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For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me,“ Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But before we could reach the point proposed,
Cæsar cry'd, “Help me, Cassius, or I sink !"
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæsar : And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
Ye Gods ! how much it doth amaze me, that
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the pain alone !
MARK ANTONY OVER CÆSAR'S BODY. Ant. 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. 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 honourable man, So are they all, all honourable 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 honourable 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 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 witholds 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 Casar,
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 lim reverence.
Oh, 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.
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.
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 plucked his cursed 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 worst, unkindest cut of all :
For when the noble Cæsar 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 Cæsar fell.
0, 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 Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr’d, as you see,
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed, are honourable ;
What private griefs they
have, alas, I know not,
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 mouths,
And bid them speak for me: But, were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Who'd ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that would move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.--SHAKSPEARE.
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 letter (praying on his side,
Because I knew the man) was slighted of.
Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
Cas. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That ev'ry nice offence should bear its comment.
Bru. Yet let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm,
To sell and mart your offices for gold
Cas. I an itching palm ?-
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or be assur'd this speech were else your last.
Bru. The name of Cassius honours 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! 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 honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus ?
I had rather be a dog and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman!
Cas. Brutus, bay not me;
I'll not endure it. You forget yourself,
To hedge me in: I am a soldier
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
Bru. Go to! You are not Cassius.
Cas. I am.
Bru. I say you are not.
Cas. Urge me no more; I shall forget myself:
Have mind upon your health-tempt me no farther!
Bru. Away, slight man !
Cas. Is't possible ?
Bru. 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. Just heavens! must I endure all this?
Bru. All this! aye, more. Fret till your proud heart break : Go, show your slaves how choleric you are, And make your bondmen tremble. Must í budge? Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch Under your testy humour ? Never, Cassius ! You shåll digest
the venom of your spleen, Though it do split you : for, from this day forth, I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter, When you are waspish.
Cas. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say you are a better soldier :
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cas. You wrong me every way-you wrong me, Brutus;
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say better?
Bru. If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar liv'd he durst-not thus have mov'd me.
Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him.
Cas. I durst not !-
Cas. What! durst not tempt him ?
your life you
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love,
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
Bru. You have done that you should be sorry
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats ;
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means;
No, Cassius, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, tha extort
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,
By any indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready heav'n! with all your thunderbolts-
Dash him in pieces.
Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.
Cas. I did not: he was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath riy'd my heart.
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities :
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not. Still you practice them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they did appear
As huge as high Olympus.
Cas. Come, Antony! and young Octavius, come!
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius :
For Cassius is a-weary of the world.-
Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observ'd;
Set in a note book, learn’d and conn’d by rote,
To cast into his teeth. Oh! I could weep
My spirit from my eyes! There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast-within a heart
Dearer than Plutus’ mine, richer than gold :
If that thou need'st a Roman’s, take it forth;
I that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar, for I know
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov’dst him better
Than ever thou lov’dst Cassius.
Bru. Sheathe your dagger.
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope:
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O Cassius! you are yoked with a man
That carries anger as the fint bears fire,
Which, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.