Page images
PDF
EPUB

JULIUS CAESAR.

ACT I. 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 sign
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 cobler.

Mar. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

Q 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? B

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 cobler, 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 handywork.

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 Caesar, 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 an universal shout,
That Tiber 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?
Be gone;

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 Tiber banks, and weep your tears.
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.

[Exeunt Citizens.
See, whe'r their basest metal be not mov'd;
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 deek'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 Caesar'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 Caesar'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. A PUBLIC PLACE.

Enter, in procession, zeith musick, Cassar; Antony, for the course; Calphurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca, a great crowd following; among them a soothsayer.

Cces. Calphurnia,—

Casca. Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

[Musick ceases.

Cces. Calphurnia,—

Cal. Here, my lord.

Cces. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.—Antonius.

Ant. Caesar, my lord.

Cces. 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 Caesar says, Do this, it is perform'd.

Cces. Set on; and leave no ceremony out.

[Music/:.

Sooth. Caesar.

Cces. Ha! Who calls?

Casca. Bid every noise be still:—Peace yet again.

[Musick ceases.

Cces. Who is it in the press, that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the musick, Cry, Caesar: Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Sooth. Beware the ides of March.

Cass. What man is that?

Bru. A soothsayer, hids you beware the ides of March.

Cces. Set him before me, let me see his face.

Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Caesar.

Cces. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.

Sooth. Beware the ides of March.

Cces. 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.

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:
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.

Bru. Cassius,

Be not deceiv'd: 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,

« PreviousContinue »