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' — if thou Path, thy native semblance on"-i. e. Valk on a trodden
in thy true form. Drayton • uses the word, speaking of the river Wey:-Vhere from the neighbouring hills her passage Wey doth path. Coleridge, not being aware, as he says,
old riter had used path in the sense of to walk," thought at “there should be no scruple in treating this path s a mere misprint for put."
" — the Face of men"-Johnson thus explains this assage; in which, with a view perhaps to imitate the bruptness of discourse, Shakespeare has constructed he latter part without any regard to the beginning :
The 'face of men’ is the countenance, the regard, the steem of the public; in other terms, honour and repuation : or the face of men may mean the dejected look of the people. Thus Cicero In Catilinam:'— Nihil lorum ora vult usque moverunt.'” Gray may perhaps support Johnson's explanation:
And read their history in a nation's eyes. Mason thought we should read, “ the faith of men;" to which, he says, the context evidently gives support:
what other bond,
And will not palter, etc. The speech is formed on the following passage in North's * Plutarch:"-". The conspirators having never taken oath together, nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious oaths, they kept the matter so secret to them. selves," etc.
" – and men CAUTELOus"-i. e. Wary, circumspect.
“- let us not break with him"-i. e. Let us not break the matter to him. The phrase is found taken in this sense in Sydney, Ben Jonson, and elsewhere in ShakkSPEARE ; as in the Two GENTLEMEN OF Verona, (act iii. scene 1.)
" - TAKE THOUGHT"-i. e. Be anxious, or troubled; a sense now quite obsolete in ordinary use, but found in our English Bible, where the Greek words translated by Dr. Campbell, and other modern translators, anxious, solicitous, are thus rendered; as, “ Take no thought for the morrow”-i. e. in modern language, Be not troubled about to-morrow.
of fantasy, of dreams, and CEREMONIES," etc. "Ceremony” is here, as twice elsewhere in this play, used for the external and superstitious usages of any religion. It is a sense almost peculiar to Shakespeare, among the English writers, but corresponds with the use of the word in Latin. Thus Tacitus speaks of “cæromoniam loci"—" the sanctity of the place.” This peculiar use of the word may be added to those elsewhere pointed out, by Hallam and others, of the Poet's original use of common words, in their primitive Latin signification; showing a certain degree of classical acquirement.
“ That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,” etc. “Unicorns” are said to have been taken by one who, running behind a tree, eluded the violent push the animal was making at him, so that his horn spent its force on the trunk, and stuck fast, detaining the animal till he was despatched by the hunter. This is alluded to by Spenser, (“ Faerie Queene,” book ii. chap. 5;) and by Chapman, in his “ Bussy d'Ambois,” (1607.) Bears are reported to have been surprised by means of a mirror, which they would gaze on, affording their pursuers an opportunity of taking the surer aim. This circumstance is inentioned by Claudian. Elephants were seduced into pitfalls, lightly covered with hurdles and turf, on which a proper bait to tempt them was placed. (See Pliny's
“Natural History," book viii.)
go along By HIM"-i. e. By his house; an old idiom resembling the French chez lui.
