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And graves have yawn'd and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol ;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets,
O Cæsar! these things are beyond all use, 25

And I do fear them.

What can be avoided
Whose end is purpos'd by the mighty gods?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth; for these predictions


19. fight] Ff; fought Grant White, Dyce; did fight Keightley. hurtled) Fr; hurried F 2, 3, 4. 23. did neigh] F 2, 3, 4; do neigh F i.

19. fight upon the clouds] Compare correction is supported by the later Georgics, i. 474, and P. L. ii. 533 : Folios. As when to warn proud cities 22. hurtled) vividly expresses the war appears

shock of battle. The word is used Waged in the troubled sky, and with effect by Gray in his Fatal armies rush

Sisters : To battle in the clouds ";

“ Iron sleet of arrowy shower which passage is based on the account Hurtles in the darken'd air." given by Josephus of the signs that 24. shriek and squeal] Compare foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, the quotation from Hamlet given

21. drizzled ] used transitively. above. "Squeal,” which in the Red rain, such as lately (April 1901) Merchant of Venice is used of the fell in Italy and other parts of the sound of the fife, expresses the shrill Continent, is mentioned as ominous voice of ghosts. It corresponds to of coming bloodshed in Iliad, xvi. Horace's "triste et acutum” (Sat. 459, and in the Ramayana. The I. viii. 41), and the Homeric TpLSELV change in tense from "fight” to applied to the ghosts, whose voices “drizzled” may be reasonably de- are compared in the Odyssey to the fended. Calpurnia as she spoke voices of bats. could still see, or seemed to see, the 25. beyond all use] entirely unusual, battle in the sky.. The red rain fall- prodigious. ing on the Capitol, which could not 26. What can be avoided] Compare be seen by her, must have been Hamlet, v. ii. 10: announced by a messenger, and might, “ There's a divinity that shapes for anything she knew, have ceased. our ends, The variation of tenses in the first Folio Rough hew them how we will." reading of line 23 may be corrected, 28. Yelj in spite of the signs and as it is much harsher, and admits of wonders mentioned by Calpurnia. no reasonable justification, and as the 28. these predictions) what is fore

Are to the world in general as to Cæsar. Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets seen; 30

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of

Cæs. Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should

Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.


Re-enter Servant.

What say the augurers ? Serv. They would not have you to stir forth to-day.

Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.

40 Cæs. The gods do this in shame of cowardice:

Cæsar should be a beast without a heart
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Cæsar shall not; danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he:

45 told by the prodigies. Cæsar does him to have a guard for the safety not see why the prodigies foreboded of his person, he would never consent evil to him particularly.

to it, but said, it was better to die 31. blaze" forth] express in signs once, than always to be afraid of of fire. Plutarch relates there was a death.” Malone quotes a letter of "great comet which seven nights to- Essex in which he observes that "as gether was seen very bright after he which dieth nobly doth live for Cæsar's death."

ever, so he that doth live in fear doth 32. Cowards die many times] be die continually.” cause, as Isabella says in Measure for 33. taste of death] Compare Matt. Measure, “The sense of death is most xvi. 28. in apprehension," and cowards, as 37. Will come when it will come]an often as they fear death, feel the pangs expression of fatalism. Compare 26,27. of death. Plutarch says that "when 45. more dangerous than he] a some of Cæsar's friends did counsel hyperbole the sense of which will

We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;

And Cæsar shall go forth.

Alas! my lord,
Your wisdom is consum'd in confidence.
Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear

That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house,
And he shall say you are not well to-day:

Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
Cæs. Mark Antony shall say I am not well;

55 And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.


Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so. Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar :

I come to fetch you to the senate-house. 46. are] Capell ; heare F 1, 2; hear F 3, 4; were Theobald. not bear analysis. We may compare also we find two elisions together. such expressions as “Hibernicis We may well suppose that some copyHiberniores” and “plus sages que ist chose to alter “I and he” into les sages.”

