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CAS. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
CAS. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors, as will turn
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
CAS. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
7- 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?'
Again, in Marston's Parasitaster, 1606:
"Thus few strike sail until they run on shelf;
"The eye sees all things but its proper self." STEEVENS. Again, in Sir John Davies's Poem:
the lights which in my tower do shine,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish, and Shout BRU. What means this shouting? I do fear, the
Choose Cæsar for their king.
CAS. Ay, do you fear it? Then must I think you would not have it so.
BRU. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :But wherefore do you hold me here so long? 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 othre, And I will look on both indifferently 2: For, let the gods so speed me, as I love The name of honour more than I fear death. CAS. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, As well as I do know your outward favour. Well, honour is the subject of my story.I cannot tell, what you and other men
*First folio, on me.
9-a common LAUGHER,] Old copy-laughter. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
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. I not this natural? JOHNSON.
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
And bade him follow: so indeed, he did.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
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 coast."
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
BRU. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar. CAS. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
5 His COWARD lips did from their cOLOUR FLY;] A plain man would have said, the colour fled from his lips, and not his lip from their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false a piece of wit a poor quibble, alluding to a coward flying from his colours. WARBURTON.
feeble temper-] i. e. temperament, constitution.
7-get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympick games. The majestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their citizens set themselves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion seems to be to the known story of Cæsar's great pattern, Alexander, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at the Olympick games, replied, "Yes, if the racers were kings."
That the allusion is to the prize allotted in games to the foremost in the race, is very clear. All the rest existed, I apprehend, only in Dr. Warburton's imagination. MALONE.
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
Brutus, and Cæsar: What should be in that Cæsar?
and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs,] So, as an anonymous writer has observed, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iv. c. x. st. 19:
"But I the meanest man of many more,
"Yet much disdaining unto him to lout,
9 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;] A similar thought occurs in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630:
What diapason's more in Tarquin's name,
"Than in a subject's? or what's Tullia
"More in the sound, than should become the name
'Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.] Dr. Young, in his Busiris, appears to have imitated this passage:
Nay, stamp not, tyrant; I can stamp as loud,
And raise as many dæmons with the sound." STEEVENS. VOL. XII.