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The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation, and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination ;
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy ;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear ?
Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.
Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA.
The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.-
Joy, gentle friends ! joy, and fresh days of love,
Accompany your hearts.
The Play ends with masque by the comic personages of the Drama.
In tkis noble composition. Shakspeare has shown himself equally great, in dramatizing a celebrated portion of Classic History, as he is in adapting incidents gathered from romantic story, or the wonders of legendary fiction.
In Julius Cæsar, he has been chiefly indebted to Plutarch for his materials, and it is no mean praise awarded to him by his commentators, that he has caught the spirit of his great original.
The principal characters are veritable Plutarchian embodiments. Cæsar, Bratus, Cassius, and Antony, are clothed with even more individuality of character, than they are depicted by the celebrated Greek Biographer.
“ The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows: About the middle of February, B. C. 709, a frantic festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honor 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, B. C. 710, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus, near Bonoma, and there adjusted their cruel proseriphion.-B.C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi.”
MARCUS ANTONIUS, triumvirs after the death of Julius Cæsar.
M. ÆMIL. LEPIDUS,
CICERO, PUBLIUS, POPILIUS LENA ; senators.
MARCUS BRUTUS, CASCA,
Decius BRUTUS, LIGARIUS,
conspirators against Julius Cæsar.
METELLUS CIMBER, CINNA,
Flavius and MARULLUS, tribunes.
ARTEMIDORUS, a sophist of Cnidos.
A Soothsayer. CINNA, a poet. Another Poet,
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young Cato, and VOLUMNIUS ;
friends to Brutus and Cassius.
VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS ; servants
PINDARPS, servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
PORTIA, wife to Brutus.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, g-c.
SCENE,—during a great part of the Play, at Rome; afterwards at
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 I know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk,
Upon a laboring day, without the sign
of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou ?
1st 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?
2nd 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.
2nd Cit. 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 ?
2nd 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,
fellow ? 2nd Cit. Why, sir, cobble you. Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou ? 2nd Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the awl : I meddle with no tradesman's matters. 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 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 ?
2nd Cit. 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 !
(), 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 ?
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.
[Exit 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 deck'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 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.— The same. A public Place.
Enter, in procession, with music, CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course;
CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and
Casca, a great crowd following ; among them a Soothsayer.
Cæs. 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.
What man is that :
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March.
Cæs. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Cæs. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cæs. He is a dreamer; let us leave him ;-pass.
[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 ;
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.
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,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviors :
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd;
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one ;)
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius : for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
Cas. 'Tis just :
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors, as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
(Except immortal Cæsar,) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepard to hear :
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.