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Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
8 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 "Of a poor maid?" STEEVENS.
1 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.
There was a Brutus once 2, that would have brook'd
BRU. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim1;
I will with patience hear: and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things.
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Is like to lay upon us.
Cas. I am glad, that my weak words 7
2 There was a Brutus once,] i. e. Lucius Junius Brutus.
3 - eternal devil-] I should think that our author wrote rather, infernal devil. JOHNSON.
I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (says Cassius) would as soon have submitted to the perpetual dominion of a dæmon, as to the lasting government of a king. STEEVENS. aim:] i. e. guess. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 'But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err-."
chew upon this ;] JOHNSON.
Consider this at leisure; ruminate on
6 Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.] As, in our author's age, was frequently used in the sense of that. So, in North's translation of Plutarch, 1579: " insomuch as they that saw it, thought he had been burnt." MALONE.
7 I am glad, THAT my WEAK words] For the sake of regular measure, Mr. Ritson would read:
I am glad, my words 'Have struck," &c. STEEVENS.
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Re-enter CESAR, and his Train.
BRU. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
CAS. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve; And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day. BRU. I will do so:-But, look you, Cassius, The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow, And all the rest look like a chidden train: Calphurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes, As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
CES. Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights: Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. ANT. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous; He is a noble Roman, and well given.
CES. 'Would he were fatter:-But I fear him not:
ferret - A ferret has red eyes.
9 Sleek-headed men, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch, 1579: "When Cæsar's friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some mischief towards him; he answered, as for those fat men and smooth-combed heads, (quoth he) I never reckon of them; but these pale-visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most; meaning Brutus and Cassius."
"Cæsar had Cassius in great jealousy, and suspected him much; whereupon he said on a time, to his friends, What will Cassius do, think you? I like not his pale looks." STEEVENS. ''Would he were fatter:] Ben Jonson, in his Bartholomew
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
[Exeunt CESAR and his Train. CASCA stays
CASCA. You pull'd me by the cloak; Would you speak with me?
BRU. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd today,
That Cæsar looks so sad.
CASCA. Why you were with him, were you not? BRU. I should not then ask Casca what hath
CASCA. Why, there was a crown offered him : and being offered him, he put it by with the back
Fair, 1614, unjustly sneers at this passage, in Knockham's speech to the Pig-woman : "Come, there's no malice in fat folks; I never fear thee, an I can scape thy lean moon-calf there."
he hears no musick:] Our author considered the having no delight in musick as so certain a mark of an austere disposition, that in The Merchant of Venice he has pronounced, that― "The man that hath no musick in himself,
"Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." Malone.
See vol. v. p. 141. STEEVENS.
of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a' shouting.
BRU. What was the second noise for?
CASCA. Why, for that too.
CAS. They shouted thrice; What was the last cry for ?
CASCA. Why, for that too.
BRU. Was the crown offer'd him thrice? CASCA. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by, mine honest neighbours shouted.
CAS. Who offered him the crown?
BRU. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca. CASCA. I can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery, I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown ;-yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets 3; -and, as I told you, he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned, and fell down at it: And for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.
CAS. But, soft, I pray you: What? did Cæsar swoon ?
3 - one of these CORONETS;] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: " he came to Cæsar, and presented him a diadem wreathed about with laurel." STEEVENS.