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The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Such tricks hath strong imagination;
Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA. The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.— Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love, Accompany your hearts.
The Play ends with a masque by the comic personages of the Drama.
In this noble composition. Shakspeare has shown himself equally great, in dramatizing a celebrated portion of Classic History, as he is in adapting incidents gathered from romantic story, or the wonders of legendary fiction.
In Julius Cæsar, he has been chiefly indebted to Plutarch for his materials, and it is no mean praise awarded to him by his commentators, that he has caught the spirit of his great original.
The principal characters are veritable Plutarchian embodiments. Cæsar, Bratus, Cassius, and Antony, are clothed with even more individuality of character, than they are depicted by the celebrated Greek Biographer.
"The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows: About the middle of February, B. C. 709, a frantic festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honor of Cæsar, when the regal crown was offered to him by Antony. On the 15th of March in the same year, he was slain. November 27, B. C. 710. the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus, near Bonoma, and there adjusted their cruel proseripNion.-B. C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi."
Decius Brutus, Ligarius,
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS; friends to Brutus and Cassius.
VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS; servants
triumvirs after the death of Julius Cæsar.
PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
conspirators against Julius Cæsar.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.
SCENE,—during a great part of the Play, at ROME; afterwards at SARDIS; and near PHILIPPI.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and a rabble of Citizens.
Of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou?
1st Cit. Why, sir, a carpenter.
Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
2nd 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.
2nd 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? 2nd 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 ? 2nd Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
2nd Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters. 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 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?
2nd 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!
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
And do you now put on your best attire ?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal.
Cas. Who is it in the press, that calls on me?
SCENE II.-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.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cas. What say'st thou to me now?
Speak once again.
Cas. He is a dreamer; let us leave him ;;-pass. [Exeunt all but BRUTUS and CASSIUS. Cas. Will you go see the order of the course? Bru. Not I.
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
Of late, with passions of some difference,
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion:
Bru. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself,
Cas. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear:
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.