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OF this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius,. is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaf fecting, compared with some other of Shakspeare's plays; his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seem to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius. JOHNSON.
Decius Brutus is put in the following play for 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. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says-ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugulatus est; justissimasque optimè de se merito viro C. Cæsari pœnas dedit. Cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere : Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perisse. Lib. ii. c. 64:
Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter amicos
Non illum conjuncta fides, non nomen amici
Ante alios Decimus, cui fallere, nomen amici
Shakspeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus arose from the old translation of Plutarch.
The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows: About the middle of February A. U. C. 709, a frantick festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honour 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, A. U. C. 710, the triumvers met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus near Bononia, and there adjusted their cruel proscription.-A. U. C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi.
FLAVIUS and MARULLUS, tribunes.
CINNA, a poet. Another Poet.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS; friends to Brutus and Cassius. VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS,DARDANIUS; servants to Brutus.
PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
PORTIA, wife to Brutus.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.
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.
HENCE; home, you idle creatures, get you home;
Of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou?
Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
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 soals. 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 re-cover 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?
Cob. 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.
Ma.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!
And do you now put on your best attire ?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
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
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.*
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal.
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies. I'll about,
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Cæsar's wing,
Who else would soar above the view of men,
 Ceremonies, for religious ornaments. Thus afterwards, he explains them by Cesar's trophies; i. c. such as he had dedicated to the gods. WARB.
The same. A public Place. Enter, in procession, with music, CăSAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA, a great Crowd following among them a Soothsayer.
Casca. Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
Cal. Here, my lord.
Cas. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.
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. [Music.
Cas. Ha! who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still :-Peace yet again.
[Music cease's. 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. What man is that !
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March.
Casc.Fellow, come from the throng. Look upon Cæsar.
Cas. 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 I.
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;
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late: