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Produce his body to the market place;
You know not what you do; Do not consent,
[Aside. That Antony speak in his funeral: Know you how much the people may be mov'd By that which he will utter?
Bru. By your pardon;—
I will myself into the pulpit first,
Ant. Be it so;
I do desire no more.
Bru. Prepare the body then, and follow us.
[Exeunt all but Antony. Ant. O, pardon me, thou piece of bleeding earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man, That ever lived in the tide of times.6
* in the tide of timet.] That is, in the course of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!Over thy wounds now do I prophecy,—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips, To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue;— A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;Domestick fury, and fierce civil strife, Shall cumber all the parts of Italy:Blood and destruction shall be so in use, And dreadful objects so familiar, That mothers shall but smile, when they behold Their infants quarter'd with the hands of' war;
All pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds: And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, With Ate by his side, come hot from hell, Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice, Cry Havoch, and let slip7 the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?
Serv. I do, Mark Antony.
Ant. Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.
Serv. He did receive his letters, and is coming: And bid me say to you by word of mouth,— O Caesar! [Seeing the Body.
Ant. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep. Passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes, Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, Began to water. Is thy master coming?
Serv. He lies to-night within seven leagues of Rome.
7 let slip —] This is a term belonging to the chase. Slips
were contrivances of leather by which greyhounds were restrained till the necessary moment of their dismission. By the dogs of war, as Mr. Toilet has observed, Shakspeare probably meant/ire, sword, and/amine.
Ant. Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc'd: Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, No Rome of safety for Octavius yet; Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet, stay a while; Thou shalt not back, till I have borne this corse Into the market-place: there shall I try, In my oration, how the people take The cruel issue of these bloody men; According to the which, thou shalt discourse To young Octavius of the state of things. Lend me your hand. \.Exeunt, with Cjesar's Body.
SCENE II. The same. The Forum.
Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a Throng of
Cit. We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
Bru. Then follow me, and give me audience,
Those that will hear me speak, let them stay here;
1 Cit. I will hear Brutus speak.
2 Cit. I will hear Cassius; and compare their
reasons, When severally we hear them rendered.
[Exit Cassius, with some of the Citizens. Brutus goes into the Rostrum. 3 Cit. The noble Brutus is ascended: Silence! Bru. Be patient till the last.
298 JULIUS CESAR.Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause; and be silent that you may hear: believe me for mine honour; and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom; and awake your senses that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer,— Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves; than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him: There is tears, for his love; joy, for his fortune; honour, for his valour; and death, for his ambition. Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
Cit. None, Brutus, none.
[Several speaking at once.
Bru. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar, than you should do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol: his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
Enter Antony and Others, with Cesar's Body.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; As which of you shall not? With this I depart; That, as I slew my best lover8 for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death. Cit. Live, Brutus, live! live!
1 Cit. Bring him with triumph home unto his
2 Cit. Give him a statue with his ancestors.
3 Cit. Let him be Caesar.
4 Cit. Caesar's better parts Shall now be crown'd in Brutus.
1 Cit. We'll bring him to his house with shouts and clamours.
Bru. My countrymen,
1 Cit. Peace; silence! Brutus speaks. 1 Cit. Peace, ho!
Bru. Good countrymen, let me depart alone, And, for my sake, stay here with Antony: Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech Tending to Caesar's glories; which Mark Antony, By our permission is allow'd to make. I do entreat you, not a man depart, Save I alone, till Antony have spoke. [Exit.
1 Cit. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
3 Cit. Let him go up into the publick chair; We'll hear him: Noble Antony, go up.
Ant. For Brutus' sake, I am beholden to you.
4 Cit. What does he say of Brutus?
3 Cit. He says, for Brutus' sake, He finds himself beholden to us all.
4 Cit. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus
here. 1 Cit. This Caesar was a tyrant.