« AnteriorContinuar »
In my oration, how the people take
The same. The Forum.
Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of Citi.
Cit. We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
I will hear Brutus speak. 2 Cit. I will hear Cassius; and compare their
reasons, . When severally we hear them rendered.
(Erit 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. 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
• Friends. VOL. VII.
friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love 10 Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend de. mand why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer,-Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves; than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men! As Cæsar 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 pot be a Roinan? 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 Cæsar, 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 Cæsar's body.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall re ceive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; As which of you shall not? With this I de. part; That, as I slew my best lover* 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
house. 2 Cit. Give him a statue with his ancestors.
3 Cit. Let him be Cæsar.
Cæsar'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,2 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 Cæsar's corpse, and grace his speech Tendiog to Cæsar'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.
[Erit. 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.
He says, for Brutus' sake, He finds himself beholden to us all, 4 Cit. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus
bere. 1 Cit. This Cæsar was a tyrant.
Nay, that's certain: We are bless'd, that Rome is rid of him. 2 Cit. Peace; let us hear what Antony can say. Ant. You gentle Romans, Cit.
Peace, ho! let us hear him. Ant. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
Has he, masters? I fear, there will a' worse come in his place. 4 Cit. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take
the crown; Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.
1 Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it. 2 Cit. Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with
weeping. 3 Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than
4 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 peort to do him reverence. O masters! if I were dispos'd to stir Your bearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cæsar, I found it io bis closet, 'tis his will: Let but the commons bear 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 t in his sacred blood; Yea, beg a hair of bim for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, Unto their issue. 4 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!
4 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 honourable men, Whose daggers have stabb'd Cæsar: I do fear it.
• The meanest man is now too high to do reverence to Cæsar.