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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 home : Is this a holiday? what! know you not,. Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a laboring day without the sign
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou? 5 First Com. Why, sir, a carpenter.
Mar. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
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, what trade?
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!
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,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
[Exeunt all the Commoners. See, whether their basest metal be not moved; 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 decked with ceremonies. Mar. May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
And drive away the vulgar from the streets :
Who else would soar above the view of men
SCENE II. A public place.
Flourish. Enter CESAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord?
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
Cæs. Ha! who calls?
Casca. Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. Set on; and leave no ceremony out. [Flourish.