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(For Brutus is an honourable man,
So are they all, all honourable 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 honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the gen'ral coffers fill;
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
When that the poor hath cried, Cæsar 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;
Which he did thrice refuse.-Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious;
And sure he is an honourable 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.
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 follow'd 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 ye gods! how dearly Cæsar lov'd him;
This, this was the 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,
While 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, by traitors.
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To any sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable;
And will, no doubt, with reason 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 utt'rance, nor the pow'r 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, 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 ev'ry wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
THE QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.
Cas. THAT you have wrong'd me, doth appear in this,
You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letter (praying on his side,
Because I knew the man) was slighted of.
Bru. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a case.
Cas. In such a time as this it is not meet,
That ev'ry nice offence should bear it's comment.
Bru. Yet let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm,
To sell and mart your offices for gold,
Cas. I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that spake this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide it's head.
Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remember Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake? What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, And not for justice? What, shall one of us, That struck the foremost man of all this world, But for supporting robbers; shall we now Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ? And sell the mighty meed of our large honours For so much trash as may be grasped thus ? I'd rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman.
Cas. Brutus, bay not me,
I'll not endure it; you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
Bru. Go to; you are not, Cassius.
Cas. I am.
Bru. I say you are not.
Cas. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself—
Have mind upon your health-tempt me no farther.
Bru. Away, slight man! ́
Cas. Is't possible?
Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
O gods! ye gods! must I endure all this?
Bru. All this? ay more.-Fret till your proud heart
Go, tell your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you: for from this day forth
I'll use you for my mirth, yea for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
Cas. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say, you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cas. You wrong me ev'ry way-you wrong me, Brutus; I said an elder soldier, not a better;
Did I say better?
Bru. If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar liv'd, he durst not thus have mov'd me Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him Cas. I durst not!
What? durst not tempt him?
Bru. For your life you durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love;
do what I shall be sorry for,
Bru. You have done that you
should be sorry for.
There is no terrour, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me
For I can raise no money by vile means.
By Heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hand of peasants their vile trash
indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all
Dash him to pieces!
Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.
Cas. I did not-he was but a fool
That brought my answer back.-Brutus hath riv'd my
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not.-Still you practise them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults. Bru. A flatt'rer's would not, though they do appear As huge as high Olympus.
Cas. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come !
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is a-weary of the world;
Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd by a bondman; all his faults observ'd,
Set in a notebook, learn'd and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O! I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes!-There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast-within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold!
If that thou need'st a Roman's, take it forth.
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart:
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar; for I know,
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better
Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.
Bru. Sheathe your dagger;
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.