“Let not our looks put on our purposes,” etc. “ Furthermore, the only name and great calling of
Brutus did bring on the most of them to give consent to this conspiracy: who having never taken oaths together. nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious oaths, they all kept the matter so secret to themselves, and could so cunningly handle it, that notwithstanding the gods did reveal it by manifest signs and tokens from above, and by predictions of sacrifices, yet all this would not be believed. Now Brutus, who knew very well that for his sake all the noblest, valiantest, and most courageous men of Rome did venture their lives, weighing with himself the greatness of the danger, when he was out of his house, he did so frame and fashion his countenance and looks that no man could discern that he had anything to trouble his mind. But when night came that he was in his own house, then he was clean changed; for either care did wake him against his will when he would have slept, or else oftentimes of himself he fell into such deep thoughts of this enterprise, casting in his mind all the dangers that might happen, that his wife, lying by him, found that there was some marvellous great matter that troubled his mind, not being wont to be in that taking, and that he could not well determine with himself. His wife, Portia, was the daughter of Cato, whom Brutus married, being his cousin, not a maiden, but a young widow, after the death of her first husband Bibulus, by whom she had also a young son called Bibulus, who afterwards wrote a book of the acts and jests of Brutus, extant at this present day. This young lady being excellently well seen in philosophy, loving her husband well, and being of a noble courage, as she was also wise, because she would not ask her husband what he ailed before she had made some proof by herself, she took a little razor, such as barbers occupy to pare men's nails, and, causing her maids and women to go out of her chamber, gave herself a great gash withal in her thigh, that she was straight all of a gore of blood, and incontinently after a vehement fever took her by reason of the pain of her wound. Then perceiveing her husband was marvellously out of quiet, and that he could take no rest, even in her greatest pain of all. she spake in this sort unto him :-1, being, ( Brutus, (said she,) the daughter of Cato, was married unto thee; not to be thy bedfellow and companion in bed and at board only, like a harlot, but to be partaker also with thee of thy good and evil fortune. Now for thyself I can find no cause of fault in thee touching our match ;. but, for my part, how may I show my duty towards thee, and how much I would do for thy sake, if I cannot constantly bear a secret mischance or grief with thee which requireth secrecy and fidelity? I confess that a woman's wit commonly is too weak to keep a secret safely; but yet (Brutus) good education, and the company of virtuous men, have some power to reform the defect of nature. And for myself, I have this benefit moreover, that I am the daughter of Cato and wife of Brutus. This notwithstanding, I did not trust to any of these things before, until that now I have found by experience that no pain or grief whatsoever can over
With these words she showed him her wound on her thigh, and told him what she had done to prove herself. Brutus was amazed to hear what she said unto him, and, lifting up his hands to heaven, he besought the gods to give him the grace he might bring his enterprise to so good pass that he might be found a husband worthy of so noble a wife as Portia : so he then did comfort her the best he could."—North's Plutarch.
SCENE II. “ The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses do neigh, and dying men did groan," etc This magnificent word expresses the clashing of weapons: it is probably the suine word as hurled ; and Shakespeare, with the boldness of genius, makes the action give the sound. Gray uses it more strictly in its original sense :
Iron-sleet of arrowy shower,
“ The heavens themselvesblaze forth the death of princes."
Met. Cæsar, thou dost me wrong.
Cæs. Cæsar, did never wrong, but with just cause. This may have been suggested by Suetonius, who relates that a blazing star appeared for seven days together,
Tyrwhitt has endeavoured to defend the passage by obduring the celebration of games, instituted by Augustus, serving, that “ wrong” is not always a synonymous term in honour of Julius. The common people believed that
for injury; and that Cæsar is meant to say, that he doth this indicated his reception among the gods; his statues
not inflict any evil or punishment but with just cance. were accordingly ornamented with its figure, and medals
“The fact seems to be, (says Gifford,) that this verse, struck on which it was represented. One of them is lutely absurd, escaped the Poet in the heat of composi
which closely borders on absurdity, without being abso engraved in Douce's “Nlustrations," from whence this note is taken. Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton,
tion; and being one of those quaint slips which are in his “ Defensative against the Poison of supposed
readily remembered, became a jocular and familiar Prophesies," (1583,) says:-“ Next to the shadows and
phrase for reproving (as in the passage of Ben Jonson's pretences of experience, (which have been met with all
Induction) the perverse and unreasonable expectations
of the male or female gossips of the day." at large,) they seem to brag most of the strange events which follow (for the most part) after blazing starres ;
Mr. Collier, on the contrary, strenuously holds that as if they were the summonses of God to call princes to
“the passage, as it now stands, represents the lines writthe seat of judgment. The surest way to shake their
ten by Shakespeare, and was never liable to Ben Jonpainted bulwarkes of experience is, by making plaine
son's criticism;" it being evident that Ben Jonson that neither princes always dye when comets blaze, nor
spoke from memory shaken," as he confesses himsell, comets ever (i. e. always) when princes dye.". In this
“ with age and sloth." work is a curious anecdote of Queen Elizabeth, “ then “ — men are flesh and blood, and APPREHENSIVE"lying at Richmond, being dissuaded from looking on a i. e. Intelligent; capable of apprehending. comet; with a courage equal to the greatness of her state, she caused the windowe to be sette open, and
[“ Casca stabs Cæsar"-We retain this stage direcsaid, Jacta est alea—The dice are thrown."
