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Now sit we close about this taper here,
And call in question our necessities.
Cas. Portia! art thou gone?


No more, I pray you.→
Messala, I have here received letters,
That young Octavius, and Mark Antony,
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expedition toward Philippi.

Mes. Myself have letters of the self-same tenour.
Bru. With what addition?

Mes. That by proscription, and bills of outlawry,
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus,

Have put to death an hundred senators.

Bru. Therein our letters do not well agree;
Mine speak of seventy senators, that died
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
Cas. Cicero one?


Ay, Cicero is dead,

And by that order of proscription.—

Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?

Bru. No, Messala.

Mes. Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
Bru. Nothing, Messala.


That, methinks, is strange.

Bru. Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?

Mes. No, my lord.

Bru. Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.

Mes, Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell:

For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.

Bru. Why, farewel, Portia.-We must die, Messala: With meditating that she must die once,1

I have the patience to endure it now.

Mes. Even so great men great losses should endure. Cas. I have as much of this in art as you,

But yet my nature could not bear it so.

9 Ay, Cicero is dead,] For the insertion of the affirmative adverb,

to complete the verse, I am answerable. Steevens.


once,] i. e. at some time or other. So, in The Merry Wives

of Windsor:

I pray, thee once to-night

"Give my sweet Nan this ring."

See Vol. III, p. 109, n. 3 Steevens.


in art] That is, in theory. Malone.

Bru. Well, to our work alive. What do you think Of marching to Philippi presently?

Cas. I do not think it good.



Your reason?

This it is:3

"Tis better, that the enemy seek us:

So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
Doing himself offence; whilst we, lying still,

Are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness.

Bru. Good reasons must, of force, give place to better. The people, 'twixt Philippi and this ground,

Do stand but in a forc'd affection;

For they have grudg'd us contribution :

The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encourag'd;
From which advantage shall we cut him off,
If at Philippi we do face him there,

These people at our back.


Hear me, good brother.

Bru. Under your pardon.-You must note beside,
That we have try'd the utmost of our friends,

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day,

We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide4 in the affairs of men,

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,

3 This it is:] The overflow of the metre, and the disagreeable clash of it is, with 'Tis at the beginning of the next line, are almost proofs that our author only wrote, with a common ellipsis,—This :— Steevens.

4 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 sieze it," &c. Steevens. A similar sentiment is found in Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois, 1607: "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:

Or lose our ventures.


Then, with your will, go on; 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 Luc.] Farewel, 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!5
Let it not, Brutus.


Every thing is well.
Cas. Good night, my lord.

Good night, good brother.

Farewel, every one.

Tit. Mes. Good night, lord Brutus.

[Exeunt CAS. TIT. and MES.

Re-enter LUCIUS, with the Gorn.

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 plea


Bru. I will not have it so: lie down, good sirs;

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

"And never come mischance between us twain." Steevens.

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 it please you.


It does, my boy:
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 down,
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think. [He sits down
Enter the Ghost of CESAR.

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

6 thy leaden mace-] A mace is the ancient term for a scep tre. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584:

66 look upon my stately grace,

"Because the pomp that 'longs to Juno's mace," &c. Steevens. Shakspeare probably remembered Spenser in his Fairy Queen, B, I, cant. iv, st. 44:

"When as Morpheus had with leaden mase,

"Arrested all that courtly company." H. White.

7 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. Steevens.

Ghost. Thy evil spirit, Brutus.


Why com'st thou?

Ghost. To tell thee, thou shalt see me at Philippi.

Bru. Well;

Then I shall see thee again?8


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!—

8 Then I shall see thee again?] Shakspeare has on this occa sion deserted his original. It does not appear from Plutarch that the Ghost of Cesar appeared to Brutus, but a wonderful straunge and monstruous shape of a body." This apparition could not be at once the shade of Casar, 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 beeing 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, Well, I shall see thee then. Therewithall the spirit presently vanished from him.”

It is manifest from the words above printed in Italics, that Shakspeare had this passage in his thoughts 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 appearances. See King Richard III, Vol. XI, p. 180, n. 7. Steevens.

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