« PreviousContinue »
And he shall say, you are not well to-day :
Cæs. Mark Antony shall say, I am not well;
Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar ;
Cæs. And you are come in very happy time,
Cal. Say, he is sick.
Shall Cæsar send a lie ?
h'd mine arm so far, To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth? Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.
Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause,
Cæs. The cause is in my will, I will not come ;
blood; and many lusty Romans
Dec. This dream is all amiss interpreted;
Did run pure
my statua,] See Vol. II, p. 226, n. 4; and Vol. XI, p. 113. Steevens.
warnings, portents,] Old copy, unmetrically-warnings and portents: Steevens.
8 And evils imminent;] The late Mr. Edwards was of opinion that we should read :
Of evils imminent. Steevens. The alteration proposed by Mr. Edwards is needless, and tends to weaken the force of the expressions, which form, as they now stand, a regular climax. Henley,
It was a vision, fair and fortunate :
Cæs. And this way have you well expounded it.
Dec. I have, when you have heard what I can say :
and that great men shall press For tinctures, stains, relicks, and cognizance.] This speech which is intentionally pompous, is somewhat confused. There are two allusions; one to coais armorial, to which princes make additions, or give new tinctures, and new marks of cognizance; the other to martyrs, whose reliques are preserved with veneration. The Romans, says Decius, all come to you as to a saint, for reliques, as to a prince, for honours. Fohnson.
I believe tinctures has no relation to heraldry, but means merely handkerchiefs, or other linen, tinged with blood. Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, defines it “ a dipping, colouring or staining of a thing." So, in Act III, sc. ii :
“ And dip their napkins," &c. Malone. I concur in opinion with Mr. Malone At the execution of seve. ral of our ancient nobility, martyrs, &c. we are told that handkerchiefs were tinctured with their blood, and preserved as affectionate or salutary memorials of the deceased. Steevens.
1 When Cæsar's wife shall meet with better dreams.] So, in Lord Sterline s Julius Cæsar, 1607 :
“ How can we satisfy the world's conceit,
“ Whose tongues still in all ears your praise proclaims? " Or shall we bid them leave to deal in state,
“ Till that Calphurnia first have better dreams?" Malone. 2 And reason &c.] And reason, or propriety of conduct and language, is subordinate to my love. Fohnsom
Cæs. How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia
TREBONIUS, and CINNA.
Pub. Good morrow, Cæsar.
Cæsar, 'tis strucken eight.
So to most noble Cæsar,
Treb. Cæsar, I will :—and so near will I be, [Aside. That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
Cæs. Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me; And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
Bru. That every like is not the same, O Cæsar, The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon! [Exeunt.
The same. A Street near the Capitol.
Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a Paper. Art. Cæsar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna ; trust not Trebonius; mark well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Cæsar. If thou be’st not immortal, look about you: Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover,
Artemidorus. Here will I stand, till Cæsar pass along, And as a suitor will I give him this. My heart laments, that virtue cannot live Out of the teeth of emulation. If thou read this, O Cæsar, thou may’st live; If not, the fates with traitors do contrive.5 [Exit.
The same. Another Part of the same Street, before the
House of Brutus.
Enter PORTIA and Lucius.
To know my errand, madam.
Madam, what should I do?
Por. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
3 Thy lover, ] See Vol. IV, p. 384, n. 5. Malone.
emulation, ] Here, as on many other occasions, this word is used in an unfavourable sense, somewhat like-factious, envious, or malicious rivalry. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ Whilst emulation in the army crept.” Steevens.
the fates with traitors do contrive.] The fates join with traitors in contriving thy destruction. Johnson.
6 Why dost thou stay? &c.] Shakspeare has expressed the pertor. bation of King Richard the 'Third's mind by the same incident:
Dull, unmindful villain !
" What from your grace I shall deliver to him.” Steevens.
For he went sickly forth : And take good note,
Luc. I hear none, madam.
Pr’ythee, listen well:
Come hither, fellow : Which way hast thou been? Sooth.
At mine own house, good lady. Por. What is 't o'clock? Sooth.
About the ninth hour, lady. Por. Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol ?
Sooth. Madam, not yet; I go to take my stand, To see him pass on to the Capitol.
Por. Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not?
Sooth. That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar To be so good to Cæsar, as to hear me, I shall beseech him to befriend himself. Por. Why, know'st thou any harm 's intended towards
him? Sooth. None that I know will be, much that I fear may
Por. I must go in.-- Ah me! how weak a thing
7 Enter Soothsayer.] The introduction of the Soothsayer here is unnecessary, and, I think, improper. All that he is made to say, should be given to Artemidorus ; who is seen and accosted by Portia in his passage from his first stand, p. 55, to one more convenient, p. 57. Tyrwhitt.
8 None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance. ] Sir T. Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, omits may chance, which I regard as interpolated words; for they render the line too long by a foot, and the sense is complete without them. Steevens.