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Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;

And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.


Then, with your will, go o ́; We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi. BRU. The deep of night is crept upon our talk, And nature must obey necessity;

Which we will niggard with a little rest.

There is no more to say ?


No more. Good night;

Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence.

BRU. Lucius, my gown. [Exit LUCIUS.] Farewell, good Messala ;

Good night, Titinius :-Noble, noble Cassius,

Good night, and good repose.


O my dear brother!

This was an ill beginning of the night:

Never come such division 'tween our souls!

Let it not, Brutus.

5 There is a tide, &c.] This passage is poorly imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Custom of the Country:

"There is an hour in each man's life appointed

"To make his happiness, if then he seize it," &c.


Beaumont and Fletcher in The Bloody Brother, Act II. Sc. I. have a passage much more nearly resembling the text than that which has been quoted by Mr. Steevens:


Consider then and quickly :

"And like a wise man take the current with you,

"Which once turn'd head, will sink you." BosWELL.

A similar sentiment is found in Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois,


"There is a deep nick in time's restless wheel,

"For each man's good; when which nick comes, it strikes. "So no man riseth by his real merit,

"But when it cries click in his raiser's spirit." MALONE.

6 Never come such division 'tween our souls!] So, in the mock play in Hamlet:


Every thing is well.

CAS. Good night, my lord.

TIT. MES. Good night, lord Brutus.

Good night, good brother.


Farewell, every one.

[Exeunt Cas. TIT. and MES.

Re-enter LUCIUS, with the Gown.

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument ?
Luc. Here in the tent.


What, thou speak'st drowsily?

Poor knave, I blame thee not; thou art o'er-watch'd.
Call Claudius, and some other of my men ;

I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.
Luc. Varro, and Claudius!


VAR. Calls my lord?

BRU. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent, and sleep; It may be, I shall raise you by and by

On business to my brother Cassius.

VAR. So please you, we will stand, and watch your pleasure.

BRU. I will not have it so: lie down, good sirs; It may be, I shall otherwise bethink me:

Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so;
I put it in the pocket of my gown.

[Servants lie down.

Luc. I was sure, your lordship did not give it me. BRU. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,

And touch thy instrument a strain or two?
Luc. Ay, my lord, an't please you.

It does, my boy:

"And never come mischance between us twain."


I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
Luc. It is my duty, sir.

BRU. I should not urge thy duty past thy might; I know, young bloods look for a time of rest. Luc. I have slept, my lord, already.

BRU. It is well done; and thou shalt sleep again; I will not hold thee long: if I do live,

I will be good to thee.

[Musick, and a Song. This is a sleepy tune :-O murd'rous slumber! Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy,


That plays thee musick ?-Gentle knave, good night;

I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.
If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument;
I'll take it from thee; and, good boy, good night.
Let me see, let me see ;-Is not the leaf turn'd



Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.

[He sits down.

Enter the Ghost of CÆSAR.

How ill this taper burns!-Ha! who comes here?

7- thy leaden MACE-] A mace is the ancient term for a sceptre. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584 :

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look upon my stately grace,

"Because the pomp that 'longs to Juno's mace," &c.

Again :

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"Fair Venus' Ceston, than dame Juno's mace." Again, in Marius and Sylla, 1594:


-proud Tarquinius

"Rooted from Rome the sway of kingly mace."

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. x. :


"Who mightily upheld that royal mace." Shakspeare probably remembered Spenser in his Fairy Queen, [as Mr. Upton has observed,] b. i. cant. iv. st. 44 :

"When as Morpheus had with leaden mase,
"Arrested all that courtly company."


8 Let me see, let me see ;] As these words are wholly unmetrical, we may suppose our author meant to avail himself of the common colloquial phrase-" Let's see, let's see."

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I think, it is the weakness of mine eyes,
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me :-Art thou any thing?

Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, That mak'st my blood cold, and my hair to stare? Speak to me, what thou art.

GHOST. Thy evil spirit, Brutus.


Why com'st thou ? GHOST. To tell thee, thou shalt see me at Phi


BRU. Well;

Then I shall see thee again??

9 Then I shall see thee again?] Shakspeare has on this ocsion deserted his original. It does not appear from Plutarch that the Ghost of Cæsar appeared to Brutus, but "a wonderful straunge and monstruous shape of a body." This apparition could not be at once the shade of Cæsar, and the evil genius of Brutus.

"Brutus boldly asked what he was, a god, or a man, and what cause brought him thither. The spirit answered him, I am thy euill spirit, Brutus; and thou shalt see me by the citie of Philippes. Brutus being no otherwise affrayd, replyed againe vnto it: well, then I shall see thee agayne. The spirit presently vanished away; and Brutus called his men vnto him, who tolde him that they heard no noyse, nor sawe any thing at all."

See the story of Cassius Parmensis in Valerius Maximus, lib. i. c. vii. STEEVENS.

The words which Mr. Steevens has quoted, are from Plutarch's Life of Brutus. Shakspeare had also certainly read Plutarch's account of this vision in the Life of Cæsar: "Above all, the ghost that appeared unto Brutus, showed plainly that the goddes were offended with the murther of Cæsar. The vision was thus. Brutus being ready to pass over his army from the citie of Abydos to the other coast lying directly against it, slept every night (as his manner was,) in his tent, and being yet awake, thinking of his affaires, he thought he heard a noyse at his tent-dore, and looking towards the light of the lampe that waxed very dimme, he saw a horrible vision of a man, of a wonderfull greatnes and dreadful looke, which at the first made him marvelously afraid. But when he sawe that it did him no hurt, but stoode by his bedde-side, and said nothing, at length he asked him what he was. The image aunswered him, I am thy ill angel, Brutus, and thou shalt see me by the citie of Philippes. Then Brutus replyed agayne, and said,


Ay, at Philippi.
[Ghost vanishes.

BRU. Why, I will see thee at Philippi then.-
Now I have taken heart, thou vanishest:

Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.—
Boy! Lucius!-Varro! Claudius! Sirs, awake !—

Luc. The strings, my lord, are false.

BRU. He thinks, he still is at his instrument.Lucius, awake.

Luc. My lord!

BRU. Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so cry'dst out?

Luc. My lord, I do not know that I did cry. BRU. Yes, that thou didst: Didst thou see any thing?

Luc. Nothing, my lord.

BRU. Sleep again, Lucius.-Sirrah, Claudius! Fellow thou! awake.

VAR. My lord.

CLAU. My lord.

BRU. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?

VAR. CLAU. Did we, my lord?


Ay; Saw you any thing?

Nor I, my lord.

VAR. No, my lord, I saw nothing.
BRU. Go, and commend me to my brother

Well, I shall see thee then. Therewithall the spirit presently vanished from him."

It is manifest from the words above printed in Italicks, that Shakspeare had in his thoughts this passage, which relates the very event which he describes, as well as the other. MALONE.

That lights grew dim, or burned blue, at the approach of spectres, was a belief which our author might have found examples of in almost every book of his age that treats of supernatural appearSee King Richard III. Act V. Sc. III. STEEVENS.


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