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Cal. Here, my lord.
Cas. Stand you directly in Antonius' way,2 When he doth run his course.-Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, To touch Calphurnia: for our elders say, The barren, touched in this holy chase, Shake off their steril curse.
amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam în auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere: Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perîsse." Lib. II,
"Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter amicos
"Ante alios Decimus, cui fallere, nomen amici
Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus, arose from the old translation of Plutarch. Farmer.
Lord Sterline has committed the same mistake in his Julius Casar: and in Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, which I believe Shakspeare had read, this person is likewise called Decius Brutus. Malone.
2 in Antonius' way,] The old copy generally reads-Antonio, Octavio, Flavio. The players were more accustomed to Italian than Roman terminations, on account of the many versions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in dramatick pieces formed on the same originals. Steevens.
The correction was made by Mr. Pope "At that time, (says Plutarch) the feast Lupercalia was celebrated, the which in olde time men say was the feast of Shepheards or heardsmen, and is much like unto the feast of Lyceians in Arcadia. But howsoever it is, that day there are diverse noble men's sonnes, young men, (and some of them magistrates themselves that govern them) which run naked through the city, striking in sport them they meet in their way with leather thongs.-And many noble women and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand in their way, and doe put forth their handes to be stricken, persuading themselves that being with childe, they shall have good deliverie; and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive with child. Cæsar sat to behold that sport vpon the pulpit for orations, in a chayre of gold, apparelled in triumphant manner. Antonius, who was consul at that time, was one of them that ronne this holy course." North's translation.
We learn from Cicero that Cæsar constituted a new kind of these Luperci, whom he called after his own name, Juliani; and Mark Antony was the first who was so entitled. Malone.
I shall remember:
Cas. Ha! Who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still :--Peace yet again. [Musick ceases.
Cas. Who is it in the press, that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the musick, Cry, Cæsar: Speak; Cæsar is turn'd to hear. Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that? Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March. Cas. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cas. He is a dreamer; let us leave him ;—pass.
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
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,
"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.
Brutus, I do observe of late,
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your pas-
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Bru. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself,8
Cas. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
5 strange a hand-] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. Johnson.
passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discordant 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 may prove the best comment on this: "Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
- 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, 1599:
"Is it because the mind is like the eye,
Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees;
"Whose rays reflect not, but spread outwardly;
"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 love1 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.
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 caths. 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 kindies in his mind, he sets honour above life. Is not this natural? Johnson.
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
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. iii :
those powers, that the queen
"Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arriv'd our coas:.' Steevens. VOL. XIV.