« PreviousContinue »
They vanish tongue-ty'd in their guiltiness.
If you do find them' deck'd with ceremonies.
You know, it is the feaft of Lupercal.
Cafca. Peace, ho! Cæfar fpeaks.
Enter Cefar; Antony, for the courfe; Calphurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Caffius, Cafca, a Soothsayer, &c.
7deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious ornaments, Thus afterwards he explains them by Cæfar's trophies; i. e. fuch as he had dedicated to the gods. WARBURTON.
Cæfar's trophies, are, I believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in fir Tho. North's tranflation. -There were fet up images of Cæfar in the city with diadems on their heads, like kings. Thofe the two tribunes went and pulled down." STEEVENS.
This perfon was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done fince) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the moft cherished by Cafar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined fo large a fhare of his favours and licnours, as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, fpeaking of Decimus Brutus, B 4
Caf. Stand you directly in Antonius? 9 way,
Caf. Forget not, in your fpeed, Antonius,
Ant. I fhall remember:
When Cæfar fays, Do this, it is perform❜d.
Caf. Ha! Who calls?
Cafca. Bid every noise be still :-Peace yet again.
ab iis quos miferat Antonius, jugulatus eft, justiffimafque optimè de fe merito, C. Cæfari pœnas dedit, cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuiffet, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, cenfebatque æquum quæ acceperat à Cæfare retinere, Cæfarem qui ille dederat periiffe." Lib. ii. c. 64.
Jungitur his. Decimus, notiffimus inter amicos
"Ante alios Decimus, cui fallere, nomen amici "Præcipue dederat, ductorem fæpe morantem "Incitat."Supplem. Lucani. STEEVENS. Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus, arose from the old tranflation of Plutarch. FARMER.
Lord Sterline has committed the fame mistake in his Julius Cafar. MALONE.
-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 verfions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in dramatic pieces formed an the same originals. STEEVENS.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Bru. A foothfayer, bids you beware the ides of
Caf. Set him before me, let me fee his face.
Caf. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæfar.
Caf. What fay'ft thou to me now? Speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Caf. He is a dreamer; let us leave him :—pass.
Caf. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamefome; I do lack some part Of that quick fpirit that is in Antony. Let me not hinder, Caffius, your defires; I'll leave you.
Caf. Brutus, I do obferve you now of late:
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
Sennet.] I have been informed that fennet is derived from Jennefte, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the Dictionaries which I have confulted exhibit no fuch word.
In Decker's Satiromaflix, 1602:
"Trumpets found a flourish, and then a fennet."
In the Dumb Show, preceding the first part of Hieronimo, 1605, is "Sound a fignate and pafs over the ftage."
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, a fynnet is called a flourish of trumpets, but I know not on what authority. See a note on K. Henry VIII. act II. fc. iv. Vol. VII. p. 243. Sennet may be a corruption from fonata, Ital. STEEVENS. -ftrange a hand] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, fuch as might become a ftranger. JOHNSON.
Merely upon myfelf. Vexed I am,
Which give fome foil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
Caf. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your paffion;
By means whereof, this breaft of mine hath bury'd
Bru. No, Caffius: for the eye fees not itself, But by reflection, by fome other things.
Caf. 'Tis juft:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Caffius,
3 paffions of fome difference,] With a fluctuation of difcordant opinions and defires. JOHNSON.
So, in Coriolanus, a& V. fc. iii :
"thou haft fet thy mercy and thy honour
"At difference in thee," STEEVENS.
4 The eye fees not itself.] So, fir John Davies in his poem on The Immortality of the Soul, 1599:
Is it because the mind is like the eye,
Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees; Whofe rays reflect not; but fpread outwardly; Not feeing itself, when other things it fees? Again, in Marfton's comedy of the Fawne, 1606: "Thus few frike fail until they run on fhelf; "The eye fees all things but its proper felf." STEEVENS.
That you would have me feek unto myself
Caf. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear:
To ftale with ordinary oaths my love
[Flourish, and fhout. Bru. What means this fhouting? I do fear, the people
Choose Cæfar for their king.
Caf. Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Caffius; yet I love him well:But wherefore do you hold me here fo long? What is it that you would impart to me? If it be ought toward the general good, Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other, 6 And I will look on both indifferently: For, let the gods fo speed me, as I love The name of honour more than I fear death. Caf. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
5 To ftale with ordinary oaths my love, &c.] To invite every new protefter to my affection by the ftale or allurement of customary oaths. JOHNSON.
• And I will look on both indifferently;] Dr. Warburton has a long note on this occafion, which is very trifling. When Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but as the image kindles in his mind, he fets honour above life. Is not this natural? JOHNSON,