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poor gentleman-like carcase to perform, (provided there be no treason practised upon us,) by discreet manhood, that is, civilly by the sword.


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 was 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.

Was this ambition?

You all did see that, on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And sure he is an honorable 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 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 his testament,
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,

And they would go and kiss dear 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 pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, 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 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.
O, 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, with traitors.-

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:
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 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!


[DUKE, (seated in the centre,) with Senators seated on each side. PIERRE, in chains, in front on the left. RENAULT and others in chains, near him.]

Pier.-You, my lords, and fathers,

(As you are pleas'd to call yourselves,) of Venice;
If you sit here to guide the course of justice,
Why these disgraceful chains upon the limbs
That have so often labor'd in your service?
Are these the wreaths of triumph you bestow
On those that bring you conquest home, and honors?
Duke.-Go on: you shall be heard, sir.

Pier.-Are these the trophies I've deserv'd for fighting
Your battles with confederated powers?

When winds and seas conspir'd to overthrow you,
And brought the fleets of Spain to your own harbors;
When you, great duke, shrunk trembling in your palace ;
Stepp'd not I forth, and taught your loose Venetians
The task of honor, and the way to greatness?
Rais'd you from your capitulating fears

To stipulate the terms of sued-for peace?
And this my recompense! If I'm a traitor,
Produce my charge; or show the wretch that's base,
And brave enough to tell me, I'm a traitor !
Duke.-Know you one Jaffier?

Pier.-Yes, and know his virtue :

His justice, truth, his general worth, and sufferings
From a hard father, taught me first to love him.
Duke.-See him brought forth.

Enter JAFFIER (in chains.)

Pier. My friend too bound! Nay, then

Our fate has conquer'd us, and we must fall.

Why droops the man, whose welfare's so much mine,
They're but one thing? These reverend tyrants, Jaffier
Call us traitors. Art thou one, my brother?

Jaff. To thee I am the falsest, veriest slave, Who e'er betray'd a generous, trusting friend, And gave up honor to be sure of ruin.

All our fair hopes, which morning was t' have crown'd,
Has this curs'd tongue o'erthrown.

Pier. So, then, all's over:

Venice has lost her freedom, I my life.

No more!

Duke.-Say; will you make confession

Of your vile deeds, and trust the senate's mercy?

Pier.-Curs'd be your senate, curs'd your constitution!

The curse of growing factions, and divisions,
Still vex your councils, shake your public safety,
And make the robes of government you wear
Hateful to you, as these vile chains to me!

Duke.-Pardon, or death?

Pier.-Death! honorable death!

Ren.-Death's the best thing we ask, or you can give. No shameful bonds, but honorable death!

Duke.-Break up the council. Captain, guard your prisoners. Jaffier, you're free, the rest must wait for judgment.

[DUKE, Senators, Conspirators, and Officers, go out.] Pier.-Come, where's my dungeon? Lead me to my straw: It will not be the first time I've lodged hard,

To do your senate service.

Jaff.-Hold one moment.

Meeting PIERRE.]

Pier.-Who's he disputes the judgment of the senate? Presumptuous rebel! [Strikes JAFFIER.] On!

Jaff.-By Heaven, you stir not!

I must be heard! I must have leave to speak.
Thou hast disgrac'd me, Pierre, by a vile blow:
Had not a dagger done thee nobler justice?

But use me as thou wilt, thou canst not wrong me,
For I am fallen beneath the basest injuries;
Yet look upon me with an eye of mercy,
And, as there dwells a god-like nature in thee,
Listen with mildness to my supplications.

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