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To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ?
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
- her banks. ] As Tyber is always represented by the figure of a man, the feminine gender is improper. Milion says, that
“the river of bliss
“ Rolls o'er Elysian fiowers her amber stream.” But he is speaking of the water, and not of its presiding power or genius. Steevens.
Drayton, in his Polyolbion, frequently describes the rivers of Eng. land as females, even when he speaks of the presiding power of the stream. Spenser on the other hand, represents them more classi*cally, as males. Malone.
The presiding power of some of Drayton's rivers were females ; like Sabrina, &c. Steevens. 7 See, whe'r-] Whether, thus abbreviated, is used by Ben Jonson:
“ Who shall doubt, Donne, whe'r I a poet be,
“ When I dare send my epigrams to thee.” Steevens. See Vol. VII, p. 310, n. 6. Malone,
down that way towards the Capitol ;
Mar. May we do so?
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
A publick Place.
the course ; CALPHURNIA, Portia, Decius, Cicero, BRUTUS, Cassius, and Casca, a great Crowd following; among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia, Casca. Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks. [Musick ceases. Cæs.
deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious orna. ments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cæsar's trophies; i.e. such as he had dedicated to the gods. Warburton.
Ceremonies are honorary ornaments; tokens of respect. Malone.
9 Be hung with Cæsar's trophies.] Cæsar's trophies, are, I believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in Sir Thomas North's translation : " - There were set up images of Cæsar in the city with diadems on their heads, like kings. Those the two tribunes went and pulled down.” Steevens.
What these trophies really were, is explained by a passage in the next scene, where Casca informs Cassius, that “Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence.
M. Mason. 1 This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kepi aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours, as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says :-* ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugulatus est; justissimasque optimè de se merito viro C. Cæsari pænas dedit. Cujus cum primus omniam Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.-Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, To touch Calphurnia: for our elders say, The barren, touched in this holy chase, Shake off their steril curse. amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere: Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perîsse.” Lib. II, c. Ixiy:
“ Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter amicos
« Incitat." -Supplem. Lucani. Steevens. Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus, arose from the old translation of Plutarch. Farmer.
Lord Sterline has committed the same mistake in his Julius Cæsar: and in Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, which I believe Shakspeare had read, this person is likewise called Decius Brutus. Malone.
in Antonius' way,] The old copy generally reads--Antonio, Octavio, Flavio. The players were more accustomed to Italian than Roman terminations, on account of the many versions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in dramatick pieces formed on the same originals. Steevens.
The correction was made by Mr. Pope -" At that time, (says Plutarch) the feast Lupercalia was celebrated, the which in olde time men say was the feast of Shepheards or heardsmen, and is, much like unto the feast of Lyceians in Arcadia. But howsoever it is, that day there are diverse noble men's sonnes, young men, (and some of them magistrates themselves that govern them) which run naked through the city, striking in sport them they meet in their way with leather thongs - And many noble women and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand in their way, and doe put forth their handes to be stricken, persuading themselves that being with childe, they shall have good deliverie; and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive with child. Cæsar sat ti behold that sport vpon the pulpit for orations, in a chayre of gold, apparelled in triumphant manner. Antonius, who was consul at that time, was one of them that ronne this holy course.” North's translation.
We learn from Cicero that Cæsar constituted a new kind of these Luperci, whom he called after his own name, Juliani; and Mark Antony was the first who was so entitled. Malone.
15 hrs of March, hey, day better
His and tooth months
I shall remember :
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Musick.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
[Sennet.3 Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas. Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ? Bru. Not I. Cas. I pray you, do. Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part Of that quick spirit that is in Antony. Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires; I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late : 4
3 Sennet.] I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word. In Decker's Satiromastix, 1602 :
“ Trumpets sound a flourish, and then a sennet." In The Dumb Show, preceding the first part of Jeronimo, 1605, is
“ Sound a signate and pass over the stage." In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, a synnet is called a flourish of trumpets, but I know not on what authority. See a note on King Henry VIII, Act II, sc. iv, Vol. XI, p. 258, n. 9. Sennet may be a corruption from sonata, Ital. Steevens.
4 Brutus, I do observe you now of late:] Will the reader sustain any loss by the omission of the words--you now, without which the measure would become regular?
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe of late,
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
friend that loves you. Bru.
Bru. No, Cassius : for the eye sees not itself,
Cas. 'Tis just :
strange a hand -] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. Johnson.
- passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discor. dant opinions and desires. Johnson. So, in Coriolanus, Act V, sc. iji:
thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour “At difference in thee.” Steevens. A following line may prove the best comment on this:
“ Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, —," Ma.one.
- your passion;] i.e. the nature of the fee.ings from which you are now suffering. So, in Timon of Athens :
“I feel my master's passion.” Steevens.
the eye sees not itself,] So, Sir John Davies in his poem entitled Nosce Teipsum, 1599:
• Is it because the mind is like the eye,
“ Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees ; “ Whose rays reflect not, but spread outwardly ;
56 Not seeing itself, when other things it sees?” Steevens.