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The Fields of Philippi.

Enter Ostavius, Antony, and their Army.


OW, Antony, our hopes are answered. ,

You said, the enemy would not come down,
But keep the hills and upper regions :
It proves not so: their battles are at hand,
They mean to s warn us at Philippi here,
Answering, before we do demand of them.

Ant. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking, by this face,
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage :
But 'tis not so.

Enter a Messenger.
Mej. Prepare you, generals :
The enemy comes on in gallant shew :
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.

'Ant. Octavius, lead your battle foftly on, Upon the left hand of the even field.

Oila. Upon the right hand I, keep thou the left.
Ant. Why do you cross me in this exigent?
Octa. I do not cross you; but I will do so. [March.

-warn us -] To warn, seems to mean here the same as to alarm. Hanmer reads, They mean to wage 15.



Drum. Enter Brutus, Cafius, and their Army. Bru. They stand, and would have parley. Caf. Stand fast, Titinius. · We must out and talk. Oita. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?

Ant. No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge. Make forth; the generals would have some words.

Osta. Stir not until the signal.
Bru. Words before blows. Is it so, countrymen?
Qeta. Not thať we love words better, as you

do. Bru. Good words are better than bad strokes, Oc

tavius. Ant. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good

Witness the hole you made in Cæsar's heart,
Crying, “ Long live! hail, Cæsar!”

Caj. Antony,
The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
But for your words, they rob che Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.

Ant. Not stingless too.
Bru. O yes, and foundless too;

have stoln their buzzing, Antony; And very wisely, threat before you sting. Ant. Villains! you did not so, when your vile

daggers Hack'd one another in the sides of Cæsar: You shew'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like

And bow'd like bond-men, kissing Cæsar's feet;
While damned o Casca, like a cur behind,
Struck Cæsar on the neck. Oh you flatterers !

Caf. Flatterers ! now, Brutus, thank yourself;

For you

6-Cafa,-) Casca ftruck Cæsar on the neck, coming like a degenerate cur bebind him.


This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Caffius might have ruld.
Osta. Come, come, the cause. If arguing make

us swear,
The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
Look, I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, 'till Cæsar's ? three and twenty wounds
Be well aveng'd; or till another Cæsar
Have added Naughter to the sword of traitors.

Bru. Cæsar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands, Unless thou bring'st them with thee.

Osta. So I hope ;
I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

Bru. O, if thou were the noblest of thy strain, Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable. Caf. A peevish school-boy, worthless of such ho

nour, Join'd with a masker and a reveller.

Ant. Old Caffius ftill!

Otta. Come, Antony; away:
Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;
If not, when you have stomachs.

[Exeunt Ostavius, Antony, and army. Caf. Why, now blow wind; swell billow; and

swim bark ! The storm is up, and all is on the hazard. Bru. Lucilius; hark, a word with you.

[Lucilius and Messala stand forth. Luc. My lord. [Brutus Speaks apart to Lucilius.

7-three and thirty wounds] Thus all the editions implicitly; but I have ventured to reduce this number to three and twenty from the joint authorities of Appian, Plutarch, and Suetonius : and, I am persuaded, the error was not from the poet but his transcribers.




Caf. Meffala.
Mel. What says my general ?
Caj. Meffala,
This is my birth-day; as this very day
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala :
Be thou my witness, that, against my will,
As Pompey was, am I compellid to set
Upon one battle all our liberties.
You know, that I held Epicurus strong,
And his opinion: now I change my mind,
And partly credit things, that do prelage.
Coming from Sardis, on our foremost ensign
Two mighty eagles fell; and there they perch'd
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands,
Who to Philippi here consorted us :
This morning are they Aed away, and gone;
And, in their steads, do ravens, crows, and kites
Fly o'er our heads, and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey; their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.

Mes. Believe not fo.

. I but believe it partly;
For I am fresh of spirit, and resolvid
To meet all perils very constantly.

Bru. Even so, Lucilius.

Caf. Now, most noble Brutus,
The Gods to-day stand friendly ; that we may,
Lovers, in peace, lead on our days to age !
But since the affairs of men reft still uncertain,
Let's reason with the worst that may befall.
If we do lose this battle, then is this

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Messala, &c.] Almost every circumstance in this speech is saken from fir Thomas North’s Tranflation of Plutarch.



? The very last time we shall speak together.
What are you then determined to do?

Bru. Even by the rule of that philosophy,'
By which I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself; (I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
The time of life :) ? arming myself with patience,
To stay the providence of some high powers,
That govern us below.

Caf. Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Thorough the streets of Rome?
Bru. No, Callius, no: think not, thou noble

That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome ;
He bears too great a mind. But this same day
Must end that work, the Ides of March begun;


9 The very last time we small speak together.

What are you then determined to do?j i. e. I am resolved in such a case to kill myself. What are you determined of? WARB.

of that philosophy,] So in fir Thomas North's Plutarcb : “ I truft (I know not how) a certain rule of philosophy, by the which I did greatly blame and reprove Cato for killing of himself, as being no lawful nor godly act, &c.”

There is an apparent contradiation between the sentiments contained in this and the following speech of Brutus. In this, Brutus declares his resolution to wait patiently for the determinations of Providence; and in the next, he intimates, that though he should survive the battle, he would never submit to be led in chains to Rome. This sentence in fir Thomas North's translation, is perplexed, and might be easily misunderstood. Shakespeare, in the first speech, makes that to be the present opinion of Brutus, which, in Plutarch, is mentioned only as one he formerly entertained, tho' at that time he condemned it.

STBEVENS. 2 -arming myself with patience, &c.] Dr. Warburton thinks, that in this speech something is loit, but there needed only a parenthefis to clear it. The construction is this; I am determined to act according to that philosophy which directed me to blame the suicide of Cato, arming myself with patience. Johnson.


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