Julius Caesar


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Flavius, Marullus, and certain commoners over

the stage


FLAVIUS

Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home:

Is this a holiday? What, know you not,

Being mechanical, you ought not walk
mechanical (n.) manual worker, craftsman, menial

Upon a labouring day without the sign

Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?


CARPENTER

Why, sir, a carpenter.


MARULLUS

Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?

What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count

You, sir, what trade are you?


COBBLER

Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I
respect of, in (prep.) 1 in comparison with

am but, as you would say, a cobbler.
cobbler (n.) bungler, botcher, clumsy workman


MARULLUS

But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
directly (adv.) 2 straightforwardly, rightly, without evasion


COBBLER

A trade, sir, that, I hope I may use with a safe

conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.


FLAVIUS

What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count
naughty (adj.) 1 wicked, evil, vile


COBBLER

Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me:
out (adv.) 3 angry, out of sorts

yet if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
out (adv.) 9 out at heels, with worn shoes


MARULLUS

What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant


COBBLER

Why, sir, cobble you.


FLAVIUS

Thou art a cobbler, art thou?


COBBLER

Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I

meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's mat –

ters; but withal I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes:

when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely
recover (v.) 1 revive, restore to health

men as ever trod upon neat's leather have gone upon
neat (n.) ox, cow, cattle

my handiwork.


FLAVIUS

But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
shop (n.) workshop, workroom

Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?


COBBLER

Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes to get myself

into more work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see

Caesar, and to rejoice in his triumph.
triumph (n.) 2 triumphal procession into Rome


MARULLUS

Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome,
tributary (n.) ruler who pays tribute

To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling

O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,

Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
oft, many a time and very often, with great frequency

Have you climbed up to walls and battlements,

To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,

Your infants in your arms, and there have sat

The livelong day, with patient expectation,
expectation (n.) 1 anticipation, hopefulness

To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
pass (v.) 6 pass through, traverse

And when you saw his chariot but appear,

Have you not made an universal shout,

That Tiber trembled underneath her banks
bank (n.) 2 river bank

To hear the replication of your sounds
replication (n.) 2 reverberation, echo

Made in her concave shores?
concave (adj.) 2 hollowed out, overhanging
shore (n.) 2 bank, edge

And do you now put on your best attire?

And do you now cull out a holiday?
cull out (v.) pick out, choose, decide on

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 your knees,

Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
intermit (v.) withhold, suspend, keep back

That needs must light on this ingratitude.


FLAVIUS

Go, go, good countrymen, and for this fault

Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank

Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears

Into the channel, till the lowest stream

Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
shore (n.) 2 bank, edge

Exeunt all the Commoners
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
mettle, mettell (n.) 1 spirit, temperament, disposition

See where their basest mettle 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,
image (n.) 2 effigy, statue, sculpture

If you do find them decked with ceremonies.
ceremony (n.) 2 symbol of state, external sign of pomp


MARULLUS

May we do so?

You know it is the feast of Lupercal.


FLAVIUS

It is no matter; let no images
image (n.) 2 effigy, statue, sculpture

Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about,
trophy (n.) 1 token of victory, evidence of valour

And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
vulgar (n.) 1 common people, ordinary folk

So do you too, where you perceive them thick.

These growing feathers plucked from Caesar's wing

Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
pitch (n.) 1 height [to which a bird of prey soars before swooping]

Who else would soar above the view of men,
else (adv.) 1 otherwise See Topics: Discourse markers
view (n.) 1 sight, range of vision

And keep us all in servile fearfulness.

Exeunt

 
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