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Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
Yet I do fear him :6 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 :
30, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit, &c.] Lord Sterline has the same thought: Brutus remonstrating against the taking off Antony, 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,
— as a dish fit for the gods, &c.]
"Ne qua manus vatem, ne quid mortalia bello
"Lædere tela queant, sanctum et venerabile Diti
Not hew him as a carcase fit for hounds:] Our author 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 still had naked swords in his face, and was hacked and mangled among them as a wild beast taken of hunters." Malone. 6 Yet I do fear him:] For the sake of metre I have supplied the auxiliary verb. So, in Macbeth:
There is none but him
"Whose being I do fear." Steevens.
Take thought,] That is, turn melancholy. Johnson.
And that were much he should; for he is given
Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
Treb. 'Tis time to part.
The clock hath stricken three..
But it is doubtful yet,
So, in Antony and Cleopatra
"What shall we do, Enobarbus ?
-now they are without service,
Again, in Holinshed, p.833: ". which caused them to take thought, insomuch that some died by the way," &c. Steevens.
The precise meaning of take thought may be learned from the following passage in St. Matthew, where the verb μspruvaw, which signifies to anticipate, or forbode evil, is so rendered: "Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."-Cassius not only refers to, but thus explains, the phrase in question, when, in answer to the assertion of Brutus concerning Antony, Act III:
"I know that we shall have him well to friend."
"I wish we may: but yet I have a mind
"That fears him much; and my misgiving still
To take thought then, in this instance, is not to turn melancholy, whatever think may be in Antony and Cleopatra. Henley.
See Vol. III, p. 226, n. 7. Malone.
company.] Company is here used in a disreputable sense. See a note on the word companion, Act IV. Henley
9 Whe'r Cæsar &c.] Whe'r is the ancient abbreviation of whether. which likewise is sometimes written-where. Thus in Turberville's translation of Ovid's Epistle from Penelope to Ulysses:
"But Sparta cannot make account
"Where thou do live or die." Steevens.
1 Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies:] Main opinion, is nothing inore than leading, fixed, predominant opinion. Johnson.
Main opinion, according to Johnson's explanation is sense; but mean opinion would be a more natural expression, and is, I believe, what Shakspeare wrote. M. Mason.
The words main opinion occur again in Troilus and Gressida, where (as here) they signify general estimation :
It may be, these apparent prodigies,
"Why then we should our main opinion crush
There is no ground therefore for suspecting any corruption in the Malone
Fantasy was in our author's time commonly used for imagination, so explained in Cawdry's Alphabetical Table of hard Words, 8vo. 1604 It signified both the imaginative power, and the thing imagined. It is used in the former sense by Shakspeare in The 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 ceremonial rites. So, afterwards:
"Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,
"Yet now they fright me." Malone.
2 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.
So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, ch. v:
"Like as a lyon whose imperiall powre
"T'avoid the rash assault and wrathfull stowre
"And when him running in full course he spies,
"He slips aside; the whiles the furious beast
"His precious horne, sought of his enemies,
Again, in Bussy D'Ambois, 1607:
"An angry unicorne in his full career
Charge with too swift a foot a jeweller
"That watch'd him for the treasure of his brow,
"And e'er he could get shelter 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
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers:
For I can give his humour the true bent;
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Bru. Now, good Metellus, go along by him :5
Cas. The morning comes upon us: We'll leave you,
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;
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untir'd spirits, and formal constancy:
taking the surer aim. This circumstance, I think, is mentioned by Claudian. Elephants were seduced into pitfalls, lightly covered with hurdles and turf, on which a proper bait to tempt them, was exposed. See Pliny's Natural History, B. VIII. Steevens.
3 Let me work:] These words, as they stand, being quite unmetrical, I suppose our author to have originally written:
Let me to work.
i. e. go to work. Steevens.
Bear Cæsar hard,] Thus the old copy, but Messieurs Rowe, Pope, and Sir Thomas Hanmer, on the authority of the second and fatter 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 hard," and has already occurred in a former one:
"Cæsar doth bear me hard, 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.
5 by him:] That is, by his house. Make that your way home. Mr. Pope substituted to for by, and all the subsequent editors have adopted this unnecessary change. Malone.
6 Let not our looks-] Let not our faces put on, that is, wear or show our designs. Johnson.
And so, good-morrow to you every one.
[Exeunt all but BRU Boy! Lucius-Fast asleep? It is no matter; Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber : Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies, Which busy care draws in the brains of men; Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
Brutus, my lord! Bru. Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise you now? It is not for your health, thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw-cold morning.
Por. Nor for yours neither. You have ungently, Brutus, Stole from my bed: And yesternight, at supper,
You suddenly arose, and walk'd about,
Musing, and sighing, with your arms across :
I urg'd you further; then you scratch'd your head,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
7 Thou hast no figures, &c.] Figures occurs in the same sense in The First Part of King Henry IV, Act I, sc. iii:
"He apprehends a world of figures." Henley.
on your condition,] On your temper; the disposition of your mind. See Vol. IX, p. 374, n. 9. Malone.