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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 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 ?
Oh 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.

But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world, now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
Oh 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 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.

Citizen. 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; 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;
You shall read 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 honorable men
Whose daggers have stabbed Cæsar. I do fear it.

Cit. They were traitors : honorable men!
All. The will ! the testament !

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.

(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;
'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 stabbed :
And, as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel :
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Cæsar loved him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For, when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
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 flourished 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, marred, as you see, with traitors.

1st Cit. Oh piteous spectacle !
2d Cit. Oh noble Cæsar!
3d Cit. We will be revenged !



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.



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,

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