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unable to hold out any longer for fright, dared to address Gavroche, but in a very low voice.
“Hello!” said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes.
66 What is that?”
“It's the rats,” Gavroche answered. And he laid his head again on the mat.
“ Sir?” he began again.
“Well ?" Gavroche asked.
66 What are rats ?”
“ They are mice.”
This explanation slightly reassured the child, for he had seen white mice in his life and had not been afraid of them. Still, he trembled with fear.
“Don't be frightened,” said Gavroche, “they can't get in. And then, I am here. Stay; take my
hand ; hold your tongue and go to sleep.”
The night hours passed away; darkness covered the immense Bastile square. A winter wind, which was mingled with rain, blew in gusts. The patrols examined doors and dark corners, searching for vagabonds, and passed silently before the elephant.
The monster, erect and motionless, with its eyes open in the darkness, sheltered from the sky and rain the three poor sleeping children.
- VICTOR HUGO.
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! The noble Brutus
Hath told you, Cæsar was ambitious :
If it were so, it were a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable 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 honorable 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 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 spake,
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 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.
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 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;
"IF YOU HAVE TEARS, PREPARE TO SHED THEM NOW."
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.
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!
Will you be patient? Will you wait 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. 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;