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Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious ?
You all did see, that on the Lupercal,
But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
But here's a parchment with the seal of Cæsar;
Let but the commons hear this testament
Citizen. We'll hear the will : read it, Mark Antony.
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it; It is not meet you know how Cæsar loved 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 !
Cit. Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony;
Ant. Will you be patient ? Will you stay awhile ?
Cit. They were traitors : honorable men!
Ant. You will compel me, then, to read the will ?
(He comes down from the pulpit.) 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;
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
1st Cit. Oh piteous spectacle !
Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire !
Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live. Ant. Stay, countrymen. 1st Cit. Peace there! hear the noble Antony. 2d 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 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 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.
– From “ Julius Cæsar."
Notes. — Caius Julius Cæsar (b. 102, d. 44 B.c.) was the most remarkable genius of the ancient world. Cæsar ruled Rome as imperator five years and a half, and, in the intervals of seven campaigns during that time, spent only fifteen months in Rome. Under his rule Rome
was probably at her best, and his murder at once produced a state of anarchy.
The conspirators against Cæsar -among whom were Brutus, Cassius, and Casca — professed to be moved by honest zeal for the good of Rome; but their own ambition was no doubt the true motive, except with Brutus.
Mark Antony was a strong friend of Julius Cæsar. Upon the latter's death, Antony, by his funeral oration, incited the people and drove the conspirators from Rome.
The Lupercal was a festival of purification and expiation held in Rome on the 15th of February. Antony was officiating as priest at this festival when he offered the crown to Cæsar.
In his will Cæsar left to every citizen of Rome a sum of money, and bequeathed his private gardens to the public.
The Nervii were one of the most warlike tribes of Celtic Gaul. Cæsar almost annihilated them in 57 B.C.
Pompey, once associated with Cæsar in the government of Rome, was afterward at war with him. He was murdered by those who thought to propitiate Cæsar, but the latter wept when Pompey's head was sent to him, and had the murderers put to death.
Pompey's statua. Statua is the Latin form of statue, in common use in Shakespeare's time; this form is required here by the meter.
ON THE DEATH OF WASHINGTON.
BY HENRY LEE.
How, my fellow-citizens, shall I single to your grateful hearts his preëminent worth? Where shall I begin in opening to your view a character throughout sublime ? Shall I speak of his warlike achievements, all' springing from obedience to his country's will — all directed to his country's good ?
Will you go with me to the banks of the Monongahela, to see our youthful Washington supporting, in the dismal hour of Indian victory, the ill-fated Braddock,