Page:Julius Caesar (1919) Yale.djvu/39

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Julius Cæsar, II. i

27


Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.112

Cas. And let us swear our resolution.

Bru. No, not an oath: if not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse,—
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,116
And every man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-sighted tyranny range on,
Till each man drop by lottery. But if these,
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough120
To kindle cowards and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress? what other bond124
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word
And will not palter? and what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engag'd,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it?128
Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,
Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs: unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain132
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath; when every drop of blood136
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy,
If he do break the smallest particle

112 all over: successively
114 face of men: mute appeal in the people's looks
115 sufferance: suffering, distress
the . . . abuse: abuses of the time
116 betimes: before it's too late
118 high-sighted: haughty
119 lottery: arbitrary decree
123 What: why
125 Than secret: than that of resolute
126 palter: play fast and loose
129 cautelous: crafty, deceitful
130 carrions: wretches no better than soulless carcasses
suffering: long-suffering
133 even: just
134 insuppressive: irrepressible
135 or . . . or: either . . . or
138 Is individually condemned as illegitimate