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OF this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius, is universally celebrated ; but I have never been
; strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shake
peare's plays ; his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seem to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius.
JOHNSON. Decius Brutus is put in the following play for Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says-ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugulatus est; justissimasque optimè de se merito viro C. Cæsari penas dedit. Cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, interfector fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, censebatque æquum, quæ acceperat à Cæsare retinere : Cæsarem, quia illa dederat, perisse.
Lib. ii. c. 64.
STEEVENS. Shakespeare's mistake of Decius for Decimus arose from the old translation of Plutarch.
FARMER. The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows : About the middle of February A. U. C. 709, a frantic festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honour 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, A. U. C. 710, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus near Bononia, and there adjusted their cruel proscription.
A. U. C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi.
triumvirs after the death of Julius
conspirators against Julius Caesar.
NIUS ; friends to Brutus and Cassius. VARRO, Clitus, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDA
NIUS; servants to Brutus. PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, wife to Cæsar.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.
SCENE, during a great part of the play, at Rome : after
wards at Sardis ; and near Philippi.
ACT I. SCENE I.-Rome. A Street. Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS,
and a Rabble of Citizens.
ENCE ; home, you idle creatures, get you home ;
your profession ?--Speak, what trade art thou ?
Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
2 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. 2 Cit. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
I conscience ; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soals. Mar. What trade, thou knave; thou naughty knave.
what trade ? 2 Cit. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me : yet,
you be out, sir, I can mend you. Mar. What meanest thou by that ? Mend me,
saucy fellow ?
2 Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl : 1 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 handy-work.
Flav. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day ? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets ?
Cob. 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, Vol. VIII.
grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ? You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things ! 0, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, Knew you not Pompey ? Many a time and oft Have you climb'd
to walls and battlements,
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
do find them deck'd with ceremonies.'
Flav. It is no matter; let no images
[Ereunt.  Ceremonies, for religious ornaments. Thus afterwards, he explains them by Cæsar's trophies; i. e, such as he bad dedicated to the gods.
SCENE II.-The same. A public Place. Enter, in procession,
with music, CESAR; Antony, for the course ; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, Decius, CICERO, BRUTUS, Cassius, and CASCA, a great Crowd following ; among them a Soothsayer. Cæs. Calphurnia, Casca. Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.. [Music ceases. Cæs. Calphurnia, Cal. Here, my lord.
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius? way, When he doth run his course.- -Antonius.
Ant. Cæsar, my lord.
Cæs. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
Ant. I shall remember :
Cæs. Set on ; and leave no ceremony out. [Music.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but Bru. and Cas.
Bru. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late :