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Cin. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny. Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of
Cæsar's Should chance Bru. Talk not of standing ;- Publius, good
cheer ; There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else :) so tell them, Publius.
CAS. And leave us, Publius ; lest that the people, Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Bru. Do so ;—and let no man abide this deed, But we the doers.
CAS. Where's Antony ?
Fled to his house amaz'd: Men, wives, and children, stare, cry out, and run, As it were doomsday.
BRU. Fates! we will know your pleasures:That we shall die, we know ; 'tis but the time, And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
CAS.8 Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life, Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
BRU. Grant that, and then is death a benefit : So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridg'd
? Nor to no Roman else:] This use of two negatives, not to make an affirmative, but to deny more strongly, is common to Chaucer, Spenser, and other of our ancient writers. Dr. Hickes observes, that in the Saxon, even four negatives are sometimes conjoined, and still preserve a negative signification.
STEEVENS. * Cas.] Both the folios give this speech to Casca. Reed. VOL. XVI.
His time of fearing death.–Stoop, Romans, stoop,
So oft as that shall be,
9-Stoop, Romans, stoop, ] Plutarch, in The Life of Cæsar, says, “ Brutus and his followers, being yet hot with the murder, marched in a body from the senate-house to the Capitol, with their drawn swords, with an air of confidence and assurance.' And in The Life of Brutus :- “ Brutus and his party betook themselves to the Capitol, and in their way, showing their hands all bloody, and their naked swords, proclaimed liberty to the people." THEOBALD.
Stoop then, and wash.] To wash does not mean here to cleanse, but to wash over, as we say, washed with gold; for Cassius means that they should steep their hands in the blood of Cæsar. M. MASON.
* In states unborn,] The first folio has-state ; very properly corrected in the second folio-states. Mr. Malone admits the first of these readings, which he thus explains-In theatrick pomp yet undisplayed.
But, surely, by unborn states, our author must have meantcommunities which as yet have no existence. STEEVENS.
3 So oft as that shall be,] The words shall be, which render this verse too long by a foot, may be justly considered as interpolations, the sense of the passage being obvious without a supplement. As oft as that, in elliptical phrase, will signify—as oft
So often shall the knot of us be call'd
DEC. What, shall we forth ?
Ay, every man away: Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter a Servant.
BRU. Soft, who comes here? A friend of An.
tony's. SERV. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me
kneel; Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down: And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say. Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest; Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving: Say, I love Brutus, and I honour him ; Say, I fear'd Cæsar, honour'd him, and lov'd him. If Brutus will vouchsafe, that Antony May safely come to him, and be resolv'd How Cæsar hath deserv'd to lie in death, Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead So well as Brutus living ; but will follow The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus, Thorough the hazards of this untrod state, With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
Bru. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman; I never thought him worse. Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
as that shall happen. There are too many instances of similar ellipses destroyed by the player editors, at the expence of metre.
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I'll fetch him presently.
[Exit Servant. Bru. I know, that we shall have him well to
friend. CAS. I wish, we may: but yet have I a mind, That fears him much; and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
BRU. But here comes Antony. -- Welcome,
Mark Antony. ANT. O mighty Cæsar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure?- Fare thee well. I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank: If I myself, there is no hour so fit
who else is rank:] Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the publick safety.
JOHNSON. I rather believe the meaning is, who else is too replete with blood. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ Rain added to a river that is rank,
“ Perforce will force it overflow the bank.” See Vol. X. p. 517, n. 1. MALONE. In The Tempest we have
whom to trash “ For overtopping." I conceive Dr. Johnson's explanation therefore to be the true
The epithet rank is employed, on a similar occasion in King Henry VIII:
“ Ha! what, so rank?”. and without allusion to a plethora. STEEVENS.
As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument
Bru. O Antony! beg not your death of us.
tony: Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts,
• As fire drives out fire, &c.] So, in Coriolanus :
MALONE. Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
• Even as one heat another heat expels,
To you (says Brutus) our swords have leaden points : our arms, strong in the deed of malice they have just performed, and our hearts united like those of brothers in the action, are yet open to receive you with all possible regard. The supposition that Brutus meant, their hearts were of brothers' temper in respect of Antony, seems to have misled those who have commented on this passage before. For-in strength of, Mr. Pope substituted