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sar. If thou be’st not immortal, look about you: Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover, 3
Artemidorus. Here will I stand, till Cæsar pass along, And as a suitor will I give him this. My heart laments, that virtue cannot live Out of the teeth of emulation. If thou read this, O Cæsar, thou may'st live; If not, the fates with traitors do contrive.5 [Erit.
SCENE IV. The same. Another Part of the same Street, before the
House of Brutus.
Enter Portia and Lucius.
To know my errand, madam.
Madam, what should I do?
Por. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
3 Thy lover,] See Vol. IV, p. 384, n. 5. Malone.
4 — emulation, ] Here, as on many other occasions, this word is used in an unfavourable sense, somewhat like-factious, envious, or malicious rivalry. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ Whilst emulation in the army crept.” Steevens. y— the fates with traitors do contrive.] The fates join with traitors in contriving thy destruction. Johnson.
6 Why dost thou stay? &c.] Shakspeare has expressed the pertarbation of King Richard the Third's mind by the same incident:
“ Dull, unmindful villain!
“Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke ?-
“ What from your grace I shall deliver to him.” Steevens.
Por he went sickly forth: And take good note,
Luc. I hear none, madam.
Pr’ythee, listen well:
Come hither, fellow : Which way hast thou been? Sooth.
At mine own house, good lady. Por. What is 't o'clock? Sooth.
About the ninth hour, lady. Por. Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol ?
Sooth. Madam, not yet; I go to take my stand, To see him pass on to the Capitol.
Por. Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not?
Sooth. That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar To be so good to Cæsar, as to hear me, I shall beseech him to befriend himself. Por. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards
him? Sooth. None that I know will be, much that I fear may
Por. I must go in.- Ah me! how weak a thing
7 Enter Soothsayer.] The introduction of the Soothsayer here is unnecessary, and, I think, improper. All that he is made to say, should be given to Artemidorus; who is seen and accosted by Portia in his passage from his first stand, p. 55, to one more convenient, p. 57. Tyrwhitt.
8 None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.) Sir T. Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, omits—may chance, which I regard as interpolated words; for they render the line too long by a foot, and the sense is complete without them. Steevens.
Sure, the boy heard me :-Brutus hath a suit,
ACT III....SCENE. I. The same. The Capitol; the Senate sitting. A Crowd of People in the Street leading to the Capitol ; among them ARTEMIDORUS, and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CÆSAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DEGIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINNA, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPJLIUS, PUBLIUS, and Others.
Cæs. The ides of March are come.
Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,
Art. O, Cæsar, read mine first; for mine 's a suit
Cæs. What touches us ourself, shall be last serv'd.
Sirrah, give place.
Fare you well. [Advances to Cæs. Bru. What said Popilius Lena?
Cas. He wish'd, to-day our enterprize might thrive. I fear, our purpose is discovered.
Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: Mark him.
9 Brutus hath a suit, &c.] These words Portia addresses to Lucius, to deceive him, by assigning a false cause for her present perturbation. Malone.
Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Cassius, be constant:
Cas. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus, He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
Exeunt ANT. and TRE-Cæs. and the Senators
take their Seats.
Bru. He is address’d:S press near, and second him.
1 Mark him.] The metre being here imperfect, I think, we should be at liberty to read :-Mark him well. So, in the paper read by Artemidorus, p. 54:-"Mark well Metellus Cimber.” Steevens.
2 Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,] Cassius says, If our purpose is discovered, either Cæsar or I shall never return alive ; for, if we cannot kill him, I will certainly slay myself. The conspirators were numerous and resolute, and had they been betrayed, the confusion that must have arisen might have afforded desperate men an opportunity to despatch the tyrant. Ritson. 3 He is address'd ;] i.e. he is ready. See Vol. IX, p. 279, n. 3.
Steevens. 4— you are the first that rears your hand.] This, I think, is not English. The first folio has reares, which is not much better. To reduce the passage to the rules of grammar, we should read-You are the first that rears his hand. Tyrwhitt.
According to the rules of grammar Shakspeare certainly should have written his hand; but he is often thus inaccurate. So, in the Jast Act of this play, Cassius says of himself,
" Cassius is aweary of the world; —
" To cast into my teeth.” There in strict propriety our poet certainly should have written os into his teeth.” Malone.
As this and similar offences against grammar, might have originated only from the ignorance of the players or their printers. I can. not concur in representing such mistakes as the positive inaccuracies of Shakspeare. According to this mode of reasoning, the false spellings of the first folio, as often as they are exampled by corresponding false spellings in the same book, may also be charged upon our author. Steevens.
Cæs. Are we all ready? what is now amiss,
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
5 Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand. Cæs. Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
That Cæsar, and his senate, must redress?] The words Are we all ready—seem to belong more properly to Cinna's speech, than to Cæsar's. Ritson.
6 And turn pre-ordinance,] Pre-ordinance, or ordinance already es. tablished. Warburton.
7 Into the law of children.] [Old copy-lane.] I do not well un. derstand what is meant by the lane of children. I should read, the law of children. That is, change pre-ordinance and decree into the law of children; into such slight determinations as every start of will would alter. Lane and lawe in some manuscripts are not easily distinguished. Fohnson.
If the lane of children be the true reading, it may possibly receive illustration from the following passage in Ben Jonson's Staple of News:
“A narrow-minded man! my thoughts do dwell
ss All in a lane." The lane of children will then mean the narrow conceits of children which must change as their minds grow more enlarged. So, in Hamlet :
• For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
“ Grows wide withal.” But even this explanation is harsh and violent. Perhaps the poet wrote: “in the line of children," i. e. after the method or manner of children. In Troilus and Cressida, he uses line for method, course :
“ in all line of order." In an ancient bl. I. ballad, entitled, Houshold Talk, or Good Gourcel for a Married Man. I meet indeed with a phrase somewhat similar to the lane of children:
“ Neighbour Roger, when you come
6. Into the row of neighbours married.” Steedens. The w of Shakspeare's time differed from an n only by a small curl at the bottom of the second stroke, which if an e happened to follow, could scarcely be perceived. I have not hesitated therefore