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At mine own house, good lady.
About the ninth hour, lady.
Sooth. Madam, not yet. I go to take my stand,
Por. Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not?
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow;
Por. I must go in.—Ah me! how weak a thing
unnecessary and improper. All that he is made to say should be given to Artemidorus; who is seen and accosted by Portia in his passage from his first stand to one more convenient."
1 These words Portia addresses to Lucius, to deceive him, by assigning a false cause for her present perturbation.
The Capitol ; the Senate sitting
A crowd of people in the street leading to the Capitol ;
among them ARTEMIDORUS, and the Soothsayer.
Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,
Art. O Cæsar, read mine first; for mine's a suit That touches Cæsar nearer. Read it, great Cæsar.
Cæs. What touches us ourself, shall be last served.
Sirrah, give place.
Fare you well.
[Advances to CÆSAR. Bru. What said Popilius Lena?
Cas. He wished to-day our enterprise might thrive. I fear our purpose is discovered.
Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar. Mark him.
Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known, Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back, For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant.
[Exeunt Antony and TREBONIUS. CÆSAR
and the Senators take their seats. Dec. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go, And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
Bru. He is addressed:' press near, and second him. Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your? hand.
Cæs. Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings, and these lowly courtesies, Might fire the blood of ordinary men; And turn pre-ordinance, and first decree, Into the law of children.“ Be not fond, To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood, That will be thawed from the true quality With that which melteth fools ; I mean, sweet words, Low-crooked curt’sies, and base, spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banished; If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him, I spurn thee like a cur out of my way. Know, Cæsar doth not wrong; nor without cause Will he be satisfied.5
1 i. e. he is ready.
2 According to the rules of modern grammar, Shakspeare should have written his hand. Ritson thinks the words “ Are we all ready ? ” should be given to Cinna, and not to Cæsar.
3° Pre-ordinance for ordinance already established.
4 The old copy erroneously reads "the lane of children.” Lawe, as anciently written, was easily confounded with lane.
5 Ben Jonson has shown the ridicule of this passage in the Induction to The Staple of News. He has been accused of quoting the passage
Met. Is there no voice more worthy than my own, To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear, For the repealing of my banished brother?
Bru. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar ;
Cæs. What, Brutus!
Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon.
Cæs. I could be well moved, if I were as you :
Cin. O Cæsar,
unfaithfully; but Mr. Tyrwhitt surmised, and Mr. Gifford is decidedly of opinion, that the passage originally stood as cited by Jonson; thus :
« Met. Cæsar, thou dost me wrong.
Cæs. Cæsar did never wrong, but with just cause." Mr. Tyrwhitt has endeavored to defend the passage by observing, that wrong is not always a synonymous term for injury; and that Cæsar is meant to say, that he doth not inflict any evil or punishment but with just cause. “The fact seems to be (says Mr. Gifford), that this verse, which closely borders on absurdity, without being absolutely absurd, escaped the Poet in the heat of composition; and being one of those quaint slips which are readily remembered, became a jocular and familiar phrase for reproving (as in the passage of Ben Jonson's Induction) the perverse and unreasonable expectations of the male or female gossips of the day.”
1 i. e. intelligent, capable of apprehending.
2 j. e. “ still holds his place unshaken by suit or solicitation,” of which the object is to move the person addressed.
Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus ?
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel ?
[CASCA stabs CÆSAR in the neck. CÆSAR
He is then stabbed
MARCUS BRUTUS. Cæs. Et tu, Brute ? — Then, fall, Cæsar. [Dies. The Senators and People retire in
confusion. Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead !Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
Cas. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,
Bru. People, and senators ! be not affrighted ;
And Cassius too.
Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar's
Bru. Talk not of standing.--Publius, good cheer;
Cas. And leave us, Publius; lest that the people,
i Neither Suetonius nor Plutarch furnished Shakspeare with this exclamation. It occurs in The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York, 1600; on which he formed the Third Part of King Henry VI. :
“ Et tu, Brute? Wilt thou stab Cæsar too ?” And is translated in Cæsar's Legend, Mirror for Magistrates, 1587 :
“ And Brutus thou my sonne, quoth I, whom erst
I loved best."
2 We have now taken leave of Casca. Shakspeare knew that he had a sufficient number of heroes on his hands, and was glad to lose an individual in the crowd. Casca's singularity of manners would have appeared to little advantage amid the succeeding war and tumult.