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Enter Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, METELLUS CIMBER,
and TREBONIUS. Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest: Good morrow, Brutus ; Do we trouble you ?
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.
Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,
He is welcome hither.
He is welcome too.
They are all welcome.
Cas. Shall I entreat a word ? [They whisper. Dec. Here lies the cast : Doth not the day break here? Casca. No.
Cin. 0, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines, That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.
Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceiv’d.
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
"No, not an oath : If not the face of men, &c.) Dr. Warburton would read fate of men ; but his elaborate emendation is, I think,
The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse, If these be motives weak, break off betimes, And every man hence to his idle bed; So let high-sighted tyranny range on, Till each man drop by lottery? But if these, 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 honesty to honesty engaged, That this shall be, or we will fall for it ? Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous“, Old feeble 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 enterprize, Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits, To think, that, or our cause, or our performance, Did need an oath ; when every drop of blood, 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 pass'd from him.
erroneous. The face of men is the countenance, the regard, the esteem of the publick; in other terms, honour and reputation; or the face of men may mean the dejected look of the people.
JOHNSON. · Till each man drop by lottery.] Perhaps the poet alluded to the custom of decimation, i. e. the selection by lot of every tenth soldier, in a general mutiny, for punishment.
3 And will not palter ?] And will not shuffle or fly from his engagements.
caulelous,] Is here cautious, sometimes insidious. 5 The even virtue of our enterprize,] The calm, equitable, temperate spirit that actuates us.
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him ?
Casca. Let us not leave him out.
No, by no means.
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him ; For he will never follow any thing That other men begin. Cas.
Then leave him out.
Cas. Decius, well urg'd:-I think it is not meet,
Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
6 - opinion,] i.e. character.
7 — and envy afterwards :) in Shakspeare's plays, malice.
Envy is here, as almost always
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Yet I do fear him :
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him :
Treb. There is no fear in him ; let him not die ;
[Clock strikes. Bru. Peace, count the clock.
The clock hath stricken three. Treb. 'Tis time to part. Cas.
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 terror of this night, 8 — take thought,] That is, turn melancholy. 9 — company.] Company is here used in a disreputable sense. I Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies :) Main opinion, is nothing more than leading, fixed, predominant opinion. Fantasy was in our author's time commonly used for imagination. Ceremonies means omens or signs deduced from sacrifices, or other ceremonial
And the persuasion of his augurers, .
Dec. Never fear that: If he be so resolv'd,
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Met. Caius Ligarius doth bear Casar hard,
Bru. Now, good Metellus, go along by him "; He loves me well, and I have given him reasons ; Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him. Cas. The morning comes upon us: We'll leave you,
Brutus: And, friends, disperse yourselves: but all remember What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans,
Bru. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily; Let not our looks * put on our purposes ;
? That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,] Unicorns are said to 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 despatched by the hunter. 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. Elephants were seduced into pitfalls, lightly covered with hurdles and turf, on which a proper bait to tempt them was exposed.
8 — by him ;] That is, by his house.
4 Let not our looks - Let not our faces put on, that is, wear or show our designs.