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This our lofty scene

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"So call the field to rest, and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day."

Antony and the others strike poses, hold them a moment, and exit to the cheers of the audience. This is the last performance of the three-day run, and all the lines and movements are tinged with a resigned sort of sadness. The actors wonder if that is noticeable to anyone but themselves.

They all come forward and bow many times, with gestures and flourishes, then retire to the classroom of one of the Latin professors, taken over by the student actors because it is the closest to the stage. In front of an audience they are all tragic grandeur, but this instantly dissolves as they enter the makeshift dressing-room.

"Well fallen, Caesar!"

"Good Messala, help me out of these accursed weeds, I pray."

"Is't not deject? After this day we shall ne'ermore a company be."

They address each other as those they enact: it becomes a joke, after a while.

Eventually most of the actors change and leave, some to sleep or study but most to have celebratory drinks with their friends and loyal admirers. Only Caesar, Calphurnia, and Portia remain, because the latter have dresses to change out of and face paint to clean off, and the former is wearing the white ceruse, an inch thick, from his appearance as the Ghost.

Calphurnia is already half out of his dress, and so is finished with the small hand-mirror and washing bowl before Portia and Caesar need it. "Bravi, Caesar, Portia. Give you good night," he says, and leaves.

Caesar uses the mirror first while Portia undresses and puts on his own clothes. They do not talk for a while, concentrating.

Portia straightens up from putting on his shoes. "So, then, it's finished. I, for one, am sad."

"And I f'r another, though tonight, 'tis true, a multitudinous audience we had, who at each wave of hand and line well-spoken did cheer and shout and thunderously applaud, making such a sweet and clamorous cry as if we were the King's Men." Caesar cleans the last of the paint from around his mouth, and he and Portia change places.

"But for thee they cheered the most, when in the Capitol good Brutus stabbed thee and thou wert slain." He turns from the mirror to smile at Caesar. Portia's is an offstage death.

"Well, that is so, for I enact great Julius, and in our tragedy the hero I; indeed, 'tis named for Caesar, who doth fall most tragically. That scene doth please me well."

Portia raises his eyebrows and grins slightly, small traces of lip rouge still coloring his mouth. "I'faith, hadst thou not said, I'd not have known."

Caesar starts to speak again, but finds himself in a tight hug. "Thou diddest splendidly," says Portia in his ear. "Farewell, great Caesar." He leaves the dressing room with his script.

Caesar lets the last of the gauze of his costume drop to the floor, and follows.