« PreviousContinue »
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious ?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff ;
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see, that on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition ?
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once; not without cause;
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him ?
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason !- Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar, -
And I must pause till it come back to me.
1st Cit. Methinks, there is much reason in his sayings.
2nd Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong. 3rd Cit.
Has he, masters ? I fear, there will a worse come in his place.
4th Cit. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown; Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.
1st Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
2nd Cit. Poor soul ! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
3rd Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than Antony.
4th Cit. Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
Ant. But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world : now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! if I were dispos'd to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honorable men :
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
Than I will wrong such honorable men.
But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cæsar,
I found it in his closet, 'tis his will :
Let but the commons hear this testament,
(Which pardon me I do not mean to read,)
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their issue.
4th Cit. We'll hear the will: Read it, Mark Antony.
Cit. The will, the will; we will hear Cæsar's will.
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it ;
It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov’d you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of Cæsar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad :
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For if you should, O, what would come of it !
4th Cit. Read the will; we will hear it, Antony; You shall read us the will; Cæsar's will.
Ant. Will you be patient? Will you stay a while ?
I have o'ershot myself, to tell you of it.
I fear I wrong the honorable men,
Whose daggers have stabb’d Cæsar: I do fear it.
4th Cit. They were traitors : Honorable men !
Cit. The will ! the testament !
2nd Cit. They were villains, murderers : The will, read the will!
Ant. You will compel me then to read the will ?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
• Shall I descend? And will you give me leave ?
Cit. Come down.
2nd Cit. Descend.
[He comes down from the pulpit. 3rd Cit. You shall have leave. 4th Cit. A ring ; stand round. 1st Cit. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body. 2nd Cit. Room for Antony ;-most noble Antony. Ant. Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off. Cit. Stand back! room ! bear back!
Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle : I remember
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent;
That day he overcame the Nervii :-
Look! in this place, ran Cassius' dagger through:
See, what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;
And, as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar follow'd it;
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Cæsar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all :
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him : then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
O, what a fall was there my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
0, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
The dint of pity : these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what weep you, when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.
1st Cit. O piteous spectacle !
2nd Cit. () noble Cæsar!
3rd Cit. O woful day!
4th Cit. O traitors, villains !
1st Cit. O most bloody sight!
2nd Cit. We will be revenged: revenge ; about,-seek,-burn, fire,-kill, -slay !-let not a traitor live.
Ant. Stay, countrymen.
1st Cit. Peace there :-Hear the noble Antony.
2nd Cit. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.
Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny. ..
They, that have done this deed, are honorable :
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do't; they are wise and honorable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts;
I am no orator, as Brutus is:
But as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend, and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood : I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know ;
Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me: But were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
Cit. We'll mutiny.
1st Cit. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
3rd Cit. Away then, come, seek the conspirators.
Ant. Yet hear me, countrymen ; yet hear me speak.
Cit. Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony.
Ant. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:
Wherein hath Cæsar thus desery'd your loves!
Alas, you know not-1 must tell you then :-
You have forgot the will I told you of.
Cit. Most true; the will :-let's stay and hear the will.
Ant. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
2nd Cit. Most noble Cæsar !-we'll revenge his death.
3rd Cit. () royal Cæsar!
Ant. Hear me with patience.
Cit. Peace, ho!
Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever ; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæsar: When comes such another ?
1st Cit. Never, never : Come, away, away ;
We'll burn his body in the holy place,
And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
Take up the body.
[Exeunt Citizens with the body. Ant. Now let it work; Mischief ; thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt !-How now, fellow ?
Enter a Servant.
Serv. Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
Ant. Where is he?
Serv. He and Lepidus are at Cæsar's house.
Ant. And thither will I straight to visit him :
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
And in this mood will give us any thing.
Serv. I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
Ant. Belike, they had some notice of the people, How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.
Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, assume the government of Rome. They are opposed by Brutus and Cassius, who levy powers to make war on the triumvirate.
SCENE.—Before Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis. Drum.-Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, LUCIUS, and Soldiers : TITINIUS
and PINDARUS meeting them. Bru. Stand here. Luc. Give the word, ho! and stand.
Bru. What now, Lucilius ? is Cassius near?
Luc. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come To do you salutation from his master.
(PINDARUS gives a letter to BRUTUS,
Bru. He greets me well.—Your master, Pindarus,
In his own change, or by ill officers,
Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
Things done, undone : but, if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.
I do not doubt,
But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard, and honor.
Bru. He is not doubted.-A word, Lucilius;
How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv'd.
Luc. With courtesy, and with respect enough;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.
. Thou hast describ'd
A hot friend cooling: Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith:
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?
Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius.
[March within Bru.
Hark, he is arriv'd :-
March gently on to meet him.
Enter Cassius, and Soldiers.
Cas. Stand, ho!
Bru. Stand, ho! Speak the word along.
Cas. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.
Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies ?
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother ?
Cas. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs;
And when you do them
Cassius, be content,
Speak your griefs softly, I do know you well :-
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,