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SCENE: Rome; the neighbourhood of Sardis; the neighbourhood of Philippi.

Julius Cæsar. The name of the great Roman was Caius Julius Cæsar; Julius being his tribal or family name (like Campbell or Graham). But in his branch of the gens the cognomen Cæsar had been added (for reasons unknown) to the family name some generations before, so that the dictator was the eighteenth Julius Cæsar in his own direct line; the others having for their first names, or prenomens, Sextus, Lucius, or, like him, Caius. In Rome he would never be called Julius Cæsar; but by his friends Caius, and by the public Cæsar, par excellence. [So world-wide did the name become as a synonym for chieftainship that even the Slavic races appropriated it. The Russian Czar or Tsar is the same word.]



SCENE I. Rome. A street.

Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and certain Commoners. Flav. Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you


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?
First Com. 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?


Sec. Com. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine work

man, I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.

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

Sec. Com. 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?

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16. [knave was originally no other than "boy," the German knabe, and in our common use we give the word "boy" the range of two of the meanings of knave. The notion of villain was a remoter third, and is not in Marullus's mind.]

Sec. Com. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

Mar. What mean'st thou by that? mend me, thou saucy fellow!

Sec. Com. Why, sir, cobble you.

Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?


Sec. Com. 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?


Sec. Com. 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

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,

47. her banks. Tiber is "Father Tiber

as Thames is

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.

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Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this


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 all the Commoners.

See, whe'er 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 deck'd with ceremony.
Mar. May we do so?

You know it is the feast of Lupercal.

Flav. It is no matter; let no images


"Father Thames"; but both are referred to in the literature of Shakespeare's day by "her," as well as by "his." In neither case is there a personification by gender; merely a varying use of the pronoun in the possessive form, consequent upon the need afterward supplied by "its," which at that time made its appearance in the language. See "Did lose his lustre," Sc. 2, 1. 124. 63. whe'er whether; a contraction which occurs elsewhere. 67. [ceremony. Another text reads ceremonies, and the word in either form is used for ceremonial symbols. See below, Act I., Sc. 2, 1. 285.]

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.

SCENE II. A public place.


Flourish. Enter CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.

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Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way,

When he doth run his course.

Ant. Cæsar, my lord?


Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.

I shall remember:
When Cæsar says "do this," it is perform'd.


Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Flourish.

72. [vulgar. The adjective, used here as a noun, remains in use in its unobjectionable sense in the phrases the "vulgar tongue," and "vulgar fractions."]


75. [pitch. Used of a falcon's flight “which flies the higher pitch." King Henry VI. First Part, Act II., Sc. 4, 1. 11.] Enter Decius. This is Decimus Junius Brutus Albanus, called Decius by mistake in North's Plutarch, whence Shakespeare took the name, which the rhythm of his verse forbids to be changed. It was this Decimus (Decius) Brutus, and not Marcus, who was Cæsar's favorite.

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