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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 be 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 ;7 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 work. ed into qualities contrary to irs original constitution Fohnson.
From that it is dispos’d, i.e. dispos’d to. See Vol. XI, p. 341, n. 2. Malone.
7 doth bear me hard;}i.e. has an unfavourable opinion of me. The same phrase occurs again in the first scene of Act III. Steevens. 8 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: Cæsar 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.
The same. A Street. 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 Aame and burn Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensiblc 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,3 and went surly by,
9 - Brought you Cæsar home?] Did you attend Cæsar home!
Johnson So, in Measure for Measure :
- That we may bring you something on the way.” See Vol. IX, p, 252, n.8. Malone.
1- sway of earth-] The whole weight or momentum of this globe. Johnson.
2 A cominon slave &c ] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "La slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvelous burning flame out of his hande, insomuch as they that saw it, thought 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 !"
Without annoying me: And there were drawn
Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time :
Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius
Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Farewel, Cicero. [Exit Cic.
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
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 scintillation of a lion's eye: and, that a lion should appear full of fury, and yet attempt no violence, augments the prodigy. Steevens.
4 Clean from the purpose - ] Clean is altogether, entirely. See Volx VIII, p. 70, n. 9. “Malone.
· And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
5- thunder-stone:] A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder. So, in Cymbeline :
6 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. Fohnson.
- and 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 Deuises, edit. 1576, Art. 54, sigaed, MBew :
“ 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 ced by Blackstone. 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.
Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius?
Cas. Let it be who it is : for Romans now
Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
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. 5. 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 injudiciously modernized, read sinews. Steevens.