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Mes. Mistrust of good success hath done this deed. O hateful error, melancholy's child! Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men The things that are not? O error, soon conceiv'd, Thou never com'st unto a happy birth, But kill'st the mother that en
Mes. Seek him, Titinius : whilst I go to meet
Hie you, Messala,
[Exit MÈS. Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius? Did I not meet thy friends ? and did not they Put on my brows this wreath of victory, And bid me give't thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts? Alas, thou hast misconstrued every thing. But hold thee, take this garland on thy brow; Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I Will do his bidding.–Brutus, come apace, And see how I regarded Caius Cassius.By your leave, gods :- This is a Roman's part: Come, Cassius' sword, and find Titinius' heart.
Dies. Alarum. Re-enter MESSALA, with BRUTUS, young Cato,
STRATO, VOLUMNIUS, and LUCILIUS.
He is slain.
[Low Alarums. Cato.
Braye Titinius! Look, whe'r he have not crown'd dead Cassius!
Bru. Are yet two Romans living such as these? The last of all the Romans,2 fare thee well!
and turns our swords
It is impossible, that ever Rome
2 The last of all the Romans,] From the old translation of Plu. tarch : “ So, when he [Brutus] was come thither, after he had lamented the death of Cassius, calling him the last of all the Romans, being impossible that Rome should ever breede againe so noble and valiant a man as he, he caused his bodie to be buried.” &c.
Mr Rowe, and all the subsequent editors, read, as we should now write, -Thou last, &c. But this was not the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. See Vol. X, p. 419, n. 5. See also the Letter of Post. humus to Imogen, in Cymbeline, Act III, sc.ii: “– as you, O the dearest of creatures, would not even renew me with thine eyes.” Again, in King Lear :
“ The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
“ Cordelia leaves you." not ye jewels,-as we now should write. Malone.
I have not displaced Mr. Malone's restoration from the old copy, because it is of no great importance to our author's meaning ; though I am perfectly convinced, that in the instances from Cymbeline and King Lear, the is merely the error of a compositor who misunderstood the abbreviations employed to express thou and ye in the original MSS. which might not have been remarkable for calligraphy. Both these abbreviarions very nearly resemble the one cominonly used for the ; a circumstance which has proved the frequent source of similar corruption. A mistake of the same colour appears to have happened in p. 118. where (see note 8) thee had been given instead of the. See likewise the volume above referred to by Mr Malone, where the is again printed (and, as I conceive, through the same blunder,) instead of thou.
The passage cited from Plutarch can have no weight on the present occasion. The biographer is only relating wha: Brurus had suid. In the text, Brutus is the speaker, and is audressing himse!f, propria persona, to Cassius.
Besides, why is not “ Thou last” &c. the language of Shakspeare ? Have we not in Ring Richard III:
“ Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
“ Thou rag of honour thou detested .?" And again, in Troiius and Cressida:
“ Thou greai and wise,” &c. Again, in Hamlet :
· know thou noble youth !” And fifty inore instances to the same purpose might be introduced,
Objecʻum est Historico (Cremutio Corto. racit. Ann I. iv, 34,) quod Bru:un Cassiumque ultimos Romanorum dixisset. Suet. Tiber. Lib. III, c. 61. Steevens.
His funerals shall not be in our camp,
Another Part of the Field. Alarum. Enter fighting, Soldiers of both Armies ; then
BRUTUS, Caro, LUCILIUS, and Others. Bru. Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your heads!
Cato. What bastard doth not? Who will go with me? I will proclaim my name about the field :I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho! A foe to tyrants, and my country's friend; I am the son of Marcus Cato,5 ho! (Charges the Enemy.
Bru. And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I; Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus.
[Exit, charging the Enemy. Cato is over
powered, and falls.
1 Sold. Yield, or thou diest.
Only I yield to die: There is so much, that thou wilt kill me straight;?
3 — and to Thassos ---] Old copy--Tharsus. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
It is Thassos in Sir Thomas North's translation. Steevens. 4 Labeo and Flavius,] Old copy-Flavio. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
5.I am the son of Marcus Cato,] So, in the old translation of Plu. tarch: “ There was the sonne of Marcus Cato slaine valiantly fighting, &c. telling aloud his name and his father's name,” &c. Steevens.
being Cato's son,] i. e. worthy of him. Warburton. 7 Luc. Only I yield to die:
There is so much, that thou wilt kill me straight;] Dr. Warburton has been much inclined to find lacuna, or passages broken by omission, throughout this play. I think he has been always mistaken. The Soldier here says, Yield, or thou diest. Lucilius replies, I yield
Kill Brutus, and be honour'd in his death.
