Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: John D. Cox
Peer Reviewed

Julius Caesar (Folio 1, 1623)


1
Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.
Enter Flauius, Murellus, and certaine Commoners
ouer the Stage.
Flauius.
5HEnce: home you idle Creatures, get you home:
Is this a Holiday? What, know you not
(Being Mechanicall) you ought not walke
Vpon a labouring day, without the signe
Of your Profession? Speake, what Trade art thou?
10Car. Why Sir, a Carpenter.
Mur. Where is thy Leather Apron, and thy Rule?
What dost thou with thy best Apparrell on?
You sir, what Trade are you?
Cobl. Truely Sir, in respect of a fine Workman, I am
15but as you would say, a Cobler.
Mur. But what Trade art thou? Answer me directly.
Cob. A Trade Sir, that I hope I may vse, with a safe
Conscience, which is indeed Sir, a Mender of bad soules.
Fla. What Trade thou knaue? Thou naughty knaue,
20what Trade?
Cobl. Nay I beseech you Sir, be not out with me: yet
if you be out Sir, I can mend you.
Mur. What meanst thou by that? Mend mee, thou
sawcy Fellow?
25Cob. Why sir, Cobble you.
Fla. Thou art a Cobler, art thou?
Cob. Truly sir, all that I liue by, is with the Aule: I
meddle with no Tradesmans matters, nor womens mat-
ters; but withal I am indeed Sir, a Surgeon to old shooes:
30when they are in great danger, I recouer them. As pro-
per men as euer trod vpon Neats Leather, haue gone vp-
on my handy-worke.
Fla. But wherefore art not in thy Shop to day?
Why do'st thou leade these men about the streets?
35Cob. Truly sir, to weare out their shooes, to get my
selfe into more worke. But indeede sir, we make Holy-
day to see sar, and to reioyce in his Triumph.
Mur. Wherefore reioyce?
What Conquest brings he home?
40What Tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in Captiue bonds his Chariot Wheeles?
You Blockes, you stones, you worse then senslesse things:
O you hard hearts, you cruell men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey many a time and oft?
45Haue you climb'd vp to Walles and Battlements,
To Towres and Windowes? Yea, to Chimney tops,
Your Infants in your Armes, and there haue sate
The liue-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey passe the streets of Rome:
50And when you saw his Chariot but appeare,
Haue you not made an Vniuersall shout,
That Tyber trembled vnderneath her bankes
To heare the replication of your sounds,
Made in her Concaue Shores?
55And do you now put on your best attyre?
And do you now cull out a Holyday?
And do you now strew Flowers in his way,
That comes in Triumph ouer Pompeyes blood?
Be gone,
60Runne to your houses, fall vpon your knees,
Pray to the Gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this Ingratitude.
Fla. Go, go, good Countrymen, and for this fault
Assemble all the poore men of your sort;
65Draw them to Tyber bankes, and weepe your teares
Into the Channell, till the lowest streame
Do kisse the most exalted Shores of all.
Exeunt all the Commoners.
See where their basest mettle be not mou'd,
70They vanish tongue-tyed in their guiltinesse:
Go you downe that way towards the Capitoll,
This way will I: Disrobe the Images,
If you do finde them deckt with Ceremonies.
Mur. May we do so?
75You know it is the Feast of Lupercall.
Fla. It is no matter, let no Images
Be hung with sars Trophees: Ile about,
And driue away the Vulgar from the streets;
So do you too, where you perceiue them thicke.
80These growing Feathers, pluckt from sars wing,
Will make him flye an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soare aboue the view of men,
And keepe vs all in seruile fearefulnesse.
Exeunt