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SCENE I-Rome. A Street.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and a Rabble of Citizens.
HENCE; home, you idle creatures, get you home;
Of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou?
Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule? What dost thou with thy best apparel on?—
You, sir: what trade are you?
2 Cit. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.
Mar. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly. 2 Cit. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soals. Mar. What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?
2 Cit. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
Mar. What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
2 Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neats-leather, have gone upon my handy-work.
Flav. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
2 Cit. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday, to see Cæsar, and to rejoice in his triumph. Mar. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
And do you now put on your best attire?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault, Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all. [Exeunt Citizens.
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal.
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies. I'll about,
Who else would soar above the view of men,
The same. A publick Place.
Enter, in Procession, with Musick, CESAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and Casca, a great Crowd following ; among them a Soothsayer.
3 This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus
Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.-Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Caes. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, To touch Calphurnia: for our elders say, The barren, touched in this holy chase, Shake off their steril curse.
I shall remember:
When Cæsar says, Do this, it is perform'd.
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Musick. Sooth. Cæsar.
Caes. Ha! Who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still:-Peace yet again.
Cas. Who is it in the press, that calls on me?
What man is that?
Bru. A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of
Caes. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon
Caes. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again. Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer! let us leave him ;-pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS.
and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours, as the other had constantly accepted.
4 Sennet.] I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word. It may be a corruption from sonata, Ital. STEEVENS.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course?
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
Of late, with passions of some difference",
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion';
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
But by reflection, by some other things.
strange a hand-] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.
6 passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discordant opinions and desires.
7 your passion ;] i. e. the nature of the feelings from which you are now suffering.