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CAS. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself; Have mind upon your health, tempt me no further. BRU. Away, slight man!
CAS. Is't possible?
BRU. Hear me, for I will speak. Must I give way and room to your rash choler? Shall I be frighted, when a madman stares ? CAS. O ye gods! ye gods! Must I endure all
BRU. All this? ay,. more: Fret, till your proud heart break;
Go, show your slaves how cholerick you are,
Is it come to this? BRU. You say, you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well: For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
CAS. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus ;
I said, an elder soldier, not a better;
Did I say, better?
If you did, I care not.
CAS. When Cæsar liv'd, he durst not thus have
BRU. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him.
CAS. I durst not?
6 I'll use you for my mirth,] Mr. Rowe has transplanted this insult into the mouth of Lothario:
"And use his sacred friendship for our mirth." STEEVENS.
CAS. What? durst not tempt him?
For your life you durst not. CAS. Do not presume too much upon my love, may do that I shall be sorry for.
BRU. You have done that you should be sorry for. There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me ;For I can raise no money by vile means:
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash", By any indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: Was that done like Cassius?
From the HARD hands of peasants their vile trash,] This is a noble sentiment, altogether in character, and expressed in a manner inimitably happy. For to wring, implies both to get unjustly, and to use force in getting: and hard hands signify both the peasant's great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold. WARBURTON.
I do not believe that Shakspeare, when he wrote hard hands in this place, had any deeper meaning than in the following line in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
"Hard-handed men that work in Athens here."
Mr. H. White might have supported his opinion, (with which I perfectly concur) by another instance, from Cymbeline:
"Made hourly hard with falsehood as with labour."
BRU. You did.
I denied you not.
I did not :-he was but a fool, That brought my answer back.-Brutus hath riv'd my heart:
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
I do not like your faults. CAS. A friendly eye could never see such faults. BRU. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.
CAS. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world:
Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
my answer BACK.] The word back is unnecessary to the sense, and spoils the measure. STEEVENS.
9 Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me.] The meaning is this: I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and mention them with vehemence, when you force them into my notice, by practising them on me.' JOHNSON.
If that thou BE'ST A ROMAN, take it forth;] I think he means only, that he is so far from avarice, when the cause of his country requires liberality, that if any man would wish for his heart, he would not need enforce his desire any otherwise, than by showing that he was a Roman. JOHNSON.
This seems only a form of adjuration like that of Brutus, p. 125: Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true." BLACKSTONE.
Strike, as thou didst at Cæsar; for, I know,
Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.
BRU. Sheath your dagger : Be angry when you will, it shall have scope; Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour. O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb That carries anger, as the flint bears fire; Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark, And straight is cold again.
Hath Cassius liv'd
CAS To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him ? BRU. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too. CAS. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
BRU. And my heart too.
What's the matter?
CAS. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When that rash humour, which my mother gave me, Makes me forgetful?
Yes, Cassius; and, from henceforth When you are over-earnest with your Brutus, He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so. [Noise within. POET. [Within.] Let me go in to see the gene
and, HENCEFORTH,] Old copy, redundantly in respect both of sense and measure :-" and from henceforth." But the present omission is countenanced by many passages in our author, besides the following in Macbeth:
Thanes and kinsmen,
Henceforth be earls." STEEVENs.
chides,] i. e. is clamorous, scolds. So, in As You Like It; "For what had he to do to chide at me?" STEEVENS,
There is some grudge between them, 'tis not meet They be alone.
Luc. [Within.] You shall not come to them. POET. [Within.] Nothing but death shall stay
CAS. How now? What's the matter?
POET. For shame, you generals; What do you mean?
Love, and be friends, as two such men should be ; For I have seen more years, I am sure, than ye CAS. Ha, ha; how vilely doth this cynick rhyme ! BRU. Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence. CAS. Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion. BRU. I'll know his humour, when he knows his time:
What should the wars do with these jigging fools 6? Companion, hence".
4 Enter Poet.] Shakspeare found the present incident in Plutarch. The intruder, however, was Marcus Phaonius, who had been a friend and follower of Cato; not a poet, but one who assumed the character of a cynick philosopher. STEEVENS.
5 Love, and be friends, as two such men should be;
For I have seen more years, I am sure, than ye.] This passage is a translation from the following one in the first book of Homer:
̓Αλλὰ πίθεσθ'. ἄμφω δὲ νεωτέρω ἐτὸν εμεῖο :
which is thus given in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch : My lords, I pray you hearken both to me,
"For I have seen more years than such ye three."
See also Antony's speech, p. 108:
"Octavius, I have seen more days than you."
Again, in Chapman's Iliad, book ix. :
"I am his greater, being a king, and more in yeares than he." STEEVENS.
6 What should the wars do with these JIGGING fools?] i. e. with these silly poets. A jig signified, in our author's time, a metrical composition, as well as a dance. So, in the prologue to Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn:
"A jig shall be clapp'd at, and every rhyme
Prais'd and applauded by a clamorous chime."