Imatges de pàgina
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Ant. He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Cæsar's house ;
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.

Lep. What, Mall I find you here?
. Or here, or at the Capitol. [Exit LEPIDUS.

Ant. This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands : Is it fit,
The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it !

O&. So you thought him;
And took his voice who should be prick’d to die,
In our black sentence and profcription.

Ant. Oétavius, I have seen more days than you :
And though we lay these honours on this man,
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load, and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to make his ears,
And graze in commons.

. You may do your will ;
But he's a try'd and valiant soldier.

Ant. So is my horse, Octavius; and, for that,
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on;
His corporal motion govern’d by my spirit.

3 - damn bim.) i.e. condemn him. So, in Promos and Cajardra, 7578:

« Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life." Again, in Chaucer's Kingbres Tale, v. 1747.

by your confeffion
“ Hath damned you, and I wol it recorde." STEEVENS.

- as tbe ass bears gold,] This image had occurr'd before in Mere fure for Measure, Aa lij. ic. i:

like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
“ Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
« Till death unloads thee." STLIVINS.

go

And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so;
He must be taught, and train’d, and bid forth:
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations s;
Which, out of use, and ital'd by other men,
Begin his fashion: Do not talk of him,
But as a property. And now, Oétavius,
Liften great things.-Brutus and Caffius,
Are levying powers: we must straight make head:
Therefore let our alliance be combin’d,
Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmoft ;
And let us presently go fit in council,

How 5 - one tbat feeds

On objets, aris, and imitations;] It is easy to find a reason why that devotee to pleasure and ambition, should call him barren-spirited who could be content to feed his mind with objects, i.e.specularive knowledge, or arts, i. e. mecbanic operations. Lepidus, in the tragedy of Antery and Cleopatra, is represented as inquisitive about the structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a state of intoxication. Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and returns him unintel. ligible answers to very reasonable questions.

Objets, however, may mean things obje&ted or thrown out to him. In this sense Shakspeare uses the verb to objeet in another play, where I have given an instance of its being employ'd by Chapman on the same occafion, A man who can avail himself of neglected hints thrown out by others, though without original ideas of his own, is no uncommon character. STEEVENS. Theobald, in the rage of innovation, reads-On abje&t arts, &c.

MALONE. 6 Our best friends made, our means Atretcb'd to the utmost;] In the old copy by the carelessness of the tranfcriber or printer this line is thus imperfeâly exhibited:

Our best friends made, our means stretch'd ;-
The editor of the second folio supplied the line by reading

Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out. This emendation, which all the modern editors have adopted, was, like almost all the other corrections of the second folio, as ill conceived as pollible. For what is best means ? Means, or abilities, if fireccb'd cui, receive no additional strength from the word beft, nor does means, when confidered without reference to others, as the power of an india vidual, or the aggregated abilities of a body of men, seem to admit of a degree of comparison. However that may be, it is higbly improbable that a transcriber or compositor should be guilty of three errors in the same line; that he should omit the word and in the middle of it; then the word beft after our, and lastly the concluding word, It is much more pro

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How covert matters may be best disclos'd,
And open perils surett answered.

Oa. Let us do fo: for we are at the stake?,
And bay'd about with many enemies;
And some, that smile, have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischief.

[Exeunt.
SC EN E II.
Before Brutus' tent, in the camp near Sardis,
Drum. Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, LUCIUS, and Sol-

diers: TITINIUS and PINDAR US meeting them.
Bru. Stand here.
Luc. Give the word, ho! and stand.
Bru. What now, Lucilius? is Casius near?

Luc. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come
To do you salutation from his master.

(Pindarus gives a letter to Brutus. Bru. He greets me well. --- Your master, Pindarus, In his own change, or by ill officers 8,

Hath bable that the omission was only at the end of the line, ( an error which is found in other places in these plays ;) and that the authour wrote, as I have printed :

Our best friends made, our means stretch'd ro rbe ut meff, So, in a former scene :

" — and, you know, his means,

“ If he improve them, may well freteb so far,--". Again, in the following passage in Coriolanus, which, I truft, will justify the emendation, now made:

for thy revenge, Wrench up your power to the big best." MALONE. 7- at ibe fake.) An allufion to bear-baiting. So, in Macbetb, At V:

“ They have chain'd me to a flake, I cannot fly,

" But bear-like I must fight the course.” STIEVENS. 8 In his own change, or by ill officers,] Dr. Warburton, without any necessity, reads-By his own cbarge, &c. that is, “ieither by those under his own immediate command, or under the command of his lieutenants, who had abused their trust." MALONI.

Brutus could not but know whether the wrongs commited were done by those who were immediately under the command of Callius, or those under his officers. The answer of Brutus to the servant is only an act of artful civility; his question to Lucilius proves, that his suspiciun ftill continued. Yet I cannot but suspect a corruption, and would read:

Hath iven me some worthy cause to with
Things done, undone: but, if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.

Pin. I do not doubt,
But that my noble mafter will appear
Such as he is, full of regard, and honour.

Bru. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius ;
How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv’d.

Luc. With courtesy, and with respect enough;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath as'd of old.

Bru. Thou haft describ'd
A hot friend cooling: Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and fimple faith:
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant shew and promise of their mettle:
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?

Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Caffius.

[March within. Bru. Hark, he is arriv'd :March gently on to meet him.

Enter Cassius, and Soldiers,
Caf. Stand, ho!
Bru. Stand ho! Speak the word along.

In bis own change, or by ill offices,That is, either changing his inclination of bimself, or by the ill offices and bad influences of others. JOHNSON.

Surely alteration is unnecessary. In the subsequent conference Brutus charges both Cassius and his officer Lucius Pella, with corruption.

STEVENS. Brutus immediately after says to Lucilius, when he hears his account of the manner in which he had been received by Caffius,

“ Thou haft describ'd

« A bor friend cooling." That is the change which Brutus complains of. Mason. VOL. VII.

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Within.

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Within. Stand.
Within. Stand.
Within, Stand.
Caf. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.,

Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies?
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?

Caf. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs;
And when you do them-

Bru. Caffius, be content,
Speak your griefs * softly,-I do know you well-
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Let us not wrangle: Bid them move away;
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs,
And I will give you audience.

Caf. Pindarus,
Bid our commanders lead their charges off
A little from this ground.

Bru. Lucilius, do you the like; and let no man
Come to our tent, till we have done our conference.
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door. Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Within the tent of Brutus.
Lucius and Titinius at some distance from it.

Enter Brutus, and CASSIUS.
Caf. That you have wrong'd me, doth appear in this:
You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella,
For taking bribes here of the Sardians ;
Wherein, my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.

Bru. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a case.

Caf. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offence" should bear his comment.

- your griefs--] i. e. your grievances. See Vol. IV. p. 50, 8. jo and Vol. V. p. 237, n.9. MALONE.

every nice offence] i. e. small trilling offence. WARBURTON, So, in Romeo and Juliet, Ad V:

« The letter was not nice, bue full of charge,
« Of dear import." STEEVENS.

Bra.

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