Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

strangely escaped the acuteness of Warburton, whose interpretation (1747) is :-“So much resistance still on foot, that thou wilt choose to rid me out of the way, that thou mayst go, without the embarras of prisoners, to the assistance of thy friends who still want it.” The true explanation is very well given by Heath in replying to this (in his Revisal of Shakespeare's Text, 1765):—“There is so much money for thee, on condition that thou wilt kill me straight.”

753. We must not.-A noble prisoner !The original edition places the entry of Antony immediately after this speech.

755. I'll tell the news. This is the conjectural emendation of Theobald. All the Folios, and also both Rowe and Pope, have thee for the. Mr Collier adopts the emendation.

758. And see whe'r Brutus be alive or dead.-Vid. 16 and 745. It is “where" again in the original text.

758. How everything is chanced. Vid. 69 and 374.

SCENE V.-Another part of the Field. Enter BRUTUS, DARDANIUS, CLITUS, STRATO, and VOLUMNIUS.

Bru. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.

Cli. Statilius showed the torch-light; but, my lord,

He came not back; he is or ta’en, or slain. 761. Bru. Sit thee down, Clitus : Slaying is the word ;

It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus.- . [Whispering.

Cli. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
Bru. Peace, then; no words.
Cli. I'll rather kill myself.
Bru. Hark thee, Dardanius !

[Whispers him.
Dar. Shall I do such a deed?
Cli. O, Dardanius!
Dar. O, Clitus !
Cli. What ill request did Brutus make to thee ?

Dar. To kill him, Clitus. Look, he meditates. 771. Cli. Now is that noble vessel full of grief,

That it runs over even at his eyes.

Bru. Come hither, good Volumnius; list a word.

Vol. What says my lord ? 774. Bru. Why, this, Volumnius :

The ghost of Cæsar hath appeared to me
Two several times by night: at Sardis, once;
And, this last night, here in Philippi fields.
I know my hour is come.

Vol. Not so, my lord.
776. Bru. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.

Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes ;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit :

[Low Alarums.
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves
Then tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Thou know'st, that we two went to school together;
Even for that our love of old, I prythee,
Hold thou my sword hilts, whilst I run on it.

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;
Farewell to thee too, Strato.-Countrymen,
My heart doth joy, that yet, in all my life,
I found no man but he was true to me.
I shall have glory by this losing day,
More than Octavius, and Mark Antony,
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So, fare you well at once : for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
That have but laboured to attain this hour.

[Alarum. Cry within ; Fly, fly, fly. Cli. Fly, my lord, fly. 781. Bru. Hence; I will follow.

[Exeunt Clitus, DARDANIUS, and VOLUMNIUS. I prythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord : Thou art a fellow of a good respect; Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it: Hold, then, my sword, and turn away thy face While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato ?

Stra. Give me your hand first : Fare you well, my lord.

Bru. Farewell, good Strato.-Cæsar, now be still: I killed not thee with half so good a will.

[He runs on his sword and dies

Alarum.-Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA,

LUCILIUS, and their Army.
Oct. What man is that?
Mes. My master's man.-Strato, where is thy master ?

Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala ;
The conquerors can but make a fire of him ;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.

Lucil. So Brutus should be found.-I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast proved Lucilius' saying true.
788. Oct. All that served Brutus, I will entertain them.

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.
794. Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all :

All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He only, in a generous honest thought
Of common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up,

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.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, ordered honourably.-
So, call the field to rest; and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day.

[Exeunt.

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

Whitenin Pare (that

and so is inal

sc. 5.]
JULIUS CÆSAR.

343 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 himat 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 uphou art a fello and some smo

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 Launce- · lot, –

“Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
And hatka 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
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
The follower of so poor a gentleman.”

may be seemsually to ima Do 80,00

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

« ПредишнаНапред »