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Bru. Come hither, good Volumnius; list a word.
lord ? 774. Bru. Why, this, Volumnius :
The ghost of Cæsar hath appeared to me
Vol. Not so, my lord.
Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes ;
Vol. That's not an office for a friend, my lord. [Alarum still. 778. Cli. Fly, fly, my lord; there is no tarrying here, 779. Bru. Farewell to you ;-and you ;-and you, Volumnius.
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep ;
[Alarum. Cry within ; Fly, fly, fly. Cli. Fly, my lord, fly. 781. Bru. Hence; I will follow.
[Exeunt CLITUS, DARDANIUS, and VOLUMNIUS.
Stra. Give me your hand first : Fare you well, my lord.
Bru. Farewell, good Strato.-Cæsar, now be still:
[He runs on his sword and dies Alarum.-Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA,
LUCILIUS, and their Army.
Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala ;
Lucil. So Brutus should be found.—I thank thee, Brutus,
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me? 789. Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
Oct. Do so, good Messala. 791. Mes. How died my master, Strato ?
Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it. 793. Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
That did the latest service to my master.
All the conspirators, save only he,
And say to all the world, This was a man! 795. Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.
The heading of Scene V., with the locality, is, as usual, modern.
761. Sit thee down. In this common phrase, apparently, the neuter verb to sit has taken the place of the active to seat.
Or perhaps we ought rather to say that both in Sit thee and in Hark thee, which we have in the next line and again in 765, thee has usurped the function
of thou. We have a similar irregularity in Fare (that is, go) thee well.— The marginal “ Whispering" at this speech is modern; and so is the “Whispers him” at 765.
771. That it runs over. - - So that, as in 15.
774. Here in Philippi fields.—A common enough form of expression; as Chelsea Fields, Kensington Gardens. There is no need of an apostrophe to Philippi.
776. Hold thou my sword hilts.--Vid. 726.
778. There is no tarrying here.-So in Macbeth, v. 5, “There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.” The expression is from North’s Plutarch :“Volumnius denied his request, and so did many others. And, amongst the rest, one of them said, there was no tarrying for them there, but that they must needs fly."
779. Farewell to you ;-etc.—Mr Collier appends the stage direction," Shaking hands severally."
779. Farewell to thee too, Strato.-In all the Folios this stands ;-"Farewell to thee, to Strato.” The correction is one of the many made by Theobald which have been universally acquiesced in. It appears to have escaped Mr Collier's MS. annotator.
781. Hence; I will follow.—This is the reading of all the old copies. Pope added thee, in order to make a complete line of the two hemistichs.-- The “ Exeunt Clitus," etc., is modern,
781. Thou art a fellow of a good respect. --Vid. 48.
781. Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it.Smatch is only another form of smack, meaning taste. Smack is the word which Shakespeare commonly uses, both as noun and verb.
In the early editions, the stage direction after the last speech of Brutus (783) is, simply, “ Dies;" and in the Entry that follows Antony is placed before Octavius, and "their Army" is "the Army."
788. I will entertain them.-Receive them into my service.
788. Wilt thou bestow thy time with me ?-Here is another sense of bestow, in addition to that in 139, which is now lost. Bestow thy time with me means give up thy time to me.
789. If Messala will prefer me to you.—“To prefer," Reed observes, "seems to have been the established phrase for recommending a servant.” And he quotes from The Merchant of Venice, ii. 2, what Bassanio says to Launcelot,
“Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
And hath preferred thee.” But to prefer was more than merely to recommend. It was rather to transfer, or hand over; as might be inferred even from what Octavius here rejoins, “Do so, good Messala.” That it had come usually to imply also something of promotion may be seen from what Bassanio goes on to say:
“if it be preferment
The sense of the verb to prefer that we have in Shakespeare continued current down to a considerably later date. Thus, Clarendon writes of Lord Cottington :“His mother was a Stafford, nearly allied to Sir Edward Stafford; ... by whom this gentleman was brought up, ... and by him recommended to Sir Robert Cecil...; who preferred him to Sir Charles Cornwallis, when he went ambassador into Spain ; where he remained for the space of eleven or twelve years in the condition of Secretary or Agent, without ever returning into England in all that time" (Hist., Book xiii.).
At an earlier date, again, we have Bacon, in the Dedication of the first edition of his Essays to his brother Anthony, thus writing :-Since they would not stay with their master, but would needs travail abroad, I have pre
ferred them to you, that are next myself, dedicating them, such as they are, to our love," &c.
791. How died my master, Strato ?—So the First Folio. The Second, by a misprint, omits master. The Third and Fourth have “
lord.” 793. Octavius, then take him, etc.—That is, accept or receive him from me. It is not, I request you to allow him to enter your service; but I give him to you. Vid. 789.
794. He only, in a generous nonest thought Of common good, etc.-We are indebted for this reading to Mr Collier's MS. annotator. It is surely a great improvement upon
the old text
And common good to all, made one of them.” To act “in a general honest thought” is perhaps in. telligible, though barely so; but, besides the tautology which must be admitted on the common interpretation, what is to act in “a common good to all ?”
794. Made one of them. In this still familiar idiom made is equivalent to formed, constituted, and one must be considered as the accusative governed by it. Fecit unum ex eis, or eorum (by joining himself to them).
Here is the prose of Plutarch, as translated by North, out of which this poetry has been wrought
“ For it was said that Antonius spake it openly divers times, that he thought, that, of all them that had slain Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moved to it as thinking the act commendable of itself; but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death for some private malice
that they otherwise did bear unto him.” 794. His life was gentle; and the elements, etc.-- This passage is remarkable from its resemblance to a passage in Drayton's poem of The Barons' Wars. Drayton's poem was originally published some years before the close