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Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
I do not doubt, But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard, and honour.
Bru. He is not doubted.-A word Lucilius; How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv❜d.
Lue. With courtesy, and with respect enough;
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
Thou hast describ'd
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith:
Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd; The greater part, the horse in general, Are come with Cassius.
[March within. Hark, he is arriv'd:
the trust of a commander, that I think it needless to give any instances. Warburton.
The arguments for the change proposed are insufficient. Brutus could not but know whether the wrongs committed were done by those who were immediately under the command of Cassius, or those under his officers. The answer of Brutus to the servant is only an act of artful civility; his question to Lucilius proves, that his suspicion still continued. Yet I cannot but suspect a corruption, and would read:
In his own change, or by ill offices, That is, either changing his inclination of himself, or by the ill offices and bad influences of others. Johnson.
Surely alteration is unnecessary. In the subsequent conference Brutus charges both Cassius and his officer, Lucius Pella, with corruption. Steevens
Brutus immediately after says to Lucilius, when he hears his ac count of the manner in which he had been received by Cassius: "Thou hast describ'd
"A hot friend cooling."
That is the change which Brutus complains of.
March gently on to meet him.
Enter CASSIUS and Soldiers.
Cas. Stand, ho!
Bru. Stand, ho! Speak the word along.
Cas. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong. Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong Imine enemies? And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?.
Cas. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs; And when you do them
Cassius, be content,
Speak your griefs5 softly,--I do know you well:~-
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Bid our commanders lead their charges off
Bru. Lucilius, do the like ;6 and let no man
Come to our tent, till we have done our conference.
Within the Tent of Brutus.
LUCIUS and TITINIUS at some distance from it.
Cas. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this: You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella,
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein, my letters, praying on his side,
Bru. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a case.
5 your griefs-] i. e. your grievances. See Vol. VIII, p. 306, n. 8. Malone.
do the like;] Old copy-" do you the like;" but without regard to metre. Steevens.
Cas. In such a time as this, it is not meet
You know, that you are Brutus that speak this,
Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remember! Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake? What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, 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.
Brutus, bay not me,
every nice offence—] i. e. small trifling offence. Warburton. So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act V:
"The letter was not nice, but full of charge
"Of dear import." Steevens.
8 What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice?] This question is far from implying that any of those who touched Cæsar's body, were villains. On the contrary, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not one man among them, who was base enough to stab him for any cause but that of justice. Malone.
9 Cas. Brutus, bay not me,] The old copy-bait not mẹ. Mr. Theobald and all the subsequent editors read-bay not me; and the emendation is sufficiently plausible, our author 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 baited with the rabble's curse."
Again, in Goriolanus:
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
Cas. I am.
Go to; you're not, Cassius.
Bru. I say, you are not.4
Cas. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself; Have mind upon your health, tempt me no further. Bru. Away, slight man!
Cas. Is 't possible?
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
why stay we to be baited
"With one that wants her wits?"
So also, in a comedy intitled, How to choose a Good Wife from a Bad, 1602:
"Do I come home so seldom, and that seldom
"Am I thus baited ?"
The reading of the old copy, which I have restored, is likewise supported by a passage in King Richard III:
"To be so baited, scorn'd, and storm'd at." The second folio, on both occasions, has-bait; and the spirit of the reply will, in my judgment, be diminished, unless a repetition of the one or the other word be admitted. I therefore continue to read with Mr. Theobald. Bay, in our author, may be as frequently exemplified as bait. It occurs again in the play before us, as well as in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cymbeline, King Henry IV, P. II, &c. &c. Steevens.
1 To hedge me in,] That is, to limit my authority by your direction or censure. Johnson."
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." Steevens.
3 To make conditions.] That is, to know on what terms it is fit to confer the offices which are at my disposal. Johnson.
4 Cas. I am.
Bru. Isay, you are not.] This passage may easily be restored to metre, if we read:
Brutus, I am.
Cassius, I say you are not. Steevens.
Cas. O ye gods! ye gods! Must I endure all this? Bru. All this? ay, more: Fret, till your proud heart
Go, show your slaves how cholerick you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Is it come to this?
Bru. You say, you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well: For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cas. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus; I said, an elder soldier, not a better:
Did I say, better?
If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar liv'd, he durst not thus have mov'd
Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him Cas. I durst not?
Cas. What? durst not tempt him?
For your life you durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love,
do that I shall be sorry for.
Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for. There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me, as the idle wind,
For certain sums of gold, which you deny'd me;→→→→→
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
5 I'll use you for my mirth,] Mr. Rowe has transplanted this insult into the mouth of Lothario:
"And use his sacred friendship for our mirth.”
than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,] This is a noble