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Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon; Furness's Variorum Shakespeare, nine plays now edited, Cæsar not among them; Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar; Dowden's Shakespere, in the series of Literature Primers.
The competent teacher of Shakespeare will have read all the plays, some of them many times, and much other Elizabethan literature. Nothing that can be put in a book, nothing that can be conveyed in a lecture, can compensate for the maturity of knowledge that each reader gains for himself from long familiarity with his author.
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,.
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
Mar. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
Sec. Com. 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.
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,
Sec. Com. 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 !
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 things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
And do you now put on your best attire?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
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
[Exeunt all the Commoners.
See, whether their basest metal be not moved;
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
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 plucked from Cæsar's wing
Who else would soar above the view of men
SCENE II. A public place.
Flourish. Enter CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course; CAL-
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord?
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
I shall remember:
When Cæsar says "do this," it is performed.
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Flourish.
Cæs. Ha! who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,