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Julius Caesar

I.i.20 (4,2) Mar. What meanest thou by that?] [Theobald gave this speech to Flavius] I have replaced Marullus, who might properly enough reply to a saucy sentence directed to his colleague, and to whom the speech was probably given, that he might not stand too long unemployed upon the stage.

I.ii.25 (7,5) [Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and Train] I have here inserted the word Sennet, from the original edition, that I may have an opportunity of retracting a hasty conjecture in one of the marginal directions in Henry VIII. Sennet appears to be a particular tune or mode of martial musick.

I.ii.35 (8,6) You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.

I.ii.39 (8,7) Vexed I am,/Of late, with passions of some difference] With a fluctation of discordant opinions and desires.

I.ii.73 (9,9) To stale with ordinary oaths my love/To every new protester] To invite every new protestor to my affection by the stale or allurement of customary oaths.

I.ii.87 (10,1) And I will look on both indifferently] Dr. Warburton has a long note on this occasion, which is very trifling. When Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets honour above life. Is not this natural?

I.ii.160 (12,6) eternal devil] I should think that our author wrote rather, infernal devil.

I.ii.171 (13,7) chew upon this] Consider this at leisure; ruminate on this.

I.ii.186 (13,8) Looks with such ferret, and such fiery eyes] A ferret has red eyes.

I.ii.268 (16,2) a man of any occupation] Had I been a mechanick, one of the Plebeians to whom he offered his threat.

I.ii.313 (17,3) Thy honourable metal may be wrought/From what it is dispos'd] The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution.

I.ii.318 (17,4) If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,/He should not humour me] The meaning, I think, is this, Caesar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles.

I.iii.1 (18,5) brought you Caesar home?] Did you attend Caesar home?

I.iii.3 (18,6) sway of earth] The whole weight or momentum of this globe.

I.iii.21 (19,7) Who glar'd upon me] The first edition reads,

Who glaz'd upon me,--

Perhaps, Who gaz'd upon me.

I.iii.64 (20,8) Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. This line might perhaps be more properly placed after the next line.

Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; Why all these things change from their ordinance.

I.iii.65 (20,9) and children calculate] [Shakespeare, with his usual liberty, employs the species [calculate] for the genus foretel]. WARB.] Shakespeare found the liberty established. To calculate a nativity, is the technical term.

I.iii.l14 (22,2) My answer must be made] I shall be called to account, and must answer as for seditious words.

I.iii.117 (22,3) Hold my hand] Is the same as, Here's my hand.

I.iii.118 (22,4) Be factious for redress] Factious seems here to mean active.

I.iii.129 (23,5) It favours, like the work] The old edition reads,

It favours, like the work--

I think we should read,

In favour's, like the work we have in hand, Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Favour is look, countenance, appearance. (rev. 1778, VIII, 25, 7)

II.i.19 (25,6) Remorse from power] [Remorse, for mercy. WARB.] Remorse (says the Author of the Ravisal) signifies the conscious uneasiness arising from a sense of having done wrong; to extinguish which feeling, nothing hath so great a tendency as absolute uncontrouled power.

I think Warbuton right. (1773)

II.i.21 (25,7) common proof] Common experiment.

II.i.26 (25,8) base degrees] Low steps.

II.i.33 (26,9) as his kind] According to his nature.

II.i.63 (27,3)

Between the acting of a dreadful thing, And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream: The genius, and the mortal instruments Are then in council; and the state of man, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection]

The [Greek: deinon] of the Greek critics does not, I think, mean sentiments which raise fear, more than wonder, or any other of the tumultuous passions; [Greek: to deinon] is that which strikes, which astonishes, with the idea either of some great subject, or of the author's abilities.

Dr. Warburton'a pompous criticism might well have been shortened. The genius is not the genius of a kingdom, nor are the instruments, conspirators. Shakespeare is describing what passes in a single bosom, the insurrection which a conspirator feels agitating the little kingdom of his own mind; when the Genius, or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal instruments, the passions, which excite him to a deed of honour and danger, are in council and debate; when the desire of action and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and disturbance.

II.i.76 (29,5) any mark of favour] Any distinction of countenance.

II.i.83 (30,6) For if thou path thy native semblance on] If thou walk in thy true form.

II.i.114 (31,7) No, not an oath. If not the face of men] Dr. Warburten would read fate of men; but his elaborate emendation is, I think, erroneous. The face of men is the countenance, the regard, the esteem of the publick; in other terms, honour and reputation; or the face of men may mean the dejected look of the people.

He reads, with the other modern editions,

--If that the face of men,

but the old reading is,

--if not the face, &c.

II.i.129 (32,1) Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous] This is imitated by Utway,

When you would bind me, is there need of oaths? &c. Venice preserved.

II.i.187 (34,2) take thought] That is, turn melancholy.

II.i.196 (34,3) Quite from the main opinion he held once] Main opinion, is nothing more than leading, fixed, predominant opinion.

II.i.225 (36,6) Let not our looks put on our purposes] Let not our faces put on, that is, wear or show our designs.

II.ii.36 (42,3) death, a necessary end,/Will come, when it will come] This is a sentence derived from the Stoical doctrine of predestination, and is therefore improper in the mouth of Caesar.

II.ii.41 (42,4) The Gods do this in shame of cowardice:/Caesar should be a beast without a heart] The ancients did not place courage but wisdom in the heart.

II.ii.88 (44,7) and that great men shall press/For tinctures, stains, relicks, and cognisance] [Warburton conjectured some lines lost] I am not of opinion that any thing is lost, and have therefore marked no omission. This speech, which is intentionally pompous, is somewhat confused. There are two allusions; one to coats armorial, to which princes make additions, or give new tinctures, and new marks of cognisance; the other to martyrs, whose reliques are preserved with veneration. The Romans, says Brutus, all come to you as to a saint, for reliques, as to a prince, for honours.

