Imagens das páginas

Strato. Give me your hand first: fare you well,

my lord. Bru.> Farewell, good Strato. — Caesar, now be still: I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.

[He runs on his sword, and dies.

Alarum. Retreat. Enter Octayitts, Antony, MesSala, Lttctlius, and their Army.

Oct. What man is that?

Mes. My master's man. — Strato, where is thy master?

Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala: The conquerors can but make a fire of him; For Brutus only overcame himself, And no man else hath honour by his death.

Luc. So Brutus should be found. — I thank thee, Brutus, That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.

Oct. All that serv'd Brutus, I will entertain them. Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?

Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.

Oct. Do so, good Messala.

Mes. How died my master, Strato?

Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it.

Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, That did the latest service to my master.

Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all: All the conspirators, save only he, Did that they did in envy of great Caesar; He, only, in a general honest thought And common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle; and the elements So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up, And say to all the world, 'This was a man!'


Oct. According to his virtue let us use him, With all respect, and rites of burial. Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie. Most like a soldier, ordered honourably. — So, call the field to rest; and let's away, To part the glories of this happy day. [Exeunt.


Scene I.

p. 313. "Enter Flavins, Marullus, and a rabble of Citizens" : — The folio has, "Enter Flavius, Murellus, and certaine Commoners over the Stage." The spelling Murellus, which is continued through the play, is manifestly the result of carelessness; and Theobald very properly conformed it to the orthography of North's Plutarch. "Certain Commoners" does not express, now-a-days at least, the character of the crowd that accompanies the Tribunes.

"«« 1 Cit." : — In the folio the speeches of the First and

Second Citizens have the prefixes, respectively, Car[penter] and Cob[bler].

p. 314. "Mar. What trade, thou knave?" &c. : — In the folio this speech is attributed to Flavius; but the next speech but one clearly shows that it belongs to Marullus, to whom Capell assigned it. The impatient iteration of Flavius will seem somewhat unjustifiable to those who do not know that of old a «cobbler' was not necessarily a shoemaker, but a clumsy or half-taught artificer of any craft.

'' " but withal I am, indeed, sir," &c. : — The cob

bler's pun is patent. Modern editions have hitherto most contradictorily and absurdly read, "I meddle with no tradesmen's matters, nor women's matters, but with all [or "with awl" which is the same thingj. I am indeed, sir," &c. What the cobbler means to say is, that, although he meddles not with tradesmen's matters or women's matters, he is withal (making at the same time his little pun) a surgeon to old shoes. This use of 'withal' was com mon in Shakespeare's day; as, for instance, Gideon1 y


trumpets, which he put into the right hands of the little band that he led against the Midianites, were "to blow withal."

p. 315. "See, whe'r their basest metal": — The folio, "See where," &c. — a contraction of «whether' elsewhere noticed in this work.

"" deck'd with ceremony" :— i. e., it can hardly be

necessary to remark, ceremoniously or pompously decorated. The folio has, *« with ceremonies," which has been hitherto retained, with the explanation that « ceremonies' means here religious ornaments or decorations. But such a use of the word is illogical and unprecedented. The word in the folio is merely 'ceremonie' with the superfluous s so constantly added in books of its period.

Scene II.

p. 31G. "Enter . . . Calpurnia, Portia, Decius" : — The folio has, "Calp/mrnia," here and wherever the name occurs; yet the needful correction has not hitherto been made, although the name of Caesar's wife was Calpurnia, and it is correctly spelled throughout North's Plutarch, and although no one has hesitated to change the strangely perverse "Varrws" and "Claudio" of the folio to 'VariV and «Claudia,' or its "Antony" to «Antony' in this play and in Antony and Cleopatra. I am convinced that in both 'Anthony' and ' Calphurnia' h was silent to Shakespeare and his readers. — For "Decius" Shakespeare should nave written Decimus [Brutus]; but this mistake is not in the spelling of a name, but the identity of a person, and is one into which the poet was led by his authority, North's Plutarch. Therefore it should not be corrected.

"" - in Antonius' way " : — The folio has, "Antonios

way," and in other instances of proper names ending in us it substitutes the Italian termination in o, which was more familiar to the actors and printers of the period. It is worthy of note that the triumvir's name is spelled without the h in this tragedy, whether as Antonio, Antonius, or Antony; while in the Egyptian tragedy it appears always with the silent aspirate.

p. 318." by some other thing" : — The folio, "by some

other things," which is merely another instance of the superfluous terminal s. Perhaps we should read, with Pope, "from some other things."

ii (< Were I a common laugher " ; — The folio, "a common laughter" which Pope corrected.

p. 318. "To stale with ordinary oaths," &c. : — i. e., to make common oaths a lure, as the sportsman uses his stale, or decoy.

p. 319." with hearts of controversy ":— This use of « controversy' is somewhat singular, yet its meaning of opposition, antagonism, can hardly be mistaken. — In the next line the use of «arrive' without a preposition is in accordance with the idiom of Shakespeare's day.

p. 320. "Brutus will start a spirit" ; — Here « spirit' is doubtless meant to be pronounced as a monosyllable, and perhaps should be so printed.

p. 321. "That her wide walls encompass'd" : — The folio, "That her wide Walkes" &c, which may be strained to a sense, but yet a sense so inferior to that which is expressed by the more obvious word, that the reading given by Rowe may be adopted with little hesitation.

,; "Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough " : — Evi

dence this that « Home' was pronounced room, or * room' rome. See the Note on "that I have room with Rome," King John, Act III. Sc. 1, p. 121.

;' "Under these hard conditions, as this time," &c. : —

We should now write, Under such hard conditions as, &c. We find the same use of 'as' just before in this Scene, — "I have not from your eyes that gentleness as I was wont to have," — and in the next Scene a like use of 'that,' — •* and to such a man that is no fleering telltale."

p. 323." tell us what hath chanc'd" : — The folio misprints, "had chanc'd."

p. 324." the rabblement shouted'': — The folio has

"howted," which is generally changed to 'hooted,' but which Hanmer regarded as a misprint of 'showted,' and read accordingly. This reading has the support of Casca's previous speeches, and also of every other instance in which Shakespeare uses the verb * to hoot,' in all of which it means insult, not applause; except, of course, where it expresses the note of the owl.

"«« An I had been a man of any occupation" :— « Occu

pation' is used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries to mean trade, art; but here does not a man btany occupation mean a man of action, a busy man?

p. 326. "Csesar doth bear me hard": — This phrase occurs again in Act II. Sc. 1, "Caius Ligarius doth bear Capsar hard, who rated him," &c, and in Act III. Sc. 1, "1 do beseech you, if you bear me hard," &c. It seems plainly

« AnteriorContinuar »