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And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone:
And, when the cross blue lightning seemed to open
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens ? It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
122. Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze,
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not, Cassius ?
124. Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors,
Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
126. Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger, then ;
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
If I know this, know all the world besides,
I can shake off at pleasure.
127. Casca. So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
128. Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant, then?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
So vile a thing as Cæsar?
Where hast thou led me?
Before a willing bondman:
But, O, grief!
I, perhaps, speak this
Then I know
My answer must be made. But I am armed,
129. Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a man,
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;
And I will set this foot of mine as far
As who goes farthest.
130. Cas. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
To undergo, with me, an enterprise
In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night
In favour's like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
He is a friend.-Cinna, where haste you so?
Cin. To find out you: Who's that? Metellus Cimber?
134. Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna?
135. Cin. I am glad on't. What a fearful night is this! There's two or three of us have seen strange sights. 136. Cas. Am I not staid for? Tell me.
137. Cin. Yes, you are.
O Cassius, if you could
But win the noble Brutus to our party!
138. Cas. Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.
139. Cin. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone
Upon the next encounter, yields him ours.
Casca. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts; And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchymy,
Will change to virtue, and to worthiness.
142. Cas. Him, and his worth, and our great need of him,
The heading of Scene III. in the old copies is only "Thunder and Lightning. Enter Casca, and Cicero."
106. Brought you Cæsar home?—Bring, which is now ordinarily restricted to the sense of carrying hither (so that we cannot say Bring there), was formerly used in that of carrying or conveying generally. To bring one on his way, for instance, was to accompany him even if he had been leaving the speaker. So “ So "Brought you Cæsar home?" is Did you go home with Cæsar? The word re
tains its old sense in the expression To bring forth (fruit, or young), if not also in To bring down (a bird with a gun). To fetch, again, seems always to have meant more than to bring or to carry. "A horse cannot fetch, but only carry," says Launce in The Two Gent. of Ver. iii. 1.
107. All the sway of earth.-Sway, swing, swagger, are probably all of the same stock with weigh, and also with wave. The sway of earth may be explained as the balanced swing of earth.
107. Like a thing unfirm.-We have now lost the adjective unfirm, and we have appropriated infirm almost exclusively to the human body and mind, and their states and movements. For infirm generally we can only say not firm.
107. Have rived.—We have nearly lost this form, which is the one Shakespeare uses in the only two passages in which (if we may trust to Mrs Clarke) the past participle passive of the verb to rive is found in his works. The other is also in this Play :-" Brutus hath rived my heart," in 554. Milton, again, has our modern riven in the only passage of his poetry in which any part of the verb to rive occurs :-(P. L. vi. 449), "His riven arms to havoc hewn."
107. To be exalted with.-That is, in order, or in the effort, to be raised to the same height with.
107. A tempest dropping fire.-In the original text these three words are joined together by hyphens.
107. A civil strife in heaven.—A strife in which one part of heaven wars with another.
108. Any thing more wonderful.-That is, anything more that was wonderful. So in Coriolanus, iv. 6:—
"The slave's report is seconded, and more,
More fearful, is delivered."
So also in King John, iv. 2:
"Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possessed you with, and think them strong;
109. You know him well by sight.-Is it to be supposed that Casca really means to say that the common slave whom he chanced to meet was a particular individual well known to Cicero ? Of what importance could that circumstance be? Or for what purpose should Casca notice it, even supposing him to have been acquainted with the fact that Cicero knew the man well, and yet knew him only by sight? It is impossible not to suspect some interpolation or corruption. Perhaps the true reading may be, "you knew him well by sight," meaning that any one would have known him at once to be but a common slave (notwithstanding the preternatural appearance, as if almost of something godlike, which his uplifted hand exhibited, burning but unhurt).
109. Besides (I have not since, etc.-In the Folios "I ha' not since."
109. Against the Capitol.-Over against, opposite to. 109. Who glared upon me.-In all the Folios the word is glazed. Pope first changed it to glared. Malone afterwards substituted gazed, partly on the strength of a passage in Stowe's Chronicle,-which gave Steevens an opportunity of maliciously rejoining, after quoting other instances of Shakespeare's use of glare;-"I therefore continue to repair the poet with his own animated phraseology, rather than with the cold expression suggested by the narrative of Stowe; who, having been a tailor, was undoubtedly equal to the task of mending Shakespeare's hose, but, on poetical emergencies, must not be allowed to patch his dialogue." Glared is also the correction of Mr Collier's MS. annotator. The only other instance known of the use of glazed, in apparently the sense which it would have here, is one produced by Boswell, from King James's translation of the Urania of Du Bartas: "I gave a lusty glaise." Boswell adds that "Du Bartas's original affords us no assistance."
109. Drawn upon a heap.-Gathered together in a heap,