tion as it is ordinarily given, though not in the old
copies, which merely say, “ They stab Cæsar.” It has – Cæsar shall go forth"-Any speech of Cæsar, been formed by the later editors, from the accounts throughout this scene, will appear to disadvantage, if of Plutarch and Suetonius. compared with the following sentiments, put into his mouth by May, in the seventh book of his “Supple
“Et tu. BRUTE !— Then fall, Cæsar.” ment to Lucan:"
Suetonius says, that when Cæsar put Metellus Cimber - Plus me, Calphurnia, luctus
back, “ he canght hold of Cæsar's gowne, at both shoulEt lacrymæ movere tuæ, quam tristia vatum
ders, whereupon, as he cried out, This is violence, Casa Responsa, infaustæ volucres, aut ulla dierum
sius came in second, full a front, and wounded him a Vana superstitio poterant. Ostenta timere
little beneath the throat. Then Cæsar, catching Cassius Si nunc inciperem, quæ non mihi tempora posthac Anxia transirent ? quæ lux jucunda maneret!
by the arme, thrust it through with his stile or writing Aut quæ libertas ? frustra servire timori
punches; and with that, being about to leap forward, (Dum nec luce frui, nec mortem arcere licebit)
he was met with another wound and stayed.” Being Cogar, et huic capiti quod Roma veretur, aruspex
then assailed on all sides, “with three and twenty be Jus dabit, et vanus semper dominabitur augur.
was stabbed, during which time he gave but one groan, “She dreamt to-night she saw my statUE," etc. (without any word uttered,) and that was at the first Reid, Coleridge, and Dyce, maintain that “statne" is
thrust; though some have written that, as Marcus Bruhere a misprint for statua, the ancient word for statue ;
tus came running upon him, he said, and thou my sonat." and thus it is often printed in later editions. But the
(Holland's Translation, 1607.) Plutarch says that, on older copies have "statue," as here given. Both forms
receiving his first wound from Casca, “ he caught hold of the word were in use in the Poet's age, and the pro
of Casca’s sword, and held it hard ; and they both cried
out, Cæsar in Latin, ( vile traitor Casca, what doesi nunciation of “statue,” as now spelled, seems to have
thou ? and Casca in Greek, to his brother, Brother, help vibrated between the present modern two syllables and one more resembling the older form, or three syllables,
The conspirators, having then compassed him ou sounding the final e, which here would make the line
every side, “ hacked and mangled him," etc. : “ and then regularly metrical.
Brutus himself gave him one wound above the privities.
Men report also, that Cæsar did still defend himself " For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.” against the reste, running every way with his bodie; This speech, which is intentionally pompous, is some
but when he saw Brutus with his sworde drawen, in what confused. There are two allusions: one to coats his hande, then he pulled his gowne over his heade, and armorial, to which princes make additions, or give new made no more resistance." Neither of these writers, “tinctures," and new marks of “cognizance;" the other therefore, furnished Shakespeare with this exclaination. to martyrs, whose reliques are preserved with venera- It occurs in the “ True Tragedie of Richard Duke of tion. The Romans, says Decius, all come to you as to a York,” (1600;) on which he formed the Third Part of saint, for reliques, as to a prince, for honours. - Johnson. King HENRY VI.:- reason to my love is liable”-i. e. Reason, or pro
Et tu, Brute? Wilt thou stab Cæsar too! priety of conduct and language, is subordinate to my
And is translated in Cæsar's Legend, “ Mirror for Magislove.-Johnson.
trates,” (1587 :")
And Brutus thou my sonne, quoth I, whom erst
I loved best.
The words probably appeared originally in the old Latin “ He is address'd”-i. e. Ready.
play on the Death of Cæsar. “ Know, Cæsar doth not wrong: nor without cause “Nor to no Roman else"— This use of two negatives, Will he be satisfied."
not to make an affirmative, but to deny more strongly, Ben Jonson ridicules this passage, in the Induction to is common to Chaucer, Spenser, and other of our ancient the “ Staple of News,” and notices it in his “Discove- writers. Dr. Hickes observes that, in the Saxon, eren ries," as one of the lapses of Shakespeare's pen; but four negatives are sometimes conjoined, and still precertainly without that malevolence which has been as- serve a negative signification.-STEVENS. cribed to him; and be it observed, that is almost the only passage in his works which can justly be construed
“ Why he that cuts off twenty years of life into an attack on Shakespeare. He has been accused Cuts off so many years of fearing death." of quoting the passage unfaithfully; but Tyrwhitt sur- Most modern editors, without any reason, assign these mised, and Gifford is decidedly of opinion, that the pas- lines to Cassius ; but the old copies put them in Casca's bage originally stood as cited by Jonson, thus:
mouth, of whom they are sufficiently characteristic, cor
responding with the reckless contempt of life he ex- the word by which declaration was made that no quarpresses in the first act:
ter should be given. Thus, in an old tract cited by every bondman in his own hand bears
him, one chapter is headed, “The peyne (i. e. punishThe power to cancel his captivity.
