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To hear the replication of your sounds,
Be gone ;
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
[E.reunt Citizens. See, whe'r? their basest metal be not mov'd; They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness. Go you down that way towards the Capitol ; This way will I: Disrobe the images, If
you do find them deck'd with ceremonies 8.
MAR. May we do so ?
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
England as females, even when he speaks of the presiding power of the stream. Spenser, on the other hand, represents them more classically, as males. MALONE.
The presiding power of some of Drayton's rivers were females; like Sabrina, &c. STEEVENS.
7 See, whe'r-] Whether, thus abbreviated, is used by Ben Jonson :
“ Who shall doubt, Donne, whe'r I a poet be,
deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious ornaments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cæsar's Trophies; i. e. such as he had dedicated to the gods. WARBURTON. Ceremonies are honorary ornaments ; tokens of respect.
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies'. I'll about,
The Same. A publick Place.
Enter, in Procession, with Musick, CÆSAR; An
tony, for the course; CALPHURNIA, Portia, DEcius", CICERO, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca, a great Croud following ; among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia, Casca.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
[Musick ceases. 9 Be hung with Cæsar's TROPHIES.] Cæsar's trophies, are, I believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in Sir Thomas North's translation : - There were set up images of Cæsar in the city with diadems on their heads, like kings. Those the two tribunes went and pulled down." STEEVENS.
What these trophies really were, is explained by a passage in the next scene, where Casca informs Cassius, that “ Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence.” M. Mason.
? This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours, as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says :-“ ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugulatus est; justissimasque optimè de se merito viro C. Cæsari pænas dedit. Cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere : Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perisse.” Lib. ii. c. lxiv. :
Calphurnia, CAL. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way ?,
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter amicos
Incitat.Supplem. Lucani. Steevens. Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus, arose from the old translation of Plutarch. FARMER.
Lord Sterline has committed the same mistake in his Julius Cæsar ; and in Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, which I believe Shakspeare had read, this person is likewise called Decius Brutus. MALONE.
2- in ANTONIUS' way,] The old copy generally reads-Antonio, Octavio, Flavio. The players were more accustomed to Italian than Roman terminations, on account of the many versions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in dramatick pieces formed on the same originals. Steevens.
The correction was made by Mr. Pope.—" At that time, (says Plutarch,) the feast Lupercalia was celebrated, the which in olde time men say was the feast of Shepheards or heardsmen, and is much like unto the feast of Lyceians in Arcadia. But howsoever it is, that day there are diverse noble men's sonnes, young men, (and some of them magistrates themselves that govern them,) which run naked through the city, striking in sport them they meet in their way with leather thongs.-And many noble women and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand in their way, and doe put forth their handes to be stricken, persuading themselves that being with childe, they shall have good deliverie ; and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive with child. Cæsar sat to behold that sport vpon the pulpit for orations, in a chayre of gold, apparelled in triumphant manner. Antonius, who was consul at that time, was one of them that ronne this holy course."
North's translation. We learn from Cicero that Cæsar constituted a new kind of these Luperci, whom he called after his own name, Juliani ; and Mark Antony was the first who was so entitled. MALONE.
To touch Calphurnia : for our elders say,
I shall remember:
[Musick. Sooth. Cæsar. CÆs. Ha ! Who calls ? Casca. Bid every noise be still :-Peace yet again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that? Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of
March. Cæs. Set him before me, let me see his face. Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon
Cæsar. Cæs. What say'st thou to me now?. Speak once
again. Sooth. Beware the ides of March. Cæs. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him ;—pass.
[Sennet Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS.
3 [Sennet.] I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word. In Decker's Satiromastix, 1602 :
“ Trumpets sound a flourish, and then a sennet.” In The Dumit Show, preceding the first part of Jeronimo, 1605, is
“ Sound a signate and pass ouer the stage.” In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, a synnet is called a flourish of trumpets, but I know not on what authority. See a note on King Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. IV. Sennet may be a corruption from sonata, Ital. STEEVENS.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ?
Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part
l’u leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late 4 :
Brutus, I do observe you now of late :] Will the reader sustain any loss by the omission of the words—you now, without which the measure would become regular ?
" I'll leave you.
Brutus, I do observe of late, “ I have not,” &c. STEEVENS.
STRANGE a hand —] Strange, is alien, un familiar, such as might become a stranger. Johnson.
- passions of some DIFFERENCE,] With a fuctuation of discordant opinions and desires. Johnson. So, in Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. III.:
thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour “ At difference in thee." Steevens. A following line may prove the best comment on this :
“ Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war-” MALONE.