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And men have lost their reason.
-Bear with me;
But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
4 Pleb. We'll hear the will ; 'read it, Mark Antony. All. The will; the will ; we will hear Cæsar's will. Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not
read it ;
ow not, that you are his heirs ;
For if you should — what would come of it ?
4 Pleb. 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 ? (I have o'er-shot myself, to tell you of it.) I fear, I wrong the honourable men, Whose daggers have stabb’d Cæsar. I do fear it.
4 Pleb. They were traitors-honourable men ! All. The will! the testament !
Ant. You will compel me then to read the will ? Then make a ring about the corps of Cæsar, And let me thew you him, that made the will. Shall I descend, and will you give me leave ?
All. Come down. 2. Pleb. Descend,
[He comes down from the pulpit. 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; "Iwas on a summer's evening in his tent, That day he overcame the NerviiLook! in this place, ran Caffius' dagger through; See, what a rent the envious Casca made.Through this, the well-beloved Brutus ftabb'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 resolv'd, If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no; For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's ange'. Judge, oh you Gods ! how dearly Cæsar lov'd him ; This, this, was the unkindeft cut of all; For, when the noble Cæsar saw him ftab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors arms, Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart;
And, in (11) this mantle muffing up his face,
here! Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, by traitors.
i Pleb. O piteous spectacle !
2 Pleb. We will be reveng'd; revenge ; about seekburn--fire --kill-llay! let not a traitor live. Ant. Good friends, fweet friends, let me not ftir
(11) This] Upton vulg. his. " The action and the emphasis is highly improved by this easy change.'
The reader may fee a severe comment on a note of Mr. Warburton's, con: cerning this mantle in the 14th page of the Preface to Upton's obfervations on Shakespear. (12) See Vol. I. p. 177. , 6,
To ftir mens blood; I only speak right on.
-Ever note, Lucilius,
Scene III. Changes to the Inside of Brutus's
Re-enter Brutus and Callius.
Caf. (13) That you have wrong'd me doth appear
in this You have condemnd and noted Lucius Pella,
(13) Trat, &c.] I fall not use any apology for quoting this celebrated scene entire ; fince to have taken any particular passages from it, would have spoilt the beauty of the whole: Its excellence is so generally known, and to greatly admired, that there remains
For taking bribes here of the Sardians ;
Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
Caf. In such a time as this, it is not meet That (14) ev'ry nice offence should bear its com
ment. Bru. Yet let me tell you, Caflius, you yourself Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm ; To sell, and mart your offices for gold, To undefervers.
little to be said concerning it: There is a famous scene of the Jike kind between Agamemnon and Menelaus, in the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides, which Mr. Dryden judges inferior to this ; the reader may see what he says upon this head in his preface to Trilus and Crifida, in which he himself has introduced a similar scene : Beaumont and Fletcber, charmed, I suppose, with the Applause our author met with for this scene, (which we find particularly commended in some verses prefix'd to the first folio impreffion of his works,
Or till I bear a fcene more nobly take,
Than what thiy half-sword parlying Romans make) They, I say, have endeavour'd\to imitate him, but with their Díval success, in the Maid's Tragedy, where two virtuous perSons, as here and in Euripides, rais’d by natural degrees to the extremity of passion, are conducted to the declination of that pallion, and conclude with the warm renewing of their friendthip." See the Maid's Tragedy, Act 3. Mr. Gildon in his remarks on Shakespear's works, at the end of his poems, has translated the quarreling scene from Euripides
, in which, if a good deal of the spirit has evaporated, the reader will yet in some measure be able to judge of its merits. See Shakespear's poems, Sewel's edit. p. 388.
(14) Ev'ry nice, &c.] This may be well-understood and explained by every sight or trifling offence ; but I am to imagine the author gave it,
offence shou'd bear nice comment. It was so easy for the word nice to have been removed from its proper place : bis comment is in the folio, which shews there is something wrong ; and the metre by this reading is as perfect, nay more fo, than by the other,