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Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
I do not doubt,
Bru. He is not doubted.- A word, Lucilius;
Luc. With courtesy, and with respect enough;
Thou hast describ'd
Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd;
[March within. Bru.
Hark, he is arriv'd:
the trust of a commander, that I think it needless to give any in
Warburton. The arguinents 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 ar fu 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 of fices 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 account of the manner in which he had been received by Cassius :
6. Thou hast describ'd
• A hot friend cooling." That is the change which Brutus complains of, M. Mason
March gently on to meet him.
Enter Cassius and Soldiers.
Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies?
Cas. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs;
Cassius, be content,
Bru, Lucilius, do the like ;6 and let no man
Within the Tent of Brutus.
Enter BRUTUS and CASSIUS.
Bru. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a case.
your griefs -] i.e. your grievances. See Vol. VIII, p. 306, 1. 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
Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
I an itching palm?
Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
Cas. Chastisement !
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 ?8 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. Cas,
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 me. Mr. Theobald and all the sia sequent editors read-bay not me; and the emendation is sufficiently ble, our author having in Troilus and Cressida used the word bay in the same sense:
“ What moves Ajax thus to bay ai 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 Coriolanus :
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
Go to; you 're not, Cassius.
Cas. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Bru. Away, slight man!
Hear me, for I will speak.
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 resto
stored, is likewise supported by a passage in King Richard III:
“ To be so baited, scorn'd, and storm’d at.” Malone 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. Steevents.
1 To hedge me in;] That is, to limit my authority by your direction or censure. Johnson.
I am a soldier I, Older in pructice, &c.] Thus the ancient copies; but the modern editors, instead of 1, 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. See Vol. IX, p. 65, n. 5. Malone.
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 I say, you are not.] This passage may easily be restored to metre, if we read: Brutus, I am.
Cassius, I say you are not. Steevens.
I'll use you
Cas. O ye gods! ye gods! Must I endure all this?
for my laughter,
Is it come to this?
Cas. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus;
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.
durst not. Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love, I may do that I shall be sorry for.
Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for.
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.” Steevens.
than to wring From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,] This is a noble