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15hre of marsh, they, dat rectora
I shall remember :
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Musick.
What man is that? Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March. Cæs. Set him before me, let me see his face. Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar. Cæs. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again. Sooth. Beware the ides of March. Cres. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him ;-pass.
Sennet.3 Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late : 4
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 Jeronimo, 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, but I know not on what 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,
Bru. No, Cassius : for the eye sees not itself,
Cas. 'Tis just:
5 - strange a hand -] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. Fohnson.
6 - passions of some difference, ] With a fluctuation of discor. dant opinions and desires. Johnson. So, in Coriolanus, Act V, sc. iii :
"— thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour
" At difference in thee.” Steevens. A following line inay prove the best comment on this:
“ Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, —.” Ma.one. 1 — your passion;] i.e. the nature of the fee.ings from which you are now suffering. So, in Timon of Athens:
“I feel my master's passion.” Steevens. 8 — the eye sees not itseif,] So, Sir John Davies in his poem entitled Nosce Teipsum, 1599:
“ Is it because the mind is like the eye,
- Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees ; “Whose rays reflect not, but spread outwardly;
56 Not seeing itself, when other things it sees?" Steevens.
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
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 you know That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, And after scandal them; or if you know That I profess myself in banqueting To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish, and Shout. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear, the people Choose Cæsar for their king.
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 trilling. 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,
3 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 thein 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. iij :
“— those powers, that the queen
“ Hath rais'din Gallia, have arriv'd our coast." Steevens. 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. 6 — feeble temper -] i.e. temperament, constitution. Steevens.
7- 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. 8 and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs.] So, as an anonymous writer has ofserved, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV, c. x:
“ But I the meanest man of many more,