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Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part,
Cas. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's,
Bru. Only be patient, till we have appeas'd The multitude, beside themselves with fear, And then we will deliver you
I doubt not of your wisdom.
5 As fire drives out fire, &c.] So, in Coriolanus:
* One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail.” Malone. Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
« Even as one heat another heat expels,
" Or as one nail by strength drives out another.” Steeperls. 6 Our arms in strength of malice,] Thus the old copies :
To you (says Brutus) our swords have leaden points: our arms, strong in the deed of malice they have just performed, and our hearts united like those of brothers in the action, are zet open to receive you with all possible regard. The supposition that Brutus meant, their hearts were of bro. thers' temper in respect of Antony, seems to have misled those who have commented on this passage before. For-in strength of, Mr. Pope substituted-exempt from; and was too hastily followed by other editors. If alteration were necessary, it would be easier to read : Our arms no strength of malice,
Steevens. One of the phrases in this passage, which Mr. Steevens has so happily explained, occurs again in Antony and Cleopatra :
“To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts,
“ With an unslipping knot.” Again, ibid:
“ The heart of brothers governs in our love !" The counterpart of the other phrase is found in the same play:
“ I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love." Malone. ? Though last, not least in love,] So, in King Lear:
Although the last, not least in our dear love." The same expression occurs more than once in plays exhibited beföre the time of Shakspeare. Malone.
Gentlemen all,,_alas! what shall I say?
Cas. Mark Antony,
Pardon me, Caius Cassius :
Cas. I blame you not for praising Cæsar so; But what compact mean you to have with us? Will you be prick'd in number of our friends; Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
Ant. Therefore I took your hands; but was, indeed, Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Cæsar. Friends am I with you all, and love you all ;
crimson'd in thy lethe.] Lethe is used by many of the old translators of novels, for death; and in Heywood's Iron Age, P. II, 1632:
“ The proudest nation that great Asia 'nurs'd,
" Is now extinct in lethe.” Again, in Cupid's Whirligigg, 1616:
“ For vengeance wings brings on thy lethal day.” Dr. Farmer observes, that we meet with lethal for deadly in the information for Mungo CampbellSteevens. 9 Friends am I with you all
, &c.] This grammatical impropriety is still so prevalent, as that the omission of the anomalous S, would give some uncouthness to the sound of an otherwise familiar expres. sion. Henley.
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons,
Bru. Or else were this a savage spectacle :
That's all I seek:
Bru. You shall, Mark Antony.
Brutus, a word with you.
By your pardon ;-
Cas. I know not what may fall; I like it not.
Bru. Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar's body.
[Exeunt all but Ant Ant. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
Be it so;
1 Brutus, a word with you.] With you is an apparent interpolation of the players. In Act IV, sc. ii, they have retained the ellipticas phrase which they have here destroyed at the expense of metre:
“He is not doubted.--A word, Lucilius; -;" Steevens
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers !
in the tide of times.] That is, in the course of times. Johnson. 3 Over thy wounds now do I prophecy,
Which, like dumb mouths, &c.] So, in A Warning for faire Women, a tragedy, 1599:
I gave him fifteen wounds,
“ Which will all speak although he hold his peace.” Malone. 4 A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;] We should read :
line of men; j. e. human race. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
kind of men; I rather think it should be,
the lives of men ; unless we read:
these lymms of men; That is, these bloodhounds of men. The uncommonness of the word lymm easily made the change. Johnson.
Antony means that a future curse shall commence in distempers seizing on the limbs of men, and be succeeded by commotion, cruelty, and desolation over Italy. So, in Phaer's version of the third Æneid:
“ The skies corrupted were, that trees and corne destroyed to
Sign. E. 1, edit. 1596. Steevens. By men the speaker means not mankind in general, but those Ro. mans whose attachment to the cause of the conspirators, or wish to revenge Cæsar's death, would expose them to wounds in the civil wars which Antony supposes that event would give rise to. The generality of the curse here predicted, is limited by the subsequent words, " the parts of Italy," and " in there confines." Malone.
And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
5 And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge, &c.]
- umbraque erraret Crassus inulta.” Lucan, L. I.
Stat. Theb. VIII. - Furiæ rapuerunt licia Parcis.” Ibid. Steevens. Cry Havock,] A learned correspondent [Sir William Black." stone] has informed me, that, in the military operations of old times, havock was the word by which declaration was made, that no quarter should be given. In a tract intitled, The Office of the Constable and Mareschall in the Tyme of Werre, contained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is the following chapter :
“ The peyne of hym that crieth havock and of them that followeth hym,etit. v."
“ Item Si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui vocatur Havok."
“ Also that no man be so hardy to crye Havok upon peyne that he that is begynner shall be deede therefore : & the remanent that doo the same or folow, shall lose their horse & harneis: and the persones of such as foloweth and escrien shall be under arrest of the Conestable and Mareschall warde unto tyme that they have made fyn; and founde suretie no morr to offende; and his body in prison at the Kyng wyll —.” Johnson. See Coriolanus, Act II1, sc. i, Vol. XIL. Malone.
– let slip-] This is a term belonging to the chase. Manwood, in his Forest Laws, c. xx, s. 9, says: “
that when any pour. allee man doth find any wild beasts of the forest in his pourallee, that is in his owne freehold lands, that he hath within the pourallee, he may let slippe his dogges after the wild beastes, and hunt and chase them there,” &c. Reed.
Slips were contrivances of leather by which greyhounds were restrained till the necessary moment of their dismission. See King Henry V, Vol. IX, p. 271, n. 5. Steevens.
To let slip a dog at a deer, &c. was the technical phrase of Shak. speare's time. So, in Coriolanus :
“ Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
“ To let him slip at will." By the dogs of war, as Mr. Tollet has elsewhere observed, Shak. speare probably meant fire, sword, and famine. So, in King Henry V ;
“ Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,