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Join'd with a masker and a reveller.
Ant. Old Cassius still!

Come, Antony; away!
Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;

65 If not, when you have stomachs.

[Exeunt Octavius, Antony, and their Army. Cas. Why now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark !

The storm is up, and all is on the hazard. Bru. Ho!

Lucilius, hark, a word with you. Lucil.

My lord !

70 [Brutus and Lucilius talk apart. Cas. Messala ! Mes. What says my general ?

This is my birth-day; as this very day
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala :
Be thou my witness that against my will,
As Pompey was, am I compellid to set



63. Old Cassius still!] Cassius is still 71. my general] Plutarch relates the same man as he was of old. See that even in the days of the empire 1. ii. 200, 201; 3 Henry VI. v. i. 47. Messala spoke of Cassius as "my

66. stomachs] inclination. Com- general.” See also Tacitus, Annals, pare Henry V. iv. iii. 35:

IV. xxxiv, 6. "he which hath no stomach 72. as] For this redundant use of to this fight

"as," with adverbial expressions of Let him depart.”

time, which still survives in " as yet," 70. a word with you] We do not see Abbott, sec. 114, and Dowden's know what Brutus had to say to note on Romeo and Juliet, v. iii. 247, Lucilius, as Shakespeare gives us the "That he should hither come as this conversation between Cassius and dire night." Messala which took place at the same 75. As Pompey was] sc. at Phartime, and the conditions of dramatic salia, where the nobles persuaded him representation do not allow two con- to give battle against his better judgversations to be heard at once. Com- ment. Shakespeare here follows pare 11. i. 100.

closely the words of North's Plutarch:

Upon one battle all our liberties.
You know that I held Epicurus strong,
And his opinion; now I change my mind,
And partly credit things that do presage.
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign 80
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch'd,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands;
Who to Philippi here consorted us :
This morning are they fled away and gone,
And in their steads

steads do ravens, crows, and kites

Fly o'er our heads, and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
Mes. Believe not so.

I but believe it partly,
For I am fresh of spirit and resolv'd


“Messala, I protest unto thee, and Epicureans did not believe in omens make thee my witness that I am and portents. compelled against my mind and will 78. his opinion] his disbelief in all (as Pompey the Great was) to jeopard kinds of ornens. the liberty of our country to the 80. former ensign] the ensign of hazard of a battle."

the vanguard, which Cassius com75. set] = North's “ jeopard.” manded. See iv. iii. 306. Plutarch Compare Richard III. v. iv. 9: says that the eagles lighted on “two “ I have set my life upon

of their foremost ensigns.” a cast,

85. ravens) birds of ill omen, as in

For their antici. And I will stand the hazard of Othello, iv. i. 21. the die.”

pation of the death of their prey,

compare King John, iv. iii. 153. 77. You] The change from “thy” 86. Fly o'er our heads) Compare (73) and “thou” (74) to "you" is Henry V. iv. ii. 51 : justified by the fact that Cassius is “And their executors the knavish

not making an impassioned crows, appeal to a beloved friend, but only Fly o'er them all impatient for explaining his state of mind.

their hour." 77. I held Epicurus strong] I held 87. As] as if. But see Abbott, firmly the opinion of Epicurus, The

sec. 107.


To meet all perils very constantly.
Bru. Even so, Lucilius.

Now, most noble Brutus,
The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age ! 95
But since the affairs of men rests still incertain,
Let's reason with the worst that may befall.
If we do lose this battle, then is this
The very last time we shall speak together :
What are you then determined to do?

Ιοο Bru. Even by the rule of that philosophy

By which I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself, I know not how,

But I do find it cowardly and vile, 92. perils] F 1; peril F 2, 3, 4. 96. rests] Ff, rest Rowe and later editors. 103. how,) how : Ff.

92. constantly] firmly. See 11. i. Cassius asks, “What art thou then 227.

determined to do ?” 93. Even so, Lucilius] Brutus refers 101. Even by the rule, etc.) in to the instructions that he has been accordance with the philosophical giving to Lucilius while Cassius was principles that made me condemn speaking to Messala.

