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Hamlet, Timon of Athens, and The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.: 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 Shakspeare. On all these grounds it appears more probable, that Shakspeare was indebted to Lord Sterline, than that Lord Sterline borrowed from Shakspeare. If this reasoning be just, this play could not have appeared before the year 1607. I believe it was produced in that year. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, vol. ii. MALONE.
The real length of time in Julius Cæsar is as follows: About the middle of February A. U. C. 709, a frantick festival, sacred to Pan, and called Lupercalia, was held in honour of Cæsar, when the regal crown was offered to him by Antony. On the 15th of March in the same year, he was slain. November 27, A. U. C. 710, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the river Rhenus, near Bononia, and there adjusted their cruel proscription. —A. U. C. 711, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near Philippi.
FLAVIUS and MARULLUS, Tribunes.
ARTEMIDORUs, a Sophist of Cnidos.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS; Friends to Brutus and Cassius. VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS; Servants to Brutus.
PINDARUS, Servant to Cassius.
CALPHURNIA, Wife to Cæsar.
PORTIA, Wife to Brutus.
Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.
SCENE, during a great Part of the Play, at Rome: afterwards at Sardis; and near Philippi.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Rome. A Street.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS1, and a Rabble of
FLAV. Hence: home, you idle creatures, get you home;
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Of your profession ?-Speak, what trade art thou? 1 CIT. 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 cobler.
MAR. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
1 CIT. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soals 2.
I Marullus.] Old copy-Murellus. I have, upon the authorito of Plutarch, &c. given to this tribune his right name, Marullus. THEOBALD.
2 — a mender of bad SOALS.] Fletcher has the same quibble in his Woman Pleas'd:
66 mark me, thou serious sowter,
"If thou dost this, there shall be no more shoe-mending;
MAR. What trade, thou knave; thou naughty
2 CIT. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be 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 CIT. 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 awl". I am, indeed, sir,
3 Mar. What trade, &c.] This speech in the old copy is given to Flavius. The next speech but one shows that it belongs to Marullus, to whom it was attributed, I think, properly, by Mr. Capell. MALONE.
4 Mar. What meanest 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 saucy sentence directed to his colleague, and to whom the speech was probably given, that he might not stand too long unemployed upon the stage. JOHNSON.
I would give the first speech to Marullus, instead of transferring the last to Flavius. RITSON.
Perhaps this, like all the other speeches of the Tribunes, (to whichsoever of them it belongs) was designed to be metrical, and originally stood thus:
"What mean'st by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?"
5 I meddle with no TRADESMAN's matters, nor women's matters, but with AWL.] This should be: I meddle with no trade,man's matters, nor woman's matters, but with awl." FARMER. Shakspeare might have adopted this quibble from the ancient ballad, intitled, "The Three Merry Coblers:
"We have awle at our command,
"And still we are on the mending hand." STEEVens.
I have already observed in a note on Love's Labour's Lost, vol. iv. p. 348, that where our author uses words equivocally, he imposes some difficulty on his editor with respect to the mode of exhibiting them in print. Shakspeare, who wrote for the stage, not for the closet, was contented if his quibble satisfied the ear. I have, with the other modern editors, printed here— with awl, though in the first folio, we find withal; as in the pre
a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neats-leather, have gone upon my handywork.
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?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ?
O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
ceding page, bad soals, instead of bad souls, the reading of the original copy.
The allusion contained in the second clause of this sentence, is again repeated in Coriolanus, Act IV. Sc. V. :-" 3 Serv. How, sir, do you meddle with my master? Cor. Ay, 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy mistress." MALOne.
6 HER banks,] As Tyber is always represented by the figure of a man, the feminine, gender is improper. Milton says, that
"Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream."
But he is speaking of the water, and not of its presiding power or genius. STEEVENS.
Drayton, in his Polyolbion, frequently describes the rivers of