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Cin. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol. 3 Cit. Your name, sir, truly.

Cin. Truly, my name is Cinna.

1 Cit. Tear him to pieces, he's a conspirator. Cin. I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.

4 Cit. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

Cin. I am not Cinna the conspirator.

4 Cit. It is no matter, his name 's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.

3 Cit. Tear him, tear him. Come, brands, ho! firebrands. To Brutus', to Cassius'; burn all. Some to Decius' house, and some to Casca's; some to Ligarius': away; go.



The same. A Room in Antony's House

ANTONY, OCTAVIUS, and LEPIDUS, seated at a Table. Ant. These many then shall die; their names are prick'd.

Antony's House] Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Pope after him, have marked the scene here to be at Rome. The old copies say nothing of the place. Shakspeare, I dare say, knew from Plutarch, that these triumvirs met, upon the proscription, in a little island; which Appian, who is more particular, says, lay near Mutina, upon the river Lavinius. Theobald.

A small island in the little river Rhenus near Bononia. Hanmer. So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Thereuppen all three met together (to wete, Cæsar, Antonius, & Lepidus,) in an island enuyroned round about with a little riuer, & there remayned three dayes together. Now as touching all other matters, they were easily agreed, & did deuide all the empire of Rome betwene them, as if it had bene their owne inheritance. But yet they could hardly agree whom they would put to death: for euery one of them would kill their enemies, and saue their kinsmen and friends. Ye at length, giving place to their greedy desire to be reuenged of their enemies, they spurned all reuerence of blood and holiness of friendship at their feete For Casar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsooke Lucius Cæsar, who was his vncle by his mother: and both of them together suffred Lepidus to kill his own brother Paulus." That Shakspeare, however, meant the scene to be at Rome, may be inferred from what almost immediately follows:

Oct. Your brother too must die; Consent you, Lepidus?
Lep. I do consent.


Prick him down, Antony.

Lep. Upon condition Publius shall not live,

Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.

Ant. He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him. But, Lepidus, go you to Cæsar's house;

Fetch the will hither, and we will determine

How to cut off some charge in legacies.
Lep. What, shall I find you here?


The Capitól.

Or here, or at

Ant. This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands: Is it fit,

The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?

[Exit LEP.

So you thought him ;
And took his voice who should be prick'd to die,
In our black sentence and proscription.

Ant. Octavius, I have seen more days than you:
And though we lay these honours on this man,
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,



Lep. What, shall I find you here?

“Oct. Or here, or at the Capitol." Steevens.

passage quoted by Steevens, clearly proves that the scene should be laid in Rome. M. Mason.

It is manifest that Shakspeare intended the scene to be at Rome, and therefore I have placed it in Antony's house. Malone.

5 Upon condition Publius shall not live,] Mr. Upton has sufficiently proved that the poet made a mistake as to this character mentioned by Lepidus; Lucius, not Publius, was the person meant, who was uncle by the mother's side to Mark Antony: and in consequence of this, he concludes that Shakspeare wrote:

You are his sister's son, Mark Antony.

The mistake, however, is more like the mistake of the author, than of his transcriber or printer. Steevens.


damn him.] i. e. condemn him. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:

"Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life."

Again, in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, v. 1747, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit: by your confession


"Hath damned you, and I wol it recorde." Steevens.

as the ass bears gold,] This image had occurred before in Measure for Measure, Act III, sc.i:


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To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load, and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears,

And graze



You may do your will;

But he's a tried and valiant soldier.

Ant. So is my horse, Octavius; and, for that,
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on;
His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so;
He must be taught, and train'd, and bid
A barren spirited fellow; one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations;8



86 like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
"Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
"Till death unloads thee," Steevens.

8 - one that feeds

On objects, arts, and imitations; &c.] 'Tis hard to conceive, why he should be called a barren-spirited fellow that could feed either on objects or arts that is, as I presume, form his ideas and judgment upon them: stale and obsolete imitation, indeed, fixes such a character. I am persuaded, to make the poet consonant to himself, we must read, as I have restored the text:

On abject orts,

1. e. on the scraps and fragments of things rejected and despised by others. Theobald.