ment) of him that crieth Havock." We now take leave of this peculiar and spiritedly
" No Rome of safety"— There is a play upon the drawn character. Stevens has well remarked that
words “ Rome" and room, of old sounded alike, with * Shakespeare knew that he had a sufficient number of
the sound of oo, and still retaining the same sound in heroes on his hands, and was glad to lose an individual
many English mouths; though on this side of the Atlanin the crowd. It may be added, that the singularity of
tic that sound of “Rome" is so seldom heard, that the Casca’s manners would have appeared to little advan; 1 jingle may require explanation to many readers. tage amidst the succeeding varieties of tumult and war.” - who else is RANK”—Johnson explains this :
SCENE II. " Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the public safety." This
- Romans, count rymen, and lovers," etc. explanation derives support from the speech of Oliver,
This speech has been censured by learned critics, as in As You LIKE IT, (act i. scene 1,) when incensed at the high bearing of his brother Orlando :-" Is it even
being an endeavour (in Warburton's language) “ to imi
tate the famed laconic brevity," but wholly unsuccess80 ? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your
ful; being (according to Stevens)" an artificial jingle rankness."
of short sentences,” and to be regarded “ as an imitation "Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts," etc. of the false eloquence in vogue,” at the bar and in the
Thus the old copies: To you (says Brutus) our swords pulpit, in the Poet's own day. But the truth is that the have leaden points; our arms, strong in the deed of
Poet, guided by Plutarch, in North’s folio, or some other malice they have just performed, and our hearts united authority, appears to have had a better understanding like those of brothers in the action, are yet open to re
of Brutus's oratorical taste than these critics, scholars ceive you with all possible regard. The supposition
as they undoubtedly were. Plutarch informs us (as that Brutus meant, their hearts were of brothers' temper
North translates him) that Brutus, in his Greek compoin respect of Antony, seems to have misled those who sition, “ counterfeited that brief, compendious manner have commented on this passage before. For “ in
of speech of the Lacedemonians." of this the following strength of,” Mr. Pope substituted exempt from; and was examples are given, which are certainly much in the too hastily followed by other editors. If alteration were
taste and manner that Shakespeare has here given to the necessary, it would be easier to read
speech to the people. “He wrote unto the PergameOur arms no strength of malice, etc.
nians in this sort: I understand you have given DolaStevens. bella money ; if you have done it willingly, you confess
you have offended me; if against your wills, show it " Your voice shall be as strong as any man's," etc. then by giving me willingly.” Another time again Mr. Blakeway observes, that Shakespeare has main- unto the Samians: “Your counsels be long; your doings tained the consistency of Cassius's character, who, being be slow; consider the end." In another epistle he selfish and greedy himself, endeavours to influence An- wrote unto the Patarians : “ The Xanthians despising tony by similar motives. Brutus, on the other hand, is
my good will, have made their country a grave of desinvariably represented as disinterested and generous,
pair; the Parthians that put themselves under my proand is adorned by the Poet with so many good qualities,
tection have lost no jot of their liberty; and therefore that we are almost tempted to forget that he was an as- whilst you have liberty, either chuse the judgment of sassin.
the Patarians, or the fortune of the Xanthians." Shake
speare's idea of Brutus's style of eloquence seems also - and crimson'd in thy lethe"-"Lethe" is used by old writers for death. Thus in Heywood's “ Iron
supported by other authorities, and especially by the
celebrated i D ue on the Causes of the Decline of Age,” (1632:)
Roman Eloquence," ascribed, though perhaps erroThe proudest nation that great Asia nurs d
neously, to Tacitus. This tract, I think there is one Is now extinct in lethe.
indication that Shakespeare had read, either in the oriIt appears to have been used as a word of one syllable | ginal or in some translation. (See note on the last scene in this sense, and is derived from the Latin iethum.
of this play: “This was the noblest Roman of them all," Our ancient language was also enriched with the deriva
etc.) It is said in that dialogue that Brutus's style was tives lethal, lethality, lethiferous, etc. Lethal lingered
censured as “ otiosum et disjunctum.". The disjunctum, till lately, and perhaps still lingers, in the legal language
the broken-up style without oratorical continuity, is of the Scottish criminal courts.
