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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 shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol: his glory not extenuated, 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 lover for the
-as I slew my best lover-) So, in Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. II.:
I tell thee, fellow, “ The general is my lover.” So, in the Merchant of Venice, vol. v. p. 97 : “ How dear a lover of my lord
husband.” Again, in the same play, p. 99:
· Being the bosom lover of my lord.” Malone. This term, which cannot but sound disgustingly to modern ears, as here applied, Mr. Malone considers (see Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. II.) as the language of Shakspeare'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
good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself
, when it shall please my country to need my death.
Cit. Live, Brutus, live ! live! 1 Cır. Bring him with triumph home unto his
house. 2 Crt. Give him a statue with his ancestors. 3 Crt. Let him be Cæsar. 4 Cit.
Cæsar's better parts Shall now be crown'd in Brutus
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 loved ; 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 Lycurgus did not copy this instruction from the practice observed in Crete, thinking without doubt such an example of too dangerous a tendency.” See Strabo, 1. x. REED.
In my note on the passage quoted from The Merchant of Venice, vol. v. p. 99, I have already produced the contemporary authority of Ben Jonson in a letter to Dr. Donne. Again, in his Discoveries (vol. ix. p. 118, Gifford's edit.]: “Many foolish lovers wish the same to their friends which their enemies would.” Again, the Dedication of his Silent Woman to Sir Francis Stuart, concludes, “ Your unprofitable but true lover.” Again, in Lupsette's Exhortation to Yonge Men, 1538 : My good Withepol (Edmund Withepol,] take heed to my lesson. I am in doubte whether you have any other lover that can and wyll shewe you a like tale.” I could add a multitude of other quotations to the same effect ; but Mr. Reed's whimsical fancy of the term being borrowed from North’s Plutarch, is, I trust, already sufficiently overthrown. Malone.
3 Shall now be crown'd in Brutus.] As the present hemistich, without some additional syllable, is offensively unmetrical, the adverb-now, which was introduced by Sir Thomas Hanmer, is here admitted. STEEVENS.
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, And, for my sake, stay here with Antony: Do grace to Cæsar's corpse, and grace his speech Tending to Cæsar's glories ; which Mark Antony, By our permission, is allow'd to make. I do entreat you, not a man depart, Save I alone, till Antony have spoke. [Erit.
1 Cır. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
3 Cır. 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 ст.
He says, for Brutus' sake, He 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 Cir.
Nay, that's certain : We are bless'd, that Rome is rid of him.
2 Cit. Peace; let us hear what Antony can say. Ant. You gentle Romans, Cit.
Peace, ho ! let us hear him. Ant. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me
your ears ;
BEHOLDEN to you.] Throughout the old copies of Shakspeare, and many other ancient authors, beholden is corruptly spelt---beholding.' STEEVENS.
He says, for Brutus' sake,] Here we have another line rendered irregular, by the interpolated and needless words—“ He says-" Steevens.
So let it be with Cæsar. The noble Brutus
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;
1 Cor. Methinks, there is much reason in his
sayings. 2 Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong. 3 Cir.
Has he, masters ? I fear, there will a worse come in his place. 4 Cır. 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. 2 Cır. Poor soul ! his eyes are red as fire with
weeping 3 Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than
Antony. 4 Crt. Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
Ant. But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might Have stood against the world : now lies he there, And none so poor’ to do him reverence. O masters ! if I were dispos'd to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cæsar, I found it in his closet, 'tis his will : Let but the commons hear this testament, (Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,) And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds,
from Daniel is little more than an imitation of part of Dido's speech in the second Æneid, v. 28 et seq. :
STEEVENS. ? And none so poor -] The meanest man is now too high to do
reverence to Cæsar. Johnson. VOL. XII.