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Bru. Hark thee, Dardanius!
Cli. O, Dardanius!
Dar. O, Clitus!
I do such a deed?2
Cli. What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
That it runs over even at his eyes.
Bru. Come hither, good Volumnius: list a word.
Why, this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Cæsar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night: at Sardis, once;
Not so, my lord.
Bru. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.
Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves,
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
2 I do such a deed?] Old copy-Shall I do &c.
my sword hilts.] So in the old copy, and rightly. So, be
fore, p. 114:
66 with this good sword,
"That ran through Cæsar's bowels, search this bosom.
Again, in The Mirror for Magistrates, 1587:
a naked sword he had,
"That to the hilts was all with blood imbrued."
Mr. Rowe and the other modern editors read, agreeably to the language of the present time,-my sword's hilt. Malone. Thus also, in King Henry V;
"And hides a sword from hilts unto the point" &c. Falstaff also, in King Henry IV, P. I, says: "Seven, by these hilts; I am a villain else." Steevens.
Farewel to thee too, Strato.4-Countrymen,
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
[Alarum. Cry within; Fly, fly, fly.
Cli. Fly, my lord, fly.
Hence; I will follow thee.5
[Exeunt CLI. DAR. and VOL.
I pr'ythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it:
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Stra. Give me your hand first: Fare you well, my lord. Bru. Farewel, good Strato.—Cæsar, now be still;
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.
[He runs on his Sword and dies. Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA, LUCILIUS, and their Army.
Oct. What man is that?
Mes. My master's man.-Strato, where is thy master? Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala; The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.
Luc. So Brutus should be found.-I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.6
Oct. All that serv'd Brutus, I will entertain them."
▲ Farewel to thee too, Strato.] Thus the modern editions: I think, rightly. The old folio reads:
"Farewel to thee, to Strato, countrymen. Johnson.
The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
5 Hence; I will follow thee.] Thee, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of metre, by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, in Hamlet: "Go on, I'll follow thee." Steevens.
6 That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.] See p. 118. Stevens. VOL. XIV.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
How died my master, Strato?
Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it. Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, That did the latest service to my master.
Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all:
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
And common good to all, made one of them.
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
entertain them.] i. e. receive them into my service. So, in King Lear: " You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred." Steevens.
Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.] To prefer seems to have been the established phrase for recommending a servant. So, in The Merchant of Venice, Act III, sc. ii:
"Shylock thy master, spoke with me this day,
Again, in the Countess of Dorset's Memoirs; wher he & his daughter preferd William Pond to searve my lady." Seward's Anecdotes, Vol. IV, p. 316. Reed.
To prefer is to recommend in its general sense. Thus, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 261: "Bessardus Bisantinus preferres the smoake of Juniper to melancholy persons, which is in great request with us at Oxford to sweeten our chambers."
The same word is used by Chapman in his version of the 23d Iliad; and signifies to advance:
66 Now every way I erre
"About this broad-door'd house of Dis. O helpe then to preferre
"My soule yet further."
In the 18th Iliad, to prefer apparently means, to patronize :
she did so still prefer
"Their quarrel." Steevens.
9 Do so, Messala.] Old copy, neglecting the metre-Do so, good Messala. Steevens.
1 —— save only he, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "For it was sayd that Antonius spake it openly diuers tymes, that he thought, that of all them that had slayne Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moued to do it, as thinking the acte commendable of it selfe: but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death, for some priuate malice or enuy, that they otherwise did beare vnto him." Steevens.
Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!] So, in The Barons' Wars, by Drayton, Canto III:
"He was a man (then boldly dare to say)
"In whose rich soul the virtues well did suit;
"As that it seem'd, when nature him began,
This poem was published in the year 1598. The play of our author did not appear before 1623. Steevens.
Drayton originally published his poem on the subject of The Barons' Wars, under the title of MORTIMERIADOS, the lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and the Barrons: Printed by J. R. for Humphrey Lownes, and are to be solde at his shop at the west end of Paules Church. It is in seven-line stanzas, and was, I believe, published before 1598. The quarto copy before me has no date. But he afterwards new-modelled the piece entirely, and threw it into stanzas of eight lines, making some retrenchments and many additions and alterations throughout. An edition of his poems was published in 8vo. in 1602; but it did not contain The Barons' Wars in any form. They first appeared with that name in the edition of 1608, in the preface to which he speaks of the change of his title, and of his having new-modelled his poem. There, the stanza quoted by Mr. Steevens appears thus:
"Such one he was, (of him we boldly say)
"In whose rich soule all soveraigne powres did sute,
"So mixt, as none could soveraigntie impute;
"As all did govern, yet all did obey;
"His lively temper was so absolute,
"That 't seem'd when heaven his modell first began,
"In him it show'd perfection in a man.”
In the same form is this stanza exhibited in an edition of Drayton's pieces, printed in 8vo. 1610, and in that of 1613. The lines quoted by Mr. Steevens are from the edition in folio printed in 1619, after Shakspeare's death. In the original poem, entitled Mortimeriados, there is no trace of this stanza; so that I am inclined to think that Drayton was the copyist, as his verses originally stood. In the altered stanza he certainly was. He probably had seen this play when it was first exhibited, and perhaps between 1613 and 1619 had perused the MS. Malone.
So, call the field to rest: and let 's away,
3 Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakspeare's plays: his adherence to the real story, and to Roinan manners, seem to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius. Johnson.
Gildon has justly observed, that this tragedy ought to have been called Marcus Brutus, Cæsar being a very inconsiderable personage scene, and being killed in the third Act. Malone.
The substance of Dr. Warburton's long and erroneous comment on a passage in the second Act of this play: "The genius and the mortal instruments," &c. (see p. 31, n. 7,) is contained in a letter written by him in the year 1726-7, of which the first notice was given to the publick in the following note on Dr. Akenside's Ode to Mr. Edwards, which has, I know not why, been omitted in the late editions of that poet's works:
"During Mr. Pope's war with Theobald, Concanen, and the rest of their tribe, Mr. Warburton, the present lord bishop of Gloucester, did with great zeal cultivate their friendship; having been introduced, forsooth, at the meetings of that respectable confederacy: a favour which he afterwards spoke of in very high terms of complacency and thankfulness. At the same time, in his intercourse with them he treated Mr. Pope in a most contemptuous manner, and as a writer without genius. Of the truth of these assertions his lordship can have no doubt, if he recollects his own correspondence with Concanen; a part of which is still in being, and will probably be remembered as long as any of this prelate's writings."
If the letter here alluded to, contained any thing that might affect. the moral character of the writer, tenderness for the dead would forbid its publication. But that not being the case, and the learned prelate being now beyond the reach of criticism, there is no reason why this literary curiosity should be longer withheld from the publick: Duncan is in his grave;
"After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;
"Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
"Can touch him further."
LETTER FROM MR. W. WARBURTON TO MR. M. CONCANEN.
having had no more regard for those papers which I spoke of and promis'd to Mr. Theobald, than just what they deserv'd I in vain sought for them thro' a number of loose papers that had the same