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Caf. I an itching palm?

You know that you are Brutus, that speak this;
Or, by the gods, this fpeech were else your last.
Bru. The name of Caffius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide its head:
Caf. Chastisement !

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March re

Did not great Julius bleed for justice fake ?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for juftice? What! fhall one of us,
That ftruck the foremost man of all this world,
But for fupporting robbers; fhall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ?
And fell the mighty fpace of our large honours.
For fo much trash, as may be grasped thus ?.
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than fuch a Roman.

Caf. Brutus, bay not me,

I'll not endure it; you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a foldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

Bru. Go to; you are not, (15) Caffius.



(15) You are not, Caffius.] See Mr. Warburton's note on the place; upon which Mr. Edwards in his Canons of Criticism, p. 93. obferves thus, If Mr. Warburton had not been giddy with his ideas of bravery, difinterestedness, philofophy, honour, and patriotifm, which have nothing to do here, he would have feen, that Caffius is the vocative cafe, not the nominative; and that Brutus does not mean to fay, you are not an able foldier; but he fays, you are not an abler than I; a point which it was far. from being beneath his character to infift on.


If the words, you are not Caffius, meant a new imputation on him for degeneracy, his mere denial of it is very flat, and Brutus teplying to that denial, by a mere repetition of his former affertion, without adding any reafon for it, is ftill worfe; whereas, if the words mean only a denial of what Caffius had just said, it is natural enough for each of them to maintain his ground, by a con

Caf. I am.

Bru. I fay, you are not.

Caf. Urge me no more, I fhall forget myselfHave mind upon your health-tempt me no farther. Bru. Away, flight man. Caf. Is't poffible?

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.

Muft I give way and room to your rafh choler?
Shall I be frighted, when a mad-man ftares?

Caf. O gods! ye gods! muft I endure all this?
Bru. All this ! ay more. Fret, 'till your proud

heart breaks;

Go fhew your flaves how cholerick you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Muft I budge?
Muft I observe you? must I ftand and crouch
Under your testy humour? by the gods,
You fhall digeft the venom of your spleen,
Tho' it do fplit you. For, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.

Caf. Is it come to this?

Bru. You fay, you are a better foldier ;
Let it appear fo; make your vaunting true,
And it fhall please me well. For mine own part,

I fhall be glad to learn of noble men.

Caf. You wrong me every way-
Brutus ;

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you wrong me,

I faid, an elder foldier; not a better.

fident affertion of the truth of his opinion. And that the fu periority of foldiership was the point of their difpute, is most manifeftly evident; by Brutus' refuming it a little lower,

You fay you are a better foldier, &c.

Upon which Caffius answers,

You wrong me ev'ry way; you wrong me, Brutus,
I faid an elder foldier; not a better,
Did I fay better ?"


Did I say, better?

Bru. If you did, I care not
Cal. When Cæsar liv'd, he durft not thus have

mov'd me. Bru. Peace, peace, you durft not so have tempted

Caf. I durst not?
Bru. No.
Caf. What? durft not tempt him?
Bru. For



durft not.
Caf. Do not presume too much upon my love?
I may do that, I shall be forry for.

Bru. You have done that, you should be sorry for. There is no terror, Cassius, in your For I am arm'd so strong in honesty, That they pass by me, as the idle wind, Which I respect not. I did send to you For certain sums of gold, which you deny'd me ; For I can raise no money by vile means ; By heaven, I had rather coin my heart, And drop my blood for drachmas, (16) than to

wring From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash, By any indirection. I did fend To you for gold to pay my legions, Which you denied me ; was that done like Cassius? Should I have answer'd Caius Caffius fo ? When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, To lock such rascal counters from his friends,

(16) Than to wring, &c.] This inimitable paffage is not only highly in character, but as Mr. Warburton has observ’d, is most happily exprefled. To wring implies both to get unjustly, and to use force in getting : And bard hands fignify both the peasants great labour and pains in acquiring, and his great unwillingness to quit his hold.”


Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dafh him to pieces!

Caf. I deny'd you not.

Bru. You did.

Caf. I did not
That brought my answer back.-

my heart.

he was but a fool,

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Brutus hath riv'd

A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,

But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not, 'till you practise them on me.
Caf. You love me not.

Bru. I do not like your faults.

Caf. A friendly eye could never fee fuch faults. For Caffius is a weary of the world:

Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults obferv'd;
Set in a note-book, learn'd and con'd by rote,
To caft into my teeth. O I could weep
My fpirit from mine eyes There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast-within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus's mine, richer than gold;
If that thou beeft a Roman, take it forth.
I that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart ;
Strike, as thou didst at Cæfar; for I know,

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When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dft him


Than ever thou lov'd'ft Caffius.

Bru. Sheath your dagger;

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, difhonour shall be humour.
O Caffius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger, as the flint bears fire;
Who much enforced, fhews a hafty spark,
And ftraight is cold again.`


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Caf. Hath Caffius liv'd

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him?
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Caf. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart too.
Caf. O Brutus!

Bu, What's the matter?

Caf. Have you not love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour, which my mother gave me,
Makes me forgetful?

Bru. Yes, Caffius, and from henceforth

you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mothers, and leave you fo.

* * * * *

* *

Bru, O Caffius, I am fick of many griefs.

Caf. Of your philofophy you make no use,


you give place to accidental evils.

Bru. No man bears forrow better-Porcia's dead.

Caf. Ha! Porcia !


Bru. She is dead.

Caf. How 'fcap'd I killing, when I croft you fo
O infupportable and touching lofs!
Upon what fickness ?

Bru. Impatient of my absence;

And grief, that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves fo ftrong; (for with her death
That tidings came; (with this fhe fell distract,
And (her attendants abfent,) swallow'd fire.

Caf. And dy'd fo?

Bru. Even fo.

Caf. O ye immortal gods!

Enter boy with wine and tapers.

Bru. Speak no more of her; give me a bowl of


[Drinks. Caf

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