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Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
thus seald up; and, I am sure, It did not lie there, when I went to bed.
Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Luc. I know not, sir.
[Exit. Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them.
[Opens the Letter, and reads. Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself. Shall Rome, 8c. Speak, strike, redress! Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, Such instigations have been often dropp'd · Where I have took them
up. Shall Rome, 8c. Thus, must I piece it out; Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What!
6 • As his kind,' like the rest of his species. Thus in Antony and Cleopatra :You must think this, look you, the worm [i. e. serpent] will do his kind.'
7 The old copy erroneously reads, “ the first of March. The correction was made by Theobald ; as was the following.
To speak, and strike? O Rome! I make thee pro
[Knock within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.
[Exit Lucius. Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar, I have not slept. Between the acting of a dreadful thing And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream: The genius, and the mortal instruments, Are then in council; and the state of mano, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection 10.
8 Here again the old copy reads, fifteen. This was only the dawn of the fifteenth when the boy makes his report. 9 The old copy reads :
• Are then in council, and the state of a man,' &c. 10 There is a long and fanciful, but erroneous note by Warburton on this passage, which is curious, as being one of his earliest comments on Shakspeare, addressed to Concanen, when, in league with Theobald and others, he made war against Pope. The following note, by the Rev. Mr. Blakeway, quite of another character, and takes with it my entire concurrence and approbation :
* The genius, and the mortal instruments,' &c. Mortal is assuredly deadly; as it is in Macbeth :
Come, you spirits,
That tend on mortal thoughts.' By instruments, I understand our bodily powers, our members : as Othello calls his eyes and hands his speculative and active instruments; and Menenius, in Coriolanus, Act i. Sc. 1, speaks of the
cranks and offices of man, The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins.' So intending to paint, as ke does very finely, the inward conflict
Re-enter LUCIUS. Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door, Who doth desire to see you. Bru.
Is he alone?
know them? Luc. No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their
Let them enter.
[Exit Lucius. They are the faction. O conspiracy! Sham’st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
which precedes the commission of some dreadful crime; he represents, as I conceive him, the genius, or soul, consulting with the body, and, as it were, questioning the limbs, the instruments which are to perform this deed of death, whether they can undertake to bear her out in the affair, whether they can screw up their courage to do what she shall enjoin them. The tumultuous commotion of opposing sentiments and feelings produced by the firmness of the soul, contending with the secret misgivings of the body; during which the mental faculties are, though not actually dormant, yet in a sort of waking stupor, • crushed by one overwhelming image,' is finely compared to a phantasm or a hideous dream, and by the state of man suffering the nature of an insurrection. Tibalt has something like it in Romeo and Juliet:
• Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting,
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.' And what Macbeth says of himself, in a situation nearly allied to this of Brutus, will in some degree elucidate the passage:
. My thoughts, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Js smother'd in surmise.'
'twixt his mental and his active parts,
And batters down himself.' 11 See Act i. Sc. 3, note 13.
When evils are most free? 0, then, by day,
TELLUS CIMBER, and TREBONIUS.
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night. Know I these men, that come along with you?
Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here, But honours you: and every one doth wish, You had but that opinion of yourself, Which every
noble Roman bears of you.
He is welcome hither.
He is welcome too.
They are all welcome. What watchful cares do interpose themselves Betwixt your eyes and night?
Cas. Shall I entreat a word ? [They whisper. Dec. Here lies the east: Doth not the day break
here? Casca. No.
Cin. 0, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon gray lines, That fret the clouds, are messengers of day. Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceiv’d.
12 •If thou walk in thy true form.'
Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises;
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Bru. No, not an oath : If not the face 13 of men,
every man hence to his idle bed;
13 Johnson thus explains this passage; in which, with a view perhaps to imitate the abruptness of discourse, Shakspeare has constructed the latter part without any regard to the beginning. • The face of men' is the countenance, the regard, the esteem of the public;' in other terms, honour and reputation : or the face of men may mean 'the dejected look of the people. Thus Cicero in Catilinam :-- Nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt.' Gray may perhaps support Johnson's explanation:
* And read their history in a nation's eyes,' Mason thought we should read, the faith of men;' to which, he says, the context evidently gives support:
what other bond,
And will not palter,' &c. The speech is formed on the following passage in North’s Plutarch :—The conspirators having never taken oath together, nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious oaths, they kept the matter so secret to themselves,' &c.
14 Steevens thinks there may be an allusion here to the custom of decimation, i.e. the selection by lot of every tenth soldier in a general mutiny for punishment. The poet speaks of this in Coriolanus :
By decimation and a tithed death