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153. But one only man. Cf. Hooker, Eccl. Pol. i. 25: “one only God;' i. 10. 14: “one only family,” etc. Gr. 130.
155. There was a Brutus once. Lucius Junius Brutus, who brought about the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus. Cf. i. 3. 145 below.
156. The eternal devil. Johnson thought that S. wrote infernal devil.” Steevens explains thus : "L. J. Brutus (says Cassius) would as soon have submitted to the perpetual dominion of a demon as to the lasting government of a king.” Abbott (Gr. p. 16) considers it one of the exceptions to the exactness with which the poet used words that were “the recent inventions of the age.” Cf. Oth. iv. 2. 130 : “eternal villain;" Ham. v. 2. 376: “eternal cell.” Wr. compares the Yankee “tarnal."
Keep his state. Maintain his dignity; or, perhaps, keep his throne. Cf. Macb. p. 214, note on Her state.
158. Nothing jealous. Nowise doubtful. Cf. 67 above ; and see also T. of S. iv. 5. 76: “For our first merriment hath made thee jealous,” etc.
159. I have some aim. I can partly guess, or conjecture. Cf. 7. G. of V. ii. 1. 28: “fearing leșt my jealous aim might err,” etc.
162. So with love. On so (=if, provided that), see Gr. 133.
167. Chew upon this. “We have lost the Saxon word in this application, but we retain the metaphor, only translating chew into the Latin equivalent, ruminate” (Craik).
168. Brutus had rather be, etc. See M. of V. p. 132, note on 43. The superlative rathest is found in Bacon, Colours of Good and Evil, i. : “whome next themselves they would rathest commend.”
169. Than to repute. See Temp. p. 131 (note on 62), or Gr. 350.
177. What hath proceeded worthy note. What hath happened. On the ellipsis, see Gr. 1981.
178. Cassius. Here a trisyllable, as in several other instances. See Gr. 479.
182. Such ferret and such fiery eyes. The ferret has red eyes.
183. As we have seen him. That is, seen him look with. See Gr. 384.
184. Cross'd in conference. Opposed in debate. D. and H. read “sen
188. Let me have men about me, etc. Cf. N. (Life of Cæsar): “ Cæsar also had Cassius in great jealousie, and suspected him much: whereupon he said upon a time to his friends, what will Cassius do, think ye? I like not his pale looks. Another time, when Cæsars friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some mischief towards him : he answered them again, 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.” So also, in Life of Brutus : “For, intelligence being brought him one day that Antonius and Dolabella did conspire against him: he answered, That these fat long haired men made him not afraid, but the lean and whitely faced fellows, meaning that by Brutus and Cassius."
189. Onights. The folio has “a-nights." See Gr. 182, and cf. 176 and 24.
190. Yond. Often printed “ Yond'," but not a contraction of yonder. See Temp. p. 121, note on 407.
193. Will given. Well disposed. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. ji. 1. 72: “too well given,” etc. In i Hen. IV. iii. 3, we have both “virtuously given” (16) and “given to virtue” (38).
195. Liable to fear. Liable to the imputation of fear.
200. He hears no music. Cf. M. of V. v. I. 83: “The man that hath not music in himself,” etc.
201. Seldom he smiles. He seldom smiles. Cf. just below, “ for always I am Cæsar,” and see Gr. 421.
204. Such men as he be never at heart's ease. On be, see M. of V. p. 134 (note on 19), and Gr. 300. On at, see Gr. 144. We still say at ease.
205. Whiles. See M. of V. p. 133, or Gr. 137.
212. Tell us what hath chanc'l. W. says that the folio has "had chanc'd,” but he must have been looking at the next speech of Brutus. Here the folio reading is, “I Caska, tell vs what hath chanc'd to-day;" there, “ I should not then aske Caskı what had chanc'd.”
