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Triumvirs after the Death of Julius MARCUS ANTONIUS,
Conspirators against Julius Cæsar.
NIUS, Friends to Brutus and Cassius. VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDA
NIUS, Servants to Brutus. PINDARUS, Servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, Wife to Cæsar.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, 8c.
SCENE, during a great part of the Play, at Rome;
afterwards at Sardis; and near Philippi.
SCENE I. Rome. A Street. Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and a Rabble of
Flavius. 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?
i Cit. 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?
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 di
rectly. 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,
Mar. What mean'st 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 recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's 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
to walls and battlements,
1 The Tyber being always personified as a god, the feminine gender is here, strictly speaking, improper. Milton says that
the river of bliss Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber streams.' But he is speaking of the water, and not of its presiding power
poor men of
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault, Assemble all the
sort? ; Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears Into the channel, till the lowest stream Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
[Exeunt Citizens. See, wher3 their basest metal be not mov'd; They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness. Go you
down that way towards the Capitol;
Mar. May we do so?
Flav. It is no matter; let no images Be hung with Cæsar's trophies 5. 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, or genius. Malone observes that Drayton describes the presiding powers of the rivers of England as females ; Spenser more classically represents them as males. Condition, rank.
3 Whether. 4 Honorary ornaments; tokens of respect.
5 We gather from a passage in the next scene what these trophies were.. Casca there informs. Cassius that Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar's images, are put to silence.
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch;
A Publick Place.
Enter, in Procession, with Musick, CÆSAR, AN
TONY, for the course ; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA,
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
[Musick ceases. Cæs.
Calphurnia, Cal. Here, my lord. Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course. Antonius.
1 This person was not Decius but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus 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. Lord Sterline has made the same mistake in his tragedy of Julius Cæsar. The error has its source in North's translation of Plutarch, or in Holland's Suetonius, 1606.
? The old copy reads ' Antonio's way:' in other places we have Octavio, Flavio. The players were more accustomed to Italian than Latin terminations, on account of the many versions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in dramatic pieces formed on the same originals. The correction was made by Pope.
The allusion is to a custom at the Lupercalia, “the which (says Plutarch) in olde time men say was the feaste of shepheards or heardsmen, and is much like unto the feast Lyceians in Arcadia. But howsoever it is, that day there are diverse noble men's sonnes, young men (and some of them magistrates themselves that govern them) which run naked through the city, striking in sport them they meet in their way with leather thongs. And many noblewomen and gentlewomen also go of