« PreviousContinue »
Cit. Peace, ho!
Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
1 Cit. Never, never:--Come, away, away:
[Exeunt Citizens with the Body. Ant. Now let it work: Mischief, thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt! How now, fellow?
Enter a Servant.
Ant. And thither will I straight to visit him:
8 On this side Tyber;] The scene is here in the Forum near the Capitol, and in the most frequented part of the city ; but Cæsar's gardens were very remote from that quarter:
“ Trans Tiberim longe cubat is prope Cæsaris hortos.” says Horace: and both the Naumachia and gardens of Cæsar were separated from the main city by the river; and lay out wide, on a line with Mount Janiculum. Our author therefore certainly wrote:
On that side Tyber; and Plutarch, whom Shakspeare very diligently studied, in The Life of Marcus Brutus, speaking of Cæsar's will, expressly says, That he left to the public his gardens, and walks, beyond the Tyber. Theobald.
This emendation has been adopted by the subsequent editors; but hear the old translation, where Shakspeare's study lay: “ He be. queathed unto every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas a man, and' he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the river Tiber.” Farmer.
fire the traitors' houses.] Thus the old copy. The more modern editors read-fire all the traitor's houses; but fire was then pronounced, as it was sometimes written, fier. So, in Humor's Ordi nary, a collection of Epigrams:
“O rare compound, a dying horse to choke,
And in this mood will give us any thing.
Serv. I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius
Ant. Belike, they had some notice of the people,
The same. A Street,
Enter CINNA, the Poet. Cin. I dreamt to-night, that I did feast with Cæsar;? And things unluckily charge my fantasy :3 I have no will to wander forth of doors, Yet something leads me forth.
Enter Citizens. 1 Cit. What is your name? 2 Cit. Whither are you going? 3 Cit. Where do you dwell ? 4 Cit. Are you a married man, or a bachelor? 2 Cit. Answer every man directly. i Cit. Ay, and briefly. 4 Cit. Ay, and wisely. 3 Cit. Ay, and truly, you were best.
Cin. What is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I dwell? Ain I a married man, or a bachelor? Then to answer every man directly, and briefly, wisely, and truly. Wisely I say, I am a bachelor.
2 Cit. That's as much as to say, they are fools that marry :-You 'll bear me a bang for that, I fear. Proceed; directly.
Cin. Directly, I am going to Cæsar's funeral.
1 Scene III.] The subject of this scene is taken from Plutarch.
Steevens. 2 I dreamt to-night, that I did feast &c.] I learn from an old black letter treatise on Fortune-telling &c. that to dreamn “of being at bunquets, betokeneth misfortune." &c. Steevens.
things unluckily charge my fantasy:] i. e. circumstances oppress my fancy with an ill-omened weight. Steevens.
Cin. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
4 Cit. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
Cin. I am not Cinna the conspirator.
4 Cit. It is no matter, his name 's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
3 Cit. Tear him, tear him. Come, brands, ho! firebrands. To Brutus', to Cassius'; burn all. Some to Decius' house, and some to Casca's; some to Ligarius': away; go.
ACT IV..... SCENE I.
The same. A Room in Antony's House 4 ANTONY, OCTAVIUS, and LEPIDUS, seated at a Table. Ant. These many then shall die ; their names are
Antony's House.] Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Pope after him, have marked the scene here to be at Rome. The old copies say nothing of the place. Shakspeare, I dare say, knew from Plutarch, that these triumvirs met, upon the proscription, in a little island; which Appian, who is more particular, says, lay near Mutina, upon the river Lavinius. Theobald.
A small island in the little river Rhenus near Bononia. Hanmer.
So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “Thereuppon all three met together (to wete, Cæsar, Antonius, & Lepidus,) in an island enuyroned round about with a little riuer, & there remayned three dayes together. Now as touching all other matters, they were easily agreed, & did deuide all the empire of Rome betwene them, as if it had bene their owne inheritance. But yet they could hardly agree whom they would put to death: for euery one of them would kill their enemies, and saue their kinsmen and friends. Ye: at length, giving place to their greedy desire to be reuenged of their enemies, they spurned all reuerence of blood and holiness of friendship at their feete For Cæsar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsooke Lucius Cæsar, who was his vncle by his mother: and both of them together suffred Lepidus to kill his own brother Paulus.” That Shakspeare, however, meant the scene to be at Rome, may be inferred from what almost immediately follows:
Oct. Your brother too must die; Consent you, Lepidus?
Prick him down, Antony.
Ant. He shall not live ; look, with a spot I damn him.
Lep. What, shall I find you here?
Or here, or at
So you thought him ;
Ant. Octavius, I have seen more days than you:
“ Lep. What, shall I find you here?
“ Oct. Or here, or at the Capitol.” Steevens. The passage quoted by Steevens, clearly proves that the scene should be laid in Rome. M. Mason.
It is manifest that Shakspeare intended the scene to be at Rome, and therefore I have placed it in Antony's house. Malone.
5 Upon condition Publius shall not live,] Mr. Upton has sufficiently proved that the poet made a mistake as to this character mentioned by Lepidus ; Lucius, not Publius, was the person meant, who was uncle by the mother's side to Mark Antony: and in consequence of this, he concludes that Shakspeare wrote:
You are his sister's son, Mark Antony. The mistake, however, is more like the mistake of the author, than of his transcriber or printer. Steevens.
6-damn him.] i. e. condemn him. So, in Promos and Gassandra, 1578:
“ Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life.” Again, in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, v. 1747, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit:
- by your confession “ Hath damned you, and I wol it recorde.” Steedens. ? as the ass bears gold,] This image had occurred before in Measure for Measure, Act III, sc. i: VOL. XIV.
To groan and sweat under the business,
in commons. Oct,
do But he's a tried and valiant soldier.
Ant. So is my horse, Octavius; and, for that,
- like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
one that feeds On objects, arts, and imitations ; &c.] 'Tis hard to conceive, why he should be called a barren-spirited fellow that could feed either on objects or arts: that is, as I presume, form his ideas and judgment upon them: stale and obsolete imitation, indeed, fixes such a character. I am persuaded, to make the poet consonant to himself, we must read, as I have restored the text:
On abject orts, i. e. on the scraps and fragments of things rejected and despised by others Theobald.
Sure, it is easy enough to find a reason why that devotee to pleasure and ambition, Antony, should call him barren-spirited who could be content to feed his mind with objects, i.e. speculative knowledge, or arts, i.e. mechanick operations. I have therefore brought back the old reading, though Mr Theobald's emendation is still left before the reader. Lepidus, in the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, is represent. ed as inquisitive about the structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a state of intoxication. Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and returns him unintelligible answers to very reasonable questions.
Objects, however, may mean things objected or thrown out to him. In this sense Shakspeare uses the verb to object, in King Henry V, P. II, where I have given an instance of its being employed by Chapman on the same occasion. It is also used by him, in his version of the seventh Iliad: " At Jove's broad beech these godheads met; and first Jove's