Imágenes de página

him such honors as were meet for a his secret enemies honest color, to bear man; howbeit others afterwards added to him ill-will. honors beyond all reason. For, men striving who should most honor him, they made him hateful and troublesome to The people went straight unto Marcus themselves that most favored him, by Brutus, who from his father came of the reason of the unmeasurable greatness and first Brutus, and by his mother, of the honors which they gave him. There- (20 house of the Servilians, a noble house 170 upon it is reported that even they that | as any was in Rome, and was also nephew most hated him were no less favorers and and son-in-law of Marcus Cato. Notfurtherers of his honors than they that withstanding, the great honors and favors most flattered him; because they might Cæsar showed unto him kept him back, have greater occasions to rise, and that that of himself alone he did not conspire it might appear they had just cause and nor consent to depose him of his kingdom. color to attempt that they did against For Cæsar did not only save his life after him.

the battle of Pharsalia when Pompey fled, And now for himself, after he had and did at his request also save many ended his civil wars he did so honor- [30 more of his friends beside, but further- [80 ably behave himself that there was no more he put a marvellous confidence in fault to be found in him; and therefore, him. For he had already preferred him methinks, amongst other honors they to the Prætorship for that year, and gave him, he rightly deserved this, that furthermore was appointed to be Consul they should build him a temple of clem the fourth year after that, having through ency, to thank him for his courtesy he had Cæsar's friendship obtained it before used unto them in his victory. For he Cassius, who likewise made suit for the pardoned many of them that had borne same; and Cæsar also, as it is reported, arms against him, and, furthermore, did said in this contention, Indeed Cassius prefer some of them to honor and [40 hath alleged best reason, but yet shall (90 office in the commonwealth: as, amongst he not be chosen before Brutus. Some one others, Cassius and Brutus, both the which day accusing Brutus while he practised were made Prætors. And where Pom this conspiracy, Cæsar would not hear of pey's images had been thrown down, he it, but clapping his hand on his body, told caused them to be set up again; whereupon | them, Brutus will look for this skin: Cicero said then, That Cæsar setting up meaning thereby that Brutus for his Pompey's images again, he made his own virtue deserved to rule after him, but yet to stand the surer. And when some of that for ambition's sake he would not his friends did counsel him to have a show himself unthankful or dishonorable. guard for the safety of his person, and [50 Now they that desired change, and (100 some also did offer themselves to serve wished Brutus only their prince and goverhim, he would never consent to it, but nor above all other, they durst not come said, It was better to die once, than always to him themselves to tell him what they to be afraid of death.

would have him to do, but in the night did cast sundry papers into the Prætor's

seat where he gave audience, and the But his enemies that envied his great- | most of them to this effect: Thou sleepest, ness did not stick to find fault withal. As Brutus, and art not Brutus indeed. CasCicero the orator, when one said, Tomor sius, finding Brutus' ambition stirred up row the star Lyra will rise: Yea, said he, the more by these ambitious bills, did (110 at the commandment of Cæsar, as if men prick him forward, and egg him on the were compelled to say and think by (60 more, for a private quarrel he had conCæsar's edict. But the chiefest cause that ceived against Cæsar, the circumstance made him mortally hated was the covet- whereof we have set down more at large ous desire he had to be called king: which in Brutus' life. Cæsar also had Cassius first gave the people just cause, and next l in great jealousy, and suspected him

much; whereupon he said on a time to his doors of his chamber flying open, the friends, What will Cassius do, think ye? noise awoke him, and made him afraid I like not his pale looks. Another time when he saw such light; but more when when Cæsar's friends complained unto (120 | he heard his wife Calpurnia, being fast him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they asleep, weep and sigh, and put forth pretended some mischief towards him, he many fumbling, lamentable speeches. answered them again, As for those fat men For she dreamed that Cæsar was slain, and smooth-combed heads, quoth he, and that she had him in her arms. Others I never reckon of them; but these pale | also do deny that she had any such dream, visaged and carrion lean people, I fear as, amongst other, Titus Livius writ- (180 them most; meaning Brutus and Cassius. eth that it was in this sort. The Senate

