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pray you, do.
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides That you would have me seek into myself of March.
For that which is not in me? Cæs. Set him before me; let me see his face. Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepard to Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: look upon
hear : Cæsar.
And, since you know you cannot see yourself Cæs. What say'st thou to me now? speak once So well as by reflection, I, your glass, again.
Will modestly discover to yourself Sooth. Beware the Idesa of March.
That of yourself which you yet know not of. Cæs. He is a dreamer; let us leave him;
-pass. And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus : [Sennet. Exeunt all but Brutus and Cassius. Were I a common laugher, or did use
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ? To stale with ordinary oaths my love
Το every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part And after scandal them; or if you know Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
That I profess myself in banqueting Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires ;
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous. I'll leave you.
[Flourish and shout. Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late : Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear I have not from your eyes that gentleness
the people And show of love as I was wont to have:
Choose Cæsar for their king. You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand CAS.
Ay, do you fear it ? Over your friend that loves you.
Then must I think you would not have it so. BRU.
BRU. I would not, Cassius ; yet I love him Be not deceiv'd: if I have veil'd my look,
well.—. I turn the trouble of my countenance
But wherefore do you hold me here so long ? Merely upon myself. Vexed I am,
What is it that you would impart to me? Of late, with passions of some difference,
If it be aught toward the general good, Conceptions only proper to myself,
Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other, Which give some soil, perhaps, to my
behaviours; And I will look on both indifferently: But let not therefore my good friends be griev , For, let the gods so speed me as I love (Among which number, Cassius, be you one) The name of honour more than I fear death. Nor construe any further my neglect,
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, As well as I do know your outward favour. Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your I cannot tell what you and other men passion;
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
BRU. NO, Cassius : for the eye sees not itself, We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he; Cas. 'Tis just :
For once, upon a raw and gusty day, And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores, That
you have no such mirrors as will turn Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now, Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
Leap in with me into this angry flood, That you might see your shadow. I have heard, And swim to yonder point ?-Upon the word, Where many of the best respect in Rome, Accoutred as I was, I plunged in, (Except immortal Cæsar) speaking of Brutus, And bade him follow : so, indeed, he did. And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes. With lusty sinews; throwing it aside Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, And stemming it with hearts of controversy : Cassius,
But ere we could arrive the point propos’d,
a The Ides of March.) The Ides (Idus) fell on the 15th of March, May, July, and October, and on the 13th of the remaining months.
b Merely-) Purely, solely, entirely. c But by refleclion by some other things.] Here, not improbably, the poet wrote,
of some other things,"
" – from some other things," the second “by" in the o.d text being an accidental repetition of the compositor.
d Were I a common laugher,-) Rowe's correction; the old copy having, "Laughter." As Mr. Craik remarks, neither word seems to be quite satisfactory.
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink. | That her wide walks * encompass'd but one man ? I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder When there is in it but one only man. The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber O, you and I have heard our fathers say, Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man
There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd Is now become a god; and Cassius is
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing He had a fever when he was in Spain,
jealous; And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
would work me to, I have some aim ; How he did shake: 't is true, this god did shake: How I have thought of this, and of these times, His coward lips did from their colour fly;
I shall recount hereafter ; for this present, And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world I would not, so with love I might entreat you, Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan: Be any further mov'd. What you have said, Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans I will consider ; what you have to say, Mark him, and write his speeches in their books, I will with patience hear; and find a time Alas ! it cried, Give me some drink, T'itinius, Both meet to hear and answer such high things. As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me, Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this ; A man of such a feeble temper should
Brutus had rather be a villager, So get the start of the majestic world,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome And bear the palm alone. [Flourish, and shout. Under these hard conditions as this time Bru. Another general shout!
Is like to lay upon us. I do believe that these applauses are
Cas. I am glad that my weak words For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar. Have struck but thus much show of fire from Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow
Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is reLike a Colossus; and we petty men
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the Walk under his huge legs, and
sleeve; To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
Re-enter CÆSAR and his Train.
Bru. I will do so:—but, look you, Cassius, Why should that name be sounded more than The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train : Write them together, yours is as fair a name; Calphurnia's cheek is pale ; and Cicero Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes, Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em, As we have seen him in the Capitol, Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar. Being cross’d in conference by some senators. Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is. Upon what meat does this our Cæsar feed,
CÆs. Antonius,That he is grown so great ? Age, thou art ANT. Cæsar. sham'd!
CÆs. Let me have men about me that are fat; Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods ! Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights : When went there by an age, since the
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; But it was fam’d with more than with one man ? He thinks too much: such men are dangerous." When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous; Rome,
He is a noble Roman, and well given.
* — wide walks---) Modern editors nearly all adopt the emendation, wide walls, proposed by Rowe, but the original, “wide walks,” i.e. "spacious bounds," ought not to be displaced.