Cato, I somehow regard it as cowardly 94. stand) subjunctive used optat- to anticipate the hour of death, ively.

and I fortify myself with patience 96. rests] For “rest” in the sense to wait for the time of death appointed of the Latin resto, remain, compare by the higher powers. This answer Othello, v. ii. 335 : Close prisoner implies that even if the battle is lost, rest." For the suffix "s," see note Brutus will not think himself justified on 1. iii. 138. Many editors in such in committing suicide. Johnson makes passages regard the “s” as a mis- Brutus reply more directly to the quesprint. But sometimes the suffix is tion put to him. He regards “I know required by the rhyme, as in Macbeth, not how ... time of life " as a parenII. i. 59, 60:

thesis, and makes "to stay " depend “While I threat he lives :

not upon “patience," but upon "I Words to the heat of deeds too am determined”. understood from cold breath gives."

line 100: If this is the construction

intended, we must put a comma after 97. Let's reason, etc.] let us con- "patience.” sider what is to be done if the worst 102.) See Appendix. shall happen.

102. Cato] the younger, whose 100.] This line is almost word for suicide at Utica forms the subject of word from North's Plutarch, in which Addison's drama.

For fear of what might fall, so to prevent 105
The time of life, arming myself with patience
To stay the providence of some high powers

That govern us below.

Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Thorough the streets of Rome?

I10 Bru. No, Cassius, no: think not, thou noble Roman,

That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind: but this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again I know not. 115
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius !
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;

If not, why then this parting was well made.
Cas. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus !

I20 If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed;

If not, 'tis true this parting was well made. 106. life,) Ff, life ; Theobald. 107. some] Ff; those Craik, Collier MS. 110. Rome ?] Theobald, Rome. Ff. 114. the] F 1; that F 2, 3, 4.

105. For fear of what might fall] vidential rule of the gods, but did Compare Sidney's Arcadia, Book iv.: not accept the gods of the popular The killing of one's self is but a mythology. For this use of “ stay,” false colour of true courage, proceed. compare Othello, iv. ii. 170: The ing rather of a fear of further evil, messengers of Venice stay the meat.” either of torment or shame."

114. Must end that work) Brutus 105, 106. prevent The time of life] does not intend to commit suicide. anticipate the full time of life, the He thinks that he will either be killed completion of life. Capell and Collier's in battle or gain a glorious victory. MS. corrector read "term of life,” It is part of his punishment, that he which is easier.

is eventually driven to kill himself in 107. stay the providence] wait for spite of his philosophical condemnathe time determined by the wisdom of tion of suicide. the higher powers. "Some" indi- 118. smile] sc, at the useless solemcates the indefiniteness of the concep- nity of our leave-taking. Compare II. tions of the gods held by the Platonists i. 191, and Æneid, i. 203 : and Stoics, who believed in the pro- et hæc olim meminisse juvabit.”


Bru. Why then, lead on. O! that a man might know

The end of this day's business ere it come;
But it sufficeth that the day will end,

125 And then the end is known. Come, ho! away!


SCENE II.-The Same.

The Field of Battle.



Bru. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills
Unto the legions on the other side. (Loud alarum.

Let them set on at once, for I perceive
But cold demeanour in Octavius' wing,
And sudden push gives them the overthrow. 5
Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.


SCENE III.-Another Part of the Field.



Cas. O ! look, Titinius, look, the villains fly:

Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy ;
This ensign here of mine was turning back;

Scene II.

4. Octavius'] Octavio's Ff.

123. O! that a man, etc.) Compare 4. cold demeanour] a deficiency of 2 Henry IV. 111. i. 45: “O Heaven, warlike spirit. that one might read the book of 4. Octavius] This is the only place fate."

in the text in which the Folios have

“ Octavio" instead of “Octavius." Scene 11.

See note on i. ii. 3. 1. bills) written orders. See Plut. arch's account of the battle.

Scene III. 2. the legions on the other side] those under Cassius who commanded 3. ensign] may

either the left wing.

“standard - bearer or "standard"


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