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FLAVIUS AND MARULLUS: TRIBUNES.
ARTEMIDORUS OF CNIDOS: A TEACHER OF RHETORIC.
SCENE-Rome; the Neighbourhood of Sardis; the
THE TRAGEDY OF
SCENE I. Rome. A Street.
Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and certain Commoners over the Stage.
FLAV. Hence! home, you idle Creatures, get you home:
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
FIRST COM. 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?
SEC. COм. Truly, Sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am
but, as who would say, a cobbler.
MAR. But what trade art thou? answer me directly. SEC. COM. 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?
SEC. COM. Nay; I beseech you, Sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, Sir, I can mend you.
MAR. What mean'st thou by that? mend me, thou saucy Fellow!
SEC. COм. Why, Sir, cobble you.
FLAV. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
SEC. COM. 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, 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? SEC. COM. 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?
You Blocks, you Stones, you Worse than senseless
you hard Hearts, you cruel Men of Rome,
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?1
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,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
[Exeunt all the Commoners. See, whether their basest metal be not mov'd! They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
1 i.c. Cneius Pompeius, who died at Munda, the occasion of Cæsar's triumph.