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And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
• And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge, &c.]
umbraque erraret Crassus inulta." Lucan, L. I. “ Fatalem populis ultro poscentibus horam “ Admovet atra dies ; Stygiisque emissa tenebris “ Mors fruitur cælo, bellatoremque volando “ Campum operit, nigroque viros invitat hiatu.”
Stat. Theb. VIII. Furiæ rapuerunt licia Parcis.” Ibid.
STEEVENS. Cry Havock,] A learned correspondent [Sir William Blackstone) has informed me, that, in the military operations of old times, havock was the word by which declaration was made, that no quarter should be given. In a tract intitled, The Office of the Constable and Mareschall in the Tyme of Werre, contained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is the following chapter :
“ The peyne of hym that crieth havock and of them that followeth hym, etit. v."
“ Item si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui vocatur Havok.”
“ Also that no man be so hardy to crye Havok upon peyne that he that is begynner shall be deede therefore: & the remanent that doo the same or folow, shall lose their horse & harneis : and the persones
of such as foloweth and escrien shall be under arrest of the Conestable and Mareschall warde unto tyme that they have made fyn; and founde suretie no morr to offende; and his body in prison at the Kyng will—,” Johnson.
See p. 136, n. 4. MALONE.
ilet slip-] This is a term belonging to the chase. Manwood, in his Forest Laws, c. xx. s. 9, says:
66 —that when any pourallee man doth find any wild beasts of the forest in his pourallee, that is in his owne freehold lands, that he hath within the pourallee, he may let slippe his dogges after the wild beastes, and hunt and chase them there," &c. REED.
Slips were contrivances of leather by which greyhounds were restrained till the necessary moment of their dismission. See King Henry V. Vol. XII. p. 369, n. 9. STEEVENS.
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Cæsar, do you not ?
SERV. I do, Mark Antony.
SERV. He did receive his letters, and is coming :
[Seeing the Body. Ant. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep. Passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes, 8 Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, Began to water. Is thy master coming ? SERT. He lies to-night within seven leagues of
Rome. Ant. Post back with speed, and tell him what
hath chanc'd: Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
To let slip a dog at a deer, &c. was the technical phrase of Shakspeare's time. So, in Coriolanus :
“Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
“ To let him slip at will.”
" Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
“ Crouch for employment.” The same observation is made by Steele, in the TATLER, No. 137. MALONE.
8 for mine eyes,] Old copy--from mine eyes. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
No Rome of safetyo for Octavius yet ;
[Exeunt, with CÆSAR's Body.
Enter BRUTUS and Cassius, and a Throng of
Cit. We will be satisfied ; let us be satisfied. BRU. Then follow me, and give me audience,
friends. Cassius, go you into the other street, And part the numbers. Those that will hear me speak, let them stay here ; Those that will follow Cassius, go with him ; And publick reasons shall be rendered Of Cæsar's death.
• No Rome of safety &c.] If Shakspeare meant to quibble on the words Rome and room, in this and a former passage, he is at least countenanced in it by other authors. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1638:
You shall have my room,
STEEvens. 1 Cit.
I will hear Brutus speak. 2 Cit. I will hear Cassius; and compare their
reasons, When severally we hear them rendered.
[Exit Cassius, with some of the Citizens.
BRUTUS goes into the Rostrum. . 3 Crt. The noble Brutus is ascended : Silence!
Bru. Be patient till the last. Romans, countrymen, and lovers !1 hear me for my cause; and be silent that you may hear: believe me for mine honour; and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe : censure me in your wisdom; and awake your senses that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Bru
countrymen, and lovers ! &c.] There is no where, in all Shakspeare's works, a stronger proof of his not being what we call a scholar than this; or of his not knowing any thing of the genius of learned antiquity. This speech of Brutus is wrote in imitation of his famed laconick brevity, and is very fine in its kind; but no more like that brevity than his times were like Brutus’s. The ancient laconick brevity was simple, natural, and easy; this is quaint, artificial, jingling, and abounding with forced antitheses. In a word, a brevity, that for its false eloquence would have suited any character, and for its good sense would have become the greatest of our author's time; but yet, in a style of declaiming, that sits as ill upon Brutus as our author's trowsers or collar-band would have done. WARBURTON.
I cannot agree with Warburton that this speech is very fine in its kind. I can see no degree of excellence in it, but think it a very paltry speech for so great a man, on so great an occasion. Yet Shakspeare has judiciously adopted in it the style of Brutus -the pointed sentences and laboured brevity which he is said to have affected. M. Mason.
This artificial jingle of short sentences was affected by most of the orators in Shakspeare's time, whether in the pulpit or at the bar. The speech of Brutus may therefore be regarded rather as an imitation of the false eloquence then in vogue, than as a specimen of laconick brevity. STEEVENS.
tus' love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer,—Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves; than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him: There is tears, for his love ; joy, for his fortune; honour, for his valour; and death, for his ambition. Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply. Cit. None, Brutus, none.
[Several speaking at once. BRU. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you should do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol : his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
Enter Antony and Others, with CÆSAR's Body. Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; As which of you shall not ? With this I depart; That, as I slew my best lover? for the
as I sleru