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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 CITIZENS.
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
Of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou?
1 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 directly.
2 Cit. 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?
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 recover 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?
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,
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 a 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.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I: Disrobe the images,
If you do find them deck'd 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 pluck'd 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.
Casca. Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
SCENE II.-The same. A Public Place.
Enter, in Procession with Music, CESAR; ANTONY, for the
course; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS,
CASSIUS, and CASCA, a great crowd following, among them a
Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.*-Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Cas. 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.
Ant. I shall remember:
When Cæsar says, Do this, it is perform❜d.
Cas. Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
Cæs. Ha! who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still :-Peace yet again.
Cas. 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.
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:
Cas. What man is that!
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March.
Cas. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cæs. 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 BRUTUS and CASSIUS. Cas. Will you go see the order of the course? Bru. Not I.
* A ceremony observed at the feast of Lupercalia.
Flourish of instruments.
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 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 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 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?
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 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?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared 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 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.
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 honour 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 honour more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour 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,
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point? Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Eneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their colour fly;
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper* should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.