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When private tongues, of kinsmen and allies,
(Inspir'd with comforts) lothly are endur'd,
The face of men not seen, and scarce the day,
To thousands that communicate our loss 2.
Nor can I argue these of weakness; since
They take but natural ways; yet I must seek
For stronger aids, and those fair helps draw

From warm embraces of the common-wealth.
Our mother, great Augusta, 's struck with

Our self imprest with aged characters,

Drusus is gone, his children young and babes;
Our aims must now reflect on those that may
Give timely succour to these present ills,
And are our only glad-surviving hopes,

-Wherefore sit

The noble issue of Germanicus,
Nero and Drusus: might it please the consul
Honour them in, (they both attend without.)
I would present them to the senate's care,
And raise those suns of joy that should
drink up

These floods of sorrow in your drowned eyes.
Arr. By Jove, I am not Edipus enough
To understand this Sphynx.

Sab. The princes come.

Tiberius, Nero, Drusus junior.

Tib. Approach you, noble Nero, noble

These princes, Fathers, when their parent
I gave unto their uncle, with this prayer,
That though I had proper issue of his own,
He would no less bring up, and foster these,
Than that self-blood; and by that act con-

Their worths to him, and to posterity:
Drusus ta'en hence, I turn my prayers to you,
And 'fore our country, and our gods, beseech
You take, and rule Augustus' nephews sons,
Sprung of the noblest ancestors; and so
Accomplish both my duty, and your own.
Nero, and Drusus, these shall be to you
In place of parents, these your fathers, these;
And not unfitly: for you are so born,
As all your good,or ill's the common-wealth's.
Receive them, you strong guardians; and
blest gods,

Make all their actions answer to their bloods:
Let their great titles find increase by them,
Not they by titles. Set them as in place,
So in example, above all the Romans:
And may they know no rivals but them-
Let Fortune give them nothing; but at-
Upon their virtue: and that still come forth
Greater than hope, and better than their


Relieve me, Fathers, with your general voice.
Sen. "May all the gods consent to Cæ-
"sar's wish, A4 form speaking
they had.]
"And add to any honours that may crown
"The hopeful issue of Germanicus."

Rome's consuls thus dissolv'd, as they had lost

All the remembrance both of stile and place?] Gallus had just before taken notice of the consuls descending from their proper places to an inferior seat, in complaisance to Cæsar's grief for the death of Drusus. Tiberius, on his entrance, reproves them for this dispiritedness. Tacitus gives us the account in the words, which the poet hath translated: Consules, sede culgari per speciem mastitia sedentes, honoris locique admonuit. Annal. 1. 4. c. 8.

That COMMUNICATE our loss.] Share in our loss.

And raise those SUMS of joy that should drink up, &c.] Mr. Sympson conjectured that suns is the genuine word, which I have placed in the text, on the authority likewise of the first folio. The quarto edition, still more erroneously, reads springs of joy.

And may they know no rivals but themselves.] Which is as much as to say in other words, none but themselves may be their parallel: a method of speaking, which, however ridiculed, hath been proved entirely similar to what we meet with in several of the classics; and Mr. Theobald hath wrote over-against this line, in the margin, parallel, as if he had designed it as a similar instance of the phrase I have quoted.

Tib. We thank you reverend Fathers, in their right.

Arr. If this were true now! but the space, the space

Between the breast and lips-Tiberius' heart
Lies a thought farther than another man's.
Tib. My comforts are so flowing in my

As, in them, all my streams of grief are lost,
No less than are land-waters in the sea,
Or showers in rivers; though their cause
was such,
As might have sprinkled ev'n the gods with
Yet since the greater doth embrace the less,
We covetously obey.

(Arr. Well acted, Cæsar.)

Tib. And now I am the happy witness made Of your so much desir'd affections. To this great issue, I could wish, the fates Would here set peaceful period to my days; However to my labours, I entreat (And beg it of this senate) some fit ease. (Arr. Laugh, Fathers, laugh: ha' you

no spleens about you?)

Tib. The burden is too heavy I sustain On my unwilling shoulders; and I pray It may be taken off, and reconferr'd Upon the consuls, or some other Roman, More able, and more worthy.

(Arr. Laugh on still.)

Sab. Why this doth render all the rest sus-
Gal. It poisons all.

Arr. O, do you taste it then?
Sab. It takes away my faith to any thing
He shall hereafter speak.

Arr. I, to pray that,

[der, Which would be to his head as hot as thun('Gainst which he wears that charm) should but the court

Receive him at his word.

Gal. Hear.