" In the time of civill warres the souldiers of the Castell and chanons of Old Sarum fell at ods, insomuch that after other bralles they fell at last to sad blown. It happened therefore in a rogation weeke that the clergie going in solemne procession a controversie fell betweene them about certeine walkes and limits which the one side claimed and the other denied. Such also was the hot entertainment on ech part, that at the last the Castellanes espieng their time, gate betweene the cleargie and the towne, and bo cotled them as they returned homeward, that they feared' anie
more to gang about their bounds for a yeare.-HOLINSAED's De scription of Britaine, p. 57.
b Let me have men about me that are fat; " &c.] So in North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Julius Cæsar:-"Cæsar also had Cassius in great jealousie, and suspected him much: whereupon he said on a time to his friends, what wil Cassius do, thinke ye? I like not his pale lookes. Another time when Cæsars friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some mischiefe towards him, he answered them again, As for those fat men and smooth combed heads, quoth he, I never reckon of them; but these pale visaged and carion leane people, I feare them most, meaning Brutus and Cassius."
of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a shouting
BRU. What was the second noise for ?
cry for ?
CÆs. Would he were fatter!—but I fear him not: Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much; He is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no
plays, As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music: Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit That could be mov'd to smile at any-thing. Such men as he be never at heart's ease Whiles they behold a greater than themselves ; And therefore are they very dangerous. I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd Than what I fear,—for always I am Cæsar. Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, And tell me truly what thou think'st of him. [Exeunt CÆSAR and his Train. Casca
stays behind. Casca. You pull’d me by the cloak ; would you
speak with me? BRU. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to
Casca. Why, for that too.
Casca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting-by, mine honest neighbours shouted.
Cas. Who offered him the crown?
Casca. I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery ; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown ;—yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets ;-and, as I told you, he put it by once; but for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement shouted, and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their
That Cæsar looks so sad ?
Casca. Why, you were with him, were you not ?
chanc'd. Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him : and being offered him, he put it by with the back
the rabblement shouted,-) This emendation is due to Hanmer, the first three folios having howted, and the fourth kouled.
sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stink- Cas. Good; I will expect you. ing breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that Casca. Do so : farewell both.
[Exit. it had almost choked Cæsar ;(2) for he swooned, Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be! and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I He was quick mettle when he went to school. durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and Cas. Šo is he now, in execution receiving the bad air.
Of any bold or noble enterprise, Cas. But, soft, I pray you: what, did Cæsar However he puts on this tardy form. swoon ?
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and Which gives men stomach to digest his words foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
With better appetite.
you. I am sure, Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag people CAs. I will do so :-till then, think of the world. did not clap him and hiss him, according as he
[Exit BRUTUS. pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see players in the theatre, I am no true man.
Thy honourable metal may be wrought Bru. What said he when he came unto himself? From that it is dispos’d: therefore it is meet
Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he That noble minds keep ever with their likes ; perceived the common herd was glad he refused the For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd ? crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered Cæsar doth bear me hard ; b but he loves Brutus: them his throat to cut !-An I had been a man of If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, any occupation," if I would not have taken him at He should not humour me. I will this night, a word, I would I might go to hell among the In several hands, in at his windows throw, rogues :
:-and so he fell. When he came to him- As if they came from several citizens, self again, he said, If he had done or said any thing Writings, all tending to the great opinion amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at : cried Alas, good soul!—and forgave him with all And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure ; their hearts: but there's no heed to be taken of For we will shake him, or worse days endure. them ; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers they
[Exit would have done no less.
BRU. And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
SCENE III.—The same. A Street,
Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite Casca. Nay, an I tell you that I'll ne'er look sides, Casca, with his sword drawn, and you i'the face again : but those that understood
CICERO. him smiled at one another, and shook their heads ; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I Cic. Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar could tell you more news too : Marullus and Fla
home? vius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put
Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? to silence. Fare you well. There was
Casca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway foolery yet, if I could remember it.
of earth Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ?
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O, Cicero, Casca. No, I am promised forth.
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow ?
Have riv'd the knotty oaks ; and I have seen Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold,
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam, dinner worth the eating.
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds :
a An I had been a man of any occupation,-) If I had been one of the mechanics.
b Cæsar doth bear me hard :) The commentators appear to have overlooked the exact force of this. It is an expression borrowed, we believe, from horsemanship, equivalent, literally, to, keeps a tight rein upon me, and, metaphorically, to, does not trust me, or fears, or doubts me: so Antony, in Act III. Sc. 1, says,
if you bear me hard,"
(i.e. if you fear to trust me)
Fulfil your pleasure."
“ You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you."
But never till to-night, never till now,
Cic. Why, saw you anything more wonderful ?
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Cic. Indeed, it is a strange disposed time : But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things themselves. Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow ?
Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius Send word to you he would be there to-morrow. Cic. Good night, then, Casca : this disturbed
sky Is not to walk in.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero. [Exit CICERO.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca, by your voice. Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night
(*) Old text, glaz'd.
Held up his left hand, &c.) "A slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvellous burning flame out of his hands, insomuch as they that saw it thought he had been burnt; but when the fire was out, it was found that he had no hurt."-Life of Julius Cæsar in North's Plutarch. b – what night is this ! ] Simply, "what a night is this!" the
is this ! b Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men. Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so ?
omission of the article being not at all uncommon in such exclamations. In proof of this Mr. Dyce quotes,
“ What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
Tuo Gentlemen of Verona, Act I. Sc. 2 And,
“ Fab. What dish of poison has she dressed him!
Twelfth Night, Act II. Sc. 5.