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Which, out of use, and stald hy other men,
Begin his fashion :: Do not talk of him,
But as a property. And now, Octavius,
Listen great things.-Brutus and Cassius,
Are levying powers: we must straight make head :
Therefore, let our alliance be combin'd,
Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out;?

A man who can avail himself of neglected hints thrown out by others, though without original ideas of his own, is no uncommon character. Steevens.

Objects means, in Shakspeare's language, whatever is presented to the eye. So, in Timon of Athens : Swear against objects," which Mr. Steevens has well illustrated by a line in our poet's 152d Sonnet :

“ And made them swear against the thing they see.” Malone.

and stald by other men, Begin his fashion:] Shakspeare has already woven this circum. stance into the character of Justice Shallow : “- - He came ever in the rearward of the fashion; and sung those tunes that he heard the carmen whistle.” Steevens.

1 a property.] i.e. as a thing quite at our disposal, and to be treated as we please. So, in Twelfth Night: They have here propertied me, kept me in darkness,” &c.

Steevens. 2 Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out;] In the old copy, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, this line is thus imperfec-ly exhibited :

“ Our best friends made, our means stretch'd ;" The editor of the second folio supplied the line by reading,

“ Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out." This emendation, which all the modern editors have adopted, was, like almost all the other corrections of the second folio, as ill conceived as possible. For what is best means? Means, or abilities, if stretch'd out, receive no additional strength from the word best, nor does means, when considered without reference to others, as the power of an individual, or the aggregated abilities of a body of men, seem to admit of a degree of comparison. However that may be, it is highly improbable that a transcriber or compositor should be guilty of three errors in the same line; that he should omit the word and in the middle of it; then the word best after our, and lastly the concluding word. It is much more probable that the omission was only at the end of the line, (an error which is found in other places in these plays) and that the author wrote, as I have printed :

Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost. So, in a former scene:

and, you know, his mearts, “ If he improve them, may well stretch so far, —." Again, in the following passage in Coriolanus, which, I trust, will justify the emendation now made:

And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclos'd,
And open perils surest answered.

Oct. Let us do so: for we are at the stake,3
And bay'd about with many enemies;
And some, that smile, have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischief.



Before Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis.
Drum. Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, LUCIUS, and Soldiers:

TITINIUS and PINDARUS meeting them.
Bru. Stand here.
Luc. Give the word, ho! and stand.
Bru. What now, Lucilius? is Cassius near?

Luc. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come
To do you salutation from his master.

[Pin. gives a Letter to Bru. Bru. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus, In his own change, or by ill officers,


for thy revenge “ Wrench up your power to the highest." Malone. I am satisfied with the reading of the second folio, in which I perceive neither awkwardness nor want of perspicuity. Best is a word of mere enforcement, and is frequently introduced by Shakspeare. Thus, in King Henry VIII:

“ My life itself and the best heart of it." Why does best, in this instance, seem more significant than when it is applied to means? Steevens.

at the stake,] An allusion to bear baiting. So, in Macbeth, Act V:

• They have chain'd me to a stake, I cannot fly,

“ But bear-like I must fight the course.” Steevens. 4 In his own change, or by ill officers,] The sense of which is this : Either your master, by the change of his virtuous nature, or by his officers abusing the power he had intrusted to them, hath done some things I could wish undone. This implies a doubt which of the two was the case. Yet, immediately af er, on Pudarus's saying, His master was full of regard and honour, he replies, He is not doubted. To reconcile this we should read:

In his own charge or by ill officers, i. e. Either by those under his immediate command, or under the cominand of his lieut nants, who had abused their trust. Charge is so usual a word in Shakspeare, to signify the forces committed to

Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
Things done, undone : but, if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.

I do not doubt,
But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard, and honour.

Bru. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius;
How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv’d.

Luc. With courtesy, and with respect enough ;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.

Thou hast describ'd
A hot friend cooling: Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith :.
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle :
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?

Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius.

March within Bru.

Hark, he is arriv'd:


the trust of a commander, that I think it needless to give any in

Warburton. The arguments for the change proposed are insufficient. Brutus could not but know wliether the wrongs committed were done by those who were iminediately under the command of Cassius, or those under his officers. The answer of Brutus to the servant is only an act of arifui civility; his question to Lucilius proyes, that his suspicion still continued. Yet I cannot but suspect a corruption, and would read:

In his own change, or by ill offices, That is, either changing his inclination of himself, or by the ill offices and bad influences of others. Johnson.

Surely alteration is unnecessary. In the subsequent conference Brutus charges both Cassius and his officer, Lucius Pella, with corruption. Steevens

Brutus immediately after says to Lucilius, when he hears his ac. count of the manner in which he had been received by Cassius:

“ Thou hast describ'd

" A hot friend cooling." That is the change which Brutus complains of. M. Masotz.

March gently on to meet him.

Enter Cassius and Soldiers, Cas. Stand, ho! Bru. Stand, ho! Speak the word along. Within. Stand. Within. Stand. Within, Stand. Cas. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.

Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies? And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?

Cas. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs;
And when you do them

Cassius, be content,
Speak your griefs5 softly,--I do know you well :-
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Let us not wrangle : Bid them move away;
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs,
And I will give you audience.

Bid our commanders lead their charges off
A little from this ground.

Bru. Lucilius, do the like ;6 and let no man Come to our tent, till we have done our conference. Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door. [Exeunt.


Within the Tent of Brutus.
LUCIUs and TITINIUS at some distance from it.

Enter BRUTUS and Cassius.
Eas. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this:
You have condemn’d and noted Lucius Pella,
For taking bribes here of the Sardians ;
Wherein, my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.

Bru. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a case.


your griefs -] 1. e. your grievances. See Vol. VIII, p. 306, n. 8. • Malone.

do the like;) Old copy- do you the like;" but without regard to metre. Steedens.

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Cas. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offence? should bear his comment.

Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm ;
To sell and mart your offices for gold,
To undeservers.

I an itching palm?
You know, that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.

Cas. Chastisement !

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remember! Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake? What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, And not for justice ? What, shall one of us, That struck the foremost man of all this world, But for supporting robbers; shall we now Contaminate our fingers with base bribes? And sell the mighty space of our large honours, For so much trash, as may be grasped thus?I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman. Cas.

Brutus, bay not me,


every nice offence - ] i. e. small trifling offence. Warburtor. So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act V:

“ The letter was not nice, but full of charge

“Of dear import.” Steevens. 3 What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,

and not for justice?] This question is far from implying that any of those who touched Cæsar's body, were villains. On the contrary, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not one man among them, who was base enough to stab him for any cause but that of justice. Malone.

9 Cas. Brutus, bay not me,] The old copy-bait not ine. Mr. Theobald and all the subsequent editors read-bay not me; and the emendation is sufficiently plausible, our author having in Troilus and Cressida used he word bay in the same sense :

What moves Ajax thus to bay ai bim!” But as he has likewise twice used bait in the sense required here, the text, in my apprehension, ought not to be disturbed.“ I will not yield,” says Macbeth:

“ To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,

“ And to be baited with the rabble's curse." Again, in Coriolanus :

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