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Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Caf. I an itching palm?
Brú. The name of Calius honours this corruption,
Bru, Remember March, the ides of March remember! Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake ? What villain touch'd his body, that did ftab, And not for justice'? What, shall one of us, That struck the foremost man of all this world, But for supporting robbers ; shall we now Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ? And sell the mighty space of our large honours, For so much trash, as may be grasped thus:-I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman. Caf. Brutus, bait not me?,
1 Wbat villain toucb'd bis body, tbai did pab,
And not for justice? ] This question is far from implying that any of those who touch'd Cæsar's body, were villains. On the contrary, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not one an among them, who was base enough to stab him for any cause but that of juro tice. MALONE.
2 Brutus, bait not me,] Thus the old copy. Mr. Theobald and all the subsequent editors read bay not me; and the emendation is fuffie ciently plausible, our authour having in Troilus and Cressida used the word bay in the same sense :
« What moves Ajax thus to bay at him!” But as he has likewise twice used bait in the sense required here, the text, in my apprehension, ought not to be disturbed. “I will not yield,” says Macbeth,
“ To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
" And to be taited with che rabble's curle," Again, in Coriolanus:
" — why itay we to be baited
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
Bru. Go to; you are not, Caffius.
Caf. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Bru. Away, Night man!
Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Cas. O ye gods! ye gods! Muit I endure all this?
So, also in a comedy entitled How to cboose a good wife from s beds 1602 :
“ Do I come home so seldom, and that seldom
" Am I chus baited 7" MALONE. 3 To bedge me in;] That is, to limit my authority by your direction or censure. Johnson. 4 - I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, &c.] Thus the ancient copies; but the modern editors, instead of I, have read ay, because the vowel I sometimes stands for ay the affirmative adverb. I have replaced the old reading, on the authority of the following line:
« And I am Brutus; Marcus Brutus, I." STIEVEN 3, See Vol. V. p. 329, n. 7. MALONE.
s To make conditions.] That is, to know on what terms it is fit to confer the offices which are at my disposal. Jon WuN.
Caf. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say, you are a better foldier:
Caf, You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus ;
Bru. If you did, I care not.
Bru. Peace, peace; you durft not so have tempted him.
Caf. Do not presume too much upon my love,
Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for.
6 - than to wring
From ebe hard bands of peasants ibeir vile trash,] This is a noble fentiment, altogether in character, and expressed in a manner inimite ably happy. For to wring, implies both to get unjusly, and to use force in getting: and hard bands fignify both the peasant's great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold.
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Caf. I deny'd you not.
Caf. I did not :- he was but a fool,
Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me?.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear
Antony, and young Octavius, come,
7 I do not, till you practise tbem on mer] The meaning is this: I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and mention them with vehe. mence, when you force them into my notice, by praktiling them on me.
JOHNSON, 8 If that tbou beft a Roman, take it foreb; &c.] I think he means, that he is so far from avarice, when the cause of his country requires liberality, that if any man should with for his heart, he would not need enforce his desire any otherwise, than by shewing that he was a Romana
JOHN50N This seems only a form of adjuration like that of Brutus, p. 395: « Now, as you are a Ruman, tell me true," BLACKSTONE.
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dft him better Than ever thou lov’ds Cassius.
Bru. Sheath your dagger:
you will, it shall have scope;
Caf. Hath Caslius liv'd
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd, too.
Bru. Yes, Caflius; and, from henceforth,
Luc. [within.] You Thall not come to them.
9 Enter Poet.] Shakspeare found the present incident in Plutarcb. The intruder, however, was Marcus Pbaonius, who had been a friend and follower of Cato; not a poet, but one who alluined the character of a cynic philosopher. STEEVENS.
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