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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.
Cas. 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 in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere: Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perîsse." Lib. II, c. lxiv:
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 gentlewo men 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:
When Cæsar says, Do this, it is performed.
Cas. Ha! Who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still-Peace yet again.
Cas. Who is it in the press, that calls on me?
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cas. He is a dreamer; let us leave him ;-pass.
[Sennet.3 Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS. Cas. Will you go see the order of the course? Bru. Not I.
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
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.
I have not &c.
Brutus, I do observe of late,>
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
Of late, with passions of some difference,
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion ;7
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Cas. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
you have no such mirrors, as will turn
strange a hand-] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. Johnson.
6 - 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?"
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
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.
Ay, do you fear it?
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well:-
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other,
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. 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 kindles 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.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
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.
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 coast." Steevens. VOL. XIV.