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1 Cit. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
2 Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong. 3 Cit.
Has he, masters? I fear, there will a worse come in his place. 4 Cit. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the
crown; Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.
1 Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it. 2 Cit. Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping. 3 Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than Antony. 4 Cit. Now mark him, he begins again to speak. Ant. But yesterday the word of Cæsar might Have stood against the world : now lies he there, And none so poor to do him reverence. O masters! if I were dispos’d to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men : I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cæsar, I found it in his closet, 'tis his will : Let but the commons hear this testament, (Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,) And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds, And dip their napkins' in his sacred blood; Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, Unto their issue.
4 Cit. We'll hear the will: Read it, Mark Antony. Cit. The will, the will; we will hear Cæsar's will.
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it; It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov'd you.
7 And none so poor —"] The meanest man is now too high to do reverence to Cæsar. Fohnson.
their napkins -] i.e. their handkerchiefs. Napery was the ancient term for all kinds of linen. Steevens.
Napkin is the Northeru term for handkerchief, and is used in this sense at this day in Scotland. Our author frequently uses the word. See Vol. V, p. 120, n. 4; and Vol. VII, p. 102, n. 1. Malone.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
4 Cit. Read the will; we will hear it, Antony; You shall read us the will ; Cæsar's will.
Ant. Will you be patient? Will you stay a while?
4 Cit. They were traitors: Honourable men!
2 Cit. They were villains, murderers: The will! read the will!
Ant. You will compel me then to read the will?
Cit. Come down.
Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.. You all do know this mantle : I remember The first time ever Cæsar put it on; 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent; That day he overcame the Nervii :Look! in this place, ran Cassius' dagger througir: See, what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d; And, as he pluck'd his cursed steel away, Mark how the blood of Cæsar follow'd it; As rushing out of doors, to be resolvid If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no; For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel :9 Judge, O you gods, how dearly Cæsar lov’d him!
9 For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel:] This title of en. dearment is more than once introduced in Sidney's Arcadia. Steeverts.
This was the most unkindest cut of all :
1 Even at the base of Pompey's statua,] [Old copy-statue.] It is not our author's practice to make the adverb even, a dissyllable. If it be considered as a monosyllable, the measure is defective. I sus. peçt therefore he wrote-at Pompey's statua. The word was not yet completely denizened in his time. Beaumont, in his Masque, writes it statua, and its plural statuaes. Yet, it must be acknowledged, that statue is used more than once in this play, as a dissyllable. Malone.
See Vol. II, p. 226, n. 5; and Vol XI, p. 113, 11. 2.
I could bring a multitude of instances in which statua is used for statue. Thus, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit
. 1632, 540: " – and Callistratus by the helpe of Dædalus about Cupid's statua, made" &c. Again, 574: " - his statua was to be seene in the temple of Venus Elusina." Steevens.
Which all the while ran blood,] The image seems to be, that the blood of Cæsar flew upon the statue, and trickled down it. Yohnson.
Shakspeare took these words from Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch: " against the very base whereon Pompey's image stood, which ran all a gore of blood, till he was slain.” Steevens.
treason flourishid -] i.e. flourished the sword. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ And flourishes his blade in spite of me.” Steevens. 4 The dint of pity:] is the impression of pity.
The word is in common use among our ancient writers. So, in Preston's Cambyses : “ Your grace therein may hap receive, with other for your
parte, • The dent of death, &c. Again, ibid: “ He shall dye by dent of sword, or else by choking rope."
Steevens. 5 Here is himself, marrd, as you see, with traitors.] To mar seems
i Cit. O piteous spectacle!
2 Cit. We will be revenged: revenge; about-seek, -burno-fire-kill-slay!-let not a traitor live.
Ant. Stay, countrymen.
2 Cit. We 'll hear him, we 'll follow him, we 'll die with him.
Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny. They, that have done this deed, are honourable ; What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, That made them do it; they are wise, and honourable, And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts; I am no orator, as Brutus is: But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, That love my friend; and that they know full well That gave me publick leave to speak of him. For I have neither wit,o nor words, nor worth,
to have anciently signified to lacerate. So, in Solyman and Perseda, a tragedy, 1599, Basilisco feeling the end of his dagger, says:
“ This point will mar her skin.” Malone. To mar sometimes signified to deface, as in Othello :
« Nor mar that whiter skin of hers than snow." and sometimes to destroy, as in Timon of Athens :
“ And mar men's spurring.” Ancient alliteration always produces mar as the opposite of make.
Steevens. 6 For I have neither wit,] [Old copy-writ.] So, in King Henry VI, P. II:
“Now, my good lord, let's see the devil's writ.” i. e. writing. Again. in Hamlet: -- the law of writ and the liberty.”—The editor of the second folio, who altered whatever he did not understand, substituted wit for writ. Wit in our author's time had not its present signification, but meant understanding. Would Shak. speare make Antony declare himself void of common intelligence ?
Malone. The first folio (and, I believe, through a mistake of the press) has -writ, which in the second folio was properly changed into---wit. Dr. Johnson, however, supposes, that by writ was meant a "penned and premeditated oration."
But the artful speaker, on this sudden call for his exertions, was
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
Cit. We'll mutiny.
Cit. Most true ;--the will;-let's stay, and hear the will.
Ant. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal.
2 Cit. Most noble Cæsar!-we'll revenge his death.
surely designed, with affected modesty, to represent himself as one who had neither wit. (i. e. strength of understanding) persuasive language, weight of character, graceful action, harmony of voice, &c. (the usual requisites of an orator) to influence the minds of the people. Was it necessary, therefore, that, on an occasion so precipitate, he should have urged that he had brought no written speech in his pocket ? since every person who heard him must have been aware that the interval between the death of Cæsar, and the time present, would have been inadequate to such a composition, which indeed could not have been prodriced at all, unless, like the indictment of Lord Hastings in King Richard III, it had been got ready through ou premonition of the event that would require it.
What is styled the devil's writ in King Henry VI, P. II, is the de. position of the dæmon, written down before witnesses on the stage. I therefore continue to read with the second folio, being unambitious of reviving the blunders of the first. Steevens.
7-seventy-five drachmas.] A drachma was a Greek coin, the same as the Roman denier, of the value of four sesterces, 7d. ob.