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That's all I seek:
And am moreover suitor, that I may
BRU. You shall, Mark Antony.
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. BRU. Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar's body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
I do desire no more.
Be it so ;
I 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.
BRι Prepare the body then, and follow us. [Exeunt all but ANTONY. ANT. O, pardon me, thou piece of bleeding
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man,
That ever lived in the tide of times 2.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
2 in the TIDE of times.] That is, in the course of times.
3 Over thy wounds now do I prophecy,Which, like dumb mouths, &c.] (So, in A Warning for Faire Women, a tragedy, 1599:
I gave him fifteen wounds,
"Which now be fifteen mouths that do accuse me :
"Which will all speak although he hold his peace."
4 A curse shall light upon the LIMBS of men ;] We should read
i. e. human race.
line of men;"
word lymm easily made the change. JOHNSON.
Antony means that a future curse shall commence in distempers seizing on the limbs of men, and be succeeded by commotion, cruelty, and desolation over Italy. So, in Phaer's version of the third Eneid:
"The skies corrupted were, that trees and corne destroyed to nought,
"And limmes of men consuming rottes," &c.
Sign. E. 1. edit. 1596. STEEVEns. By men the speaker means not mankind in general, but those Romans whose attachment to the cause of the conspirators, or wish
Domestick fury, and fierce civil strife,
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
That mothers shall but smile, when they behold
to revenge Cæsar's death, would expose them to wounds in the civil wars which Antony supposes that event would give rise to.— The generality of the curse here predicted, is limited by the subsequent words," the parts of Italy," and "in these confines." MALONE.
5 And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge, &c.]
umbraque erraret Crassus inulta." Lucan, 1. i. Fatalem populis ultro poscentibus horam
Admovet atra dies; Stygiisque emissa tenebris
Stat. Theb. viii.
Furiæ rapuerunt licia Parcis. Ibid. STEEVENS. Cry, HAVOCK,] A'learned correspondent [Sir William Blackstone] has informed me, that, in the military operations of old times, havock was the word by which declaration was made, that no quarter should be given. In a tract intitled, The Office of the Constable and Mareschall in the Tyme of Werre, contained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is the following chapter: of hym that crieth havock and of them that follow
eth hym, etit. v."
"Item Si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui vocatur Havok."
"Also that no man be so hardy to crye Havok upon peyne that he that is begynner shall be deede therefore: & the remanent that doo the same or folow, shall lose their horse & harneis: and the persones of such as foloweth and escrien shall be under arrest of the Conestable and Mareschall warde unto tyme that they have made fyn; and founde suretie no morr to offende; and his body in prison at the Kyng will.” JOHNSON.
See Coriolanus, Act III. Sc. I. MALONE.
7-let SLIP- This is a term belonging to the chase. Man
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Cæsar, do you not?
ANT. Cæsar did write for him to come to Rome. SERV. He did receive his letters, and is coming: And bid me say to you by word of mouth,
SERV. He lies to-night within seven leagues of
ANT. Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc'd:
66 that when any
wood, in his Forest Laws, c. xx. s. 9, says: pourallee man doth find any wild beasts of the forest in his pourallee, that is in his owne freehold lands, that he hath within the pourallee, he may let slippe his dogges after the wild beastes, and hunt and chase them there," &c. REED.
Slips were contrivances of leather by which greyhounds were restrained till the necessary moment of their dismission. See King Henry V. Act III. Sc. I. STEEVENS.
To let slip a dog at a deer, &c. was the technical phrase of Shakspeare's time. So, in Coriolanus :
"Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
"To let him slip at will."
By the dogs of war, as Mr. Tollet has elsewhere observed, Shakspeare probably meant fire, sword, and famine. So, in King Henry V. Chorus to Act I.:
"Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
"Assume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
"Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire,
The same observation is made by Steele, in the Tatler, No. 137.
FOR mine eyes,] Old copy from mine eyes. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet, stay a while
The cruel issue of these bloody men ;
[Exeunt, with CESAR'S Body.
The Same. The Forum.
Enter BRUTUS and Cassius, and a Throng of Citizens.
CIT. We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied. BRU. Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
Cassius, go you into the other street,
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let them stay here; Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And publick reasons shall be rendered
Of Cæsar's death.
I will hear Brutus speak.
2 CIT. I will hear Cassius; and compare their
9 No Rome of safety, &c.] If Shakspeare meant to quibble on the words Rome and room, in this and a former passage, he is at least countenanced in it by other authors.
So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1638:
You shall have my room,
My Rome indeed, for what I seem to be,
"Brutus is not, but born great Rome to free." STEEVENS.