From Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908.
3. "Brutus thought that there was no great number of men
slain in battle; and, to know the truth of it, there was one
called Statilius that promised to go through his enemies, for
otherwise it was impossible to go see their camp; and from
thence, if all were well, that he would lift up a torch-light
in the air, and then return again with speed to him. The
torch-light was lift up as he had promised, for Statilius went
thither. Now, Brutus seeing Statilius tarry long after that,
and that he came not again, he said, 'If Statilius be alive,
he will come again.' But his evil fortune was such that, as he
came back, he lighted in his enemies' hands and was slain. Now
the night being far spent, Brutus as he sat bowed towards
Clitus, one of his men, and told him somewhat in his ear: the
other answered him not, but fell a-weeping. Thereupon he
proved[A] Dardanus, and said somewhat also to him: at length
he came to Volumnius himself, and speaking to him in Greek,
prayed him for the studies' sake which brought them acquainted
together, that he would help him to put his hand to his sword,
to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied his request,
and so did many others."-- Plutarch, Marcus Brutus.
A.i.e. tried. Cf. 1 Samuel, XVII, 39.
17. "The second battle being at hand, this spirit
appeared again unto him, but spake never a word. Thereupon
Brutus, knowing that he should die, did put himself to all
hazard in battle, but yet fighting could not be
slain."-- Plutarch, Julius Cæsar. Merivale has a strong
sentence on this: "The legend that when preparing for the
encounter with the triumvirs he was visited by the ghost of
Cæsar, which summoned him to meet again at Philippi, marks the
conviction of the ancients that in the crisis of his fate he
was stung by guilty remorse, and haunted by the presentiment
of final retribution."
43. "Amongst the rest, one of them said, there was no
tarrying for them there, but that they must needs fly. Then
Brutus, rising up, 'We must fly indeed,' said he, 'but it must
be with our hands, not with our feet.' Then, taking every man
by the hand, he said these words unto them with a cheerful
countenance: 'It rejoiceth my heart, that not one of my
friends hath failed me at my need, and I do not complain of my
fortune, but only for my country's sake: for, as for me, I
think myself happier than they that have overcome, considering
that I leave a perpetual fame of virtue and honesty, the which
our enemies the conquerors shall never attain unto by force or
money.' Having so said, he prayed every man to shift for
himself, and then he went a little aside with two or three
only, among the which Strato was one, with whom he came first
acquainted by the study of rhetoric. Strato, at his request,
held the sword in his hand, and turned his head aside, and
Brutus fell down upon it, and so ran himself through ... and
died presently."-- Plutarch, Marcus Brutus.
45.of a good respect: of good reputation,
well-esteemed. Cf. I, ii, 59.
46.smatch: smack, taste. "With the forms 'smack' for
the verb and 'smatch' for the noun, compare 'ake' and 'ache'
as used in the First Folio of Shakespeare."-- Clar. Cf. 2
Henry IV, I, ii, 111.
47. "Scarcely any of those who were accessory to his
murder survived him more than three years, or died a natural
death. They were all condemned by the Senate: some were taken
off by one accident, some by another. Part of them perished at
sea, others fell in battle; and some slew themselves with the
same poniard with which they had stabbed Cæsar."-- Suetonius,
60.will entertain them: will take them into my
62.prefer: recommend. Cf. The Merchant of Venice,
II, ii, 155.
68. Cf. Antony's soliloquy on Cæsar, III, i, 257-258.
69-70. "Antonius spake ... that of all them that had
slain Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moved ...
thinking the act commendable of itself; but that all the other
conspirators did conspire his death for some private malice or
envy that they otherwise did bear unto him."-- Plutarch,
73-74. This refers to the old doctrine of the four
elements, earth, water, air, and fire, a right proportion of
which was supposed to be the principle of all excellence in
nature. Shakespeare has many allusions to the doctrine, which
was a commonplace of the sixteenth century. It is this common
property in the idea which invalidates the importance of the
argument for the date of Julius Cæsar drawn from a similar
passage in Drayton's revised version of his Mortimeriados
(1596-1597) published in 1603 under the title of The Barons'
79.Most like a soldier: Cf. with these words of
Octavius the speech of Fortinbras with which Hamlet closes:
Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royally.
80.call the field to rest: give the signal to cease
fighting. 'Field,' by metonymy, is occasionally used in
sixteenth century literature as synonymous with 'battle' or
'order of battle.' Cf. the expression 'to gather a field,'
meaning 'to collect an armed force.' So in Hall's
Chronicles, 1548: "my lorde of Winchester intended to gather
any feld or assemble people." Cf., too, 'field' as a hunting
81.part: distribute. A specific meaning of 'part'
used to be 'share one with another.' This sense is now
obsolete or provincial.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908. Shakespeare Online. 20 Dec. 2009. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/julius_5_5.html >.