Imágenes de páginas

Cassio. I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so light, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow?-O, thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee Devil.

Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? what had he done to you?

Cassio. I know not.

Iago. Is it possible?

Cassio. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasure, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered?

Cassio. It has pleased the devil Drunkenness to give place to the devil Wrath one imperfection shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.

[ocr errors]

Iago. Come: you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it, for your own good.

Cassio. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O, strange! · Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.

Iago. Come, come! good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used; exclaim no more against it; and, good Lieutenant, I think you think I love you?

Cassio. I have well approved it, Sir: — I drunk!

Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk some time, man! I'll tell you what you shall do. Our General's wife is now the General; confess yourself freely to her importune her; she 'll help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and, my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.

Cassio. You advise me well.

Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.

Cassio. I think it freely; and, betimes in the morning, I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me.

Iago. You are in the right. Good-night, Lieutenant. I must to watch.

Cassio. Good-night, honest Iago.


WELL, honor is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you, and other men,
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to be

In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you;
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he;
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, "Dar'st thou, Cassius, now,
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plungéd in,

And bade him follow; so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roared; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But, ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink!
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

Did, from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder,

The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber,

Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man

Is now become a god; and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod 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: 't is true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their color fly;

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose its lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone!

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Cæsar; what should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded 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 them,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed;
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,
That her wide walls encompassed but one man?
O! you and I have heard our fathers say

There was a Brutus, once, that would have brooked
The infernal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king!


I have touched the highest point of all my greatness;

And, from that full meridian of my glory,

I haste now to my setting: I shall fall

Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.

So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow, blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And, when he thinks, good, easy man, - full surely
His greatness is a ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.

Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and his ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have.
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again!

Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,

[ocr errors]

Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.

Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,

And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me must more be heard, say, then, I taught thee, —
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that which ruined me!
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition!
By that sin fell the angels: how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't?
Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee, -
Corruption wins not more than honesty;
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,

To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.

Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,

Thy God's, and truth's: then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blesséd martyr! Serve the King;

And, Prithee, lead me in:

There, take an inventory of all I have,

To the last penny; 't is the King's; my robe,
And my integrity to Heaven, is all

I dare now call mine own. O, Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal

I served my King, He would not, in mine age,
Have left me naked to mine enemies!


SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but, if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor, do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus: but use all gently; for, in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, WHIRLWIND of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the GROUNDLINGS; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb show and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-Herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.

Be not too tame, neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor; suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing,-whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to

Nature; to show virtue her own feature; scorn, her own image; and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, can not but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O! there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made men well, they imitated humanity so abominably!

[ocr errors]



To be or not to be that is the question!
Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, -
Or, to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them. To die, -to sleep;
No more;
- and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; - 't is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To die; -to sleep; -
To sleep? perchance to dream;—ay, there's the rub:
For, in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause! There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life:

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

Who would fardels bear,
and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death, -
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all
And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »