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Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport,
So oft as that shall be,3
Dec. What, shall we forth?
Ay, every man away:
Enter a Seryant.
Serv. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Bru. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I'll fetch him presently. (Exit Serv. Bru. I know, that we shall have him well to friend. Cas. I wish, we may: but yet have I a mind,
But surely, by unborn states, our author must have meant-communities 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 ofi as that, in elliptical phrase, will signify--as oft as that shall happen. There are too many instances of similar ellipsis destroyed by the player editors, at the expense of metre. Stecvens.
That fears him much; and my misgiving still ,
Bru. O Antony! beg not your death of us.
4- who else is rank:] Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the public safety. Fohnson:
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. VII, p. 411, n. 1. Malone. In The Tempest we have
" whom to trash
« For overtopping.” I conceive Dr. Johnson's explanation therefore to be the true one. The epithet rank is employed, on a similar occasion in King Henry VIII:
« Ha! what, so rank?" and without allusion to a plethora. Stcevusas:
Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part, .
Cas. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's,
Bru. Only be patient, till we have appeas'd
I doubt not of your wisdom.
5 As fire drives out fire, &c.] So, in Coriolanus:
“ One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail.” Malone, Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ Even as one heat another heat expels,
" Or as one nail by strength drives out another.” Steeders. 6 Our arms in strength of malice,] Thus the old copies:
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 bro. thers' temper in respect of Antony, seems to have misled those who have commented on this passage before. For-in strength of, Mr. Pope substituted-exempt from ; and was too hastily followed by other editors. If alteration were necessary, it would be easier to read :
Our arms no strength of malice, - Steevens. One of the phrases in this passage, which Mr. Steevens has so happily explained, occurs again in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts,
“ With an unslipping knot.” Again, ibid:
“ The heart of brothers governs in our love!" The counterpart of the other phrase is found in the same play:
“ I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love." Malone. 7 Though last, not least in love,] So, in King Lear:
- Although the last, not least in our dear love." The same expression occurs more than once in plays exhibited be. fore the time of Shakspeare. Malone.
Gentlemen all,- alas! what shall I say? '
Cas. Mark Antony,
Pardon me, Caius Cassius :
Cas. I blame you not for praising Cæsar so; But what compact mean you to have with us? Will you be prick'd in number of our friends, Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
Ant. Therefore I took your hands; but was, indeed, Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Cæsar. Friends am I with you all,' and love you all;
s c rimson'd in thy lethe.] Lethe is used by many of the old translators of novels, for death, and in Heywood's Iron Age, P. II, 1632:
- The proudest nation that great Asia nurs’d,
« Is now extinct in lethe.” Again, in Cupid's Whirligigg, 1616:
“ For vengeance' wings brings on thy lethal day.” Dr. Farmer observes, that we meet with lethal for deadly in the information for Mungo Campbell. Steevens.
9 Friends am I with you all, &c.] This grammatical impropriety is still so prevalent, as that the omission of the anomalous S, would give some uncouthness to the sound of an otherwise familiar expression. Henley.
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons,
Bru. Or else were this a savage spectacle:
That's all I seek:
Bru. You shall, Mark Antony.
Brutus, a word with you.l-
By your pardon ;-
Cas. I know not what may fall; I like it not.
Bru. Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar's body.
Be it so;
[Exeunt all but Art. Ant. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
1 Brutus, a word with you.] With you is an apparent interpolation of the players. In Act IV, sc. ii, they have retained the elliptical phrase which they have here destroyed at the expense of metre:
“He is not doubted. --A word, Lucilius ; , Steevens