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and die all slaves; than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men ? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him: There is tears, for his love; joy, for his fortune; honour, for his valour; and death, for his ambition. Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
Cit. None, Brutus, none. [Several speaking at once.
Bru. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you should do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol : his glory not extemuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
Enter Antony and Others, with Cæsar's Body. Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth ; As which of you shall not? With this I depart; That, as I slew my best lover2 for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need
- as I slew my best lover -] See p. 55, n.3. Malone. This term, which cannot but sound disgustingly to modern ears, as here applied, Mr. Malone considers as the language of Shak. speare's time; but this opinion, from the want of contemporary examples to confirm it, may admit of a doubt. It is true it occurs several times in our author, who probably found it in North's Plutarch's Lives, and transferred a practice sanctioned by Lycurgus, and peculiar to Sparta, to Rome, and to other nations. It was customary in the former country for both males and females to select and attach themselves to one of their own sex, under the appellation of lovers and favourers. These, on one part, were objects to imitate, and on the other, to watch with constant solicitude, in order to make them wise, gentle, and well conditioned. “ To the lovers" (says Mr. Dyer, in his revision of Dryden's Plutarch, Vol. I, p. 131,) " they (the elders of Lacedemon) imputed the virtues or the vices which were observed in those they lovell; they commended them if the lads were virtuous, and fined them if they were otherwise. They likewise fined those who had not made choice of any favourite. And here we may observe Lycurgiis did not copy this instruction from the practice observed in Crete, thinking without doubt such an example of too dangerous a tendency." See Strabo, L. X. Reed.
Cit. Live, Brutus, live ! live! 1 Cit. Bring him with triumph home unto his house, 2 Cit. Give him a statue with his ancestors. 3 Cit. Let him be Cæsar. 4 Cit.
Cæsar's better parts Shall now be crown'd in Brutus.3 1 Cit. We 'll bring him to his house with shouts and
clamours. Bru. My countrymen, — 2 Cit.
Peace; silence! Brutus speaks. 1 Cit. Peace, ho!
Bru. Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
[Exis. 1 Cit. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
3 Cit. Let him go up into the publick chair; We'll hear him :
-Noble Antony, go up. Ant. For Brutus' sake, I am beholden to you. 4 Cit. What does he say of Brutus ? 3 Cit.
He says, for Brutus' sake, Ile finds himself beholden to us all.
4. Cit. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here. 1 Cit. This Cæsar was a tyrant. 3 Cit.
Nay, that's certain : We are bless'd, that Rome is rid of him.
2 Cit. Peace ; let us hear what Antony can say.
Peace, ho! let us hear him. Ant. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
3 Shall now be crown'd in Brutus ] As the present hemistich without some additional syllable, is offensively unmetrical, the adverbnow, which was introduced by Sir Thomas Haniner, is here admitted. Steevens.
beholden to you.] Throughout the old copies of Shakspeare, and many other ancient authors, beholden is corruptly spelt--beholding. Steevens.
5 He says, for Brutus' sake,] Here we have another line rendered irregular, by the interpolated and needless words---He says
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
6 My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.] Perhaps our author recollected the following passage in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1594:
“ As for my love, say, Antony hath all;
“ With him, in whom it rests, and ever shall.” Malone. The passage from Daniel is little more than an imitation of part of Dido's speech in the second Æneid, v. 28 & seq:
" Ille meos amores
i Cit. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings,
2 Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong. 3 Cit.
Has he, masters?. I fear, there will a worse come in his place. 4 Cit. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the
crown; Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.
1 Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Ant. But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
4 Cit. We'll hear the will: Read it, Mark Antony. Cit. The will, the will; we will hear Cæsar's will.
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it; It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov'd you.
7 And none so poor -] The meanest man is now too high to do reverence to Cæsar. Johnson.
their napkins - ] i.e. their handkerchiefs. Napery was the ancient term for all kinds of linen. Steevens.
Napkin is the Northern term for handkerchief, and is used in this sense at this day in Scotland. Our author frequently uses the word. See Vol. V, p. 120, n. 4; and Vol. VII, p. 102, n. 1. Malone.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
4 Cit. 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?
4 Cit. They were traitors : Honourable men!
2 Cit. They were villains, murderers: The will! read the will!
Ant. You will compel me then to read the will?
Cit. Come down.
Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
9 For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel:] This title of en. learment is more than once introduced in Sidney's Arcadia. Steevens?