213. Sad. Grave, serious. Cf. M. of V. p. 141, note on 179.
220. Why, there was a croion, etc. The editors generally quote here Plutarch's Life of Cæsar, but it seems to us that the account given in the Life of Antonius is more in keeping with Casca's way of telling the story : “ When he [Antony) was come to Cæsar, he made his fellow Runners with him lift him up, and so he did put his Lawrell Crown upon his head, signifying thereby that he had deserved to be King. But Cæsar making as though he refused it, turned away his head. The People were so rejoiced at it, that they all clapped their hands for joy. Antonius again did put it on his head : Cæsar again refused it; and thus they were striving off and on a great while together. As oft as Antonius did put this Lawrell Crown unto him, a few of his followers rejoyced at it: and as oft also as Cæsar refused it, all the People together clapped their hands. ... Cæsar in a rage arose out of his Seat, and plucking down the choller of his Gown from his neck, he shewed it naked, bidding any man strike off his head that would. This Lawrell Crown was afterwards put upon the head of one of Cæsar's Statues or Images, the which one of the Tribunes pluckt off. The People liked his doing therein so well, that they waited on him home to his house, with great clapping of hands. Howbeit Cæsar did turn them out of their offices for it.” According to the Life of Cæsar, his “ tearing open his Doublet Coller,” and offering his throat to be cut, was among his friends in his own house, and on a different occasion, namely, when “the Consuls and Prætors, accompanied with the whole Assembly of the Senate, went unto him in the Market-place, where he was set by the Pulpit for Orations, to tell him what honours they had decreed for him in his absence,” and he offended them by “sitting still in his Majesty, disdaining to rise up unto them when they came in.” The historian adds that, “afterwards to excuse his folly, he imputed it to his disease, saying, that their wits are not perfect which have this disease of the falling-Evill, when standing on their feet they speak to the common People, - but are soon troubled with a trembling of their Body, and a suddain dimness and giddiness.” The Lupercalia and the offering of the crown are then described as occurring after this insult to “ the Magistrates of the Commonwealth.”
224. Ay, marry, was 't. On marry (=Mary), see M. of V. p. 138.
225. Than other. Cf. C. of E. iv. 3. 86: “Both one and the other,” etc. Gr. 12.
238. The rabblement shouted. The folio has “howted,” which is doubt. less a misprint for “showted,” as the word is spelled just above in “mine honest neighbours showted.” Johnson and K. have “hooted,” which is not consistent with the context, as it expresses “insult, not applause.”,
241. He swooneid. The folio has “hee swoonded,” and below, “what, did Cæsar swound?” Cf. R. of L. 1486 (see our ed. p. 195).
247. 'T'is very like, etc. Like for likely, as very often. The folio reads, “'T is very like he hath the Falling sicknesse,” and Coll. adheres to that pointing. But Brutus knew that Cæsar was subject to these epileptic at. tacks. Cf. N.: “For, concerning the constitution of his body, he was lean, white, and soft skinned, and often subject to head-ach, and other while to the falling-sickness (the which took him the first time, as it is reported, in CORDUBA; a City of SPAIN), but yet therefore yielded not to the disease of his body, to make it a cloak to cherish him withall, but contrarily, took the pains of War, as a Medicine to cure his sick body, fighting alwaies with his disease, travelling continually, living soberly, and commonly lying abroad in the Field.”
251. Tag-ray. Cf. Cor. iii. 1. 248: “Will you hence, before the tag return?” Coll. quotes John Partridge, 1566:
"To walles they goe, both tagge and ragge,
Their citie to defende.” 253. No true man. No honest man. Cf. M. for M. iv. 2. 46: “Every true man's apparel fits your thief;" L. L. L. iv. 3. 187: “a true man or a thief ;” Cymb. ii. 3. 77: “hangs both thief and true man,” etc.
256. Pluck'd me ope his doublet. On me, see M. of V. p. 135 (note on Pili'd me) and Gr. 220. On ope, see Gr. 343, 290.
As Wr. remarks, “no doubt on the stage Julius Cæsar appeared in doublet and hose like an Englishman of Shakespeare's time.”
257. An I hait. The folio has “and I had.” See Gr. 101 fol.
258. A man of any occupation. “A mechanic, one of the plebeians to whom he offered his throat” (Johnson). Cf. Cor. iv. 6. 97: "the voice of occupation and The breath of garlic-eaters.” W. suggests that it may mean "a man of action, a busy man.” As Wr. says, both senses may be combined.
259. At a word. At his word. Elsewhere the phrase =in a word. Cf. Cor. i. 3. 122: “No, at a word, madam ;” Much Ado, ii. 1. 118: “At a word, I am not.” See also M. W. i. 1. 109, 2 Hen. IV. jji. 2. 319, etc. Wr. makes the phrase here =“ at the least hint, quickly.”
