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Changes to the inside of Brutus's
Re-enter Brutus and Cassius.
Caf. (12) That you have wrongd me doth appear
Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a cafe.
(12) That, &c.] I fall not use any apology for quoting this celebrated scene entire ; since to have taken any particular passages from it would have spoilt the beauty of the whole : Its excellence is so generally known, and so greatly admired, that there remains little to be said concerning it: There is a famous scene of the like kind between Agamemnon and Menelaus; in the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides, which Mr. Dryden judges inferior to this; the Reader may see what he says upon this head in his preface to Troilus and Creffida, in which he himself has introduced a similar scene : Beaumont and Fletcher, charmed, I suppose, with the applause our author met with for this scene, (which we find particularly commended in some verses prefix'd to the first folio impression of his works,
Or till I hear a scene more nobly take,
They, I say, have endeavoured to imitate him with their usual succes, in the Maid's Tragedy, where “ two virtuous persons, as bere and in Euripides, raised by natural degrees to ihe extremity of paflion, are conducted to the declination of that paffion, and conclude with the warm renewing of their friendship.” See the Maid's Tragedy, Act 3. Mr. Giidon in his remarks on Shakespear's works, at the end of his poems, has translated the quarrelling scene from Euripides, in which, if a good deal of the spirit has evaporated, the Reader will yet in some measure be able to judge of its merits. See Shakespear's Poems, Sewel's edit. p. 388.
That (13) ev'ry nice offence should bear its coma
Bru. Yet let me tell you, Casius, you yourself
Caf. I an itching palm?
Bru. The name of Caffius honours this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide its head.
Cas, Chastisement !
Caf. Brutus, bay not me,
(13) Every nice, &c.] This may be well understood and explained by every Night or trifling offence; but I am to imagine the author gave it,
That every offence should bear nice comment. It was so easy for the word nice to have been removed from its proper place : his comment is in the folio, which thews there is something wrong, and the metre by this reading is as perfect, Ray more so, than by the other,
Bru. Go to; you are not, (14) Casius..
Bru, Away, flight man.
Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
rash choler? Shall I be frighted when a madman stares ?
Caf. O Gods! ye Gods! must I endure all this? Bru. All this ! ay, more. Fret 'till your proud heart
breaks ; Go therv
flaves how choleric you are, And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
(14) Va are not, Cafsnis.] See Mr. Warburton's note on the place; upon which Mr. Edwards, in his Canons of Criticism, P. 93. obferves thus, “ If Mr. Warburton had not been giddy with his ideas of bravery, disinterestedness, philosophy, honour, and patriotism, which have nothing to do here, he woulí have seen, that Caffius is the vocative case, not the nominative; and that Brutus does not mean to say, you are not an able fodicr; but he says, you are not an abler than I; a poist which it was far from being beneath his character to insist on.
If the words, you are not, Caspus, meant a new imputation en him for degeneracy, his mere denial of it is very fiat, and Brutus replying to that denial, by a mere repetition of his former affertion, without adding any reason for it, is still worse : whereas, if the words mean only a denial of what Caffius had jun faid, it is natural enough for each of them to maintain his ground, by a confident assertion of the truth of his opinion. And that the superiority of soldiership was the point of thz'r dispute, is most manifestly evident; by Brutus relumng it a little lower,
You say you are a better soldier, &c,
Upon which Cafius answers,
You wrong me ev'ry way; you wrong me, Brutus,
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Caf. Is it come to this ?
Bru. You say, you are a better foldier ; Let it appear so; make your vaunting true, And it shall please me well.
For mine own part,
Bru. If you did, I care not.
mov'd me. Bru. Peace, peace, you durft not so have tempted
Bru. You have done that you should be forry for.
I did send to you
15) Than to wring, &c.} This inimitable passage is not only higłły in character, but as Mr. Warburton has observed, is most
From the bard hands of peasants their vile trash,
Cal. I deny'd you not.
Caf. I did not he was but a fool,
Bru. I do not, 'till you practise them on me.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
better Than ever thou lov’dst Caffius.
happily expressed. “ To wring implies both to get injustly, and to use force in getting: and hard hands fignify both the peasants great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold."