Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood3,
And swim to yonder point ?—Upon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,

And bade him follow: so indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cæsar cry'd, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.

I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is

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Leap in with me into this angry flood,] Shakspeare probably recollected the story which Suetonius has told of Cæsar's leaping into the sea, when he was in danger by a boat's being overladen, and swimming to the next ship with his Commentaries in his left hand. Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, p. 26. So also, ibid. p. 24: "Were rivers in his way to hinder his passage, cross over them he would, either swimming, or else bearing himself upon blowed leather bottles." MALONE.

4 But ere we could ARRIVE the point propos'd,] The verb arrive is used, without the preposition at, by Milton in the second book of Paradise Lost, as well as by Shakspeare in The Third Part of King Henry VI. Act V. Sc. III.:

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those powers, that the queen

"Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arriv'd our coast."


A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their colour fly 5;

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan :

Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper° should
So get the start of the majestick world",
And bear the palm alone.

BRU. Another general shout!

[Shout. Flourish.

I do believe, that these applauses are

For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar. CAS. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,

5 His COWARD lips did from their COLOUR FLY ;] A plain man would have said, the colour fled from his lips, and not his lip from their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false a piece of wit a poor quibble, alluding to a coward flying from his colours. WARBURTON.


6 - feeble temper-] i. e. temperament, constitution.



The ma

7- get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympick games. jestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their citizens set themselves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion seems to be to the known story of Cæsar's great pattern, Alexander, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at the Olympick games, replied, "Yes, if the racers were kings."


That the allusion is to the prize allotted in games to the foremost in the race, is very clear. All the rest existed, I apprehend, only in Dr. Warburton's imagination. MALONE.

Like a Colossus; and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

Men at some time are masters of their fates :
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus, and Cæsar: What should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well 9;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar1. [Shout.
Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd:
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walks encompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.

O! you and I have heard our fathers say,

8 and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs,] So, as an anonymous writer has observed, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iv. c. x. st. 19:

"But I the meanest man of many more,

"Yet much disdaining unto him to lout,
"Or creep between his legs." MALONE.

9 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;] A similar thought occurs in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630:

"What diapason's more in Tarquin's name,

"Than in a subject's? or what's Tullia

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More in the sound, than should become the name "Of a poor maid?" STEEVENS.

1 Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.] his Busiris, appears to have imitated this passage:

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Dr. Young, in

Nay, stamp not, tyrant; I can stamp as loud,
And raise as many dæmons with the sound." STEEVENS.

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There was a Brutus once 2, that would have brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.

BRU. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;

What you would work me to, I have some aim*;
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,

I will with patience hear: and find a time

Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this 5
Brutus had rather be a villager,

Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.

CAS. I am glad, that my weak words "


2 There was a Brutus once,] i. e. Lucius Junius Brutus.



- eternal devil-] I should think that our author wrote rather, infernal devil.


I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (says Cassius) would as soon have submitted to the perpetual dominion of a dæmon, as to the lasting government of a king. STEEVENS. aim:] i. e. guess. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err―.”




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chew upon this;]



Consider this at leisure; ruminate on

6 Under these hard conditions As this time

Is like to lay upon us.] As, in our author's age, was frequently used in the sense of that. So, in North's translation of - insomuch as they that saw it, thought he MALone.

Plutarch, 1579:

had been burnt."


7 I am glad, THAT my WEAK words] For the sake of regu

lar measure, Mr. Ritson would read:



I am glad, my words "Have struck," &c. STEEVENS.

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

Re-enter CESAR, and his Train.

BRU. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning,

CAS. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day.

BRU. I will do so:-But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train :
Calphurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes,
As we have seen him in the Capitol,


Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
CES. Antonius.

ANT. Cæsar.

CES. Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights: Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. ANT. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous; He is a noble Roman, and well given.

CES. 'Would he were fatter:-But I fear him not:

8 ferret-] A ferret has red eyes. JOHNSON.

9 Sleek-headed men, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch, 1579: "When Cæsar's friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some mischief towards him; he answered, as for those fat men and smooth-combed heads, (quoth he) I never reckon of them; but these pale-visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most; meaning Brutus and Cassius."

And again:

"Cæsar had Cassius in great jealousy, and suspected him much; whereupon he said on a time, to his friends, What will Cassius do, think you? I like not his pale looks." STEEVENS. ''Would he were fatter:] Ben Jonson, in his Bartholomew

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