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THE TRAGEDY OF
SCENE I. Rome. A Street.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and certain Commoners over the Stage.
FLAV. Hence! home, you idle Creatures, get you home:
Is this a holiday? what! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a labouring day without the sign
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
FIRST COM. Why, Sir, a carpenter.
MAR. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
You, Sir, what trade are you ?
SEC. COм. Truly, Sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as who would say, a cobbler.
MAR. But what trade art thou? answer me directly.
SEC. COM. A trade, Sir, that I hope I may use with a safe
conscience; which is, indeed, Sir, a mender of bad soles. MAR. What trade, thou Knave? thou naughty Knave, what trade?
SEC. COM. Nay; I beseech you, Sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, Sir, I can mend you.
MAR. What mean'st thou by that? mend me, thou saucy
SEC. COM. Why, Sir, cobble you.
FLAV. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
SEC. COM. 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 neat's-leather have gone upon my handiwork.
FLAV. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day?
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
SEC. COM. 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
you hard Hearts, you cruel Men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The live-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds
Made in her concave shores ?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?1
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the Gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
FLAV. Go, go, good Countrymen, and, for this fault,
Assemble all the
poor men of your sort;2
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
1i.e. Oneius Pompeius, who died at Munda, the occasion of Caesar's triumph.
[Exeunt all the Commoners. See, whether their basest metal be not mov'd! They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I: disrobe the Images,
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.1
MAR. May we do so?
You know it is the Feast of Lupercal.
FLAV. It is no matter; let no Images
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies. I'll about,
And drive away the Vulgar from the streets:
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Cæsar's wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch;2
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
SCENE II. The Same. A Public Place.
Flourish. Enter CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the Course;3 CAL-
PURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS,
and CASCA; a great Crowd following, among them a
CAL. Here, my Lord.
CAS. Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his Course.
1 festal garlands; ceremonial adornments. 2 (falconers')=a middling height.
God Lupercus stood for fertility in women. His priests, then, the Luperci, 'coursed' the
City; and their touch, as they went, gave increase to the barren womb on which 'twas laid.
4 i.e. curse of barrenness.
CES. Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry Cæsar! Speak; Cæsar is turn'd to hear.
SOOTH. Beware the Ides of March.1
What man is that?
BRU. A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.
CAS. Set him before me; let me see his face.
CASS. Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Cæsar.
CES. What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.
SOOTH. Beware the Ides of March.
CAS. He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but BRUTUS and CASSIUS. CASS. Will you go see the order of the Course? BRU. Not I.
CASS. 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.
CASS. Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over friend that loves you.
Be not deceiv'd: if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am,
Of late, with passions of some difference;
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one)
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
CASS. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion ;
By means whereof this breast of mine hath bury'd
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
1 i.e. the fifteenth of the month.
2 = blemish.
BRU. No, Cassius; for the eye sees not himself
But by reflection of some other things.
CASS. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirror as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow.1 I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome
(Except immortal Cæsar) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
BRU. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
CASS. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar❜d to hear:
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous on2 me, gentle Brutus :
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandals them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
BRU. What means this shouting?
Choose Cæsar for their King.
[Flourish, and shout. I do fear, the People
Then must I think you would not have it so.
BRU. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set Honour in one eye, and Death i' the other,
And I will look on Death indifferently;
For, let the Gods so speed me as I love
The name of Honour more than I fear Death.
1 image. • suspicious of.
3 abuse. 4 i.e. in terms of friendship.