« PreviousContinue »
per 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 What tributaries follow him to Rome,
[home? 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 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,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
whe'r -] i. e. Whether.
This way will I : Disrobe the images,
Mar. May we do so?
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
The Same. A publick Place. Enter in Procession, with Musick, CÆSAR; ANTONY, for
the course; CALPHURNIA, Portia, Decius, Cicero, BRUTUS, Cassius, and Casca, a great Croud following; among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia,Casca.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
[Musick ceases. Ces.
Calphurnia -Cal. Here
lord. Cas. 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 steril curse,
ceremonies.] i. e. Honorary ornaments ; tokens of respect.-Malone. 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 Casur 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. Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus, arose from the old translation of Plutarch.-FARMER. • The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their steril curse.] ** At that time the feast Lupercalia was celebrated, the which in olde time men say was the feast of shepherds or herdsmen,
I shall remember:
Cas. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Musick.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
[Sennet.' Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
Cas. 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 stranges a hand and is much like unto the feast of Lyceans 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 leathern thongs. And many noble women and gentlewomen also go on purpose to stand in their way, and doe put forth their handes to be stricken, persuading themselves that being with childe, they shall have good deliverie ; and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive with child. Cæsar sat to behold that sport upon the pulpit for orations, in a clayre of gold, apparalled in triumphant manner. Antonius, who was consul at that time, was one of them that ronne this holy course.” Plutarch : North's translation.-MALONE.
' Sennet.] A certain set of notes on the trumpet or cornet, different from a flourish.
strange-] i.e. Alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.Jounson.
Over your friend that loves you.
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,
Cas. 'Tis just :
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear :
passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discordant opinions and desires.-Johnson.
your passion ;] i. e. The nature of the feelings from which you are now suffering.–STEEVENS.
Were I a common laugher, or did use
[Flourish, and shout.
Ay, do you fear it?
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :-
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
* To stale with ordinary oaths my love, &c.] To invite every new protestor to my affection by the stale or allurement of customary oaths.-Jounson.