Certainly, destiny may easier be fore having set upon the top of Cæsar's house, seen than avoided, considering the strange for an ornament and setting forth of and wonderful signs that were said (130 the same, a certain pinnacle, Calpurnia to be seen before Cæsar's death. For | dreamed that she saw it broken down, and touching the fires in the element, and that she thought she lamented and wept spirits running up and down in the night, for it. Insomuch that Cæsar rising in and also the solitary birds to be seen at the morning, she prayed him if it were noondays sitting in the great market possible not to go out of the doors that place, are not all these signs perhaps worth day, but to adjourn the session of (190 the noting, in such a wonderful chance as the Senate until another day. Thereby happened? But Strabo the Philosopher it seemed that Cæsar likewise did fear writeth that divers men were seen going and suspect somewhat, because his wife up and down in fire; and furthermore (140 Calpurnia until that time was never that there was a slave of the soldiers that given to any fear or superstition; and did cast a marvellous burning flame out of then for that he saw her so troubled in his hand, insomuch as they that saw it mind with this dream she had. But much thought he had been burnt, but when the | more afterwards, when the soothsayers, fire was out it was found he had no hurt. having sacrificed many beasts one after Cæsar self also doing sacrifice unto the another, told him that none did like (200 gods, found that one of the beasts which them; then he determined to send Anwas sacrificed had no heart; and that was tonius to adjourn the session of the a strange thing in nature, how a beast Senate. could live without a heart. Further- (150 more, there was a certain soothsayer that had given Cæsar warning long time afore, But in the meantime came Decius to take heed of the day of the Ides of Brutus, surnamed Albinus, in whom March (which is the fifteenth of the Cæsar put such confidence that in his last month), for on that day he should be in will and testament he had appointed him great danger. That day being come, to be his next heir, and yet was of the Cæsar going unto the Senate-house, and conspiracy with Cassius and Brutus; he, speaking merrily unto the soothsayer, fearing that if Cæsar did adjourn the (210 told him, The Ides of March be come; So session that day the conspiracy would be they, softly answered the sooth- (160 out, laughed the soothsayers to scorn sayer, but yet are they not past. And and reproved Cæsar, saying that he gave the very day before Cæsar, supping with the Senate occasion to mislike with him, Marcus Lepidus, sealed certain letters as and that they might think he mocked he was wont to do at the board; so talk them, considering that by his commandfalling out amongst them, reasoning what ment they were assembled, and that they death was best, he, preventing their were ready willingly to grant him all opinions, cried out aloud, Death unlooked things, and to proclaim him king of all for. Then going to bed the same night the provinces of the empire of Rome (220 as his manner was, and lying with his out of Italy, and that he should wear his and land. And furthermore, that if any where the murder was prepared, and man should tell them from him they where the Senate were assembled, and should depart for that present time, and where also there stood up an image of return again when Calpurnia should have Pompey dedicated by himself amongst (280 better dreams, what would his enemies other ornaments which he gave unto the and ill-willers say, and how could they theatre: all these were manifest proofs like of his friend's words? And who could that it was the ordinance of some god persuade them otherwise but that (230 that made this treason to be executed, they would think his dominion a slavery specially in that very place. It is also unto them and tyrannical in himself? reported that Cassius (although otherAnd yet if it be so, said he, that you wise he did favor the doctrine of Epicurus), utterly mislike of this day, it is better beholding the image of Pompey, before that you go yourself in person, and, they entered into the action of their saluting the Senate, to dismiss them till traitorous enterprise, he did softly (290 another time. Therewithal he took Cæsar call upon it to aid him. But the instant by the hand and led him out of his house. danger of the present time, taking away

