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But I am constant as the northern star,
Cim. O Cæsar,
Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead !--
+-oppreber five ;] Susceptible of fear, or other paflions.
JOHNSON. but one] One, and only one.
Johnson. holds on his rank,] Perhaps, bolds on his race ; continues his course. We commonly say, To hold a rank, and To bold on a course or way.
JOHNSON. ? Dith not Brutus bootless kneel?] I would read, Do not Brutus bootlejs kneel!
JOHNSON. Doth not Brulus bootlofs kneel: ] I cannot subscribe to Mr. Johnfon's opinion. (æsar, as some of the conspirators are presling sound him, answers their importunity properly ; See y'u not my own Brutus kneeling in vain? Wbat success can you expect 10 pour folicitations, when his are ineffe ftual? This might have put the late editor in mind of the passage of Homer, which he has employed in his preface. Thou? (faid Achilles to his captive) wben ju.b a man as Patroclus has fallen before ibee, doft shiu complain of the common lot of moi tality?
Caf. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, « Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement !"
Bru. People, and fenators ! be not affrighted;
Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
Bru. Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer; There is no harm intended to your perion, Nor to no Roman else: so tell them, Publius.
Casca. And leave us, Publius ; left that the people, Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Bru Do fo ; and let no man abide this deed, But we the doers.
Caf. Where is Antony ?
Tre. Fled to his house amaz'd. Men, wives, and children, ftare, cry out, and run, As it were dooms-day.
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.
Caf. 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 His time of fearing death.— Stoop, Romans, stoop;
Stoop, Romans, ftoop, &c.] In all the editions this speech is ascribed to Brutus, than which nothing is more inconsistent with his mild and philosophical character. But (as I often find speeches
. And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood
[Dipping their swords in Cæsar's blood. Shall this our lofty fcene be acted o'er, In ftates unborn, and accents yet unknown?
Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport,
Caf. So oft as that shall be,
Dec. What, shall we forth?
Caf. Ay, every man away:
Enter a Servant.
in the later editions put into wrong mouths, different from the firit published by the author) L.hink this liberty not unreasonable.
Pope, Stoop, Romans, floop :] Mr. Pope has arbitrarily taken away the remainder of this speech from Brutus, and placed it to Casca: because he thinks nothing is more inconsistent with Brutus's mild and philosophical character. I have made bold to restore the speech to its right owner. Brutus esteem'd the death of Cæsar a sacrifice to liberty : and, as such, gloried in his heading the enterprize. Besides, our poet is ftri&ly copying a fa& in history. Plutarch, in the life of Cæsar, says, “ Brutus and his followers, being
yet hot with the murder, march'd 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, “ fhewing their bands all bloody, and their naked swords, proclaim'd « liberty to the people."
T: BOB. Dr. Warburton follows Pope.
Serv. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel; Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down ; [Kneeling. And, being proftrate, 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, He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour, Depart untouch'd.
Serv. I'll fetch him presently. [Exit Servant. Bru. I know that we shall have him well to friend.
Caf. I wish we may : but yet have I a mind, That fears him much ; and my misgiving still Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
9—who else is rank ;] Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the public safety. Johns.
If I myself, there is no hour fo fit
Bru. O Antony! beg not your death of us.
Antony : ? Our arms in strength of malice, and our hearts, Of brother's temper, do receive you in With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
Our arms exempt frım malice,] This is the reading only of the modern editions, yet perhaps the true reading. The old copy has, Our arms in strength of malice.
JOHNSON. The old reading I believe to have been what the author meant, and the last editor seems to have given a sanction to the alteration of his predecessors without confidering the context.
To you, (says Brutus) cur swords have leadın points ; our arms, Arong in the deed of malice they have just performed, and our hearts united like those of brothers in the action, are yet open 10 re:eive you with all posible affection. The supposition that Brutus meant, their hearts were of brothers temper in respect of Antony, seems to have milled those who have considered this passage before. I have replaced the old reading. Mr. Pope first substituted the words exempi frum, in its place.