« AnteriorContinuar »
Bru. Well, to our work alive. What do you think Of arching to Philippi presently?
Cas. I do not think it good.
This it is :3 'Tis better, that the enemy seek us : So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers, Doing himself offence; whilst we, lying still, Are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness.
Bru. Good reasons must, of force, give place to better.
Hear me, good brother.
3 This it is :] The overflow of the metre, and the disagrecable clash of-it is with 'Tis at the beginning of the next line, are almost proofs that our author only wrote, with a common ellipsis,- This:
Steevens. 4 There is a tiile &c.] This passage is poorly imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Custom of the Country:
“ There is an hour in each man's life appointed
“ To make his happiness, if then he sieze it,” &c. Steevens. A similar sentiment is found in Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois, 1607 :
“There is a deep nick in time's restless wheel,
Or lose our ventures.
Then, with your will,
will, go on; We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.
Bru. The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
No more. Good night;
-Noble, noble Cassius,
O my dear brother!
Every thing is well.
Good night, good brother.
Farewel, every one.
[Exeunt Cas. Tit. and Mes, Re-enter LUCIUS, with the Gown. Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?
Luc. Here in the tent.
What, thou speak'st drowsily?
Enter VARRO and CLAUDIUS. Var. Calls
Var, So please you, we will stand, and watch your plea-..
Bru. I will not have it so: lie down, good sirs;
5 Never come such division 'tween our souls!] So, in the mock play in Hamlet : " And never come mischance between us twain.” Steevens.
be, I shall otherwise bethink me. Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so; I put it in the pocket of my gown. [Servants lie down. Luc. I was sure, your lordship did not give it me.
Bru. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.
Luc. Ay, my lord, an it please you.
It does, my boy: I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
Luc. It is my duty, sir.
Bru. I should not urge thy duty past thy might; I know, young bloods look for a time of rest.
Luc. I have slept, my lord, already.
Bru. It is well done; and thou shalt sleep again;
[Musick, and a Song.
Enter the Ghost of CÆSAR.
thy leadlen mace - ] A mace is the ancient term for a sceptre. So, in The Arraignment of Pa
1584: look upon my siately grace, “ Because the pomp thai longs to Juno's mace," &c. Steevens. Shakspeare probably remembered Spenser in his Fairy Queen, B. 1, cant. iv, st. 44:
" When as Morpheus had with leaden mase,
“ Arrested all that courily company.” H White. 7 Let me see, let me see;] As these words are wholly unmetrical, we may supp se our author meant to avail himself of the common colloquial phrase.-- Let's see, let's see. Steevens.
Ghost. Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
Why com'st thou?
Ay, at Philippi. [Ghost vanishes.
Then I shall see thee again?] Shakspeare has on this occasion deserted his original I does not appear from Plutarch that the Ghost of Cæsar appeared to Brutus, but “ a wonderful straunge and monstruous shape of a body.” This apparition could not be at once the shade of Cæsar, and the evil genius
of Brutus. “ Brutus boldly asked what he was, a god, or a man, and what cause brought him thither. The spirit answered him, I am thy euill spirit, Brutus; and thou shalt see me by the citie of Philippes. Bru. tus beeing no otherwise affrayd, replyed againé vnto it: well, then I shall see thee agayne. The spirit presently vanished away; and Brutus called his men vnto him, who t Ide him that they heard no noyse, nor sawe any thing at all.”
See the story of Cassius Parmensis in Valerius Maximus, Lib. I, c. vii. Steevens.
The words which Mr. Steevens has quoted, are from Plutarch's Life of Brutus. Shakspeare had also certainly read Plutarch's account of this vision in the Life of Cæsar: “ Above all, the ghost that appeared unto Brutus, showed plainly that the goddes were offended with the murther of Cesar. The vision was thus. Brutus being ready to pass over his army from the citie of Abydos to the other coast lying directly against it, slept every night (as his manner was) in his tent; and being yet awake, thinking of his affaires,-he thought he heard a noyse at his tent-dore, and looking towards the light of the lampe that waxed very dimme, he saw a horrible vision of a man, of a wonderfuil greatnes and dreadful looke, which at the first made him marvelously afraid. But when he sawe that it did him no hurt, but sto de by his bedde-side, and said nothing, at length he asked him what he was. The image aunswered him, I am hy ill angel, Brutus, and thou shalt see me by the citie of Philippes. Then Brutus replyed agayne, and said, Well, I shall see thee then. Therewithall the sp.rit presently vanished from him.”
It is manifest from the words above printed in Italics, that Shakspeare had this passage in his thoughts as well as the other. Malone.
That lights grew dim, or burned blue at the approach of spectres, was a belief which our author might have found examples of in almost every book of his age that treats of supernatural appearances. See King Richard III, Vol. XI, p. 180, 11. 7. Steevens.
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.
warn us -) To warn is to summon. So, in King John:
" 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."