Cæsar was not gone far from his house his former reason, did suddenly put him but a bondman, a stranger, did what (240 into a furious passion, and made him like he could to speak with him; and when he | a man half beside himself. saw he was put back by the great press Now Antonius, that was a faithful and multitude of people that followed friend to Cæsar, and a valiant man behim, he went straight into his house and sides of his hands, Decius Brutus Albinus put himself into Calpurnia's hands to entertained out of the Senate-house, be kept till Cæsar came back again, telling having begun a long tale of set pur- (300 her that he had great matters to impart pose. So Cæsar coming into the house, unto him. And one Artemidorus also, all the Senate stood up on their feet to do born in the Isle of Gnidos, a doctor of him honor. Then part of Brutus' comrhetoric in the Greek tongue, who by (250 pany and confederates stood round about means of his profession was very familiar Cæsar's chair, and part of them also came with certain of Brutus' confederates, and towards him, as though they made suit therefore knew the most part of all their with Metellus Cimber to call home his practices against Cæsar, came and brought brother again from banishment; and thus him a little bill written with his own hand, prosecuting still their suit, they followed of all that he meant to tell him. He, Cæsar till he was set in his chair. (310 marking how Cæsar received all the sup Who, denying their petitions, and being plications that were offered him, and that offended with them one after another, he gave them straight to his men that because the more they were denied the were about him, pressed nearer to (260 more they pressed upon him, and were him, and said: Cæsar, read this memorial the earnester with him, Metellus, at to yourself, and that quickly, for they be length, taking his gown with both his matters of great weight, and touch you hands, pulled it over his neck, which nearly. Cæsar took it of him but could was the sign given the confederates to never read it, though he many times set upon him. Then Casca behind him attempted it, for the number of people strake him in the neck with his sword; [320 that did salute him; but holding it still in howbeit, the wound was not great nor his hand, keeping it to himself, went on mortal, because it seemed the fear of withal into the Senate-house. Howbeit such a devilish attempt did amaze him other are of opinion that it was some (270 and take his strength from him, that he man else that gave him that memorial, killed him not at the first blow. But and not Artemidorus, who did what he Cæsar turning straight unto him, caught could all the way as he went to give it hold of his sword and held it hard; and Cæsar, but he was always repulsed by they both cried out, Cæsar in Latin, O the people. For these things, they may vile traitor Casca, what doest thou? And seem to come by chance, but the place Casca in Greek to his brother, Brother, 1330 help me. At the beginning of this stir they had committed, having their swords they that were present, not knowing of drawn in their hands, came all in a troop the conspiracy, were so amazed with the together out of the Senate and went into horrible sight they saw they had no power the market-place; not as men that made to fly, neither to help him, not so much countenance to fly, but otherwise boldly as once to make any outcry. They on holding up their heads like men of 1390 the other side that had conspired his death courage, and called to the people to defend compassed him in on every side with their their liberty, and stayed to speak with swords drawn in their hands, that Cæsar every great personage whom they met turned him nowhere but he was (340 in their way. Of them, some followed stricken at by some, and still had naked this troop, and went amongst them as swords in his face, and was hacked and if they had been of the conspiracy, and mangled among them as a wild beast | falsely challenged part of the honor with taken of hunters. For it was agreed among them; amongst them was Caius Octavius them that every man should give him a and Lentulus Spinther. But both of them wound, because all their parts should be in were afterwards put to death for their [400 this murder; and then Brutus himself gave vain covetousness of honor by Antonius him one wound. Men report also that and Octavius Cæsar the younger, and Cæsar did still defend himself against yet had no part of that honor for the the rest, running every way with his 1350 which they were put to death, nor did body; but when he saw Brutus, with his any man believe that they were any of sword drawn in his hand, then he pulled the confederates or of counsel with them. his gown over his head and made no more For they that did put them to death resistance, and was driven, either casually took revenge rather of the will they had or purposely, by the counsel of the con to offend than of any fact they had comspirators, against the base whereupon mitted.

(410 Pompey's image stood, which ran all of The next morning Brutus and his cona gore-blood till he was slain. Thus it | federates came into the market-place to seemed that the image took just revenge speak unto the people, who gave them of Pompey's enemy, being thrown (360 such audience that it seemed they neither down on the ground at his feet, and yield greatly reproved nor allowed the fact; for ing up his ghost there, for the number of by their great silence they showed that wounds he had upon him. For it is re- they were sorry for Cæsar's death, and ported that he had three-and-twenty | also that they did reverence Brutus. wounds upon his body; and divers of the Now the Senate granted general pardon conspirators did hurt themselves, striking for all that was past, and to pacify (420 one body with so many blows.

