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Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear: And, since you know you cannot see yourself So well as by reflection, I, your glass, Will modestly discover to yourself That of yourself which you yet know not of. And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus: Were I a common laugher, or did use To stale with ordinary oaths my lovel To every new protester; if
[Flourish, and Shout.
Ay, do you fear it?
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :-
9 a common laugher,] Old copy-laughter. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
1 To stale with ordinary oaths my love &c.] To invite every new protester to my affection by the stale or allurement of customary oaths.
Fohnson. 2 And I will look on both indifferently:] Dr. Warburton has a long note on this occasion, which is very trifling. When Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets honour above life. Is not this natural ? Johnson.
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
4 But ere we could arrive the point propos’d,] The verb arrive is used, without the preposition at, by Milton in the second Book of Paradise Lost, as well as by Shakspeare in The Third Part of King Henry VI, Act V, sc. ïïi:
those powers, that the queen
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
get the start of the majestick world, And bear the palm alone.
[Shout. Flourish. Bru. Another general shout! I do believe, that these applauses are For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.
Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world, Like a Colossus; and we petty men Walk under his huge legs, and peep about To find ourselves dishonourable graves. Men at some time are masters of their fates :
5 His coward lips did from their colour fly;] A plain man would have said, the colour fled from his lips, and not his lips from their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false a piece of wit: a poor quibble, alluding to a coward Aying from his colours.
Warburton. - feeble temper -] i.e. temperament, constitution. Steevens.
- get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games. The majestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their citizens set themselves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion seems to be to the known story of Cæsar's great pattern, Alexander, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at he Olympic games, replied, Yes, if the racers were kings. Warburton.
That the allusion is to the prize allotted in games to the foremost in the race, is very clear. All the rest existed, I apprehend, only in Dr. Warburton's imagination. Malone.
and we petty men Walk under his huge legs.] So, as an anonymous writer has observed, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV, c. x:
- But I the meanest man of many more,
Or creep between his legs." Malone.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
you would work me to, I have some aim :4 How I have thought of this, and of these times, I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
9 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well ;] A similar thought occurs in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630:
“What diapason's more in Tarquin's name,
“ Of a poor maid ?” Steevens. 1 Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.] Dr. Young, in his Busiris, appears to have imitated this passage:
“ Nay, stamp not, tyrant; I can stamp as loud,
“ And raise as many dæmons with the sound.” Steevens. 2 There was a Brutus once,] i.e. Lucius Junius Brutus. Steevens.
- eternal devil - ] I should think that our author wrote rather, infernal devil. Johnson.
I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (says Cassius) would as soon have submitted to the perpetual dominion of a dæmon, as to the lasting government of a king. Steevens.
- aim:] i. e. guess. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : “ But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Cas. I am glad, that my weak words?
Re-enter Cæsar, and his Train.
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve ;
Bru. I will do so :-But, look you, Cassius,
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is,
Cæs. Let me have men about me that are fat;
chew upon this ;] Consider this at leisure ; ruminate on this.
Johnson. 6 Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.] As, in our author's age, was frequently used in the sense of that. So, in North's translation of Plutarch, 1579: 6
- insomuch as they that saw it, thought he had been burnt.” Malone.
7 I am glad, that my weak words -] For the sake of regular measure, Mr. Ritson would read : Cas.
I am glad, my words
- ferret -] A ferret has red eyes. Johnson. 9 Sleek-headed men, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas N rth's translation of Plutarch, 1579: “ When Cæsar's friends complained unto him of