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Julius Caesar: Act I, Scene 1

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Julius Caesar
Act I, Scene 1

Scene 1

Rome. A street.

  1. Enter Flavius, Murellus, and certain Commoners over the
  2. stage.

Flavius

1 - 5
  1. Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home!
  2. Is this a holiday? What, know you not,
    Nov 3, 2020 Miko
    It's interesting that Flavius seems to think it is not a holiday. Later in the scene, Murellus says that it is the feast of Lupercalia, a Roman holiday held on February 15. Lupercal was known for loud, chaotic celebrations.
  3. Being mechanical, you ought not walk
  4. Upon a laboring day without the sign
  5. Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?

Carpenter

6
  1. Why, sir, a carpenter.

Murellus

7 - 9
  1. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
  2. What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
  3. You, sir, what trade are you?

Cobbler

10 - 11
  1. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you
  2. would say, a cobbler.

Murellus

12
  1. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

Cobbler

13 - 14
  1. A trade, sir, that I hope I may use with a safe conscience,
  2. which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

Flavius

15
  1. What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?

Cobbler

16 - 17
  1. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet if you be
  2. out, sir, I can mend you.

Murellus

18
  1. What mean’st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?

Cobbler

19
  1. Why, sir, cobble you.

Flavius

20
  1. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

Cobbler

21 - 25
  1. Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I meddle
  2. with no tradesman’s matters, nor women’s matters; but withal
  3. I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in
  4. great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod
  5. upon neat’s-leather have gone upon my handiwork.

Flavius

26 - 27
  1. But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
  2. Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?

Cobbler

28 - 30
  1. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more
  2. work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Caesar, and to
  3. rejoice in his triumph.

Murellus

31 - 54
  1. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
  2. What tributaries follow him to Rome,
  3. To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?
  4. You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
  5. O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
  6. Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
  7. Have you climb’d up to walls and battlements,
  8. To tow’rs and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
  9. Your infants in your arms, and there have sate
  10. The livelong day, with patient expectation,
  11. To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome;
  12. And when you saw his chariot but appear,
  13. Have you not made an universal shout,
  14. That Tiber trembled underneath her banks
  15. To hear the replication of your sounds
  16. Made in her concave shores?
  17. And do you now put on your best attire?
  18. And do you now cull out a holiday?
  19. And do you now strew flowers in his way,
  20. That comes in triumph over Pompey’s blood?
  21. Be gone!
  22. Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
  23. Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
  24. That needs must light on this ingratitude.

Flavius

55 - 64
  1. Go, go, good countrymen, and for this fault
  2. Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
  3. Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
  4. Into the channel, till the lowest stream
  5. Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
  6. Exeunt all the Commoners.
  7. See whe’er their basest metal be not mov’d;
  8. They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
  9. Go you down that way towards the Capitol,
  10. This way will I. Disrobe the images,
  11. If you do find them deck’d with ceremonies.

Murellus

65 - 66
  1. May we do so?
  2. You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
    Nov 3, 2020 Miko
    The feast of Lupercalia was held on February 15. However, Plutarch states that Caesar returned triumphantly to Rome in October.

Flavius

67 - 74
  1. It is no matter, let no images
  2. Be hung with Caesar’s trophies, I’ll about,
  3. And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
  4. So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
  5. These growing feathers pluck’d from Caesar’s wing
  6. Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
  7. Who else would soar above the view of men,
  8. And keep us all in servile tearfulness.
  1. Exeunt.
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