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Cli.

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. Bru. Hark thee, Dardanius!

[Whispers him. Dar.

Shall I do such a deed ? Cli. O, Dardanius! Dar. O, Clitus ! Cli. What ill request did Brutus make to thee? Dar. To kill him, Clitus : Look, he meditates.

Cli. Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
That it runs over even at his eyes.

Bru. Come hitber, good Volumnius :. list a word.
Vol. What says my lord ?
Bru.

Why, this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Cæsar hath appeared to me
Two several times by night: at Sardis, once;
And, this last night, here in Philippi’ fields.
I know, my hour is come.
Vol. ,

Not so, my lord.
Bru. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.
Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes ;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit:
It is more worthy, to leap in ourselves,
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Thou know'st, that we two went to school together;
Even for that our love of old, I pray thee,
Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it.
Vol. That's not an office for a friend, my lord.

[Alarum still. Cli. Fly, Ay, my lord; there is no tarrying here.

Bru. Farewell to you—and you ;-and you, VolumStrato, thou hast been all this while asleep; [nius.Farewell to thee too, Strato.--Countrymen, My heart doth joy, that yet, in all my life, I found no man, but he was true to me. I shall have glory by this losing day,

More than Octavius, and Mark Antony,
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So, fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
That have but labour'd to attain this hour.

[Alarum. Cry within; Fly, Ay, fly. Cli. Fly, my lord, fly. Bru.

Hence; I will follow thee. [Exeunt Clitus, DARDANIUS, and VOLUMNIUS. I prythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord : Thou art a fellow of a good respect; . Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it: Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face, While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?

Stra. Give me your hand first : Fare you well, my lord.

Bru. Farewell, 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 then.'
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?

Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
Oct. Do so, good Messala.
Mes.

How died my master, Strato? Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it.

e That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.] See p. 78.
I entertain them.] i.e. Receive them into my service.--STEEVENS.

8- prefer-) This seems to have been the established pbrase for recommending a servant, -REED.

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 :
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He, only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!

Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.-
So call the field to rest : and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day.

[Exeunt."

* 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 Shakspeare's plays : his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius.—Johnsox.

It would be an act of injustice to the various powers of Shakspeare, to leave this piece of frigid criticism before the reader of his works, without producing the opposite judgment of M. Schlegel.—The following observations will, I conceive, be found more in unison with public opinion; and are more truly descriptive of the merits and character of this exquisite production.

"J'ai déjà montré ailleurs pourquoi il fallait, dans Jules-César, afin que l'ac. tion fut complète, que la pièce continuat jusqu'à la défaite de Brutus et de Cassius. Ce n'est point César qui est le héros de la Tragédie, c'est Brutus, et son caractère y est développé avec le plus grand soin. Cependant le poëte a indiqué avec finesse la supériorité que donnait à Cassius une volonté plus forte, et des vues plus justes sur les événemens. L'ame de Brutus était trop exaltée pour qu'il pût être chef de parti dans un état déjà corrumpu, et il commit des fautes qui firent prendre une tournure malheureuse à la cause des conjurés. On a blâmé la jactance des discours de César, mais puisque le poëte ne le fait pas agir, il faut qu'il donne la mésure de sa grandeur par l'impression qu'il produit sur les autres, et par sa confiance dans ses propres forces. Cette confiance ne manquait assurément pas à César, comme on peut le voir dans l'Histoire et dans ses propres écrits, mais, sans doute, elle se manifestait plutôt par des railleries spirituelles contre ses antagonistes, que par des rodomontades. Les deux derniers actes de cette pièce ne se soutiennent pas au niveau des premiers, pour la pompe et le mouvement de la scène, et c'est un grand dèsavantage au théâtre. L'entrée de César est majestueuse. C'est une marche solennelle. Il s'avance an milieu de ses guerriers. Aussitôt qu'il parle, la musique s'arrête, tout se tait, et ses paroles, en petit nombre, sont recueillies comme des oracles. La conjuration est une véritable conjuration. On prépare en secret, au milieu des ténèbres de la nuit et dans des entrevuès clandestines, le coup qui doit être frappé au grand jour et qui changera la face du monde.

• Cowrs de Litt. Dram, tome 1. p. 97. VOL. VII.

Le désordre de la foule avant le meurtre de César, la consternation de tout le peuple, et même celle des conjurés après l'action, sont des peintures de main de maître. L'effet est porté à son comble au moment du convoi funèbre et du discours d'Antoine. L'ombre de César parait plus puissante pour venger sa chute qu'il ne l'était lui-même pour la prévenir. Après que le conquérant et le dominateur du monde s'est montré dans tout son éclat et qu'il a disparu, il ne reste plus pour occuper l'attention, que Brutus et Cassius : ils se présentent seuls, et comme les derniers Romains qui existent encore. Mais un projet hardi excite bien plus vivement la curiosité, que la ferme résolution d'en supporter les conséquences.-SCHLEGEL. Cours de Lit. Dram. tome 3. p. 83.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

This play was entered in the Stationers' books, May 2, 1608; and was, according to the conjecture of Malone, composed in the same year. It was not, however, printed till the folio of 1623.

The subject is taken from Plutarch's Life of Antony, which has been closely followed.

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