Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

4 Cit. Marked ye his words ? He would not take

the crown ;
Therefore, 'tis certain he was not ambitious.

1 Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
2 Cit. Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with

weeping
3 Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than Antony.
4 Cit. Now mark him ; he begins again to speak.

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 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 his 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.

4 Cit. We'll hear the will ; read it, Mark Antony.
Cit. 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, 0, what would come of it!

[blocks in formation]

4 Cit. Read the will; we will hear it, Antony. 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 honorable men, Whose daggers have stabbed Cæsar; I do fear it.

4 Cit. They were traitors. Honorable men! Cit. The will! the testament !

2 Cit. 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?

Cit. Come down.
2 Cit. Descend. [He comes down from the pulpit.
3 Cit. You shall have leave.
2 Cit. A ring; stand round.
1 Cit. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
2 Cit. Room for Antony ;-most noble Antony.
Ant. Nay, press not so upon me ; stand far off.
Cit. Stand back! room! bear back!

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 ; '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 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 most unkindest cut of all; For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

I i. e. his guardian angel, or the being in whom he put most trust.

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.
0, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
0, 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.

1 Cit. O piteous spectacle !
2 Cit. O noble Cæsar !
3 Cit. O woful day!
4 Cit. O traitors, villains !
1.Cit. O most bloody sight!

2 Cit. We will be revenged. Revenge ; about, seek,—burn,-firé,—kill,-slay!-let not a traitor live.

Ant. Stay, countrymen.
1 Cit. Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.

2 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.

1 See Act ii. Sc. 2. Beaumont, in his Mask, writes this word statua, and its plural statuaes. Even is generally used as a dissyllable by Shakspeare.

2 The image seems to be, that the blood flowing from Cæsar's wounds appeared to run from the statue; the words are from North’s Plutarch:“ Against the very base whereon Pompey's image stood, which ran all a gore of blood, till he was slain.”

3 Dint, anciently written dent; "a stroke, and the impression which it makes on any thing."

4 Grievances.

I tell you

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;

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.

Cit. We'll mutiny.
1 Cit. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
3 Cit. Away then, come, seek the conspirators.
Ant. Yet hear me, countrymen ; yet hear me speak.
Cit. Peace, ho! hear Antony, most noble Antony.

Ant. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what. .
Wherein hath Cæsar thus deserved your loves ?
Alas, you know not.-I must tell you, then;
You have forgot the will I told you of.
Cit. Most true ;—the will ;-let's stay, and hear the

will.
Ant. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.?

2 Cit. Most noble Cæsar !-we'll revenge his death.
3 Cit. O royal Cæsar!
Ant. Hear me with patience.
Cit. Peace, ho!

Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, , His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,

1 The first folio reads, “ For I have neither writ.” The second folio corrects it to wit, which Johnson supposed might mean “a penned and premeditated oration.”—The context calls for the emendation.

2 A drachma was a Greek coin, the same as the Roman denier, of the value of four sesterces, i. e. 7d.

On this side Tyber. He hath left them you,
And to your heirs forever; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæsar! when comes such another?

1 Cit. Never, never.-Come, away, away ;
We'll burn his body in the holy place,
And with the brands fire ? the traitors' houses.
Take up the body .

2 Cit. Go, fetch fire.
3 Cit. Pluck down benches.
4 Cit. Pluck down forms, windows, any thing:

[Exeunt Citizens, with the body. Ant. Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot; Take thou what course thou wilt !-How now, fellow?

Enter a Servant.
Serv. Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
Ant. Where is he?
Serv. He and Lepidus are at Cæsar's house.

Ant. And thither will I straight to visit him;
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
And in this mood will give us any thing.

Serv. I heard him say Brutus and Cassius
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.

Ant. Belike, they had some notice of the people, How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.

[Exeunt.

1 “This scene (says Theobald) lies in the Forum, near the Capitol, and in the most frequented part of the city; but Cæsar's gardens were very remote from that quarter. He would therefore read, “on that side Tyber.” But Dr. Farmer has shown that Shakspeare's study lay in the old translation of Plutarch, “ He bequethed unto every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas a man, and left his gardens and arbors unto the people, which he had on this side of the river Tyber.”

2 Fire again as a dissyllable.

« VorigeDoorgaan »