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I shall remember :
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Musick.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
[Sennet.3 Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part
desires; I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you ow of late :*
3 Sennet ] I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word. In Decker's Satiromastix, 1602:
Trumpets sound a flourish, and then a sennet." In The Dumb Show, preceding the first part of Feronimo, 1605, is
“ Sound a signate and pass over the stage.” In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta a synnet is called a flourish of trumpets bu. I know not on whai authority. See a note on King Henry VIII Act II, sc. iv, Vol. XI, p. 258, n. 9. Sennet may be a corruption from sonata, Ital. Steevens.
4 Brutus, I do observe you now of late:] Will the reader sustain any loss by the omission of the words-you now, without which the measure would become regular?
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe of late,
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
behaviours : But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd ; (Among which number, Cassius, be you one ;) Nor construe any further my neglect, Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, Forgets the shows of love to other men. Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your pas
Bru. No, Cassius : for the eye sees not itself,
Cas. 'Tis just :
strange a hand -] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. Johnson.
- passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discor. dant opinions and desires. Johnson. So, in Goriolanus, Act V, sc. iji:
thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour “At difference in thee.” Steevens. A following line may prove the best comment on this:
“ Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, —,” Macune.
- your passion;] i. e. the nature of the feelings from which you are now suffering. So, in Timon of Athens :
“I feel my master's passion” Steevens.
the eye sees not itself,] So, Sir John Davies in his poem entitled Nosce Teipsum,
“Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees ;
“Not seeing itself, when other things it sees?" Steevens.
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar’d to hear :
[Flourish, and Shout
Ay, do you fear it?
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :-
9- 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.
Johnson. 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
Brutus, As well as I do know your outward favour. Well, honour is the subject of my story.I cannot tell, what you and other men Think of this life ; but, for my single self, I had as lief not be, as live to be In awe of such a thing as I myself. I was born free as Cæsar; so were you : We both have fed as well; and we can both Endure the winter's cold, as well as he. For once, upon raw and gusty day, The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores, Cæsar said to me, Dar’st thou, Cassius, now Leap in with me into this angry floud,3 And swim to yonder point ?~Upon the word, Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in, And bade him follow : so, indeed, he did, The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it With lusty sinews; throwing it aside And stemming it with hearts of controversy. But ere we could arrive the point propos'd, Cæsar cry'd, Help me, Cassius, or I sink. I, as Æneas, our great ancestor, Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man Is now become a god; and Cassius is A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
Dar'st thou, Cassius, now Leap in with me into this angry flood,] Shakspeare probably recollected the story which Suetonius has told of Cæsar's leaping into the sea, when he was in danger by a boat's being overladen, and swimming to the next ship with his Commentaries in his left hand. Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, p. 26. So also, ibid. p. 24: “ Were rivers in his way to hinder his passage, cross over them he would, either swimming, or else bearing himself upon blowed leather bottles.” Malone.
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 “ Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arriv'd our coast.” Stervens VOL. XIV.
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
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 flying from his colours.
Warburton. - feeble temper -] i.e. temperament, constitution. Steevers.
get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympic games. tick 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 ihe 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 ob. served, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV, c. x:
6 But I the meanest man of many more,