« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
BRU. But here comes Antony.-Welcome, Mark Antony.
ANT. O mighty Cæsar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure ?-Fare thee well.I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank1: If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument
Of half that worth, as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
who else is rank :] Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the publick safety. JOHNSON.
I rather believe the meaning is, who else is too replete with blood? In our author's Venus and Adonis it is used to express exuberance:
"Rain added to a river that is rank,
"Perforce will force it overflow the bank."
So, in King John, Act V. Sc. IV. :
"And like a bated and retired flood
Leaving our rankness and irregular course." MALONE. In The Tempest we have
whom to trash
I conceive Dr. Johnson's explanation therefore to be the true The epithet rank is employed, on a similar occasion in King Henry VIII.:
"Ha! what, so rank?"
and without allusion to a plethora. STEEVENS.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts, Of brothers' temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence. Cas. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's, In the disposing of new dignities'.
5 As fire drives out fire, &c.] So, in Coriolanus :
"One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail." MALONE. Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
"Even as one heat another heat expels,
"Or as one nail by strength drives out another."
6 Our arms, in STRENGTH of malice,] Thus the old copies : "To you (says Brutus) our swords have leaden points: our arms, strong in the deed of malice they have just performed, and our hearts united like those of brothers in the action, are yet open to receive you with all possible regard." The supposition that Brutus meant, "their hearts were of brothers' temper in respect of Antony," seems to have misled those who have commented on this passage before. For in strength of," Mr. Pope substituted exempt from;" and was too hastily followed by other editors. If alteration were necessary, it would be easier to read:
"Our arms no strength of malice." STEEvens. One of the phrases in this passage, which Mr. Steevens has so happily explained, occurs again in Antony and Cleopatra :
"To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts,
Again, ibid. :
'The heart of brothers governs in our love!"
The counterpart of the other phrase is found in the same play: "I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love."
7. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's,
In the disposing of new dignities.] Here, as Mr. Blakeway
BRU. Only be patient, till we have appeas'd
Why I, that did love Cæsar when I struck him,
ANT. I doubt not of your wisdom. Let each man render me his bloody hand: First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you ;Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand ;— Now, Decius Brutus, yours;-now yours, Metellus;
Yours, Cinna;-and, my valiant Casca, yours ;— Though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all,-alas! what shall I
say? My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
That I did love thee, Cæsar, O, tis true:
Shall it not grieve thee, dearer than thy death,
observes, Shakspeare has maintained the consistency of Cassius's character, who, being selfish and greedy himself, endeavours to influence Antony by similar motives. Brutus, on the other hand, is invariably represented as disinterested and generous, and is adorned by the poet with so many good qualities that we are almost tempted to forget that he was an assassin. Boswell.
8 Though last, not least in love,] So, in King Lear:
Although the last, not least in our dear love."
The same expression occurs more than once in plays exhibited before the time of Shakspeare. MALONE.
Pardon me, Julius !-Here wast thou bay'd, brave
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand, Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe o. O world! thou wast the forest to this hart;
And this, indeed, O world, the heart of thee.How like a deer, stricken by many princes,
Dost thou here lie?
CAS. Mark Antony,-
Pardon me, Caius Cassius:
The enemies of Cæsar shall say this;
CAS. I blame you not for praising Cæsar so ;
ANT. Therefore I took your hands; but was, indeed, Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Cæsar. Friends am I with you all, and love you all : Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons, Why, and wherein, Cæsar was dangerous.
BRU. Or else were this a savage spectacle:
Our reasons are so full of good regard,
*First folio, hart.
8 - crimson'd in thy LETHE.] Lethe is used by many of the old translators of novels, for death; and in Heywood's Iron Age,
Part II. 1632:
"The proudest nation that great Asia nurs'd,
'Again, in Cupid's Whirligig, 1616:
"For vengeance' wings bring on thy lethal day." Dr. Farmer observes, that we meet with lethal for deadly in the information for Mungo Campbell. STEEVENS.
9 FRIENDS am I with you all, &c.] This grammatical impropriety is still so prevalent, as that the omission of the anomalous S, would give some uncouthness to the sound of an otherwise familiar expression. HENLEY.
That's all I seek:
And am moreover suitor, that I may
Brutus, a word with you1. You know not what you do; Do not consent,
That Antony speak in his funeral:
Know you how much the people may be mov'd
By your pardon ;I will myself into the pulpit first,
And show the reason of our Cæsar's death:
CAS. I know not what may fall; I like it not.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
I do desire no more.
Be it so;
Brutus, a word WITH YOU.] With you is an apparent interpolation of the players. In Act IV. Sc. II. they have retained the elliptical phrase which they have here destroyed at the expence of
"He is not doubted.-A word, Lucilius-." STEEvens.