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Luc. The strings, my lord, are false.

Bru. He thinks, he still is at his instrument.Lucius, awake.

Luc. My lord!

Bru. Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so cry'dst out? Luc. My lord, I do not know that I did cry.

Bru. Yes, that thou didst: Didst thou see any thing? Luc. Nothing, my lord.

Bru. Sleep again, Lucius.-Sirrah, Claudius!

Fellow thou! awake.

Var. My lord.

Clau. My lord.

Bru. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
Var. Clau. Did we, my lord?


Ay; Saw you any thing?

Nor I, my lord.

Var. No, my lord, I saw nothing.


Bru. Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius; Bid him set on his powers betimes before,

And we will follow.

Var. Clau.

It shall be done, my lord. [Exeunt.


The Plains of Philippi.

Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their Army.

Oct. Now, 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 warn us at Philippi here,


warn us -] To warn is to summon. So, in King John: "Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?" Shakspeare uses the word yet more intelligibly in King Richard


"And sent to warn them to his royal presence."

Throughout the books of the Stationers' Company, the word is always used in this sense; "Receyved of Raufe Newbery for his fyne, that he came not to the hall when he was warned, according to the orders of this house."

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.
Prepare you, generals:
The enemy comes on in gallant show;
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.
Ant. Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.

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


Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army; Lucf-

Bru. They stand, and would have parley.
Cas. Stand fast, Titinius: We must out and talk.
Oct. 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.
Oct. Stir not until the signal.

Bru. Words before blows: Is it so, countrymen?
Oct. Not that we love words better, as you do.
Bru. Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.

Again, in a Letter from Lord Cecil to the Earl of Shrewsbury. See Lodge's Illustrations, &c. Vol. III, 206: I pray yor LP, therefore, let him be privatly warned, without any other notice (to his disgrace) to come up" &c. Steevens.

1 With fearful bravery,] That is, with a gallant show of courage, carrying with it terror and dismay. Fearful is used here, as in many other places, in an active sense-producing fear-intimidating. Malone. So, in Churchyard's Siege of Leeth, 1575:

"They were a feare unto the enmyes eye."

I believe, however, that in the present instance, fearful bravery requires an interpretation that may be found in Sidney's Arcadia, Lib. II: "-her horse, faire and lustie; which she rid so as might show a fearefull boldness, daring to doe that which she knew that she knew not how to doe." Steevens.


-keep thou-] The tenour of the conversation evidently requires us to read-you. Ritson.

Ant. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words: Witness the hole you made in Cæsar's heart, Crying, Long live! hail, Casar!



The posture of your blows are yet unknown ;3
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.


Not stingless too.'

Bru. O, yes, and soundless too;

For you have stol'n 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 show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds,
And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Cæsar's feet;

Whilst damned Casca,4 like a cur, behind,
Struck Cæsar on the neck. O flatterers !5

Cas. Flatterers!-Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,

If Cassius might have rul'd.

Oct. Come, come, the cause: If arguing make us sweat,

The proof of it will turn to redder drops.


I draw a sword against conspirators;

When think you that the sword goes up again?—
Never, till Cæsar's three and twenty wounds?

3 The posture of your blows are yet unknown;] It should be-is yet unknown. But the error was certainly Shakspeare's. Malone.

Rather, the mistake of his transcriber or printer; which therefore ought, in my opinion, to be corrected. Had Shakspeare been generally inaccurate on similar occasions, he might more justly have been suspected of inaccuracy in the present instance. Steevens.

4 Casca,] Casca struck Cæsar on the neck, coming like a degenerate cur behind him. Johnson

5 O flatterers!] Old copy, unmetrically,-O you flatterers! Steevens.

• Flatterers!-Now, Brutus, thank yourself:] It is natural to suppose, from the defective metre of this line, that our author wrote: Flatterers! Now, Brutus, you may thank yourself. Steevens. three and twenty wounds-] [Old copy-three and thirty;] 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.



Be well aveng'd; or till another Cæsar

Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.8

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


I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

So I hope;

Bru. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable.

Cas. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour, Join'd with a masker and a reveller.

Ant. Old Cassius still!

Come, Antony; away.

Defiance, traitors, hurl we9 in your


If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;

If not, when you have stomachs.1

[Exeunt OCT. ANT. and their Army. Cas. Why now, blow, wind; swell, billow; and swim,


The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.

Bru. Ho!

Lucilius; hark, a word with you.


My lord.

[BRU. and Luc. converse apart.

Beaumont and Fletcher have fallen into a similar mistake, in their Noble Gentleman:


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So Cæsar fell, when in the Capitol,

"They gave his body two and thirty wounds." Ritson.

till another Cæsar

Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.] A similar idea has already occurred in King John:

"Or add a royal number to the dead,

“With slaughter coupled to the name of kings." Steevens. 9 Defiance, traitors, hurl we] Whence perhaps Milton, Paradise Lost B. I, v.669:

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Hurling efiance toward the vault of Heaven."

Hurl is peculiarly expressive. The challenger in judicial combats was said to hurl down his gage, when he threw his glove down as a pledge that he would make good his charge against his adversary. So, in King Richard II:


"And interchangeably hurl down my gage

"Upon this over-weening traitor's foot." H. White.

when you have stomachs.] So, in Chapman's version of the

ninth Iliad:

"Fight when his stomach serves him best, or when" &c. ̧


Cas. Messala,



What says my general?

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 compell'd 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 presage.
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign3.
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 fled away, and gone;
And, in their steads, do ravens, crows, and kites,
Fly o'er our heads, and downward look on us,

2 Messala, &c.] Almost every circumstance in this speech is taken from Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch:

"But touching Cassius, Messala reporteth that he supped by himselfe in his tent, with a few of his friendes, and that all supper tyme he looked very sadly, and was full of thoughts, although it was against his nature: and that after supper he tooke him by the hande, and holding him fast (in token of kindnes as his manner was) told him in Greeke, Messala, I protest vnto thee, and make the my witnes, that I am compelled against my minde and will (as Pompey the Great was) to ieopard the libertie of our contry, to the hazard of a battel. And yet we must be lively, and of good corage, considering our good fortune, whom we should wronge too muche to mistrust her, although we follow euill counsell. Messala writeth, that Cassius hauing spoken these last wordes vnto him, he bid him farewell, and willed him to come to supper to him the next night following, bicause it was his birth-day." Steevens.

3 our former ensign -] Thus the old copy, and, I suppose, rightly. Former is foremost. Shakspeare sometimes uses the comparative instead of the positive and superlative. See King Lear, Act IV, sc. iii. Either word has the same origin; nor do I perceive why former should be less applicable to place than time. Steevens.

Former is right; and the meaning-our fore ensign. So, in Adlyngton's Apuleius, 1596: "First hee instructed me to sit at the table vpon my taile, and howe I should leape and daunce, holding up my former feete."

Again, in Harrison's Description of Britaine: "It [i. e. brawn] is made commonly of the fore part of a tame bore set uppe for the purpose by the space of an whole year or two. Afterwarde he is killed, and then of his former partes is our brawne made." Ritson.

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