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Julius Caesar

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JULIUS CAESAR ACT III SCENE II

The Forum.

 

Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of Citizens.

 

CITIZENS

We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!

BRUTUS

Then follow me and give me audience, friends.

Cassius, go you into the other street

And part the numbers.

Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;

Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;

And public reasons shall be rendered

Of Caesar's death.

FIRST CITIZEN

I will hear Brutus speak.

SECOND CITIZEN

I will hear Cassius and compare their reasons,

When severally we hear them rendered.

Exit Cassius, with some Citizens.

Brutus goes into the pulpit.

THIRD CITIZEN

The noble Brutus is ascended. Silence!

BRUTUS

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 honor, and have

respect to mine honor, 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 freemen? As Caesar loved me, I

weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was

valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There

is tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor for his valor,

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.

ALL

None, Brutus, none.

BRUTUS

Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar

than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is

enrolled in the Capitol, his glory not extenuated, wherein he was

worthy, nor his offenses enforced, for which he suffered death.

Enter Antony and others, with Caesar'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 lover for the good of Rome, I

have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country

to need my death.

ALL

Live, Brutus, live, live!

FIRST CITIZEN

Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

SECOND CITIZEN

Give him a statue with his ancestors.

THIRD CITIZEN

Let him be Caesar.

FOURTH CITIZEN

Caesar's better parts

Shall be crown'd in Brutus.

FIRST CITIZEN

We'll bring him to his house with shouts and

clamors.

BRUTUS

My countrymen-

SECOND CITIZEN

Peace! Silence! Brutus speaks.

FIRST CITIZEN

Peace, ho!

BRUTUS

Good countrymen, let me depart alone,

And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.

Do grace to Caesar's corse, 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.

FIRST CITIZEN

Stay, ho, and let us hear Mark Antony.

THIRD CITIZEN

Let him go up into the public chair;

We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.

ANTONY

For Brutus' sake, I am beholding to you.

Goes into the pulpit.

FOURTH CITIZEN

What does he say of Brutus?

THIRD CITIZEN

He says, for Brutus' sake,

He finds himself beholding to us all.

FOURTH CITIZEN

'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.

FIRST CITIZEN

This Caesar was a tyrant.

THIRD CITIZEN

Nay, that's certain.

We are blest that Rome is rid of him.

SECOND CITIZEN

Peace! Let us hear what Antony can say.

ANTONY

You gentle Romans-

ALL

Peace, ho! Let us hear him.

ANTONY

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

I come to bury Caesar, 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 Caesar. The noble Brutus

Hath told you Caesar was ambitious;

If it were so, it was a grievous fault,

And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-

For Brutus is an honorable man;

So are they all, all honorable men-

Come I to speak in Caesar'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 Caesar seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Caesar 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 judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,

And I must pause till it come back to me.

FIRST CITIZEN

Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

SECOND CITIZEN

If thou consider rightly of the matter,

Caesar has had great wrong.

THIRD CITIZEN

Has he, masters?

I fear there will a worse come in his place.

FOURTH CITIZEN

Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;

Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.

FIRST CITIZEN

If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

SECOND CITIZEN

Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

THIRD CITIZEN

There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

FOURTH CITIZEN

Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

ANTONY

But yesterday the word of Caesar 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 Caesar;

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 Caesar'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.

FOURTH CITIZEN

We'll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.

ALL

The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will.

ANTONY

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;

It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.

You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;

And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,

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!

FOURTH CITIZEN

Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony.

You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.

ANTONY

Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?

I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.

I fear I wrong the honorable men

Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.

FOURTH CITIZEN

They were traitors. Honorable men!

ALL

The will! The testament!

SECOND CITIZEN

They were villains, murtherers. The will!

Read the will!

ANTONY

You will compel me then to read the will?

Then make a ring about the corse of Caesar,

And let me show you him that made the will.

Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?

ALL

Come down.

SECOND CITIZEN

Descend.

He comes down from the pulpit.

THIRD CITIZEN

You shall have leave.

FOURTH CITIZEN

A ring, stand round.

FIRST CITIZEN

Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

SECOND CITIZEN

Room for Antony, most noble Antony.

ANTONY

Nay, press not so upon me, stand far off.

ALL

Stand back; room, bear back!

ANTONY

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

You all do know this mantle. I remember

The first time ever Caesar 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 Caesar 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 Caesar's angel.

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar 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 Caesar 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.

O, 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 Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,

Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.

FIRST CITIZEN

O piteous spectacle!

SECOND CITIZEN

O noble Caesar!

THIRD CITIZEN

O woeful day!

FOURTH CITIZEN

O traitors villains!

FIRST CITIZEN

O most bloody sight!

SECOND CITIZEN

We will be revenged.

ALL

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill!

Slay! Let not a traitor live!

ANTONY

Stay, countrymen.

FIRST CITIZEN

Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.

SECOND CITIZEN

We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with

him.

ANTONY

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 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 Caesar that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

ALL

We'll mutiny.

FIRST CITIZEN

We'll burn the house of Brutus.

THIRD CITIZEN

Away, then! Come, seek the conspirators.

ANTONY

Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.

ALL

Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony!

ANTONY

Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.

Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?

Alas, you know not; I must tell you then.

You have forgot the will I told you of.

ALL

Most true, the will! Let's stay and hear the will.

ANTONY

Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.

To every Roman citizen he gives,

To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

SECOND CITIZEN

Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death.

THIRD CITIZEN

O royal Caesar!

ANTONY

Hear me with patience.

ALL

Peace, ho!

ANTONY

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 forever- common pleasures,

To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?

FIRST CITIZEN

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.

SECOND CITIZEN

Go fetch fire.

THIRD CITIZEN

Pluck down benches.

FOURTH CITIZEN

Pluck down forms, windows, anything.

Exeunt Citizens with the body.

ANTONY

Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,

Take thou what course thou wilt.

Enter a Servant.

How now, fellow?

SERVANT

Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.

ANTONY

Where is he?

SERVANT

He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house.

ANTONY

And thither will I straight to visit him.

He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,

And in this mood will give us anything.

SERVANT

I heard him say Brutus and Cassius

Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.

ANTONY

Be like they had some notice of the people,

How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.

Exeunt.

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