273. All Greek to me. Casca is joking here, if we may take Plutarch's testimony concerning his knowledge of Greek. See N., p. 156 below.
279. I am promised forth. Cf. M. of V. ii. 5. II: “I am bid forth to supper,” and “ I have no mind of feasting forth to-night.” See Gr. 41.
286. He was quick mettle. The Coll. MS. has “mettled.” Walker suggests “metal," referring to blunt. See on i. 1. 61 above. 290. This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, etc. Cf. Lear, ii. 2. 102 :
“This is some fellow, Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness." 300. From that it is disposed. From that to which it is disposed. Cf. iii. 2. 250 below; and see Gr. 244 (cf. 394).
302. So firm that cannot. See Gr. 279.
303. Dóth bear me hard. “Does not like me, bears me a grudge” (Craik) ; like the Latin aegre ferre (Wr.). Cf. ii. 1.215: “Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæsar hard ;" and iji, 1. 158: "if you bear me hard.” The expression occurs nowhere else in S. Hales quotes B. J., Catiline, iv. 5: “Ay, though he bear me hard,” etc.
305. He should not humour me. “He (that is, Brutus ) should not cajole me as I do him” (Warb.). “Cæsar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not huniour me,' should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles” (Johnson). The latter explanation is perhaps to be preferred.
306. In several hands. Referring to writings below. Cf. Gr. 4190.
315. Seat him sure. See Gr. 223 and 1. On the rhyming couplet at the end of a scene, see Gr. 515.
SCENE III.-1. Brought you Cesar home? On bring=accompany, escort, cf. Oth. iii. 4. 197: “I pray you, bring me on the way a little,” etc. See also Gen. xviii. 16, Acts, xxi. 5, 2 Cor. i. 16.
3. The sway of earth. “The whole weight or momentum of this world” (Johnson). “The balanced swing of earth” (Craik).
4. Unfirm. S. uses both infirm and unfirm--each four times. See M. of V. p. 155 (note on Uncapable) or Gr. 442.
8. To be exalted with. That is, in the effort to rise to that height; or, possibly, so as to rise to the clouds.
10. A tempest dropping fire. The folio has “a Tempest-dropping-fire ;" corrected by Rowe.
13. Destruction. Here a quadrisyllable. See Gr. 479.
14. Any thing more wonderful. Abbott (Gr. 6) explains this as “more wonderful than usual ;" Craik, “anything more that was wonderful.” Cf. Cor. iv. 6. 62 :
“The slave's report is seconded, and more,
More fearful, is delivered.” 15. You know him well by sight. This is a stumbling-block to some of the commentators. D. suggests (and H. reads) “you'd know him," and Craik “you knew him," in the sense of “would have known him ;”. but, as Wr. notes, “the slaves had no distinctive dress.” It is nothing strange that both Cicero and Casca should happen to know a particular slave by sight, and it is natural enough that Casca, in referring to him here, should say, And you yourself know the man. “It is simply a graphic touch” (Wr.).
On this whole passage, cf. N. (Life of Cæsar): “Certainly, destiny may easier be foreseen than avoided, considering the strange and wonderfull Signs that were said to be seen before Cæsars death. For, touching the Fires in the Element, and Spirits running up and down in the night, and also the solitary Birds to be seen at noon days sitting in the great Market. place, are not all these Signs perhaps worth the noting, in such a wonderfull chance as happened? But Strabo the philosopher writeth, that divers men were seen going up and down in fire: and furthermore, that there was a Slave of the Souldiers that did cast a marvellous burning flame out of his hand, insomuch as they that saw it thought he had been burnt: when the Fire was out, it was found he had no hurt. Cæsar self also doing Sacrifice unto the gods, found that one of the Beasts which was sacrificed had no Heart: and that was a strange thing in nature : how a Beast could live without a Heart.”
20. A lion Who, etc. See M. of V. p. 144 (note on 4), or Gr. 264. The folio has “glaz'd vpon me.” Pope substituted glar'd, and the Coll. MS. has the same. Cf. Lear, iji. 6. 25: “Look, how he stands and glares !” See also Macb. iji. 4. 96, etc.
22. Annoying. Cf. Rich. III. v. 3. 156: “Good angels guard thee from the boor's annoy!" Chaucer (Persones Tale) speaks of a man as annoying his neighbour by burning his house, or poisoning him, and the like.