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Not Erebus itself were dim enough
CIMBER, and TREBONIUS.
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.
Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man herle,
He is welcome hitber.
He is welcome too.
They are all welcome.
[They whisper. Dec. Here lies the east : Doth not the day break here? Casca. No.
Cin. O, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines, That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.
Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceiv'd. Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises ; Which is a great way growing on the south, Weighing the youthful season of the year. Some two months hence, up higher toward the north He first presents his fire; and the high east Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.
“ Where, from the neighbouring hills, her passage Wey doth
path.” Again, in his Epistle from Duke Humphrey to Elinor Cobham:
“ Pathing young Henry's unadvised ways.” Steevens. 3 do interpose themselves &c.] For the sake of measure I am willing to think our author wrote as follows, and that the word themselves is an interpolation:
What watchful cares do inter pose betwixt
Shall I entreat a word? Steevens.
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Bru. No, not an oath : If not the face of men,
4 No, not an oath: If not the face of men, &c.] Dr. Warburton would read fate of men; but his elaborate emendation is, I think, erroneous. The face of men is the countenance, the regard, the esteem of the publick; in other terms, honour and reputation; or the face of men may mean the dejected look of the people. Johnson.
So, Tully in Catilinam--Nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt?
Shakspeare formed this speech on the following passage in Sir T. North's translation of Plutarch :-" The conspirators having never taken oaths together, nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious oaths, they kept the matter so secret to themselves,” &c. Steevens.
I cannot reconcile myself to Johnson's explanation of this passage, but believe we should read :
- If not the faith of men, &c.
" What other bond
" Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.” Both of which prove, that Brutus considered the faith of men as their firmest security in each other. M. Mason.
In this sentence, si. e. the two first lines of the speech] as in several others, Shakspeare, with a view perhaps to imitate the abrupt. ness and inaccuracy of discourse, has constructed the latter part without any regard to the beginning. “ If the face of men, the suf. ferance of our souls, &c. If these be not sufficient; if these be mo. tives weak,” &c. So, in The Tempest:
“ I have with such provision in mine art,
“ No, not so much perdition," &c. Mr. M. Mason would read--if not the faith of men . If the text be corrupt, faiths is more likely to have been the poet's word; which might have been easily confounded by the ear with face, the word exhibited in the old copy. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“- the manner of their deaths?
" I do not see them bleed." Again, in King Henry VI, P III:
“And with their helps only defend ourselves." Again, more appositely, in The Rape of Lucrece:
66 - You, fair lords, quoth she,--
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
5 Till each man drop by lottery.) Perhaps the poet alluded to the custom of decimation, i. e. the selection by lot of every tenth soldier, in a general mutiny, for punishment. He speaks of this in Coriolanus :
“ By decimation, and a tithed death,
“ Take thou thy fate.” Steevens. 6 And will not palter?] And will not fly from his engagements. Cole, in his Dictionary, 1679, renders to palter, by tergiversor. In Macbeth it signifies, as Dr. Johnson has observed, to shuffle with ambiguous expressions : and, indeed, here also it may mean to shuffle ; for he whose actions do not correspond with his promises is properly called a shufier. Malone. 7 Swear priests, &c.] This is imitated by Otway: “When you would bind me, is there need of oaths ?”' &c.
. Venice Preserved. Fohnson. 8 - cautelous. 7 Is here cautious, sometimes insidious.
So, in Woman is a Weathercock, 1612: “Yet warn you, beas cautelous not to wound my integrity.” Again, in Drayton's Miseries of Queen Margaret:
“ Witty, well-spoken, cautelous, though young.” Again, in the second of these two senses in the romance of Kynge Appolyn of Thyre, 1610 : " — a fallacious policy and cautelous wyle.”
Again, in Holinshed, p. 945:" the emperor's councell thought by a cautell to have brought the king in mind to sue for a licence from the pope.” Steevens.
Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 1616, explains cautelous thus: “Warie, circumspect ;” in which sense it is certainly used here.
Malone VOL. XIV.
Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
No, by no means.
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him; For he will never follow any thing That other men begin. Cas.
Then leave him out.
Cas. Decius, well urg'd :-I think, it is not meet,
Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius.
9 The even virtue of our enterprize,] The calm, equable, temperate spirit that actuates us. Malone. Thus in Mr. Pope's Eloisa to Abelard:
“ Desires compos'd, affections ever even,-.” Steevens. . 1 opinion, 1 i. e. character. So, in King Henry IV, P, I:
- Thou hast redeein'd thy lost opinion," The quotation is Mr. Reed's. See Vol. VIII, p. 328, n.5. Steevens. 2 — and envy afterwards :] Enoy is here, as almost always in Shakspeare's plays, malice. See Vol. XI, p. 240, n. 7; and p. 273, 11, 6. Malore.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
Yet I do fear him:6
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him :
3 O, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit, &c.] Lord Sterline has the same thought: Brutus remonstrating against the taking off Antony, says:
* Ah! ah! we must but too much murder see,
“That without doing evil cannot do good;
“ Without the effusion of one drop of blood ?' Malonę.
_ Gradive, dedisti,
“ Funus erat." Stat. Theb. VII, 1. 696. Steevens. 3 Not hew him as a carcase fit for hounds :] Our author had proba. bly the following passage in the old translation of Plutarch in his thoughts: “ _ Cæsar turned himselfe no where but he was stricken at by some, and still had naked swords in his face, and was hacked and mangled among them as a wild beast taken of hunters.” Malone.
6 Yet I do fear him:] For the sake of metre I have supplied the auxiliary verb. So, in Macbeth:
" There is none but him
“ Whose being I do fear. Steevens. ? --- Take thought,] That is, turn melancholy. Johnsona