Imatges de pÓgina

As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women; then, countrymen,
What need we any spur, but our own cause,
To prick us to redress ? what other bond,
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter ?? and what other oath,
Than honefty to honesty engag'd,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it?
Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous,
Old fecble carrions, and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprizes,
Nor the insuppreflive mettle of our spirits,
To think, that, or our cause, or our performance,
Did need an oath ; when every drop of blood,

custom of decimation, i. e. the selection by lot of every tenth foldier, in a general mutiny, for punishment. He speaks of this in Coriolanus :

By decimation, and a tyrbed dearb,

Take obou tby fate." STEEVENS. 2 And will not palter ?] And will not fly from his engagements. Cole in his Dictionary, 1679, renders to palter, by tergiverfor. In Macberb it fignifies, as Dr. Johnson has observed, to jhu fie with ambiguous expressions: and, indeed, here also it may mean to shuffle ; for he whose actions do not correspond with his promises is properly called a fbuffler. Malone. 3 Swear priests, &c.] This is imitated by Otway: W ben youwould bind me, is obere need of oatbs" &c.

Venice Preserved. Johnson. cautelous,] is here cautious; sometimes insidious. So, in Draycon's Miseries of Queen Margaret :

" Witty, well spoken, cautelous, though young." Again, in the second of these two senses in the romance of Kynge Appolyn of Thyre, 1610: “ — a fallacious polycy and cautelous wyle." Again, in Holinshed, p. 945: “ the emperor's councell thought by a cautell to have brought the king in mind to sue for a licence from the pope." STEEVENS.

Bullokar in his Englis Expositor, 1616, explains cautelous thus : Warie, circumspect ;' in which sense it is certainly used here.

MALONE. 5 Tbe even virtue of our enterprize,] The calm, equable, temperate spirit that aduates us. MALONE. Vol. VII.



That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy,
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath paft from him.

Caj. But what of Cicero? Shall we found him?
I think, he will stand very strong with us.

Casca. Let us not leave him out.
Cin, No, by no means.

Met. O, let us have him ; for his silver hairs
Will purchase as a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds :
It shall be said, his judgment rul'd our hands;
Our youths, and wildness, shall no whit appear,
But all be bury'd in his gravity.

Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.

Caf. Then leave him out.
Casca. Indeed, he is not fit.
Dec. Shall no man else be touch'd, but only Cæfar?

Caf. Decius, well urg'd :-I think, it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well belov’d of Cæsar,
Should out-live Cæsar: We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far,
As to annoy us all : which to prevent,
Let Antony, and Cæsar, fall together.

Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Caffius,
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs;
Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards 6 :
For Antony is but a limb of Cæsar.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cæsar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood :
O, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit”,


6 – and envy afterwards: ] Enay is here, as almost always in Shakfpeare's plays, molice. See p. 42, n. 2; and p. 70, n. 5. MALONE. 7 0, ibat we iben could come by Cefar's spirit, &c.] Lord Sterline


And not dismember Cæsar! But, alas,
Cælar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully ;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods 3
Not hew him as a carcale fit for hounds :
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
And after seem to chide them. This shall make
Our purpose necessary, and not envious :
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call’d purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him ;
For he can do no more than Cæsar's arm,
When Cæsar's head is off.

Cas. Yet I fear him:
For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar,

Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:
If he love Cæsar, all that he can do
Is to himself; take thought', and die for Cæsar:
has the same thought. Brutus, remonstrating against the taking off
of Anthony, says:

“ Ah!'ah! we must but too much murder see,

" That without doing evil cannot do good ;
« And would the gods that Rome could be made free,

“ Without the effufion of one drop of blood !” MALONE, - as a difos fit for ibe gods, &c.]

Gradive, dedifti,
“ Ne qua manus vatem, ne quid mortalia bello
« Lædere tela queant, sanctum et venerabile Diti

“ Funus erat.” Sial. Tbeb. VII. 1. 696. STEEVEN S.
Not bew bim as a carcaje fit for bounds : 1 Our authour had probably
the following passage in the old translation of Plutarch in his thoughts:
"-Cæsar turned himselfe no where but he was stricken at by some,
and ftill had naked swords in his face, and was backed and mangled
among them as a wild beast taken of bunters.”. MALONE.

