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JULIUS CÆSAR.

PRELIMINARY NOTICE.

This tragedy, there can be no reasonable doubt, was first published in the folio collection of 1623, where it is printed with, for that volume, a remarkable exemption from typographical inaccuracies. The date of its production is less certain. Malone, in his “Attempt to ascertain the order in which the Plays of Shakespeare were written,” concludes that it could not have been composed before 1607; but, as his argument mainly rests upon the fact that a tragedy with the same title by William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Sterline, was printed in London that year, from which he conjectured Shakespeare had derived one or two ideas, it cannot be regarded as satisfactory. Upon safer grounds, we think, Mr. Collier believes that Shakespeare's “ Julius Cæsar” was written and acted before 1603. In Act V. Sc. 5, it will be remembered, Antony pays a beautiful tribute to the character of Brutus,

“ His life was gentle; and the elements

So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, This was a man!

Referring to this passage, Mr. Collier observes, “In Drayton's ‘Barons' Wars,' Book III. edit. 8vo. 1603, p. 61, we meet with the subsequent stanza. The author is speaking of Mortimer:

" "Such one he was, of him we boldly say,

In whose rich soul all sovereign powers did suit,
In whom in peace th' elements all lay
So mix'd, as none could sovereignty impute;
As all did govern, yet all did obey :
His lively temper was so absolute,
That 't seem'd, when heaven his model first began,
In him it show'd perfection of a man.'

Italic type is hardly necessary to establish that one poet must have availed himself, not only of the thought, but of the very words of the other. The question is, was Shakespeare indebted to Drayton, or Drayton to Shakespeare? We shall not enter into general probabilities,

* It was published in Scotland, of which Malone was not aware, three years before

YOL. V.

L L

founded

upon the original and exhaustless stores of the mind of our great dramatist, but advert to a few dates, which, we think, warrant the conclusion that Drayton, having heard ‘Julius Cæsar' at a theatre, or seen it in manuscript, before 1603, applied to his own purpose, perhaps unconsciously, what, in fact, belonged to another poet.

Drayton's 'Barons' Wars' first appeared in 1596, 4to., under the title of • Mortimeriados.' Malone had a copy ' without date, and he and Steevens erroneously imagined that the poem had been originally printed in 1598. In the 4to. of 1596, and in the undated edition, it is not divided into books, and is in seven-line stanzas; and what is there said of Mortimer bears no likeness whatever to Shakespeare's expressions in 'Julius Cæsar.' Drayton afterwards changed the title from 'Mortimeriados' to * The Barons' Wars,' and remodelled the whole historical poem, altering the stanza from the English ballad form to the Italian ottava rima. This course he took before 1603, when it came out in octavo, with the stanza first quoted, which contains so marked a similarity to the lines from • Julius Cæsar.' We apprehend that he did so, because he had heard or seen Shakespeare's tragedy before 1603; and we think that strong presumptive proof that he was the borrower and not Shakespeare, is derived from the fact, that in the subsequent impressions of the 'Barons' Wars,' in 1605, 1607, 1608, 1610, and 1613, the stanza remained precisely as in the edition of 1603: but in 1619, after Shakespeare's death and before · Julius Cæsar' was printed, Drayton made even a nearer approach to the words of his original, thus:

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We think it will be admitted that Mr. Collier has made out a very strong case,-all but proved, indeed, that in this instance Drayton was the borrower, and, as a consequence, that Shakespeare's tragedy is of an earlier date by some years than Malone and others had supposed.

The material incidents of this tragedy appear to have been derived from North’s translation of Plutarch ; but as there was a Latin play upon the subject of Cæsar—“Epilogus Cæsaris Interfecti,” &c.—written by Dr. Richard Eedes, which was played at Christ's Church Coll., Oxford, in 1582, and an old anonymous play in English, of the same age, it is possible that Shakespeare may have incurred some obligations to one or both of these.

Persons Represented.

JULJUB CÆSAR.
OCTAVIUS CÆSAR,
MARCUS ANTONIUS, Triumvirs, after the death of Julius Cæsar.
M. ÆMIL. LEPIDUS,
CICERO, PUBLIUS, POPILIUS LENA; Senators.
MARCUS BRUTUS,
CASSIUS,
CASCA,
CINNA,

Conspirators against Julius Cæsar.
TREBONIUS,
LIGARIUS,
DECIUS BRUTUS,
METELLUS CIMBER,
FLAVIUS and MARULLUS, Tribunes.
ARTEMIDORUŞ, a Sophist of Cnidos.
CINNA, a Poet. Another Poeto
A Soothsayer.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, YOUNG CATO, and VOLUMNIUS ; Friends

do Brutas and Cassius. VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS; Servants to

Brutus.

PINDARUS, Servant to Cassius.

CALPHURNIA, Wife to Julius Cæsar.
PORTIA, Wife to Brutus.

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, go.

SCENE,-During a great part of the Play at Rome; afterwards at SARDIS ;

and near PHILIPPI

ACT I.

SCENE 1.-Rome. A Street.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and a rabble of Citizens.
Flav. Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home;
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a labouring day, without the sign
Of your profession ?---Speak, what trade art thou ?

i Cir. Why, sir, a carpenter.
MAR. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on ?-
You, sir, what trade are you?

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

Mar. What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?

2 Cir. Nay, I beseech you, sir, bé not out with me: yet if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

MAR. What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow? 2 Cir. Why, sir, cobble you. Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou ?

2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awld 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 neat’s-leather have gone upon my handiwork.

FLAV. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets ?

2 Cit. 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 ?

* MARULLUS, --] A correction first made by Theobald, the old text having through. out, Murellus. b- directly.] Explicitly, without ambiguity.

What trade, thou knave? &c.] In the old copies this speech is erroneously assigned to Flavius.

d I mordle with no tradesman's matters, &c.] Farmer conjoctured that the true reading is, “I meddle with no trade, man's matters,” &c.; ard, substituting trades for trade, we incline to his opinion.

· Wherefore rejoice? &c.] “ This was in the beginning of R. C. 44 (4 U. c. 709), when Cæsar, having returned from Spain in the preceding October, after defeating thn sons of Pompey at the Battle of Munda (fought 17 March, B. C. 45), bad been appointed Corol for the next ten years, and Dictator for life. The festival of the Lupercalia, nt whirn he was offered and declined the crown, was celebrated 13th February, 2. c. 14

What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To 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 up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
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 shout
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in her 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 your 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 sort;
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.-

[Exeunt Citizens.
See, whêr their basest metal be not mov'd;
They vanish tongue-tied 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. 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 soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.

Exeunt.

and he was assassinated 15th March following, being then in his fifty-sixth year.”— CRAIK's English of Shakespeare, p. 71.

with ceremonies.] See note (-), p. 515. Vol. II.

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