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On, on, you noblest English!
Whose blood is fetch'd from fathers of war-proof;
Fathers, that like so many Alexanders,
Have, in these parts, from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument!
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.-The game's a-foot !-
Follow your spirit: and, upon this charge,
Cry, God for Harry, England, and St. George!
FRIENDS, Romans, Countrymen !-lend me your ears,
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Cæsar!-The noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious—
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Cæsar answered it!
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-
For Brutus is an honorable man!
So they are all, all! honorable 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 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! (weeps)
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 disposed 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 will 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
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 resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel!
Judge, O ye gods, how dearly Cæsar loved him!
This, this was the unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab!-
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's 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, by traitors!—
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 it: 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 Caesar'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 !
CAS. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this ; You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letters (praying on his side,
Because I knew the man) were slighted off.
BRU. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
CAS. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear his comment.
BRU. Yet let me tell you, Cassius you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods! this speech were else your last.
BRU. The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide its head.
CAS. Chastisement !
BRU. Remember March, the Ides of March remember! Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake? What villain touched his body, that did stab And not for justice? what! shall one of us, That struck the foremost man of all this world, But for supporting robbers,-shall we now Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ? And sell the mighty space of our large honors, For so much trash as may be grasped thus ? I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman.
Brutus, bay not me:
You forget yourself
To hedge me in: I am a soldier
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
Go to! you are not Cassius.
CAS. Urge me no more; I shall forget myself; Have mind upon your health; tempt me no further. BRU. Away slight man.
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted, when a madman stares ?
CAS. O, ye gods! ye gods! must I endure all this? BRU. All this! ay, more. Fret till your proud heart
Go, show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods!
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Tho' it do split you; for, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.