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Without annoying me: And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore, they saw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
These are their reasons,—They are natural ;
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon,

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time :
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose4 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.
Farewel, Cicero.

[Exit Cic.
Enter Cassius.
Cas. Who's there?
Casca.

A Roman.
Cas.

Casca, by your voice.
Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this?
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

Cas. Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone : 5

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Again, Skelton in his Crowne of Lawrell, describing “a lybbard :"

“ As gastly that glaris, as grimly that grones.” Again, in the Ashridge MS. of Milton's Comus, as published by the ingenious and learned Mr. Todd, verse 416:

“ And yawning denns, where glaringe monsters house” To gaze is only to look stedfastly, or with admiration. Glard has a singular propriety, as it expresses the furious scintilla ion of a lion's eye: and, that a lion should appear full of fury, und yet attempt no violence, augments the prodigy. Steevens.

4 Clean from the purpose - ] Clean is altogether, entirely. See Volo VIII, p. 70, n. 9. Malone.

And, when the cross blue lightning seem’d to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the hea-

vens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
But if you would consider the true cause,
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind ;6
Why old men, fools, and children calculate ;7*

5

thunder-stone: ] A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder. So, in Cymbeline :

Fear no more the lightning-flash,

“ Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone." Steevens. 6 Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; &c.] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. This line might perhaps be more properly placed after the next line:

Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind,

Why all these things change from their ordinance. Johnson. 7and children calculate ;] Calculate here signifies to foretel or prophesy: for the custom of foretelling fortunes by judicial astrology (which was at that time much in vogue) being performed by a long tedious calculation, Shakspeare, with his usual liberty, employs the species (calculate ) for the genus (foretel]. Warburton.

Shakspeare found the liberty established. To calculate the nativity, is the technical term. Johnson.

So, in The Paradise of Daintie Devises, edit. 1576, Art. 54, sigued, M. Bew:

“ Thei calculate, thei chaunt, thei charme,

“ To conquere us that meane no harme." This author is speaking of women. Steevens.

There is certainly no prodigy in old men's calculating from their past experience. The wonder is, that old men shruld not, and that children' should. I would therefore [instead of old men, fools, and children, &c.] point thus :

Why old men fools, and children calculate. Blackstone. * I cannot perceive the necessity of the alteration sugge ted by Black

He has used the word calculate in its literal sense to support his position-not in the sense in which it is used by our author, and so fully explained by Warburton and Johnson. Am. Ed.

stone.

Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear, and warning,
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol :
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius?

Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Have thewes and limbs9 like to their ancestors;
But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits ;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king:
And he shall wear his crown, by sea, and land,
In every place, save here in Italy,

Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius :
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat :
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit ;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,

of

tyranny, that I do bear,

That part

8

prodigious grown,] Prodigious is portentous. So, in Troilus and Cressida:

“It is prodigious, there will be some change." See Vol. II, p. 378, n. Steevens.

9 Have thewes and limbs -] Thewes is an obsolete word implying nerves or muscular strength. It is used by Falstaff, in The Second Part of King Henry IV, and in Hamlet :

“ For nature, crescent, does not grow alone

“ In thewes and bulk." The two last folios, [1664 and 1685] in which some words are in. judiciously modernized, read-sinews. Steevens.

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I can shake off at pleasure.
Casca.

So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.1

Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then ?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire,
Begin it with weak straws: What trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar? But, O, grief!
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman: then I know
My answer must be made :2 But I am arm’d,
And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a man,
That is no fleering tell-talę. Hold my hand :3
Be factious for redress4 of all these griefs ;
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.
Cas.

There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprize

most

1

every bondman - bears The power to cancel his captivity. ] So, in Cymbeline, Act V, Posthumus speaking of his chains :

take this life, " And cancel these cold bonds.Henley. 2 My answer must be made :] I shall be called to account, and must answer as for seditious words. Johnson.

So, in Much Ado about Nothing : “Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me."

Steevens. Hold ту hand:] Is the same as, Here's my hand. Johnson. 4 Be factious for redress -] Factious seems here to mean active.

Johnson. It means, I apprehend, embody a party or faction. Malone.

Perhaps Dr. Johnson's explanation is the true one. Menenius, in Coriolanus, says: “ I have been always factionary on the part of your general ;” and the speaker, who is describing himself, would scarce have employed the word in its common and unfavourable sense.

Steevens. VOL. XIV.

D

3

so?

Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me
In Pompey's porch : For now, this fearful night,
There is no stir, or walking in the streets ;
And the complexion of the element,
Is favour’d, like the work 5* we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter CINNA.
Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.

Cas. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait; He is a friend.--Cinna, where haste you

Cin. To find out you: Who's that? Metellus Cimber?

Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?

Cin. I am glad on 't. What a fearful night is this? There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.

Cas. Am I not staid for, Cinna? Tell me.
Cin.

Yes,
You are.

O, Cassius, if you could but win The noble Brutus to our party

Cas. Be you content: Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the prætor's chair,
Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window : set this up

with wax
Upon old Brutus' statue : all this done,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius, there?

5 Is favour'd, like the work-] The old edition reads:

Is favors, like the work I think we should read:

In favour's like the work we have in hand,

Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Favour is look, countenance, appearance. Johnson.

To favour is to resemble. Thus Stanyhurst, in his translation of the third Book of Virgil's Æneid, 1582:

“With the petit town gates favouring the principal old portes." We may read It favours, or- - Is favourd-i.e. is in appearance or countenance like, &c. See Vol. III, p. 432, n. 2. Steevens.

Johnson is right in his explanation of the word favour. It is often used by our author in this sense. So, p. 13:

6. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,

As well as I do know your outward favour." Again, in Vol. XII, p. 155:

I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well." and the note. Am. Ed.

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