Page images
PDF

Here under leave of Brutus, and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men ;)
Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says, he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable 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 honourable 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 honourable 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 fied 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.

1 Cit. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

2 Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong. 3 Cit.

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 Antony,
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 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,

(1) There is now no one poor enough and mean enough to do reverence to

[ocr errors]

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 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.

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, oh, what would come of it!

4 Cit. Read the will; we'll 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. . 4 Cit. They were traitors : honourable men! * Cit. The will! the testament !

2 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.
2 Cit. Descend.

[He comes down from the pulpit. 3 Cit. You shall have leave. 4 Cit. A ring; stand round. 1 Cit. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body. 2 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 Nervi :-
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 followed 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.
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
Oh, 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.

1 Cit. O piteous spectacle !
2 Cit. O noble Cæsar!
3 Cit. O woful day!
4 Cit. O traitors, villains !
1 Cit. O most bloody sight!

2 Cit. We will be revenged: revenge; about,-seek,—burn, fire,-kill, --slay !-let not a traitor live.

Ant. Stay, countrymen.
1 Cit. Peace there :-Hear the noble Antony.
2 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 honourable;
What private griefs they have, alas ! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts;

(1) One of the most powerful and most warlike nations of Gaul, who were conquered by Cæsar when he was governor.

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!
1 Cit. We'll burn the house of Brutus !
3 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 deserv'd your loves ?
Alas, you know not-I 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.1

2 Cit. Most noble Cæsar! we'll revenge his death.
3 Cit. O royal Cæsar!
Ant. Hear me with patience.
Cit. Peace, ho!

Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, 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?

1 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.

2 Cit. Go, fetch fire.
3 Cit. Pluck down benches.
4 Cit. Pluck down forms, windows, anything.

[Exeunt Citizens, with the body.

[ocr errors]

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 anything.

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 mov'd them. Bring me to Octavius. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.The same. A Street.

Enter CINNA, the Poet. :
Cin. I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Cæsar,
And things unluckily charge my fantasy :
I have no will to wander forth of doors,
Yet something leads me forth.

Enter Citizens.
1 Cit. What is your name?
2 Cit. Whither are you going?
3 Cit. Where do you dwell?
4 Cit. Are you a married man or a bachelor ?
2 Cit. Answer every man directly.
1 Cit. Ay, and briefly.
4 Cit. Ay, and wisely.
3 Cit. Ay, and truly, you were best.

Cin. What is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I dwell? Am I a married man or a bachelor? Then, to answer every man directly, and briefly, wisely, and truly; wisely I say, I am a bachelor.

2 Čit. That's as much as to say they are fools that marry: you 'll bear me a bang for that, I fear, Proceed; directly.

Cin. Directly, I am going to Cæsar's funeral..
1 Cit. As a friend, or an enemy?
Cin. As a friend.
2 Cit. That matter is answered directly.
4 Cit. For your dwelling,-briefly.
3 Cit. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
3 Cit. Your name, sir, truly.
Cin. Truly, my name is Cinna,

« PreviousContinue »