Tib. For my self

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I know my weakness, and so little covet (Like some gone past) the weight that will oppress me,

As my ambition is the counter-point.

(Arr. Finely maintain'd; good still.) Sei. But Rome, whose blood, Whose nerves, whose life, whose very frame relies [Atlas, On Cæsar's strength, no less than heav'n on Cannot admit it but with general ruin. (Arr. Ah! are you there to bring him Sef. Let Cæsar' [off?) No more then urge a point so contrary To Cæsar's greatness, the griev'd senate's Or Rome's necessity. (Gal. He comes about. Arr. More nimbly than Vertumnus.) Tib. For the public,


I may be drawn, to shew I can neglect All private aims; though I affect my rest : But if the senate still command me serve, I must be glad to practise my obedience. Arr. You must and will, sir. We do Sen. "Cæsar, [know it. "Live long and happy, great and royal "Cæsar; [Another form. "The gods preserve thee and thy modesty, Thy wisdom and thy innocence." (Arr. Where is't?


The prayer's made before the subject.)
Sen. Guard

"His meekness, Jove, his piety, his care, "His bounty

Arr. And his subtilty, I'll put in: Yet he'll keep that himself, without the gods. All prayers are vain for him.

Tib. We will not hold

[but Your patience, Fathers, with long answer; Shall still contend to be what you desire, And work to satisfy so great a hope: Proceed to your affairs.

Arr. Now, Silius, guard thee;

The curtain's drawing. Afer advanceth.
Pra. Silence.

Afe. Cite Caius Silius.

Præ. Caius Silius.

Sil. Here.


Afe. The triumph that thou hadst in For thy late victory on Sacrovir, Thou hast enjoy'd so freely, Caius Silius, As no man it envy'd thee; nor would Cæsar, Or Rome admit, that thou wert then defrauded

Of any honours thy deserts could claim, In the fair service of the common-wealth: But now, if after all their loves and graces, (Thy actions, and their courses being discover'd)

It shall appear to Cæsar, and this senate, Thou hast defil'd those glories with thy crimes

Sil. Crimes?

Afe. Patience, Silius..

Sil. Tell thy moil of patience

I am a Roman. What are my crimes? proclaim them.

Am I too rich? too honest for the times? Have I or treasure, jewels, land, or houses That some informer gapes for? is my strength Too much to be admitted? or my knowledge? These now are crimes.

Afe. Nay, Silius, if the name

Of crime so touch thee, with what impotence Wilt thou endure the matter to be search'd? Sil. I tell thee, Afer, with more scorn than fear:

Employ your mercenary tongue and art... Where's my accuser?

(Gainst which he wears that charm.)] A wreath of laurel. The great dread which Tiberius had of thunder, and this method which he took to preserve himself against the stroke of it, is taken notice of both by Suetonius, and Pliny. Tonitrua præter modum exe pavescebat; et turbatiore cælo nunquam non coronam lauream capite gestavit, quod fulmine afflari negetur id genus frondis. Sueton. Tib. c. 69.

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By judgment of the court, and all good men. Sil. Cæsar, I crave to have my cause deferr'd,

Till this man's consulship be out.

Tib. We cannot,

Nor may we grant it.

Sil. Why? shall he design

My day of trial? is he my accuser?
And must he be my judge?

Tib. It hath been usual,

And is a right that custom hath allow'd
The magistrate, to call forth private men;
And to appoint their day: which privilege
We may not in the consul see infring'd,
By whose deep watches, and industrious care
It is so labour'd, as the common-wealth
Receive no loss, by any oblique course.
Sil. Cæsar, thy fraud is worse than vio-
Tib. Silius, mistake us not, we dare not
The credit of the consul to thy wrong;
But only do preserve his place and power,
So far as it concerns the dignity

And honour of the state.

Arr. Believe him, Silius.

Cot. Why, so he may, Arruntius.
Arr. I say so.

And he may choose too.

Tib. By the Capitol,


And all our gods, but that the dear repub-
Our sacred laws, and just authority
Are interess'd therein, I should be silent.

Afe. 'Please Cæsar to give way unto his

He shall have justice.

Sil. Nay, I shall have law;

Shall I not, Afer? speak.

Afe. Would you have more?



Sil. No, my well-spoken man, I would no


Nor less might I enjoy it natural,
Not taught to speak unto your present ends,
Free from thine, his, and all your unkind

Furious enforcing, most unjust presuming,
Malicious, and manifold applying,
Foul wresting, and impossible construction.
Afe. He raves, he raves.

