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Home > Julius Caesar > ACT III - SCENE II. The Forum.

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ACT III - SCENE II. The Forum.
Enter BRUTUS and CASSIUS, and a throng of Citizens

1    We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
2    Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
3    Cassius, go you into the other street,
4    And part the numbers.
5    Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
6    Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
7    And public reasons shall be rendered
8    Of Caesar's death.
First Citizen
9    I will hear Brutus speak.
Second Citizen
10   I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
11   When severally we hear them rendered.
Third Citizen
12   The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!
13   Be patient till the last.
14   Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my
15   cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me
16   for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that
17   you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and
18   awake your senses, that you may the better judge.
19   If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of
20   Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar
21   was no less than his. If then that friend demand
22   why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
23   --Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
24   Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
25   die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
26   all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
27   as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
28   valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I
29   slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his
30   fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his
31   ambition. Who is here so base that would be a
32   bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended.
33   Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If
34   any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so
35   vile that will not love his country? If any, speak;
36   for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
37   None, Brutus, none.
38   Then none have I offended. I have done no more to
39   Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of
40   his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not
41   extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences
42   enforced, for which he suffered death.
Enter ANTONY and others, with CAESAR's body
43   Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who,
44   though he had no hand in his death, shall receive
45   the benefit of his dying, a place in the
46   commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this
47   I depart,--that, as I slew my best lover for the
48   good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself,
49   when it shall please my country to need my death.
50   Live, Brutus! live, live!
First Citizen
51   Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
Second Citizen
52   Give him a statue with his ancestors.
Third Citizen
53   Let him be Caesar.
Fourth Citizen
54   Caesar's better parts
55   Shall be crown'd in Brutus.
First Citizen
56   We'll bring him to his house
57   With shouts and clamours.
58   My countrymen,--
Second Citizen
59   Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.
First Citizen
60   Peace, ho!
61   Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
62   And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:
63   Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech
64   Tending to Caesar's glories; which Mark Antony,
65   By our permission, is allow'd to make.
66   I do entreat you, not a man depart,
67   Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.

First Citizen
68   Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
Third Citizen
69   Let him go up into the public chair;
70   We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.
71   For Brutus' sake, I am beholding to you.
Goes into the pulpit

Fourth Citizen
72   What does he say of Brutus?
Third Citizen
73   He says, for Brutus' sake,
74   He finds himself beholding to us all.
Fourth Citizen
75   'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
First Citizen
76   This Caesar was a tyrant.
Third Citizen
77   Nay, that's certain:
78   We are blest that Rome is rid of him.
Second Citizen
79   Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.
80   You gentle Romans,--
81   Peace, ho! let us hear him.
82   Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
83   I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
84   The evil that men do lives after them;
85   The good is oft interred with their bones;
86   So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
87   Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
88   If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
89   And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
90   Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
91   For Brutus is an honourable man;
92   So are they all, all honourable men--
93   Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
94   He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
95   But Brutus says he was ambitious;
96   And Brutus is an honourable man.
97   He hath brought many captives home to Rome
98   Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
99   Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
100  When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
101  Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
102  Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
103  And Brutus is an honourable man.
104  You all did see that on the Lupercal
105  I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
106  Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
107  Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
108  And, sure, he is an honourable man.
109  I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
110  But here I am to speak what I do know.
111  You all did love him once, not without cause:
112  What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
113  O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
114  And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
115  My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
116  And I must pause till it come back to me.
First Citizen
117  Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
Second Citizen
118  If thou consider rightly of the matter,
119  Caesar has had great wrong.
Third Citizen
120  Has he, masters?
121  I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Fourth Citizen
122  Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
123  Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
First Citizen
124  If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Second Citizen
125  Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
Third Citizen
126  There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
Fourth Citizen
127  Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
128  But yesterday the word of Caesar might
129  Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
130  And none so poor to do him reverence.
131  O masters, if I were disposed to stir
132  Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
133  I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
134  Who, you all know, are honourable men:
135  I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
136  To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
137  Than I will wrong such honourable men.
138  But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
139  I found it in his closet, 'tis his will:
140  Let but the commons hear this testament--
141  Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read--
142  And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds
143  And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
144  Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
145  And, dying, mention it within their wills,
146  Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
147  Unto their issue.
Fourth Citizen
148  We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.
149  The will, the will! we will hear Caesar's will.
150  Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
151  It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
152  You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
153  And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
154  It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
155  'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
156  For, if you should, O, what would come of it!
Fourth Citizen
157  Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony;
158  You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.
159  Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
160  I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
161  I fear I wrong the honourable men
162  Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.
Fourth Citizen
163  They were traitors: honourable men!
164  The will! the testament!
Second Citizen
165  They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.
166  You will compel me, then, to read the will?
167  Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
168  And let me show you him that made the will.
169  Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?
Several Citizens
170  Come down.
Second Citizen
171  Descend.
Third Citizen
172  You shall have leave.
ANTONY comes down