"we," but did not draw his pen dis46. We are two lions] This con- tinctly through the “he," which jectural emendation gives good sense, therefore remained in the printed but no explanation is suggested to text. Or possibly the imperfect explain how “are" came to be trans- correction was made by Shakeformed into “heare," the reading of speare's own pen, in which case we the first and second Folios. Is it not should of course accept it. I. probable that the right reading may Schmidt retains the reading of the be "I and he are," pronounced "I'nd Folio, understanding hear" to mean he 're"? The elisions would present "hear of.” It might also be suggested no difficulty, except in so far as they that "hear" is used here as in P. L. give a rough beginning to the line. iii. 7, so that “We hear two lions” For the first we may compare Mac- would mean “We are spoken of or beth, 1II. vi. 14: “Was not this nobly called two lions." But it is highly done ? Ay, and wisely too." For the improbable that Shakespeare should second compare the common "we're” have anticipated Milton's bold Latinand Macbeth, 1. v. 32: "The king ism, which does not seem to occur comes here to-night. Thou’rt mad in any other passage of Elizabethan to say it," and i. ii. 221, where literature.


Cæs. And you are come in very happy time

To bear my greeting to the senators,
And tell them that I will not come to-day:
Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser;

I will not come to-day : tell them so, Decius.
Cal. Say he is sick.

Shall Cæsar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far
To be afeard to tell greybeards the truth ?

Decius, go tell them Cæsar will not come.
Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so. 70 Cæs. The cause is in my will: I will not come;

That is enough to satisfy the senate:
But for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know:
Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home: 75
She dream'd to-night she saw my statue,
Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans

Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it. 76. to-night] Ff; last night Rowe, Pope ; statue,] Ff; stalua, Steevens, Dyce.

60. in very happy time] most oppor 76. statue] must here, as in 111. ii. tunely. Compare Othello, ii. i. 32. 195, be pronounced as a trisyllable.

76. to-night) here as in in. iii. In Richard III. 111. vii. 25 we find I means the night just past. This the trisyllabic plural : "But like is in accordance with the Jewish mode dumb statues or breathing stones.” of reckoning the day from sunset to Beaumont has the plural ** statuas," sunset. Compare Genesis i. 5 and adding the English suffix to the Latin Merchant of Venice, II. v. 18 : "For form. In Bacon the plural takes the I did dream of money-bags to-night,” form of “statuæs." These forms, where this use of "to-night” is intermediate between the Latin and appropriately put in the mouth of a the final English form, are due to the Jew. "If Lúcius reckoned thus, we fact that the word was not perfectly have a further explanation of “fifteen” naturalised in the English language in in i. 59.

Shakespeare's time.


And these does she portents,

apply for warnings and 8O

And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begg'd that I will stay at home to-day.

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In which so many smiling Romans bath'd,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.

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81. And] Ff; of Capell, Warburton.

80, 81. portents, And evils] hendiadys for “portents of evils.” Compare P. L. x. 346, “joy and tidings” = tidings of joy.

83. all amiss] Compare the double interpretation of the dream of Polycrates in Herodotus. Plutarch says that Calpurnia in her sleep “deemed that Caesar was slain.” He also tells us that, according to Livy, “the Senate having set upon the top of Caesar's house, for an ornament and setting forth of the same, a certain pinnacle, Calpurnia dreamed that she saw it broken down, and that she thought she lamented and wept for it.”

89. tinctures, etc.] “There are two allusions; one to coats armorial, to which princes make additions, or give new tinctures and new marks of cognizance; the other to martyrs, whose relics are preserved with veneration. The Romans, says Decius, all come to you, as to a saint, for relics; as to a prince, for honours.” So Johnson. Compare the expression “fountain of honour,” commonly

applied to the sovereign. Malone and Steevens suppose that the allusion in “tinctures and stains” is to the practice of dipping handkerchiefs in the blood of martyrs or other revered leaders when executed. Compare III. ii. 141. But this would imply that Caesar's blood was shed and be in accordance with the interpretation of the dream which Decius is trying to prove wrong. Perhaps Decius by a kind of dramatic irony is represented as against his will speaking like a true prophet, although he began with the deliberate intention of making a false prophecy. Compare the story of Balaam in the Bible. In the line under consideration “cognizance” suggests the heraldic interpretation, “stains” and “relics.” suggest the idea of preserving handkerchiefs red with blood and other relics of one slain, while “tinctures” will suit either interpretation about equally well. “Cognizance" can hardly bear the meaning of memento, which is given to the word in Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon.

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