« PreviousContinue »
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
I did hear him groan;
Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world, Like a Colossus; and we petty men Walk under his huge legs, and peep about To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
1 The verb arrive is also used by Milton without the preposition. 2 Some commentators suppose that the allusion here is to a cowards desertion of his standard. Probably nothing more was intended than to describe the effect of the disease on the appearance of the lips.
3 Temperament, constitution.
Men at some time are masters of their fates :
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous ;
1 The first folio reads walks. 2 « Lucius Junius Brutus."
4 Ruminate on this. 5 As, according to Tooke, is an article, and means the same as that, which, or it; accordingly we find it often so employed by old writers, and particularly in our excellent version of the Bible.
3 i, e. guess.
Cas. I am glad that my weak words Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Re-enter CÆSAR and his Train. Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
Bru. I will do so.--But, look you, Cassius,
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Let me have men about me that are fat;
Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar; he's not dangerous ;
Cæs. 'Would he were fatter. But I fear him not.
, and scorned his spirit
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
[Exeunt CÆSAR and his Train. CASCA
stays behind. Casca. You pulled me by the cloak; would you
speak with me? Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day, That Cæsar looks so sad.
Casca. Why, you were with him, were you not?
chanced. Casca. Why, there was a crown offered him; and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus ; and then the people fell a shouting.
Bru. What was the second noise for?
Casca. Ay, marry, was’t; and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by, mine honest neighbors shouted.
Cas. Who offered him the crown?
Casca. I can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it; it was mere foolery. I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown;—yet'twas not a crown neither; 'twas one of these coronets ;-and, as I told you, he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again ; then he put it by again ; but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by; and still, as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned, and fell down
at it. And for mine own part, 1 durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.
Cas. But, soft, I pray you ; what? did Cæsar swoon?
Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
Bru. 'Tis very like, he hath the falling-sickness.
Cas. No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.
Casca. I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true' man.
Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself?
Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut.-An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues; and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done, or said any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul !--and forgave him with all their hearts. But there's no heed to be taken of them; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
Bru. And after that, he came, thus sad, away ?
Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i’the face again. But those that understood him smiled at one another, and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off
1 i. e. no honest man.
2 « Had I been a mechanic, one of the plebeians to whom he offered his throat.”