Fourth Citizen
173  A ring; stand round.
First Citizen
174  Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
Second Citizen
175  Room for Antony, most noble Antony.
176  Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.
Several Citizens
177  Stand back; room; bear back.
178  If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
179  You all do know this mantle: I remember
180  The first time ever Caesar put it on;
181  'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
182  That day he overcame the Nervii:
183  Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
184  See what a rent the envious Casca made:
185  Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
186  And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
187  Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,
188  As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
189  If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
190  For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
191  Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
192  This was the most unkindest cut of all;
193  For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
194  Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
195  Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
196  And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
197  Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
198  Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
199  O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
200  Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
201  Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
202  O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
203  The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
204  Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
205  Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
206  Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.
First Citizen
207  O piteous spectacle!
Second Citizen
208  O noble Caesar!
Third Citizen
209  O woful day!
Fourth Citizen
210  O traitors, villains!
First Citizen
211  O most bloody sight!
Second Citizen
212  We will be revenged.
213  Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
214  Let not a traitor live!
215  Stay, countrymen.
First Citizen
216  Peace there! hear the noble Antony.
Second Citizen
217  We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.
218  Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
219  To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
220  They that have done this deed are honourable:
221  What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
222  That made them do it: they are wise and honourable,
223  And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
224  I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
225  I am no orator, as Brutus is;
226  But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
227  That love my friend; and that they know full well
228  That gave me public leave to speak of him:
229  For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
230  Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
231  To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;
232  I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
233  Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,
234  And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
235  And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
236  Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue
237  In every wound of Caesar that should move
238  The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
239  We'll mutiny.
First Citizen
240  We'll burn the house of Brutus.
Third Citizen
241  Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.
242  Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
243  Peace, ho! Hear Antony. Most noble Antony!
244  Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:
245  Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
246  Alas, you know not: I must tell you then:
247  You have forgot the will I told you of.
248  Most true. The will! Let's stay and hear the will.
249  Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.
250  To every Roman citizen he gives,
251  To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
Second Citizen
252  Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death.
Third Citizen
253  O royal Caesar!
254  Hear me with patience.
255  Peace, ho!
256  Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
257  His private arbours and new-planted orchards,
258  On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
259  And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,
260  To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
261  Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?
First Citizen
262  Never, never. Come, away, away!
263  We'll burn his body in the holy place,
264  And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
265  Take up the body.
Second Citizen
266  Go fetch fire.
Third Citizen
267  Pluck down benches.
Fourth Citizen
268  Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
Exeunt Citizens with the body

269  Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
270  Take thou what course thou wilt!
Enter a Servant
271  How now, fellow!
272  Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
273  Where is he?
274  He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house.
275  And thither will I straight to visit him:
276  He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
277  And in this mood will give us any thing.
278  I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius
279  Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
280  Belike they had some notice of the people,
281  How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.

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