precisely that assumed by the dramatist. “O world! thou wast the forest to this hart;
“ Even at the base of Pompey's STATUE"—In this pasAnd this indeed, O world! the heart of thee."
sage, and in a previous instance, the word statua has I doubt the genuineness of the last two lines ;-not been substituted for the English word, as printed in the because they are vile; but first, on account of the folios. What we may gain in harmony we lose in simrhythm, which is not Shakespearian, but just the very plicity of expression, by this alteration. (See p. 46..) tune of some old play, from which the actor might have interpolated them ;-and secondly, because they inter
- I have neither wir”—The folio of 1623 has writ ; rupt, not only the sense and connection, but likewise that of 1632, "wit.” Writ, Johnson explained as a the flow both of the passion, and (what is with me still
prepared writing; but, receiving "wit" in the sense of more decisive) of the Shakespearian link of association.
understanding, we take urit to be a misprint, for the As with many another parenthesis or gloss slipped into
reasons well stated by Stevens :the text, we have only to read the passage without it,
“ The artful speaker, on this sudden call for his exerto see that it never was in it. I venture to say there is
tions, was designed, with affected modesty, to represent no instance in Shakespeare fairly like this. Conceits he
himself as one who had neither wit, (i. e. strength of has; but they not only rise out of some word in the understanding,) persuasive language, weight of characlines before, but also lead to the thought in the lines
ter, graceful action, harmony of voice, etc., (the usual following. Here the conceit is a mere alien: Antony requisites of an orator,) to influence the minds of the forgets an image, when he is even touching it, and then
people. Was it necessary, therefore, that, on an occarecollects it, when the thought last in his mind must
sion so precipitate, he should have urged that he had have led him away from it.--COLERIDGE.
brought no written speech in his pocket? since every
person who heard him must have been aware that the Cry Havock'"-Blackstone has shown that“ hav- interval between the death of Cæsar, and the time ock” was, in the military operations of ancient times, present, would have been inadequate to such a compo
sition, which indeed could not have been produced at for a man to feed upon, because the one means speculaall, unless, like the indictment of Lord Hastings, in tive and the other mechanical knowledge. If these are King Richard III., it had been got ready through a excluded, what knowledge are we to feed upon ? It is premonition of the event that would require it.” marvellous that the editors have not seen that Lepidus
“On this side Tiber”—“ This scene (says Theobald) is called barren, because, a mere follower of others, he lies in the Forum, near the Capitol, and in the most frequented part of the city; but Cæsar's gardens were very
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use, and stald by other men, remote from that quarter :
Begin his fashion. Trans Tiberim longe cubat is, prope Cesaris hortos,
KNIGHT. says Horace; and both the Naumachia and gardens of Shakespeare has already woven this circumstance into Cæsar were separated from the main city by the river, the character of Justice Shallow :—“ He came ever in and lay out wide in a line with Mount Janiculum.” the rearward of the fashion; and sung those tunes that He would therefore read, “on that side Tiber.” But he heard the carmen whistle."-STEVENS. Dr. Farmer has shown that Shakespeare's study lay in the old translation of Plutarch: “He bequethed unto
“Our best friends made, our means stretch'd," etc. every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas a man,
We reprint this line as in the first folio. It certainly and left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which gives one the notion of being imperfect; but it is not he had on this side of the river Tyber."
necessarily so, and may be taken as a hemistich. The
second folio has pieced it out rather botchingly:SCENE III.
Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out,
This is the common reading. Malone reads:“ – things unluckily charge my FANTASY"_i. e.
Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost. Circumstances oppress my fancy with an ill-omened weight.
SCENE III. “Within the tent of Brutus." This is not given as a separate scene in the original ; the stage-direction in the folios being “ Exeunt; Manent, Brutus and Cassius.” But, with reference to the construction of the modern stage, the present arrangement is necessary. In the Shakespearian theatre Brutus and Cassius evidently retired to the second stage.