every man ordained besides that Cæsar's When Cæsar was slain the Senate funerals should be honored as a god, and (though Brutus stood in the midst among | established all things that he had done; them, as though he would have said (370 and gave certain provinces also and consomewhat touching this fact) presently venient honors unto Brutus and his conran out of the house, and flying, filled all federates, whereby every man thought the city with marvellous fear and tumult. all things were brought to good peace Insomuch as some did shut-to their doors, and quietness again. But when they others forsook their shops and ware had opened Cæsar's testament and found houses, and others ran to the place to see a liberal legacy of money bequeathed (430 what the matter was; and others also, unto every citizen of Rome, and that they that had seen it, ran home to their houses saw his body (which was brought into again. But Antonius and Lepidus, which | the market-place) all bemangled with were two of Cæsar's chiefest friends, (380 gashes of swords, then there was no order secretly conveying themselves away, fled to keep the multitude and common people into other men's houses and forsook their quiet, but they plucked up forms, tables own. Brutus and his confederates on the and stools, and laid them all about the other side, being yet hot with this murder | body, and setting them afire, burnt the corpse. Then when the fire was well more to be executed of all them that were kindled, they took the firebrands and (440 actors or counsellors in the conspiracy of went unto their houses that had slain | his death. Furthermore, of all the chances Cæsar, to set them afire. Others also ran that happen unto men upon the earth, up and down the city to see if they could that which came to Cassius above all meet with any of them, to cut them in other is most to be wondered at. For he pieces; howbeit they could meet with being overcome in battle at the journever a man of them, because they had ney of Philippi, slew himself with the 1500 locked themselves up safely in their , same sword with the which he strake houses. There was one of Cæsar's friends Cæsar. Again, of signs in the element, called Cinna, that had a marvellous strange the great comet which seven nights to and terrible dream the night be- (450 gether was seen very bright after Cæsar's fore. He dreamed that Cæsar bade him death, the eighth night after was never to supper, and that he refused and would seen more. Also the brightness of the not go; then that Cæsar took him by the sun was darkened, the which all that year hand and led him against his will. Now through rose very pale and shined not out, Cinna hearing at that time that they whereby it gave but small heat; therefore burnt Cæsar's body in the market-place, the air, being very cloudy and dark [510 notwithstanding that he feared his dream by the weakness of the heat that could and had an ague on him besides, he not come forth, did cause the earth to went into the market-place to honor his bring forth but raw and unripe fruit, funerals. When he came thither one of [460 which rotted before it could ripe. the mean sort asked him what his name But above all, the ghost that appeared was. He was straight called by his name. unto Brutus showed plainly that the The first man told it to another, and that gods were offended with the murder of other unto another, so that it ran straight Cæsar. The vision was thus. Brutus being through them all, that he was one of them ready to pass over his army from the that murdered Cæsar (for indeed one of city of Abydos to the other coast lying (520 the traitors to Cæsar was also called directly against it, slept every night (as Cinna, as himself); wherefore taking him his manner was) in his tent, and being for Cinna the murderer, they fell upon | yet awake, thinking of his affairs (for by him with such fury that they presently [470 report he was as careful a captain, and despatched him in the market-place. This | lived with as little sleep, as ever man did), stir and fury made Brutus and Cassius he thought he heard a noise at his tent more afraid than of all that was past, door, and looking toward the light of the and therefore within few days after they lamp that waxed very dim, he saw a departed out of Rome; and touching their horrible vision of a man of wonderful doings afterwards, and what calamity they greatness and dreadful look, which at 15:30 suffered till their deaths, we have written the first made him marvellously afraid. it at large in the life of Brutus.'

But when he saw that it did him no hurt, Cæsar died at six-and-fifty years of age, | but stood by his bedside and said nothing, and Pompey also lived not passing [480 at length he asked him what he was. The four years more than he. So he reaped image answered him: I am thy ill angel, no other fruit of all his reign and dominion, Brutus, and thou shalt see me by the which he had so vehemently desired all city of Philippi. Then Brutus replied his life and pursued with such extreme again, and said: Well, I shall see thee danger, but a vain name only, and a then. Therewithal, the spirit presently superficial glory that procured him the vanished from him. After that time 1540 envy and hatred of his country. But his Brutus being in battle near unto the great prosperity and good fortune that city of Philippi, against Antonius and favored him all his lifetime did con Octavius Cæsar, at the first battle he won tinue afterwards in the revenge of his [490 the victory, and overthrowing all them death, pursuing the murderers both by that withstood him, he drave them into sea and land till they had not left a man | young Cæsar's camp, which he took. The

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »