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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 things!
0, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey ? Many a time and oft
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 Tyber 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 ?
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; Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
See, whe'r' their basest metal be not moved ;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
you down that way towards the Capitol ; This way will I.
will I. Disrobe the images,
If you do find them decked with ceremonies.?
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 plucked from Cæsar's wing,
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch ;
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. The same.
The same. A public Place.
Enter, in procession, with music, CÆSAR, ANTONY, for
the course ; CALPHURNIA, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca, a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia,Casca.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
[Music ceases. Cæs.
Calphurnia, Cal. Here, my lord.
2 Honorary ornaments.
3 These trophies were scarfs.
4 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. The error has its source in North's translation of Plutarch, or in Holland's Suetonius, 1606. VOL. VI.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.—Antonius !
Ant. Cæsar, my lord !
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calphurnia ; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
I shall remember;
When Cæsar says, Do this, it is performed.
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Music.
Cæs. Ha! who calls ?
Casca. Bid every noise be still.—Peace yet again.
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 turned to hear.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of
Cæs. Set him before me; let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng. Look upon
Cæs. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him ;--pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Cas. Will you go see the order of the course ?
Bru. Not Í.
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;
1 The old copy reads “ Antonio's way;" in other places we have Octavio, Flavio. The players were more accustomed to Italian than Latin terminations. The allusion is to a custom at the Lupercalia.
2 See King Henry VIII. Act ii. Sc. 4.
Cas. Brutus, 1 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 your friend that loves you.
Be not deceived ; if I have veiled 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 behaviors;
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved,
(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.
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your pas-
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
Cas. 'Tis just;
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors, as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. 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 wished that noble Brutus had his
eyes. Bru. Into what dangers would
me, Cassius, That you would have me seek into myself For that which is not in me?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear; And, since you know you cannot see yourself
1 i. e. the nature of the feelings which you are now suffering.
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 of 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 scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and shout. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the
people Choose Cæsar for their king. Cas.
Ay, do you fear it! 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 honor in one eye, and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently;
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favor.
Well, honor is the subject of my story: -
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life ; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you.
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
1 Johnson has erroneously given the meaning of allurement to stale, in this place. “ To stale with ordinary oaths my love,” is “ to prostitute my love."