“ Enter Brutus and Cassius." The manner in which the Poet has worked up every slight hint of his original, in this noble scene, affords a study to the critic. The story is thus told in North's “ Plutarch :'
“ About that time Brutus sent to pray Cassius to come to the city of Sardis, and so he did. Brutus, understanding of his coming, went to meet him with all his friends. There, both armies being armed, they called them both emperors. Now, as it commonly happeneth in great affairs between two persons, both of them having many friends, and so many captains under them, there ran tales and complaints betwixt them. Therefore, before they fell in hand with any other matter, they went into a little chamber together, and bade every man avoid, and did shut the doors to them. Then they began 10 pour out their complaints one to the other, and grew hot and loud, earnestly accusing one another, and at length fell both a weeping. Their friends that were without the chamber hearing them loud within, and angry between themselves, they were both amazed and
afraid also lest it should grow to further matter: but yet Roman Matron.
they were commanded that no man should come to
them. Notwithstanding one Marcus Phaonius, that had ACT IV.-SCENE I.
been a friend and follower of Cato while he lived, and
took upon him to counterfeit a philosopher, not with “ A Room in Antony's House."
wisdom and discretion, but with a certain bedlam and The triumvirs, it is well known, did not meet at
frantic motion :
This Phaonius at that time, Rome to settle their proscription, but upon an island in in despite of the door-keepers, came into the chamber, the river Larinus. Of this Shakespeare was not igno- and with a certain scoffing and mocking gesture, which rant, for in North's “ Plutarch," which he had so dili- | he counterfeited of purpose, he rehearsed the verses gently studied, it is said, “ They met all three in an
which old Nestor said in Homer :island envyroned around about with a little river.” But
My lords, I pray you, hearken both to me, it is evident that he places his scene at Rome, by Lepi
For I have seen more years than such ye three. dus being sent to Cæsar's house, and told that he shall | Cassius fell a laughing at him: but Brutus thrust him find his confederates “or here, or at the Capitol.” out of the chamber, and called him dog and counterfeit
cynic. Howbeit, his coming in broke their strife at that “On objects, arts, and imitations," etc.
tíme, and so they left each other. The self-same night In the original there is a full point at the end of this Cassius prepared his supper in his chamber, and Brutus line ; and in modern editions there is a semicolon, which brought his friends with him.
The next day equally answers the purpose of separating the sense after, Brutus, upon complaint of the Sardians, did colfrom what follows. This separation has created a diffi- demn and noted Lucius Pella for a defamed person, culty. Theobald wants to know why a man is to be
for that he was accused and convicted of robcalled a barren-spirited fellow that feeds on objects and | bery and pilfery in his office. This judgment much arts; and he proposes to read abject orts. Stevens misliked Cassius :
and therefore he greatly maintains that objects and arts were unworthy things reproved Brutus, for that he would show himself so
straight and severe in such a time, as was meeter to bear all. Thereupon Brutus returned again to think on his a little than to take things at the worst. Brutus in con- matters as he did before: and when the day brake he trary manner answered that he should remember the went unto Cassius, to tell him what vision had appeared ides of March, at which time they slew Julius Cæsar, unto him in the night.”—North's Plutarch. who neither pilled nor polled the country, but only was This is the account given in the life of Brutus. In a favourer and suborner of all them that did rob and the life of Cæsar, the spirit is spoken of as “the ghost;" spoil by his countenance and authority."
and it is added that Brutus “ thought he heard a noise “I know no part of Shakespeare that more impresses at his tent door, and looking towards the light of a on me the belief of his genius being superhuman, than lamp, that waxed very dim, he saw a horrible vision of this scene between Brutus and Cassius. In the Gnostic a man of wonderful greatness and dismal fear.” It is heresy, it might have been credited with less absurdity evident that the Poet was anxious to lose no incident of than most of their dogmas, that the Supreme had em
this scene. ployed him to create, previously to his function of representing, characters." --COLERIDGE.
ACT V.-SCENE I. - every NICE offence should bear his comment" —
“ – WARN us at Philippi”_"Warn” was the old * Nice” was, in the language of old Gower and Chaucer, trisling, silly; nearly answering to, and supposed to
word, both technical and colloquial, for summon, of which be derived from, the French niais. This sense has long
the English editors give various examples from old
writers, of an obsolete word. It is, however, in the been obsolete, and Shakespeare seems to have been the very last writer who used it, as here, and in ROMEO AND
United States, one of those words brought over by the JULIET:-“The letter was not nice." His comment"
generation next after Shakespeare's, which has prefor its, is also an obsolete form of old English expres
served its ancient sense, especially in New England, sion, once quite common.
where town meetings, jurymen, etc., are still said to be
“ legally warned.” “ What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, And not for justice ?"
