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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 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.
First Ple. Methinks there is much reason in his
Sec. Ple. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong.
Third Ple. Has he, masters? 116 I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Fourth Ple. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
First Ple. If it be found so, some will dear abide
Sec. Ple. Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
Third Ple. There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
101 on the Lupercal: on the day of the Lupercalia
Fourth Ple. Now mark him; he begins again to
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,
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.
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.
124, 125 word
point against the world 126 And there are none so humble as to show him any respect 136 commons: common people 139 napkins: handkerchiefs
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.
Fourth Ple. We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.
All. The will, the will! we will hear Cæsar's will! Ant. Have patience, gentle friends; I must not read it:
world: his bare assertion would have carried his
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs; For if you should, O what would come of it?
Fourth Ple. Read the will! we'll hear it, An
You shall read us the will, Cæsar's will.
Ant. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile? 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.
Fourth Ple. They were traitors: honourable men!
All. The will! the testament!
Sec. Ple. 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?
All. Come down.
Sec. Ple. Descend.
Third Ple. You shall have leave.
Fourth Ple. A ring; stand round.
First Ple. Stand from the hearse; stand from the
[Antony comes down.]
Sec. Ple. Room for Antony, most noble Antony.
Ant. Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off. 172
All. Stand back! room! bear back!
'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:
178 That day: on the day on which; cf. n.
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;
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 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,
Ingra.itude, 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.
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 200
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
186 angel: dear as his guardian spirit 199 dint: impression
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors. First Ple. O piteous spectacle!
Sec. Ple. O noble Cæsar!
Third Ple. C woeful day!
Fourth Ple. O traitors! villains!
First Ple. O most bloody sight!
Sec. Ple. We will be revenged.
Fire!-Kill!-Slay! Let not a traitor live!
Ant. Stay, countrymen,
First Ple. Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
Sec. Ple. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him!
Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, 217
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:
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
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.
All. We'll mutiny.
First Ple. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
Third Ple. Away, then! Come, seek the con-
Ant. Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak. All. Peace, ho!-Hear Antony, most noble Antony!
226 Action, nor utterance: orator's powers of gesticulation and elocution
227 right on: with simple straightforwardness
232 ruffle: stir