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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 *:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And show of love, as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.



Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,

I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am,

Of late, with passions of some difference",
Conceptions only proper to myself,


Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd;
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one ;)
Nor construe any further my neglect,

Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.

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?

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"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
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,

That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
(Except immortal Cæsar,) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
BRU. Into what dangers would you lead me,

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,


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;
"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,

"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.
And be not jealous of me *, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love 1
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


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 had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,

The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood3,
And swim to yonder point?-Upon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,

And bade him follow: so indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd 4,
Cæsar cry'd, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

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

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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,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,

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,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan :

Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestick world",
And bear the palm alone.

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.

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