"Let me work on him; I can humour him.”

307. "

Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber" Honey-heavy; i. e. sweetly-oppressive.

308. "Is Brutus sick? and is it physical "To walk unbraced;

"And will he steal out of his wholesome


"To dare the vile contagion of the night?" No, my Brutus ;

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"You have some sick offence within your mind," &c.

A good deal of this scene has been borrowed by Dr. Young; where Zanga, leaving his bed, to brood upon his revenge, during a tempest like this described by Shakspeare, is assailed by the tender solicitations of Isabella:

"Is this a night for contemplation?

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Something unusual hangs upon your mind
And I will know it: by our loves I will."

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"The blood I drop is rather physical."

"I charm you.

I enjoin you by the influence of what is sacred. I fear the poet is at his old tricks: he would have said, "I conjure you;" but then "cónjure" started up, and, to make the matter sure that way, he wrote "charm."


Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue."

i. e. Vouchsafe to receive good morrow. It is very harsh construction.

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312. "O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,

"To wear a kerchief ?".

This thought occurs in the First Part of King Henry IV.

""Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick, "In such a justling time?"

And it is also introduced by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Loyal Subject:


"The general sick now! Is this a time "For men to creep into their beds ?"

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Drizzled blood upon the Capitol."

This tremendous phænomenon has been found by modern naturalists to be nothing more than excremental evacuations from hovering swarms of a certain kind of beetles.

"The noise of battle hurtled in the air.” Gray has introduced this word into one of his odes :

"Iron sleet of arrowy shower
"Hurtles in the darken'd air."

316. "

------------ These things are beyond all use."

Out of the scope of usage or custom. Thus in Macbeth:

"And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature."

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These predictions

"Are to the world in general, as to Cæ


In the same way does King Richard the Third console himself under the ominous seclusion of the sun :

"Not shine to-day! why what is that to me, "More than to Richmond? since the self-same


"That frowns on me, looks lowring upon him." 322. "Bid them prepare within.".

We might save the metre, by reading, elliptically,

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323. "That every like is not the same.

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That every thing is not really what it appears. Thus Iago, less honestly, remarks:

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Men should be what they seem, Or, those that be not, would they might seem none."

326. "None that I know will be: much that I fear may chance.”

The obscurity of oracular responses would, perhaps, justify the restoration of the metre, here, by reading, elliptically,

"None that I know will be: much, fear, will chance.'





Cassius, be constant."

Be steady; let not your resolution be affected, disconcerted, or changed, by this circumstance.

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Cæsar doth not wrong but with just cause."

I wish that Mr. Tyrwhitt, who undertook to defend this expression, as it is supposed originally to have stood, had favoured us with an example, in any other English author, of "wrong's" being used with a meaning different from that of injury. Until this can be shown, I fear the votaries of Shakspeare's muse must abide the sarcasms of Jonson, howsoever they disrelish his malignity. The passage cited by Mr. Malone from the Rape of Lucrece to support Mr. Tyrwhitt, I fear, is insufficient, as the word "wrong," there, seems to have been adopted merely for the sake of the jingle and alliteration; and, as to what Mr. Steevens produces from K. Henry IV. where Justice Shallow tells Davy, that his friend shall have no wrong, I cannot discover any other meaning in it than that the fellow, although "an errant knave," should not be treated with unjust rigour. But, even if both those cases were applicable, how would it mitigate or remove the severity of Ben, to prove that the inaccuracy which he was exposing was not only really existent but common with our poet.


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Freedom of repeal.” Freedom that repeal will give.

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The poet uses "mutiny" for tumult or commotion, simply, as he does "faction" merely for a contending party.

338. ""

So oft as that shall be.”

The metre wants correction, here; some words have been obtruded: I suppose we should read: "No worthier than the dust

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339. "So often shall the knot of us be called." &c. "Knot" is league, confederacy.

"With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome."

It has been remarked already that, anciently, the degrees of comparison, in the English language, were not confined to three; they were, at least, five; as, good, better, more better, best, most best, &c.

"With all true faith, so says my master Antony."

I would read,

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so says Mark Antony."

"I never thought him worse.”

This is a miserable interpolation, and could never have been written by the poet.

340. "

of "


Who else must be let blood, who else is rank."

I cannot agree in Dr. Johnson's interpretation rank," here," overtopping equals," or growing too high," much less in Mr. Malone's, TOO REPLETE with blood." I believe it only means distempered, corrupt, requiring to be purged and corrected, by being bled.

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