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Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look ;
Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous ;
Cæs. 'Would he were fatter:1-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 musick:2 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 Cæs. and his Train. Casc A stays behind. Casca. You pulld me by the cloak; Would you speak with me?
Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day, That Cæsar looks so sad.
Casca. Why you were with him, were you not? Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some mischief towards him; he answered, as for those fat men and smooth-combed heads, (quoth he) I never reckon of them; but these pale-visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most; meaning Brutus and Cassius.”
And again :
“ Cæsar had Cassius in great jealousy, and suspected him much; whereupon he said on a time, to his friends, what will Cassius do, think you? I like not his pale looks.” Steevens.
1 'Would he were fatter :] Ben Jonson, in his Bartholomew-Fair, 1614, unjustly sneers at this passage, in Knockham's speech to the Pig-woman: “Come, there's no malice in fat folks ; I never fear thee, an I can scape thy lean moon-calf there." Warburton.
- he hears no musick:] Our author considered the having no delight in musick as so certain a mark of an austere disposition, that in The Merchant of Venice he has pronounced, that,
“ The man that hath no musick in himself,
“ Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoilş." Malone. See Vol. IV, p. 419, n. 7. Steevens.
Bru. I should not then ask Casca what hath chanc'd.
*Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him: and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a' shouting.
Bru. What was the second noise for ?
for? Casca. Why, for that too. Bru. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?
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 ;3—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 hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned and fell down at it: And for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fcar of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.
Cas. But, soft, I pray you: What? did Cæsar swoon?
Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
Bru. "Tis very like; he hath the falling-sickness.
Cas. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.
Casca. I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure, Cæsar fell down.
If the tag-rag people did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he pleased, and dis
one of these coronets;] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: - he came to Cæsar, and presented him a diadem wrçathed about with laurel.” Steevens.
pleased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.4
Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself?
Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut.- An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues:--and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done, or said, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul !--and forgave him with all their hearts : But, there's no heed to be taken of them; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
Bru. And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I 'll ne'er look you i'the face again: But those, that understood him, smiled at one another, and shook their heads : but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too : Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.
Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.
Cas. Good : I will expect you.
[Exit Casca. Bru. What blunt fellow is this grown to be?
no true man] No honest man. See Vol. VIII, p. 209, n. 3.
Malone - a man of any occupation,] Had I been a mechanick, one of the Plebeians to whom he offered his throat. Fohnson. So, in Coriolanus, Act. IV, sc. vi:
You that stood so much
He was quick metile, when he went to school.
Cas. So is he now, in execution
Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave you;
[Exit BRU. Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see, Thy honourable metal may wrought From that it is dispos’d:6 Therefore 'tis meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes : For who so firm, that cannot be seduc'd ? Cæsar doth bear me hard ;? but he loves Brutus : If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, He should not humour me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings, all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at: And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure; For we will shake him, or worse days endure. [Exit. & Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos’d:] The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution Johnson.
From that it is dispos’d, i. e. dispos’d to. See Vol. XI, p. 541, n. 2. Malone.
-doth bear me hard;] i.e. has an unfavourable opinion of me. The same phrase occurs again in the first scene of Act Ill. Steevens. 3 If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
He should not humour me ] This is a reflection on Brutus's ingratitude ; which concludes, as is usual on such occasions, in an encomium on his own better conditions. If I were Brutus, (says he) and Brutus, Cassius he should not cajole me as I do him. To humour signifies here to turn and wind him, by inflaming his passions. Warburton.
The meaning, I think, is this: Cesar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles.
Thunder and Lightning. Enter, from opposite sides,
CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO. Cic. Good even, Casca: Brought you Cæsar home ?9 Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ?
Casca. Are not you mov'd when all the sway of earth Shakes, like a thing unfirm? O Cicero, I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Have riv’d the knotty oaks; and I have seen The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam, To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds : But never till to-night, never till now, Did I go through a tempest dropping fire. Either there is a civil strife in heaven; Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction.
Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
Casca. A common slave? (you know him well by sight) Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensible of firo, rcmain'd unscorch'd. Besides, (I have not since put up my sword) Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by,
Brought you Cæsar home.?] Did you attend Cæsar home?
Fohnson. So, in Measure for Measure :
“ That we may bring you something on the way." See Vol. IX, p, 252, n. 8. Malone.
sway of earth -] The whole weight or momentum of this globe. Johnson.
2 A cominon slave &c ] So, in the old translation of Plutarch:“-a slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvelous burning flame out of his hande, insomuch as they that saw it, ihought he had bene burnt; but when the fire was out, it was found he had no hurt." Steevens. 3 Who glar'd upon me,] The first (and second) edition reads:
Who glaz'd upon me,
“Look where he stands and glares !” Again, in Hamlet:
“ Look you, how pale he glares.!"