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Now șit we close about this taper here,
Cas. Portia! art thou gone?
No more, I pray you
young Octavius, and Mark Antony, Come down upon us with a mighty power, Bending their expedition toward Philippi.
Mes. Myself have letters of the self-same tenour.
Mes. That by proscription, and bills of outlawry,
Bru. Therein our letters do not well agree;
Cas. Cicero one?
Ay, Cicero is dead,
Bru. No, Messala.
That, methinks, is strange.
Mes. Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell: For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.
Bru. Why, farewel, Portia.- We must die, Messala: With meditating that she must die once, I have the patience to endure it now.
Nies. Even so great men great losses should endure.
Cas. I have as much of this in art as you, But yet my nature could not bear it so.
9 Ay, Cicero is dead,] For the insertion of the affirmative adverb, to complete the verse, I am answerable. Steevens.
once,] i. e. at some time or other. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
- I pray, thee once to-night “ Give my sweet Nan this ring." See Vol. III, p. 109, n. 3. Steevens.
in art -] That is, in theory. Malone.
Bru. Well, to our work alive. What do you think
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 disagreeable clash of-it is, with 'Tis at the beginning of the next line, are almost proofs that our anthor only wrote, with a common ellipsis, - This:--.
Steevens. 4 There is a tile &c.] This passage is poorly imitated by Beauinont 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, go on;
Bru. The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
No more. Good night;
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?
tent. Luc. Varro, and Claudius!
Enter VARRO and CLAUDIUS.
Bru. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent, and sleep;
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 : 6 and never come mischance between us twain." Steevens.
It may be, I shall otherwise bethink 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 leaden mace -] A mace is the ancient term for a scep: tre. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584:
- look upon my stately grace, “ Because the pomp that’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 courtly company.” H. White. 7 Let me see, let me see,] As these words are wholly unmetrical, we may suppose our author meant to avail himself of the common collaquial 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 occa. sion deserted his original. It 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 againe ynto it: well, then I shall see thee agayne. The spirit presently vanished away; and Bru. tus called his men vnto him, who tolde him that they heard no noyse, nor sawe any thing at all."
See the story of Cassius Parmensis in Valerius Maximus, Lib. I, m. 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 Cæsar. The vision was thus. Brutus being ready to pass over his army from the citie of Abydos to the other coast łying 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 wonderfull greatnes and dreadful looke, which at the first made him marvelously afraid. But when he sawe that it did him no hurt, but stoode by his bedde-side, and said nothing, at length he asked him what he was. The image aunswered him, I am thy 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 spirit 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 alinost every book of his age that treats of supernatural appearances, See King Richard III, Vol. XI, p. 180, n. 7. Steevens,