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As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
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,
Caj. But what of Cicero? Shall we found him?
Casca. Let us not leave him out.
Met. O, let us have him ; for his silver hairs
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him;
Caf. Then leave him out.
Caf. Decius, well urg'd :-I think, it is not meet,
Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Caffius,
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,
Cas. Yet I fear him:
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:
“ Ah!'ah! we must but too much murder see,
" That without doing evil cannot do good ;
“ Without the effufion of one drop of blood !” MALONE, - as a difos fit for ibe gods, &c.]
“ Funus erat.” Sial. Tbeb. VII. 1. 696. STEEVEN S.
Take i bougbı,] That is, tura melancboly. JOHNSON.
" What shall we do, Ænobarbus?
« Tbink, and die."
And that were much he should; for he is given
Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
Caf. But it is doubtful yet,
Dec. Never fear that: If he be so resolv'd,
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
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers :
Gas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Met. Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hard“,
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
“ But to the mighty victor yields a bounteous feast." Again, in Bully D'Ambois, 1607;
“ An angry unicerne in his full career
« 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.