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The spirit with which the poet has entered at once into the manners of the common people, and the jealousies and heart-burnings of the different factions, is shewn in the first scene, when Flavius and Marullus, tribunes of the people, and some citizens of Rome, appear upon

the stage.

" Flavius. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

Cobbler. Truly, Sir, all that I live by, is the anl : I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor woman's natters, but with al, I am indeed, Sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them.

Flavius. But wherefore art not in thy shop to day? Why do'st thou lead these men about the streets ?

Cobbler. Truly, Sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But indeed, Sir, we make holiday to see Cæsar, and rejoice in his triumph."

To this specimen of quaint low humour immediately follows that unexpected and animated burst of indignant eloquence, put into the mouth of one of the angry tribunes.

" Marullus. Wherefore rejoice !-What conquest brings

he home ? What tributaries follow him to Rome, To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ? Oh you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome ! Knew you not Pompey ? Many a time and oft Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements, To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops, Your infants in your arms, and there have sat The live long day with patient expectation, To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome : And when you saw his chariot but appear, Have you pot made an universal shout, That Tiber trembled underneath bis banks

To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in his concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire??
And do you now cull out an holiday ?
And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood ?
Begone
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the Gods to intermit the plague,
That needs must light on this ingratitude.”

The well known dialogue between Brutus and Cassius, in which the latter breaks the design of the conspiracy to the former, and partly gains him over to it, is a noble piece of high minded declamation. Cassius's insisting on the pretended effeminacy of Cæsar's character, and his description of their swimming across the Tiber together, “ once upon a raw and gusty day,” are among the finest strokes in it. But perhaps the whole is not equal to the short scene which follows when Cæsar enters with his train.

Brutus. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.

Cassius. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What has proceeded worthy note to day.

Brutus. 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.
Calphurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes,
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being crost in conference by some senators.

Cassius. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Casur. Antonius
Antony, Cæsar?

Cæsar. Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights :
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much ; such men are dangerous.

Antony. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous :
He is a noble Roman, and well given.

Cæsar. Would he were fatter; but I fear hiin 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 ;
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 musick:
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn’d his spirit,
That could be mov'd to sinile 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
Thao what I fear; for always I am Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell ine truly what thou think'st of him.".

We know hardly any passage more expressive of the genius of Shakspeare than this. It is as if he had been actually present, had known the different charaeters and what they thought of one another, and had taken down what he heard and saw, their looks, words, and gestures, just as they happened.

The character of Mark Antony is farther speculated upon where the conspirators deliberate whether he shall fall with Cæsar. Brutus is against it

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" And for Mark Antony, think not of bim :
For he can do no more than Cæsar's arm,
When Cæsar's head is off.

Cassius. Yet do I fear him :
For in th' ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar-

Brutus. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him :
If he loves Cæsar, all that he can do
Is to himself, take thought, and die for Cæsar:
And that were much, he should ; for he is giv'n
To sports, to wildoers, and much company.

Trebonius. There is no fear in him; let him not die :
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.”

They were in the wrong; and Cassius was right.

The honest manliness of Brutus is however sufficient to find out the unfitness of Cicero to be includ. ed in their enterprise, from his affected egotism and literary vanity.

“ (), name him not : let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing,
That other men begin."

His skepticism as to prodigies and his moralizing on the weather—"This disturbed sky is not to walk in"--are in the same spirit of refined imbecility.

Shakspeare has in this play and elsewhere, shewn the same penetration into political character, and the springs of publick events, as into those of every-day life. For instance, the whole design to liberate their country fails from the generous temper and overweening confidence of Brutus in the goodness of their cause and the assistance of others. Thus it has always been. Those who mean well themselves think well of others, and fall a prey to their security. That humanity and sincerity which dispose men to resist injustice and tyranny render them unfit to cope with the cupping and power of those who are opposed to them. The friends of liberty trust to the professions of others, because they are themselves sincere, and endeavour to secure the publick good with the least possible hurt to its enemies, who have no regard to any thing but their own unprincipled ends, and stick at nothing to accomplish them. Cassius was better cut out for a conspirator. His heart prompted his head. His habitual jealousy made him fear the worst that might happen, and his irritability of temper added to his inveteracy of purpose, and sharpened his patriotism. The mixed nature of his motives made him fitter to contend with bad men. The vices are never so well employed as in combating one another. Tyranny and servility are to be dealt with after their own fashion: otherwise, they will triumph over those who spare them, and finally pronounce their funeral panegyrick, as Autony did that of Brutus.

All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did, in envy of great Cæsar :
He only in a general honest thought
And cominon good to all, made one of them."

The quarrel between Brutus and Cassius is managed in a masterly way. The dramatick fluctuation of passion, the calmness of Brutus, the beat of Cassius, are admirably described; and the exclamation of Cassius on hearing of the death of Portia, which he does not learn till after their reconciliation, “ How ’scap'd I killing when I crost you so ?” gives double force to all that has gone before. The scene between Brutus and Portia, where she endeavours to

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