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Enter Flavius, * Marullus, and certain Commoners.

Flav. Hence; home, you idle creatures, get you

home : Is this a holiday? What! know you not,

Being

Julius Cæfar.] It appears from Peck's Collection of divers curious Historical Pieces, &c. (appended to his Memoirs, &c. of Oliver Cromwell,) p. 14, that a Latin play on this subject had been written. Epilogus Cæsaris interfecti, quomodo in scenam prodiit ea res, acta in Ecclesia Chrifti, Oxon. Qui Epilogus a magistro Ricardo Eedes et scriptus et in proscenio ibidem dictus fuit, A. D. 1582.” Meres, whose Wit's Commonwealth was published in 1598, enumerates Dr. Eedes among the best tragic writers of that time. Steevens.

William Alexander, afterwards earl of Sterline, wrote a tragedy on the story and with the title of Julius Cafar. It may be presumed that Shakespeare's play was posterior to his ; for lord Sterline, when he composed his Julius Cæfar was a very young author, and would hardly have ventured into that circle, within which the most eminent dramatic writer of England had already walked. The death of Cæsar, which is not exhibited but related to the audience, forms the catastrophe of his piece. In the two plays many parallel passages are found, which might, perhaps, have proceeded only from the two authors drawing from the fame fource. However, there are some reasons for thinking the coincidence more than accidental.

Mr. Steevens has produced from Darius, another play of this writer's, fome lines fo like a celebrated passage of Shakespeare in the Tempeft, act III. that the one must, I apprehend, have been copied from the other. Lord Sterline's Darius was printed at Edinburgh in 1603, and his Julius Cæsar in 1607, at a time when VOL. VIII.

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Being mechanica!, you ought not walls,
Upon a labouring day, without the fign
Of your profeffion? --Speak, what trade art thou?

Car. Why, fir, a carpenter.

Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule? What dost thou with thy best apparel on? You, fir; what trade are you?

Cob. Truly, fir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you would say, a cobler. Mar. But what trade art thou? Answer me di

rectly. Cob. A trade, fir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience, which is, indeed, fir, a mender of bad foals.

he was but little acquainted with English writers; for they abound with Scoticisms, which, in the subsequent folio edition, 1637, he corrected. But neither the Tempest, nor the Julius Cæfar of our author, was printed till 1623.

It must be also remembered, that our author has several plays, founded on subjects which had been unsuccessfully treated by others. Of this kind are King John, King Henry V. King Lear, Measure for Measure, the Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, the Merchant of Venice, and perhaps Macbeth * : whereas no proof has hitherto been produced, that any contemporary writer ever' presumed to new model a story that had already employed the pen of Shakespeare. On all these grounds it appears nore probable, that Shakespeare was indebted to lord Sterline, than that lord Sterline borrowed from Shakespeare. If this reafôning be just, this play could not have appeared before the year, 1607.

The real length of time in Fulius Cefur, Mr. Upton observes, is as follows: About the middle of February A. U. C. 709, the festival of Luperci was held in honour of Cæfar, when the regal crown was oftered to him by Antony. On the işth of March in the same year, he was killed. Nov. 27, A.U. C. 7io, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus, near Bononia, and there adjusted their favage profcription. A. U. C. 411. Brutus and Caffius were defeated near Philippi.

MALONE. 2 Murellus.] I have, upon the authority of Plutarch, &c. given to this tribune, his right name Marullus. THEOBALD. * See Dr. Farmer's note at the end of Macbeth,

Flav. What trade, thou knave ? thou naughty

knave, what trade ? Cob. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me : Yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

3 Mar. What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?

Cob. Why, fir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobler, art thou ?

Cob. Truly, fir, all that I live by is, with the awl: I meddle with no trade,-man's matters, nor woman's matters, but with awi 4. I am, indeed, fir, a surgeon to old shoes ; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neatsleather, 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, fir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, fir, 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
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,

3 Mar. What mean'st thou by that?] As the Cobler, in the preceding speech, replies to Flavius, not to Marullus ; 'tis plain, I think, this speech must be given to Flavius. THEOBALD.

I have replaced Marullus, who might properly enough reply to a faucy sentence directed to his colleague, and to whom the speech was probably given, that he might not stand too long un. employed upon the stage. Johnson.

I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor woman's matters, but with all.] This should be, “ I meddle with no trade,-man's matters, nor woman's matters, but with awl,' FARMER.

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Your

Your infants in your arms, and there have fat
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 fhout,
That Tyber treinbled underneath his banks ,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in his 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 you 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 fort ; Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears Into the channel, 'till the lowest stream Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.

[Exeunt Commoners. See, whe'r their baseft metal be not mov'd; They vanish tongue-ty'd 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.

;

5 bis banks,] The old copy reads-her banks. As Tyber is always represented by the figure of a man, the feminine gender is improper, Milton says, that

the river of bliss « Rolls o'er Elysian flowers ber amber stream but he is speaking of the water, and not of its presiding power or genius. STEEVENS.

See, whe'r] Whcther, thus abbreviated, is used by Ben Jonson. STEEVENS. -deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious orna.

ments.

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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 foar above the view of men,
And keep us all in fervile fearfulness.

[Exeunt.

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Enter Cæfar ; Antony, for the course ; Calphurnia,

Portia,' Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius; Casca,
a. Soothsayer, &c.
Caf. Calphurnia,-
Casca. Peace, ho ! Cæfar speaks.

Caf. ments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cafar's trophies; i.e. such as he had dedicated to the gods. . WARBURTON.

Cæsar's trophies, are, I believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in fir Tbo. North's trantlation. -There were set up images of Cæsar in the city with diadems on their heads like kings. Those the two tribunes went and pulled down." STEEVENS.

8 This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæfar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined fo large a share of his favours and honours, as the other had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of Decimus Brutus, says, Lab iis quos miferat Antonius, jugulatus est, juftiffimafque optimè de fe merito, C. Cælari poenas dedit, cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, interfe&tor fuit, et fortunæ ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in auctorem relegabat, cenfebatque æquum quæ acceperat a Cæsare retinere, Cæfarein qui illa dederat periiffe. Lib. ii. c. 64.

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