Sil. Thou durst not tell me so,

Hadst thou not Cæsar's warrant. I can see Whose power condemns me.

Var. This betrays his spirit.

This doth enough declare him what he is.
Sil. What am I? speak.

Var. An enemy to the state.

Sil. Because I am an enemy to thee, And such corrupted ministers o' the state, That here art made a present instrument To gratify it with thine own disgrace.

Sej. This to the consul, is most insolent! And impious!

Sil. I, take part. Reveal yourselves, Alas! I scent not your confed'racies, Your plots, and combinations! I not know Minion Sejanus hates me; and that all This boast of law, and law, is but a form, A net of Vulcan's filing, a mere ingine, To take that life by a pretext of justice, Which you pursue in malice? I want brain, Or nostril to persuade me, that your ends, And purposes are made to what they are, Before my answer? O, you equal gods, Whose justice not a world of wolf-turn'd


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Of curl'd Sicambrians.] By this expression he alludes to the description which Martial gives of the Sicambri :

Crinibus in nodum tortis venere Sicambri.

Spect. 3.

Thou lately mad'st at Agrippina's table',
That, when all other of the troops were


To fall into rebellion, only thine
Remain'd in their obedience. Thou wert he
That sav'd the empire, which had then been
Had but thy legions, there, rebell'd, or mu-
Thy virtue inet, and fronted every peril,
Thou gav'st to Cæsar, and to Rome their
[their state,
Their name, their strength, their spirit, and
Their being was a donat ve from thee.

Arr. Well worded, and most like an
Tib. Is this true, Silius?

Sil. Save thy question, Cæsar,
Thy spy of famous credit hath affirm'd it o.
Arr. Excellent Roman!

Sab. He doth answer stoutly.


Sej. If this be so, there needs no other
Of crime against him.

Var. What can more impeach
The royal dignity and state of Cæsar,
Than to be urged with a benefit
He cannot pay?

Cot. In this, all Cæsar's fortune
Is made unequal to the courtesie.

Lat. His means are clean destroy'd that
should requite.

Gal. Nothing is great enough for Silius'
Arr. Gallus on that side too?
Sil. Come, do not hunt,

And labour so about for circumstance,
To make him guilty, whom you have fore-


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That intemperate vaunt

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In mention of it; if it do, it takes [help'd,
So much away, you think: and that which
Shall soonest perish, if it stand in eye,
Where it may front, or but upbraid the high.
Cot. Suffer him speak no more.
Var. Note but his spirit.

Afe. This shews him in the rest.
Sej. He hath spoke enough to prove him
Lat. Let him be censur'd. [Cæsar's foe.
Cot. His thoughts look through his words.
Sej. A censure.

Sil. Stay,

Stay, most officious senate, I shall straight
Delude thy fury. Silius hath not plac'd
His guards within him, against fortune's

So weakly, but he can escape your gripe
That are but hands of fortune: she herself,
When virtue doth oppose, must lose her

"All that can happen in humanity,
"The frown of Cæsar, proud Sejanus' hatred,
"Base Varro's spleen, and Ater's bloodying


"The senate's servile flattery, and these
"Must'red to kill, I'm fortified against ;"
And can look down upon: they are beneath


It is not life whereof I stand enamour'd;
Nor shall my end make me accuse my fate.
"The coward and the valiant man must
[cerns them:"
"Only the cause, and manner how, dis-
Which then are gladdest, when they cost us

Romans, if any here be in this senate,
Would know to mock Tiberius' tyranny,
'Look upon Silius, and so learn to die.
[Stabs himself.

Thou lately mad'st at Agrippina's table, &c.] It follows in the subsequent lines. See act II. not. 10. It should be observed, that instead of you and yours, the quarto reads thou and thine this variation I have inserted in the text, as being more removed from common speech, and perhaps more expressive of contempt, than the other.


Thy spy of FAMOUs credit hath affirm'd it.] Jonson, by famous credit, means infamous : it is taken from the Latin fumosus, which is generally used in that sense.

'Look upon Silius, and so learn to die.] Silius (says the historian) imminentem damnationem voluntario fine prævertit. Annal. 1. 4. c. 19. It doth not appear, however, that this happened in the senate-house, or at the immediate time of his accusation: yet the liberty which the poet hath taken, is easily allowable. Afer has a part in this transaction not assigned him by Tacitus; but it is given him with the utmost probability, and with the exactest preservation of character. For we may remark, to the honour of Jonson's judgment, that whenever he departs from the thread of the narration, it is always, with an improvement of the subject, and upon the strongest grounds of presumption. Thus, by introducing Afer as a manager of the impeachment against Silius, he hath a proper opportunity of displaying the mercenary oratory, and art of the informers, prevalent in the reign of Tiberius, which are finely contrasted by the truly honest, and spirited replies of Silius. Ес

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Sab. 'Twas nobly struck, and home.
Arr. My thought did prompt him to it.
Farewell, Silius.