Sure, it is easy enough to find a reason why that devotee to pleasure and ambition, Antony, should call him barren-spirited who could be content to feed his mind with objects, i. e. speculative knowledge, or arts, i. e. mechanick operations. I have therefore brought back the old reading, though Mr. Theobald's emendation is still left before the reader. Lepidus, in the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, is represented as inquisitive about the structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a state of intoxication. Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and returns him unintelligible answers to very reasonable questions.

Objects, however, may mean things objected or thrown out to him. In this sense Shakspeare uses the verb to object, in King Henry V, P. II, where I have given an instance of its being employed by Chapman on the same occasion. It is also used by him, in his version of the seventh Iliad:

"At Jove's broad beech these godheads met; and first Jove's son objects

"Why, burning in contention thus" &c.

Which, out of use, and stal'd by other men,
Begin his fashion:9 Do not talk of him,
But as a property.1 And now, Octavius,
Listen great things.-Brutus and Cassius,

Are levying powers: we must straight make head:
Therefore, let our alliance be combin'd,

Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out ;*

A man who can avail himself of neglected hints thrown out by others, though without original ideas of his own, is no uncommon character. Steevens.

Objects means, in Shakspeare's language, whatever is presented to the eye. So, in Timon of Athens: "Swear against objects,” which Mr. Steevens has well illustrated by a line in our poet's 152d Sonnet : "And made them swear against the thing they sce.” Malone.

9 — and stal'd by other men,

Begin his fashion:] Shakspeare has already woven this circumstance into the character of Justice Shallow:


He came ever in

the rearward of the fashion; and sung those tunes that he heard the carmen whistle." Steevens.

1 a property.] i. e. as a thing quite at our disposal, and to be treated as we please. So, in Twelfth Night:

"They have here propertied me, kept me in darkness," &c.


2 Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out;] In the old copy, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, this line is thus imperfectly exhibited:

"Our best friends made, our means stretch'd;"

The editor of the second folio supplied the line by reading

"Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out." This emendation, which all the modern editors have adopted, was, like almost all the other corrections of the second folio, as ill conceived as possible. For what is best means? Means, or abilities, if stretch'd out, receive no additional strength from the word best, nor does means, when considered without reference to others, as the power of an individual, or the aggregated abilities of a body of men, seem to admit of a degree of comparison. However that may be, it is highly improbable that a transcriber or compositor should be guilty of three errors in the same line; that he should omit the word and in the middle of it; then the word best after our, and lastly the concluding word. It is much more probable that the omission was only at the end of the line,. (an error which is found in other places in these plays) and that the author wrote, as I have printed:

Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost. So, in a former scene:

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and, you know, his means,

"If he improve them, may well stretch so far,

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Again, in the following passage in Coriolanus, which, I trust, will

justify the emendation now made:

And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclos'd,
And open perils surest answered.

Oct. Let us do so: for we are at the stake,3
And bay'd about with many enemies;

And some, that smile, have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischief.



Before Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis.

Drum. Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, LUCIUS, and Soldiers: TITINIUS and PINDARUS meeting them.

Bru. Stand here.

Luc. Give the word, ho! and stand.

Bru. What now, Lucilius? is Cassius near? Luc. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come To do you salutation from his master.

[PIN. gives a Letter to BRU Bru. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus, In his own change, or by ill officers,

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for thy revenge

"Wrench up your power to the highest." Malone.

I am satisfied with the reading of the second folio, in which I perceive neither awkwardness nor want of perspicuity. Best is a word of mere enforcement, and is frequently introduced by Shakspeare. Thus, in King Henry VIII:

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My life itself and the best heart of it -."

Why does best, in this instance, seem more significant than when it is applied to means?


Act V:


at the stake,] An allusion to bear-baiting. So, in Macbeth,

"They have chain'd me to a stake, I cannot fly,

"But bear-like I must fight the course." Steevens.

4 In his own change, or by ill officers,] The sense of which is this: Either your master, by the change of his virtuous nature, or by his officers abusing the power he had intrusted to them, hath done some things I could wish undone. This implies a doubt which of the two was the case. Yet, immediately after, on Pindarus's saying, His master was full of regard and honour, he replies, He is not doubted. To reconcile this we should read:

In his own charge, or by ill officers,

i. e. Either by those under his immediate command, or under the command of his lieutenants, who had abused their trust. Charge is sò usual a word in Shakspeare, to signify the forces committed to

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