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ding any man strike off his head that would. This Lawrell Crown was afterwards put upon the head of one of Cæsar's Statues or Images, the which one of the Tribunes pluckt off. The People liked his doing therein so well, that they waited on him home to his house, with great clapping of hands. Howbeit Cæsar did turn them out of their offices for it.” – PLUTARCH, Life of Antony.
229. marry: a corruption of “By Mary"; this petty oath was very common in Shakespeare's time.
245. rabblement: tumultuous crowd. 249. Swounded : an old form of swooned.
255. like: likely. he hath the falling sickness : epilepsy. "For, concerning the constitution of his body, he was lean, white, and soft-skinned, and often subject to head-ach, and other while to the falling-sickness (the which took him the first time, as it is reported, in CORDUBA, a City of SPAIN), but yet therefore yielded not to the disease of his body, to make it a cloak to cherish him withal, but contrarily, took the pains of War, as a Medicine to cure his sick body, fighting alwaies with his disease."
Before one of his battles in Africa, he had an attack of this kind. “For as he did set his men in battel ray, the falling sicknesse took him, whereunto he was given; and therefore feeling it coming, before he was overcome withal, he was carried into a castell not far from thence where the battel was fought, and there took his rest til the extremity of his disease had left him." - NORTH'S PLUTARCH, Julius Cæsar.
260. tag-rag: good for nothing; literally, something made up of shreds and patches.
267. plucked me ope his doublet, etc. : “Thereupon also Cæsar rising, departed home to his house, and tearing open his dublet coller, making his necke bare, he cried out aloud to his friends, that his throte was readie to offer to any man that would come and cut it. Notwithstanding, it is reported, that afterwards to excuse this folly, he imputed it to his disease, saying, that their wits are not perfit which haue this disease of the falling euill, when standing on their feet they speake to the common people, but are soone troubled with a trembling of their bodie, and a sodaine dimnesse and giddinesse.” – PLUTARCH, Julius Cæsar.
The word me is employed to give vividness to the narration. 268. An: if. 269. a man of any occupation: a mechanic.
282. he spoke Greek: it is said that Cicero's recorded witticisms were generally spoken in Greek.
300. quick: bright. metal : in some editions this is “mettle” ; but in Shakespeare's time these were two forms of the same word.
303. tardy form: slow, stupid manner.
311. think of the world : the world to a Roman was synony. mous with Rome; hence this means, reflect on the condition of affairs in the Roman state.
317. bear me hard : dislikes me ; feels unkindly toward me.
319. He should not humor me : there are two interpretations of this ambiguous clause : (1) He (Brutus) should not influence me; (2) He (Cæsar) should not influence me through his affection for me.
320. In several hands : in different handwritings. 324. glanced at: hinted at.
1. brought you ? did you accompany? 3. sway: constitution ; realm.
4. unfirm: not steady. The reason for “unfirm " instead of “infirın” seems to be, as Abbott points out, that “we use the prefix in where we desire to make the negative a part of the word, and un where the separation is maintained."
12. saucy with: insolent toward. 14. any thing more wonderful: anything else unusual; or, anything more wonderful than usual." 18. not sensible of: having no feeling of; not affected by. 20. Against: opposite to. 21. glazed : looked fiercely at; in some editions, glared.
22. annoying: injuring. drawn upon a heap: crowded together as in a knot.
26. bird of night: the owl. Pliny says, “ The scritch-owl betokeneth alwaies some heavie newes." — HOLLAND's Translation.
32. climate: region.
49. thunder-stone: a fossil stone, called the Belemnite or Finger-stone. It was anciently believed to be a product of the thunder. We still use the expression, thunder-bolt.
50. cross: zigzag, or forked lightning.
64. from quality and kind: contrary to their disposition and nature.
66. ordinance: ordained nature and habits.
88. save here in Italy : Italy is excepted, because, after the expulsion of the Tarquins, monarchy was forbidden among the Romans.
114. My answer must be made: I shall have to answer for what I have said.
117. fleering: deceitful; treacherous. 118. Be factious : form a conspiracy. 123. undergo: undertake.
126. Pompey's porch : “In 55 B.C. Pompey built the first stone theatre in Rome, near the Campus Martius. It was of great beauty and capacity, holding forty thousand persons; and in one of the porches about it was a statue erected by the city in honor of Pompey. According to Plutarch it was in this theatre, not in the Capitol, that Cæsar was assassinated.”
128. complexion : character. element: heavens.
142. take this paper, etc. : “But for Brutus, his friends and Countreymen, both by divers procurements and sundry rumors of the City, and by many bills also, did openly call and procure him to do that he did. For under the image of his ancestor Junius Brutus (that drave the Kings out of Rome) they wrote: O, that it pleased the gods thou wert now alive, Brutus / and again, That thou were here among us now! His tribunal or chair, where he gave audience during the time he was Prætor, was full of such bills : Brutus thou art asleep, and art not Brutus indeed.” – PLUTARCH, Life of Brutus.
159. like richest alchemy: an allusion to the belief that, by some chemical process, other metals could be changed into gold.
162. conceited : estimated ; judged.
SCENE I Stage Direction. — Brutus's orchard : probably garden. 11, spurn at: kick or strike at. 12. the general : the public good. 17. do danger : do something dangerous ; do harm. 19. Remorse : mercy. 20. affections : feelings ; passions. 28. quarrel : complaint; attack. 29. Will bear no color: can find no sufficient pretext. 35. closet : private room. 44. exhalations: meteors; flashes of lightning. 65. phantasma : vision; nightmare.
66. The Genius and the mortal instruments : the reason, or directive faculty, and the passions, which are thought of as death-dealing.
70. your brother Cassius : Cassius had married Junia, the sister of Brutus. 72. moe: an old form of more.
73. their hats are plucked, etc. : Shakespeare represents the Roinans as wearing the slouched hats of his own time.
83. path: walk.