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Oct. According to his virtue let us use him, With all respect and rites of burial. Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie, Most like a soldier, ordered honorably. So call the fieldo to rest; and let's away, To part the glories of this happy day. [Exeunt.
EXPLANATORY AND HISTORICAL
STAGE DIRECTION. -- Enter Flavius, Marullus, and certain Commoners. Flavius and Marullus were tribunes, an office which was created B.C. 494, for the protection of the plebeians (here called commoners), against the oppression of the patricians. Under the rule of Sulla, the tribunes had been deprived of the greater part of their power; but their prerogatives had been restored by Pompey. For this reason, Flavius and Marullus adhere to the party of Pompey and indignantly resist every attempt to honor Cæsar.
Line 3. mechanical : mechanics ; common workmen. 12. directly: without ambiguity; in a straightforward man
14. with a safe conscience: without conscientious scruples.
16. knave : originally, this word, like the German, knabe, meant simply, a boy.
28. proper : good-looking.
29. neat’s-leather: shoes made of the hides of neat cattle, viz., oxen and cows.
34. his triumph: this was Cæsar's fifth and last triumph held
in celebration of his victory over the sons of Pompey in the battle of Munda in Spain, fought March 17th, 45 b.c. “A triumph was a military procession moving through the streets of Rome, substantially in the following order: (1) the magistrates; (2) the Senate; (3) trumpeters; (4) wagons and platforms laden with spoils, bearing explanatory labels, pictures, maps, models, etc.; (5) flute-players; (6) white bulls or oxen for sacrifice; (7) priests and their attendants; (8) elephants, or other strange animals from the conquered districts; (9) arms, standards, and insignia of the conquered nations ; (10) captive princes, leaders, and their kindred; (11) other prisoners of war in fetters ; (12) crowns and gifts from allies; (13) lictors in single file with brows and fasces wreathed with laurel; (14) the triumphant IMPERATOR, standing with his youngest children in a circular car drawn by four horses ; (15) his grown-up sons on horseback ; (16) mounted legati, tribuni, and equites ; (17) Roman legions laurelled and marching in column, singing and shouting.” — SPRAGUE.
36. tributaries : captives of war; so-called because their countries, being conquered, would pay tribute to Rome. This triumph was not a celebration of a foreign conquest, and the tribunes, who belong to the Pompeian party, are enraged at the popular demonstration in honor of Cæsar.
49. replication : reëchoing, or reverberation.
50. her concave shores : shores hollowed out by the water. In Latin, names of rivers were personified as masculine, but Shakespeare follows the custom of English poets.
54. Pompey's blood : the sons of Pompey.
57. intermit: delay ; suspend.
64. basest metal : in some editions, the word is mettle, but these were originally two spellings of the same word. The meaning is, the meanest spirited — those who are dull and gross, like the baser metals.
66. the Capitol: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the Capitoline Hill, built, originally, by Tarquinius Superbus and dedicated to the three great gods of the Romans, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.
67. images : statues. 6. After that, there were set up images of Cæsar in the city, with diadems upon their heads like kings. Those the two tribunes, Flavius and Marullus, went and pulled down." — North's PLUTARCH. See I., 2, 288.
68. decked with ceremonies : adorned with tokens of honor : here the scarfs mentioned in I., 2, 289.
70. the feast of Lupercal: an ancient Roman festival held annually on the 15th of February, in honor of Lupercus, the god of fertility. The Lupercal itself was a cavern in the Palatine Hill; it was here that the she-wolf is fabled to have suckled Romulus and Remus.
72. trophies : symbols of victory. Originally, a trophy, from a Greek word meaning “to turn," was a monument erected on a battle-field at the point where the enemy had been made to turn, or had been put to flight. It was decorated with the captured arms.
73. vulgar: common people.
76. fly an ordinary pitch: this figure is based upon a custom in falconry, "pitch” referring to the highest point to which a hawk soars before swooping down upon its prey.