“ — FEARFUL bravery”—Though “fearful" is often
used, by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, in an This is far from implying that any of those who active sense, for producing fear, or terrible, it may in touched Cæsar's body were villains. On the contrary, this instance bear its usual acceptation of timorous, or, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not one
as it was sometimes expressed, false-hearted. Thus in man among them, who was base enough to stab him for
a passage, cited by Stevens, from Sydney's “ Arcadia," any cause but that of justice.—Malone.
(book ii. :)—" Her horse faire and lustie ; which she “ Brutus, bait not me" —So the original. Theobald rid so as might show a fearful boldness, daring to do proposed and Stevens reads bay, conceiving that the re
that which she knew that she knew not how to doe." petition of the word used by Brutus is necessary to the
“ The posture of your blows are yet unknown," etc. spirit of the reply. It strikes me otherwise. The allusion to the dog “baying the moon” is seized on in the
Malone and Stevens dispute whether this be an error reply, and called out by the word bait, (as dogs bait a
of the Poet or his printers, while Knight well remarks :bear or other animal :)—"Do not assail me.”
Where a plural noun being a genitive case immediately
precedes the verb, it is not at all uncommon, in the “ COMPANION, hence”—“ Companion” is used as a
writers of Shakespeare's time, to disregard the real sinterm of reproach in many of the old plays; as we say gular nominative. Such a construction is not to be imat present, fellow. So, in King HENRY IV., (Part II.,)
puted to grammatical ignorance, but to a license warDol Tearsheet says to Pistol :
ranted by the best examples. Our language, in becomI scorn you, scurvy companion, etc.
ing more correct, has lost something of its spirit." STEVENS.
Cæsar's THREE-AND-THIRTY wounds”—This is the “ – thy leaden MACE"-A “ mace” is the ancient
old text, though the ordinary reading is three-and-twenty, term for a sceptre. So, in the “ Arraignment of Paris," which Theobald gives us upon the authority of Sueto(1584:)
nius and others. Beaumont and Fletcher speak of Cæthe pomp that 'longs to Juno's mace,
sar's “ two-and-thirty wounds." The poets in such cases Again, Spenser, in his “ Fairy Queen :"
were not very scrupulous in following historical authorWhen as Morpheus had with leaden mase,
ities. They desire to give us an idea of many wounds, Arrested all that courtly company.
and they accomplish their purpose. “ How il this taper burns !"
“ Be thou my witness that, against my will,” etc. " But as they both prepared to pass over again out “When they raised their camp, there came two of Asia into Europe, there went a rumour that there ap- eagles, that, flying with a marvellous force, lighted upon peared a wonderful sign unto him. Brutus was a care- two of the foremost ensigns, and always followed the ful man, and slept very little.
After he had soldiers, which gave them meat and fed them until they slumbered a little after supper, he spent all the rest of came near to the city of Philippes; and there one day the night in despatching of his weightest causes, and only before the battle they both flew away. after he had taken order for them, if he had any leisure || And yet, further, there were seen a marvellous number left him, he would read some book till the third watch of fowls of prey that fed upon dead carcases. of the night, at what time the captains, petty captains, The which began somewhat to alter Cassius' mind from and colonels, did use to come unto him. So, being Epicurus' opinions, and had put the soldiers also in a ready to go into Europe, one night (when all the camp marvellous fear; thereupon Cassius was of opinion not took quiet rest) as he was in his tent with a little light, to try this war at one battle, but rather to delay time, thinking of weighty matters, he thought he heard one and to draw it out in length.
But Brutus, come in to him, and, casting his eye towards the door in contrary manner, did alway before, and at that time of his tent, that he saw a wonderful, strange, and mon- also, desire nothing more than to put all to the hazard strous shape of a body coming towards him, and said of battle, as soon as might be possible.
Therenever a word. So Brutus boldly asked what he was, upon it was presently determined they should fight bata god or a man, and what cause brought him thither. tle the next day. So Brutus all supper-time looked The spirit answered him, I am thy evil spirit, Brutus, with a cheerful countenance, like a man that had good and thou shalt see me by the city of Philippes. Brutus, hope, and talked very wisely of philosophy, and after being no otherwise afraid, replied again unto it, Well, supper went to bed. But touching Cassius, Messala then, I shall see thee again. The spirit presently van- reporteth that he supped by himself in his tent with a ished away; and Brutus called his men unto him, who few friends, and that all supper-time he looked very told him that they heard no noise, nor saw anything at sadly, and was full of thoughts, although it was against