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Ant. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep; Paffion I see is catching; for mine eyes, Seeing those Beads of forrow stand in thine, Began to water.
Is thy master coming ? Ser. He lyes to night within seven leagues of Rome. Ant. Poft back with speed, and tell him what hath
chanc'd. Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, No Rome of safety for Oktavius yet; Hie hence, and tell him fo. Yet stay a while; Thou shalt not back, 'till I have borne this corfe Into the market-place: there shall I try In my Oration, how the people take The cruel issue of these bloody men ; According to the which, thou shalt discourse To young Ostavius of the state of things. Lend me your hand. [Exeunt with Cæsar's body.
Enter Brutus, and mounts the Roftra ; Caffius, with
the Plebeians. Pleb. We will be satisfied, let us be satisfied.
Bru. Then follow me, and give me
i Pleb. I will hear Brutus speak,
When sev'rally we hear them rendered.
[Exit Caffius, with some of the Plebeians. Pleb. 3 The noble Brutus is ascended : silence ! Bru. Be patient 'till the last.
Romans, Countrymen, and Lovers! hear me for my cause; and be filent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. • If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of • Cæfar's, to him I say, that Brutus's love to Ce for
was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæfar, this is my
Answer: • Not that I lov'd Cæfar less, but that I lov'd Rome
Had you rather Cæfar were living, and dye all Naves; than that Cæfar were dead, to live all free-men? As Cæfar lov'd me, I weep for him; as
he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, • I honour him ; but as he was ambitious, I new him. • There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, • honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. • Who's here so base, that would be a bond-man? If • any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's here • fo rude, that would not be a Roman? if any, speak; I for him have I offended. Who is here fo vile, that • will not love his Country? if any, speak; for him • have I offended-I pause for a Reply
6 -Countrymen and Lovers ! &c.] There is no where, in all Shakespear's works, a stronger proof of his not being what we call a scholar, than this ; or of his not knowing any thing of the genius of learned antiquity. This speech of Brutus is wrote in imi. tation of his famed laconic brevity, and is very fine in its kind. But no more like that brevity, than his times were like Brutus's. The ancient laconic brevity was simple, natural and ealy : this is quaint, artificial, gingling, and abounding with forced antithesis's. In a word a brevity, that for its false eloquence would have suited any character, and for its good sense would have become the greatest of our author's time ; but yet, in a stile of declaiming, that fits as ill upon Brutus as our author's trowsers or collar-band would have done.
All. None, Brutus, none.
Bru. Then none have I offended I have done no more to Cefar, than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is inroll'd in the Capitol ; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforcd, for which he suffered death.
Enter Mark Antony with Cæsar's body.
All. Live, Brutus, live! live!
4 Pleb. Cæsar's better Parts
Bru. Good Countrymen, let me depart alone,
i Pleb. Stay, ho, and let us hear Mark Antony. 3 Pleb. Let him go up into the publick Chair,
We'll hear him: noble Antony, go up.
Ant. For Brutus' sake, I am beholden to you. 4 Pleb. What does he say of Brutus ?
3 Pleb. He says, for Brutus' fake He finds himself beholden to us all. 4 Pleb. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus
2 Pleb. Peace ; let us hear what Antony can say.
So let it be with Cæfar! noble Brutus
Hath told you, Cesar was ambitious ; • If it were so, it was a grievous fault ;
And grievously hath Cæfar answer'd 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 Cesar'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 Cæfar seem ambitious ? • When that the poor have cry'd, Cæfar 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; 6 Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? 6 Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious ; • And, sure, he is an honourable man. . I speak not, to disprove what Brutus fpoke, • 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? . O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, • And men have lost their reason-bear with me, • My heart is in the coffin there with Cæfar, « And I must pause 'till it come back to me. I i Pleb. Methinks, there is much reason in his
sayings. If thou conlider rightly of the matter, Cæfar has had great wrong:
3 Pleb. Has he, Masters? I fear there will a worfe come in his place. 4 Pleb. Mark'd ye his words ? he would not take
the crown ;
i Pleb. If it be found so, fome will dear abide it.
weeping 3 Pleb. There's not a nobler man in Rome than
Antony. 7 Cæfar has had great wrong.) 3 Pleb. Cæfar bad never wrong but with just cause. If ever there was such a line written by Shakespear, I should fancy it might have its place here, and very humourously in the character of a Plebeian. One might believe Ben Johnson's remark was made upon no better credit than some blunder of an actor in speaking that verse near the beginning of the third act,
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong ; nor without cause
Will be be fatisfied. But the verse, as cited by Ben Johnson, does not connect with Will he be satisfied. Perhaps this play was never printed in Ben Johnson's time, and so he had nothing to judge by but as the actor pleased to speak it.