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Another Part of the Field.
Enter BRUTUS, DARDANIUS, CLITUS, STRATO, and VOLUMNIUS.
Bru. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock. Cli. Statilius show'd the torch-light ; but, my lord, He came not back; he is or ta'en, or slain.
Bru. Sit thee down, Clitus: Slaying is the word; It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus.- [Whispering. Cli. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world. Bru. Peace then, no words.
I'll rather kill myself.
1 Statilius show'd the torch-light; &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Furthermore, Brutus thought that there was no great number of men slaine in battell, and to know the trueth of it, there was one called Statilius, that promised to goe through his enemies (for otherwise it was impossible to goe see their campe,) and from thence if all were well, that he woulde lift vp a torch light in the ayer, and then returne againe with speed to him. The torche-light was lift vp as he had promised, for Statilius went thither. Nowe Brutus seeing Statilius tarie long after that, and that he came not again, he say'd: if Statilius be aliue, he will come againe. But his euil fortune was suche, that as he came backe, he lighted in his enemies hands, and was slaine. Now, the night being farre spent, Brutus as he sate, bowed towards Clitus one of his men, and told him somewhat in his eare; the other aunswered him not, but fell a weeping. Thereupon he proued Dardanus, and sayd somewhat also to him: at length he came to Volumnius him selfe, and speaking to him in Græke, prayed him for the studies sake which brought them acquainted together, that he woulde helpe him to put his hande to his sword, to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied his request, and so did many others and amongest the rest, one of them sayd, there was no tarrying for them there, but that they must needes flie. Then Brutus rising vp, we must flie in deede, sayd he, but it must be with our hands, not with our feete. Then taking euery man by the hand, he sayd these words vnto them with a chearfull countenance. It rejoyceth my hart that not one of my frends hath failed me at my neede, and I do not complaine of my fortune, but only for my contries sake: for, as for me, I thinke my selfe happier than they that have ouercome, considering that I leaue a perpetuall fame of our corage and manhoode, the which our enemies the conquerors shall neuer attaine vnto by force nor money, neither can let their posteritie to say, that they being naughtie and unjust men, haue slaine good men, to vsurpe tyrannical power not pertaining to them. Hauing sayd so, he prayed euery man to shift for them selues, and then he went a litle aside," &c. Steevens.
Cli. What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
That it runs over even at his eyes.
Bru. Come hither, good Volumnius: list a word.
Why, this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Cæsar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night: at Sardis, once;
I know, my hour is come.
Not so, my lord.
Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves,
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
2 I do such a deed?] Old copy-Shall I do &c. Steevens.
my sword hilts.] So in the old copy, and rightly. So, be
fore, p. 114:
with this good sword,
"That ran through Cæsar's bowels, search this bosom.
Again, in The Mirror for Magistrates, 1587:
a naked sword he had,
"That to the hilts was all with blood imbrued."
Mr. Rowe and the other modern editors read, agreeably to the language of the present time,-my sword's hilt. Malone. Thus also, in King Henry V;
"And hides a sword from hilts unto the point" &c. Falstaff also, in King Henry IV, P. I, says: "Seven, by these hilts; I am a villain else." Steevens.
Farewel to thee too, Strato.4-Countrymen,
So, fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
Cli. Fly, my lord, fly.
[Alarum. Cry within; Fly, fly, fly.
[Exeunt CLI. DAR. and VOL.
Hence; I will follow thee.5
I pr'ythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:
Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it :
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Stra. Give me your hand first: Fare you well, my lord. Bru. Farewel, good Strato.-Cæsar, now be still;
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.
[He runs on his Sword and dies. Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA, LUCILIUS, and their Army.
Oct. What man is that?
Mes. My master's man.-Strato, where is thy master? Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala; The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.
Luc. So Brutus should be found.—I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.
Oct. All that serv'd Brutus, I will entertain them."
▲ Farewel to thee too, Strato.] Thus the modern editions: I think, rightly. The old folio reads:
"Farewel to thee, to Strato, countrymen. Johnson. The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
5 Hence; I will follow thee.] Thee, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of metre, by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, in Hamlet: "Go on, I'll follow thee. Steevens.
6 That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.] See p. 118. Steevens. VOL. XIV.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
How died my master, Strato?
Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it. Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, That did the latest service to my master.
Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all:
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
And common good to all, made one of them.
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
entertain them.] i. e. receive them into my service. So, in King Lear: You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred." Steevens.
Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.] To prefer seems to have been the established phrase for recommending a servant. So, in The Merchant of Venice, Act III, sc. ii:
"Shylock thy master, spoke with me this day,
"And hath preferr'd thee;"
Again, in the Countess of Dorset's Memoirs; "— wher he & his daughter preferd William Pond to searve my lady." Seward's Anecdotes, Vol. IV, p. 316. Reed.
To prefer is to recommend in its general sense. Thus, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy edit. 1632, p. 261: Bessardus Bisantinus preferres the smoake of Juniper to melancholy persons, which is in great request with us at Oxford to sweeten our chambers"
The same word is used by Chapman in his version of the 23d Iliad; and signifies to advance:
Now every way I erre
"About this broad-door'd house of Dis. O helpe then to preferre
"My soule yet further."
In the 18th Iliad, to prefer apparently means, to patronize :
she did so still prefer
"Their quarrel." Steevens.
9 Do so, Messala.] Old copy, neglecting the metre-Do so, good Messala. Steevens.
save only he, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "For it was sayd that Antonius spake it openly diuers tymes, that he thought, that of all them that had slayne Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moued to do it, as thinking the acte commendable of it selfe: but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death, for some priuate malice or enuy, that they otherwise did beare vnto him." Steevens.
Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!] So, in The Barons' Wars, by Drayton, Canto III:
"He was a man (then boldly dare to say)
"In whose rich soul the virtues well did suit;
"As that it seem'd, when nature him began,
This poem was published in the year 1598. The play of our author did not appear before 1623 Steevens.
Drayton originally published his poem on the subject of The Ba rons' Wars, under the title of MORTIMERIADOS, the lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and the Barrons: Printed by J. R. for Humphrey Lownes, and are to be solde at his shop at the west end of Paules Church. It is in seven-line stanzas, and was, I believe, published before 1598. The quarto copy before me has no date. But he afterwards new-modelled the piece entirely, and threw it into stanzas of eight lines, making some retrenchments and many additions and alterations throughout. An edition of his poems was published in 8vo. in 1602; but it did not contain The Barons' Wars in any form. They first appeared with that name in the edition of 1608, in the preface to which he speaks of the change of his title, and of his having new-modelled his poem. There, the stanza quoted by Mr. Steevens appears thus:
"Such one he was, (of him we boldly say)
"In whose rich soule all soveraigne powres did sute,
"So mixt, as none could soveraigntie impute;
"As all did govern, yet all did obey;
"His lively temper was so absolute,
"That 't seem'd when heaven his modell first began,
In the same form is this stanza exhibited in an edition of Drayton's pieces, printed in 8vo. 1610, and in that of 1613. The lines quoted by Mr. Steevens are from the edition in folio printed in 1619, after Shakspeare's death. In the original poem, entitled Mortimeriados, there is no trace of this stanza; so that I am inclined to think that Drayton was the copyist, as his verses originally stood. In the altered stanza he certainly was. He probably had seen this play when it was first exhibited, and perhaps between 1613 and 1619 had perused the MS. Malone.