Take i bougbı,] That is, tura melancboly. JOHNSON.
So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

" What shall we do, Ænobarbus?

« Tbink, and die."
Again, in Holinfhed, p. 833:“—now they were without service, which
caused them to lake i bougbi, insomuch that some died by the way," &c.

See Vol. IV. p. 49, n. 26


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And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.

Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.

[Clock frikeso
Bru. Peace, count the clock.
Caf. The clock hath stricken three.
Treb. 'Tis time to part.

Caf. But it is doubtful yet,
Whe'r Cæsar will come forth to-day, or no:
For he is superstitious grown of late;
Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies ? :
It may be, these apparent prodigies,
The unaccustom’d terrour of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers,
May hold him from the Capitol to-day.

Dec. Never fear that: If he be so resolv'd,
I can o'ersway him : for he loves to hear,
That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes 3,


2 — quite from the main opinion be beld once

Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies :] Main opinion is leading fixed predominant opinion. JOHNSON.

Mr. Mason with some probability conjectures that Shakspeare wrote - mean opinion. The mistake might easily have happened, for in the age of Elizabeth the two words were, I believe, pronounced alike, as they are at this day in Warwickshire, and some other counties.

Fantasy was in our authour's time commonly used for imaginarios, and is so explained in Cawdry's Alpbabetical Table of bard words, 8vo. 1604. It signified both the imaginative power, and the thing imagined. It is used in the former sense by Shakspeare in Tbe Merry Wives of Windsor :

« Raise up the organs of her fantasy.” In the latter, in the present play:

“ Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies.Ceremonies means omens or signs deduced from sacrifices, or other cers. monial rites. So, afterwards :

" Cæfar, I never stood on ceremonies,

Yet now they fright me." MALONE. 3 Tbat unicorns may be betray'd by trees, And bears wirb glajes, elephants wirb boles, ] Unicorns are said to

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Lions with toils, and men with flatterers :
But, when I tell him, he hates flatterers,
He says, he does; being then moft flattered.
Let me work:
For I can give his humour the true bent;
And I will bring him to the Capitol.

Gas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Bru. By the eighth hour: Is that the uttermost?
Cin. Be that the uttermoft, and fail not then.

Met. Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hard“,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey;
I wonder, none of you have thought of him.

have been taken by one who, running behind a tree, eluded the violent push the animal was making at him, so that his horn spent its force on the trunk, and stuck fast, detaining the beast till he was dispatched by the hunter. So, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. II, c. 5:

“ Like as a lyon whose imperiall powre
A prow'd rebellious unicorne defies;
“ T'avoid the rafh assault and wrathfull stowre
« Of bis fiers foe, him to a tree applies :
And when him running in full course he spies,
“ He Nips aside; the whiles the furious beast
“ His precious horne, fought of his enemies,
« Strikes in the stocke, ne thence can be releaft,

“ But to the mighty victor yields a bounteous feast." Again, in Bully D'Ambois, 1607;

An angry unicerne in his full career
« Charge with too swift a foot a jeweller
" That watch'd him for the treasure of his brow,
16 And e'er he could get Melter of a tree,

« Nail him with his rich antler to the earth." Bears are reported to have been surprised by means of a mirror, which they would gaze on, affording their pursuers an opportunity of taking the surer aim. This circumstance, I think, is mentioned by Claudian. Elepbants were seduced inco pitfalls, lightly covered with hurdles and turf, on which a proper bait to tempt them, was exposed. See Pliny's Nat. Hift. B. VII. STEEVENS.

4 - bear Cæsar hard,] Thus the old copy, but Rowe, Pope, and Hanmer, on the authority of the latter folios read hatred, though the same expression appears again in the first scene of the following act: “I do beseech you, if you bear me bard:" and has already occurr'd in a former one :

“ Cæsar doth bear me bard, but he loves Brutus." STEEVENS Hatred was substituted for hard by the ignorant editor of the second folio, the great corrupter of Shakspeare's text. MALONE.

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