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Luc. The strings, my lord, are false.
Bru. He thinks, he still is at his instrument.-
Luc. My lord!
Bru. Sleep again, Lucius.--Sirrah, Claudius!
Var. My lord.
Ay; Saw you any thing?
Nor I, my lord. Bru. Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius; Bid him set on his powers betimes before, And we will follow.
Var. Clau. It shall be done, my lord. [Exeunt,
ACT V..... SCENE I.
The Plains of Philippi.
Enter OCTAVIUS, Antony, and their Army.
warn us -] To warn is to summon. So, in King Fohn:
• Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?” Shakspeare uses the word yet more intelligibly in King Richard III:
“ And sent to warn them to his royal presence.” Throughout the books of the Stationers' Company, the word is always used in this sense ; “Receyved of Raufe Newbery for his fyne, that he came not to the hall when he was warned, according to the orders of this house."
Answering before we do demand of them.
Ant. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Enter a Messenger.
Ant. Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Oct. Upon the right hand I, keep thou? the left.
Oct. I do not cross you; but I will do so. [March. Drum. Enter BRUTUS, Cassius, and their Army; Luci
LIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, and Others.
Ant. No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge.
Oct. Stir not until the signal.
Again, in a Letter from Lord Cecil to the Earl of Shrewsbury. See Lodge's Illustrations, &c. Vol. III, 206: I pray yor LP, therefore, let him be privatly warned, without any other notice (to his disgrace) to come up" &c. Steevens.
1 With fearful bravery,] That is, with a gallant show of courage, carrying with it terror and dismay. Fearful is used here, as in many other places, in an active sense-producing fear-intimidating. Malone. So, in Churchyard's Siege of Leeth, 1575:
" They were a feare unto the enmyes eye.” I believe, however, that in the present instance, fearful bravery requires an interpretation that may be found in Sidney's Arcadia, Lib. Il: “— her horse, faire and lustie; which she rid so as might show a fearefull boldness, daring to doe that which she knew that she knew not how to doe.” Steevens.
- keep thou -] The tenour of the conversation evidently requires us to read-you. Ritson.
Ant. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
Not stingless too.
Ant. Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers
Cas. Flatterers !-Now, Brutus, thank yourself:6
3 The posture of your blows are yet unknown;] It should be is yet unknown. But the error was certainly Shakspeare's. Malone.
Rather, the mistake of his transcriber or printer; which therefore ought, in my opinion, to be corrected. Had Shakspeare been generally inaccurate on similar occasions, he might more justly have been suspected of inaccuracy in the present instance. Steevens.
Casca,] Casca struck Cæsar on the neck, coming like a de. generate cur behind him. Johnson. O flatterers!] Old copy, unmetrically, - you flatterers !
Steevens 6 Flatterers !-Now, Brutus, thank yourself :] It is natural to suppose, from the defective metre of this line, that our author wrote:
Flatterers! Now, Brutus, you may thank yourself. Steevens.
three and twenty wounds - ] [Old copy-three and thirty;] but I have ventured to reduce this number to three and twenty, from the joint authorities of Appian, Plutarch, and Suetonius: and I am persuaded, the error was not from the poet but his transcribers.
Be well aveng'd; or till another Cæsar
Bru. Cæsar, thou can’st not die by traitors' hands,
So I hope ;
Bru. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable.
Cas. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
Ant. Old Cassius still!
Come, Antony; away.--
[Exeunt Oct. Ant. and their Army. Cas. Why now, blow, wind; swell, billow; and swim,
Beaumont and Fletcher have fallen into a similar mistake, in their
“ So Cæsar fell, when in the Capitol,
till another Cæsar
“Or add a royal number to the dead,
“ With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.” Steevens. 9 Defiance, traitors, hurl we -] Whence perhaps Milton, Para. dise Lost, B. I, v.669:
Hurling vefiance toward the vault of Heaven." Hurl is peculiarly expressive. The challenger in judicial combats was said to hurl down his gage, when he rhrew his glove down as a pledge that he would make good his charge against his adversary. So, in King Richard 11:
“ And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this over-weenmg traitor's foot. H. White.
when you have stomachs.] So, in Chapman's version of the ninth Iliad: Fight when his stomach serves him best, or when”' &c.
What says my general ?
2 Messala, &c.] Almost every circumstance in this speech is taken from Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch:
“ But touching Cassius, Messala reporteth that he supped by himselfe in his tent, with a few of his friendes, and that all supper tyme he looked very sadly, and was full of thoughts, although it was against his nature: and that after supper he tooke him by the hande, and holding him fast (in token of kindnes as his manner was) told him in Greeke, Messala, I protest vnto thee, and make the my witnes, that I am compelled against my minde and will (as Pompey the Great was) to ieopard the libertie of our contry, to the hazard of a battel. And yet we must be liuely, and of good corage, considering our good fortune, whom we should wronge too muche to mistrust her, although we follow euill counsell. Messala writeth, that Cassius hauing spoken these last wordes vnto him, he bid him farewell, and willed him to come to supper to hiin the next night following, bicause it was his birth-day." Steevens.
our former ensign - ] Thus the old copy, and, I suppose, rightly. Former is foremost. Shakspeare sometimes uses the comparative instead of the positive and superlative. See King Lear, Act IV, sc. iii. Either word has the same origin ; nor do I perceive why former should be less applicable to place than time. Steevens.
rmer is right; and the meaning --our fore ensign. So, in Ad. lyngton's Apuleius, 1596 : “ First hee instructed me to sit at the table vpon my taile, and howe I should leape and daunce, holding up my former feete.”
Again, in Harrison's Description of Britaine: “It [i.e. brawn) is made commonly of the fore part of a tame bore set uppe for the purpose by the space of an whole year or two. Afterwarde he is killed, and tiien of his former partes is our brawne made.” Ritson.