Be famous ever for thy great example.
Tib. We are not pleas'd, in this sad acci-
That thus hath stalled ", and abus'd our
Intended to preserve thee, noble Roman;
And to prevent thy hopes.

Arr. Excellent wolf!
Now he is full, he howls.

Sej. Cæsar doth wrong

His dignity and safety, thus to mourn
The deserv'd end of so profest a traitor,
And doth, by this his lenity, instruct
Others as factious, to the like offence.

Tib. The confiscation merely of his state Had been enough.

Arr. O, that was gap'd for then?
Var. Remove the body.
Sej. Let citation

Go out for Sosia.

Gal. Let her be proscrib'd.

And for the goods, I think it fit that half
Go to the treasure, half unto the children.
Lep. With leave of Cæsar, I would think,
that fourth

[ers, Part, which the law doth cast on the informShould be enough; the rest go to the children. Wherein the prince shall shew humanity, And bounty; not to torce them by their [serv'd)


(Which in their parents' trespass they deTo take ill courses.

Tib. It shall please us.

Arr. I,

Out of necessity. This Lepidus

Is grave and honest, and I have observ'd
A moderation still in all his censures.

Sab. And bending to the better-Stay, who's this?

Cremutius Cordus? what! is he brought in? Arr. More blood into the banquet? noble Cordus,

I wish thee good: be, as thy writings, free, And honest.

Tib. What is he?

Sej. For th' annals, Cæsar ". Præco, Cordus, Satrius, Natta. Pra. Cremutius Cordus.

Cor. Here.

Pra. Satrius Secundus,

Pinnarius Natta, you are his accusers.
Arr. Two of Sejanus' blood-hounds,
whom he breeds

With human flesh, to bay at citizens.
Afe. Stand forth before the senate, and
confront him.
Sat. I do accuse thee here, Cremutius
To be a man factious and dangerous,
A sower of sedition in the state,
A turbulent and discontented spirit,
Which I will prove from thine own writings;
The annals thou hast publish'd; where thou
The present age, and with a viper's tooth,
Being a member of it, dar'st that ill
Which never yet degenerous bastard did 12
Upon his parent.

Nat. To this, I subscribe;

And, forth a world of more particulars,
Instance in only one: comparing men,
And times, thou praisest Brutus, and affirm'st
That Cassius was the last of all the Romans 13.
Cot. How! what are we then?
Var. What is Cæsar? nothing?


Afe. My lords, this strikes at every Ro-
man's private,

In whom reigns gentry, and estate of spirit,
To have a Prutus brought in parallel,
A parricide, an enemy of his country,
Rank'd, and prefer'd to any real worth
That Rome now holds. This is most
strangely invective,

Most full of spight, and insolently upbraiding.
Nor is't the time alone is here dispris'd,
But the whole man of time, yea, Cæsar's self
Brought in disvalue; and he aim'd at most
By oblique glance of his licentious pen.
Cæsar, if Cassius were the last of Romans,
Thou hast no name.

Tib. Let's hear him answer. Silence. Cor. So innocent Lam of fact, my lords, As but my words are argu'd: yet those words [rent; Not reaching either prince, or prince's pa

10 That thus hath STALLED and abus'd our mercy.] i. c. forestalled, hindered.


"Tib. What is he? Sej. For th' annals, Casar.] These speeches are so divided in all the editions; but Mr. Upton, supposing the division faulty, would correct, and read them ir this manner:

Tib. "What is he for?" i. e. of what is he accused?

Sej. "The annals, Cæsar."

12 Which never yet DANGEROUS bastard did

Upon his parent.] The sense and measure are both defective; the first editions read degenerous, which being right, I have admitted into the text.

13 Thou praisest Brutus, and affirm'st

That Cassius was the last of all the Romans.] The historians give this account of Cordus: Objectum est historico (Cremutio Cordo, Tacit. Annal. 1. 4. c. 34.) quòd Brutum Cassiumque ultimos Romanorum dixisset. Suet. Tiber. 1. 3. c. 61. And the following speech of Cordus in his defence, is a translation from Tacitus, Annal. l. 4. p. 72. edit. Lips. 1589.

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