denial, by a mere repetition of his former affertion, without adding any reafon for it, is ftill worfe; whereas, if the words mean only a denial of what Caffius had just said, it is natural enough for each of them to maintain his ground, by a con


Caf. I am.

Bru. I fay, you are not.

Caf. Urge me no more, I fhall forget myselfHave mind upon your health-tempt me no farther. Bru. Away, flight man.

Caf. Is't poffible ?

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.

Muft I give way and room to your rafh choler?
Shall I be frighted, when a mad-man stares ?
Caf. O gods! ye gods! muft I endure all this?
Bru. All this! ay more. Fret, 'till your proud

heart breaks;

Go fhew your flaves how cholerick you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Muft I budge?
Muft I observe you? must I ftand and crouch
Under your tefly humour? by the gods,
You fhall digeft the venom of your spleen,
Tho' it do fplit you. For, from this day forth,
I'll ufe you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.

Caf. Is it come to this?

Bru. You fay, you are a better foldier ;

Let it appear fo; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,

I fhall be glad to learn of noble men.

Caf. You wrong me every way

Brutus ;

I faid, an elder foldier; not a better.

-you wrong me,

fident affertion of the truth of his opinion. And that the fu periority of foldiership was the point of their difpute, is moft manifeftly evident; by Brutus' refuming it a little lower,

You fay you are a better foldier, &c.

Upon which Caffius answers,

You wrong me ev'ry way; you wrong me, Brutus,
I faid an elder foldier; not a better,

Did I fay better ?"


Did I fay, better?

Bru. If you did, I care not

Caf. When Cæfar liv'd, he durft not thus have mov'd me.

Bru. Peace, peace, you durft not so have tempted


Caf. I durft not?

Bru. No.

Caf. What? durft not tempt him?

Bru. For your life you durft not.

Caf. Do not prefume too much upon my love? I may do that, I fhall be forry for.

Bru. You have done that, you should be forry for.
There is no terror, Caffius, in your threats;
For I am arm'd fo ftrong in honesty,
That they pafs by me, as the idle wind,
Which I refpe&t not.
I did fend to you

For certain fums of gold, which you deny'd me;
For I can raife no money by vile means;

By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,

And drop my blood for drachmas, (16) than to


From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,
By any indirection. I did fend

To you for gold to pay my legions,

Which you denied me; was that done like Caffius?
Should I have anfwer'd Caius Caffius fo?
When Marcus Brutus grows fo covetous,
To lock fuch rascal counters from his friends,

(16) Than to wring, &c.] This inimitable paffage is not only highly in character, but as Mr. Warburton has obferv'd, is moft happily expreffed. "To wring implies both to get unjustly, and to ufe force in getting: And hard bands fignify both the peasants great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold.”


Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dafh him to pieces!

Caf. I deny'd you not.

Bru. You did.

Caf. I did not.

-he was but a fool,

That brought my anfwer back.-Brutus hath riv'd

my heart.

A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not, 'till you practise them on me.
Caf. You love me not.

Bru. I do not like your faults.

Caf. A friendly eye could never fee fuch faults.
For Caffius is a weary of the world:

Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults obferv'd ;
Set in a note-book, learn'd and con'd by rote,
To caft into my teeth. O I could weep

My fpirit from mine eyes-There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast-within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus's mine, richer than gold;
If that thou beeft a Roman, take it forth.
I that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart;
Strike, as thou didst at Cæfar; for I know,

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better

Than ever thou lov'd'ft Caffius.

Bru. Sheath your dagger;

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, difhonour shall be humour.
O Caffius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger, as the flint bears fire;
Who much enforced, fhews a hafty spark,
And ftraight is cold again.


Caf. Hath Caffius liv'd

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him?
Bru. When I fpoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Caf. Do you confefs fo much? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart too.
Caf. O Brutus !

Bu, What's the matter?
Caf. Have you not love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour, which my mother gave me,
Makes me forgetful?

Bru. Yes, Caffius, and from henceforth When you are over-earnest

your Brutus,

He'll think your mother and leave

you fo.

* * * * * *

* * * *

Bru, O Caffius, I am fick of many griefs.

Caf. Of your philosophy you make no use,
If you give place to accidental evils.

Bru. No man bears forrow better-Porcia's dead.
Caf. Ha! Porcia!

Bru. She is dead.

Caf. How 'fcap'd I killing, when I croft you fo
O infupportable and touching lofs !
Upon what fickness?

Caf. O ye immortal gods!

Bru. Impatient of my abfence;

And grief, that young Octavius with Mark Antony Have made themselves fo ftrong: (for with her death That tidings came; (with this she fell distract,

And (her attendants abfent,) swallow'd fire.

Caf. And dy'd fo ?

Bru. Even fo.

Enter boy with wine and tapers.

Bru. Speak no more of her; give me a bowl of




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