II.ii.104 (45,8) And reason to my love is liable] And reason, or propriety of conduct and language, is subordinate to my love.

II.iii.16 (47,9) the fates with traitors do contrive] The fates join with traitors in contriving thy destruction.

III.i.38 (51,2) And turn pre-ordinance and first decree/Into the lane of children] I do not veil understand what is meant by the lane of children. I should read, the law of children. It was, change pre-ordinance and decree into the law of children; into such slight determinations as every start of will would alter. Lane and laws in some manuscripts are not easily distinguished.

III.i.67 (52,4) apprehensive] Susceptible of fear, or other passions.

III.i.68 (52,5) but one] One, and only one.

III.i.69 (52,6) holds on his rank] Perhaps, holds on his race; continues his course. We commonly say, To hold a rank, and To hold on a course or way.

III.i.75 (52,7) Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?] I would read, Do not Brutus bootless kneel!

III.i.152 (55,9) Who else must be let blood, who else is rank] Who else may be supposed to have overtopped his equals, and grown too high for the public safety.

III.i.257 (59,3) in the tide of times] That is, in the course of times.

III.i.262 (60,4) A curse shall light upon the limbs of men] Hanmer reads,

--kind of men.

I rather think it should be,

--the lives of men.

unless we read,

--these lymms of men;

That is, these bloodhounds of men. The uncommonness of the word lymm easily made the change.

III.i.273 (60,5) Cry Havock] A learned correspondent 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 Conestable & Mareschall in the Tyme of Werre, contained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is the following chapter:

"The peyne of hym that crieth havock and of them that followeth hym. etit. v."

"Item Si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui vecatur Havok."

"Also that no man be so hardy to crye Havok upon peyne that he that is begynner shal be deede therefore: & the remanent that doo the same or folow shall lose their horse & harneis: and the persones of such as foloweth & escrien shal be under arrest of the Conestable & Mareschall warde unto tyme that they have made fyn; & founde suretie no morr to offende; & his body in prison at the Kyng wylle.--"

III.ii.116 (66,8) Caesar has had great wrong] [Pope has a rather ridiculous note on this] I have inserted this note, because it is Pope's, for it is otherwise of no value. It is strange that he should so much forget the date of the copy before him, as to think it not printed in Jonson's time. (see 1765, VII, 81, 1)

III.ii.126 (68,9) And none so poor] The meanest man is now too high to do reverence to Caesar.

III.ii.192 (68,2)

And, in his mantle muffling up his face, Even at the base of Pompey's statue, Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell. O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!]

[Warburton suggested transposing the second and third of these lines] The image seems to be, that the blood of Caesar flew upon the statue, and trickled down it. And the exclamation,

O what a fall was there--

follows better after

-great Caesar fell,

than with a line interposed, (see 1765, VII, 64, 3)

III.ii.226 (70,4) For I have neither writ] The old copy reads instead of wit,

For I have neither writ, nor words,--

which may mean, I have no penned and premeditated oration.

IV.ii.4 (77,1)

Your master, Pindarus, In his own change, or by ill officers, Hath given me some worthy cause to wish Things done, undone]

[W: own charge] The arguments for the change proposed are insufficient. Brutus could not but know whether the wrongs committed were done by those who were immediately under the command of Cassius, or those under his officers. The answer of Brutus to the servant is only an act of artful civility; his question to Lucilius proves, that his suspicion still continued. Yet I cannot but suspect a corruption, and would read,

In his own change, or by ill offices.

That is, either changing his inclination of himself, or by the ill offices and bad influences of others. (see 1765, VII, 71, 8)

IV.iii.30 (80,4) To hedge me in] That is, to limit my authority by your direction or censure.

IV.iii.32 (80,5) To make conditions] That is, to know on what terms it is fit to confer the offices which are at my disposal.

IV.iii.86 (82,7)

A friend should bear a friend's infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are. Bru.: I do not, till you practise them on me]

The meaning is this; I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and mention them with vehemence, when you force them into my notice, by practising them on me. (see 1765, VII, 77, 6)

IV.iii.100 (53,8)

There is my dagger, And here my naked breast; within, a heart Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold: If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth]

[W: thou needst a Roman's,] I am not satisfied with the change proposed, yet cannot deny, that the words, as they now stand, require some interpretation. I think he means only, that he is so far from Avarice, when the cause of his country requires liberality, that if any man should wish for his heart, he would not need enforce his desire any otherwise, than by showing that he was a Roman.

V.i.5 (92,5) They mean to warn as at Philippi here] To warn, seems to mean here the same as to alarm. Hanmer reads,

They mean to wage us.

V.i.43 (93,6) While damned Casca, like a cur behind, Struck Caesar on the neck] Casca struck Caesar on the neck, coming like a degenerate cur behind him.

V.i.100 (96,2)

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, For fear of what might fall, so to prevent The time of life:) arming myself with patience]

Dr. Warburton thinks, that in this speech something is lost, but there needed only a parenthesis to clear it. The construction is this; I an determined to act according to that philosophy which directed me to blame the suicide of Cato, arming myself with patience.

V.iv.12 (102,6) Luc. Only I yield to die:/There is so much, that then wilt kill me straight] Dr. Warburton has been much inclined to find lacunae, or passages broken by omission, throughout this play. I think he has been always mistaken. The soldier here says, Yield, or thou diest. Lucilius replies, I yield only on this condition, that I may die; here is so much gold as thou seest in my hand, which I offer thee as a reward for speedy death. What now is there wanting?

(106) General Observation. Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakespeare's plays; his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius.

Samuel Johnson

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