1 Sold. We must not.-A noble prisoner! 2 Sold. Room, ho! Tell Antony, Brutus is ta’en. | Sold. I 'll tell the news. Here comes the general:
Enter ANTONY. Brutus is ta’en, Brutus is ta’en, my lord.
Ant. Where is he?
Luc. Safe, Antony;9 Brutus is safe enough:
do find him, or alive, or dead, He will be found like Brutus, like himself.
Ant. This is not Brutus, friend; but, I assure you, A prize no less in worth : keep this man safe, Give him all kindness: I had rather have Such men my friends, than enemies. Go on, And see whe'r Brutus be alive, or dead: And bring us word, unto Octavius' tent, How every thing is chanc'd.
only on this condition, that I may die ; here is so much gold as thou seest in my hand, which I offer thee as a reward for speedy death. What now is there wanting? Johnson. · I'll tell the news. ws.] The old copy reads: I'll tell thee news:
Fohnson Corrected by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
9 Safe, Antony ;] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ In the mean time Lucilius was brought to him, who stowtly with a bold countenaunce sayd, Antonius, I dare assure thee, that no enemie hath taken, nor shall take Marcus Brutus aliue: and I beseech God keepe him from that fortune. For wheresceuer he be found, aliue or dead, he will be founde like himselfe. And now for my selfe, I am come vnto thee, hauing deceiued these men of armes here, bearing them downe that I was Brutus: and doe not refuse to suffer any torment thou wilt put me to. Lucilius wordes made them all amazed that heard him. Antonius on the other side, looking vpon all them that had brought him, sayd vnto them: my companions, I thinke ye’are sorie you have failed of your purpose, & that you thinke this man hath done great wrong: but I doe assure you, you have taken a better bootie, then that you followed. For instead of an enemie, you have brought me a friend,” &c. Steedens.
Another Part of the Field. Enter BRUTUS, DARDANIUS, CLITUS, STRATO, and
VOLUMNIUS. Bru. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.
Cli. Statilius show'd the torch-light; but, my lord, He came not back; he is or ta’en, or slain.
Bru. Sit thee down, Clitus : Slaying is the word;
Cli. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
I'll rather kill myself.
1 Statilius show'd the torch-light; &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ Furthermore, Brutus thought that there was no great number of men slaine in battell, and to know the trueth of it, there was one called Statilius, that promised to goe through his enemies (for otherwise it was impossible to goe see their campe,) and from thence if all were well, that he woulde lift vp a torch-light in the ayer, and then returne againe with speed to him. The torche-light was lift vp as he had promised, for Statilius went thither. Nowe Bratus seeing Statilius tarie long after that, and that he came not again, he say'd: if Statilius be aliue, he will come againe. But his euil fortune was suche, that as he came backe, he lighted in his enemies hands, and was slaine. Now, the night being farre spent, Brutus as he sate, bowed towards Clitus one of his men, and told him somewhat in his eare; the other aunswered him not, but fell a weeping. Thereupon he proued Dardanus, and sayd somewhat also to him: at length he came to Volumnius him selfe, and speaking to him in Græke, prayed him for the studies sake which brought them acquainted together, that he woulde helpe him to put his hande to his sword, to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied his request, and so did many others : and amongest the rest, one of them sayd, there was no tarrying for them there, but that they must needes fie. Then Brutus rising vp, we must flie in deede, sayd he, but it must be with our hands, not with our feete. Then taking euery man by the hand, he sayd these words vnto them with a chearfull countenance. It rejoy. ceth my hart that not one of my frends hath failed me at my neede, and I do not complaine of my fortune, but only for my contries sake: for, as for me, I thinke my selfe happier than they that have ouercome, considering that I leaue a perpetuall fame of our corage and manhoode, the which our enemies the conquerors shall neuer attaine ynto by force nor money, neither can let their posteritie to say, that they being naughtie and unjust men, haue slaine good men, to vsurpe tyrannical power not pertaining to them. Hauing sayd so, he prayed euery man to shift for them selues, and then he went a litle aside,” &c. Steevens.