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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 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 *:
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Of late, with passions of some difference",
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
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,
STRANGE a hand -] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger. JOHNSON.
passions of some DIFFERENCE,] With a fluctuation of dis
cordant opinions and desires. JOHNSON.
So, in Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. III.:
thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour "At difference in thee."
A following line may prove the best comment on this :
"Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war-." Malone.
CAS. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion 7;
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face? BRU. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself, But by reflection, by some other things.
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 hear:
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
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. 8 — the EYE sees not itself,] So, (Sir John Davies in his entitled Nosce Teipsum, 1599:
"Is it because the mind is like the eye,
"Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees;
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,
"Mine eyes which see all objects nigh and far, "Look not into this little world of mine;
"Nor see my face, wherein they fixed are." MALone.
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
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
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 other, And I will look on both indifferently2: 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.
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. I not this natural ? JOHNSON.
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
And bade him follow: so indeed, he did.
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
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 coast."
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake: His coward lips did from their colour fly 5;
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.
6- 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.