Act 3, Scene 2

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[Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of Citizens]

Plebeians

We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!

Brutus

Then follow me and give me audience, friends.
Cassius, go you into the other street
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And public reasons shall be renderèd
Of Caesar's death.

First Plebeian

                               I will hear Brutus speak.

Second Plebeian

I will hear Cassius, and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
[Exit Cassius, with some of the Citizens. Brutus goes into the pulpit.]

Third Plebeian

The noble Brutus is ascended. Silence!

Brutus

Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause,
and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine
honor, and have respect to mine honor, 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 Caesar's, to him I say
that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then
that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this
is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die
all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?
As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate,
I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but as he
was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy
for his fortune; honor for his valor; and death for his
ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman?
If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so rude
that would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him have
I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his
country? If any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for
a reply.

All

None, Brutus, none.

Brutus

Then none have I offended. I have done no more to
Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his
death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated,
wherein he was worthy; nor his offenses enforced, for
which he suffered death.
[Enter Antony and others, with Caesar's body.]
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who,
though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the
benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth, as
which of you shall not? With this I depart — that, as I slew
my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same
dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need
my death.

All

Live, Brutus! live, live!
[Brutus descends from pulpit.]

First Plebeian

Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

Second Plebeian

Give him a statue with his ancestors.

Third Plebeian

Let him be Caesar.

Fourth Plebeian

                                  Caesar's better parts
Shall be crown'd in Brutus.

First Plebeian

We'll bring him to his house with shouts and clamors.

Brutus

My countrymen — 

Second Plebeian

                                 Peace, silence! Brutus speaks!

First Plebeian

Peace, ho!

Brutus

Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.
Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech
Tending to Caesar's glories, which Mark Antony,
By our permission, is allowed to make.
I do entreat you not a man depart,
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.
[Exit Brutus.]

First Plebeian

Stay, ho, and let us hear Mark Antony.

Third Plebeian

Let him go up into the public chair.
We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.

Antony

For Brutus' sake I am beholden to you.
[Goes into the pulpit.]

Fourth Plebeian

What does he say of Brutus?

Third Plebeian

                                               He says, for Brutus' sake,
He finds himself beholden to us all.

Fourth Plebeian

'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.

First Plebeian

This Caesar was a tyrant.

Third Plebeian

                                           Nay, that's certain.
We are blest that Rome is rid of him.

Second Plebeian

Peace! Let us hear what Antony can say.

Antony

You gentle Romans — 

Plebeians

                                      Peace, ho! Let us hear him.

Antony

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones — 
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar 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 Caesar'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 Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar 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 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 Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

First Plebeian

Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

Second Plebeian

If thou consider rightly of the matter,
Caesar has had great wrong.

Third Plebeian

                                                Has he, masters?
I fear there will a worse come in his place.

Fourth Plebeian

Marked ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.

First Plebeian

If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

Second Plebeian

Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

Third Plebeian

There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

Fourth Plebeian

Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

Antony

But yesterday the word of Caesar 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 Caesar;
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 Caesar'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.

Fourth Plebeian

We'll hear the will! Read it, Mark Antony.

All

The will! The will! We will hear Caesar's will!

Antony

Have patience, gentle friends; I must not read it.
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For, if you should, O, what would come of it?

Fourth Plebeian

Read the will! We'll hear it, Antony!
You shall read us the will, Caesar's will!

Antony

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 Caesar; I do fear it.

Fourth Plebeian

They were traitors. 'Honorable men'!

All

The will! The testament!

Second Plebeian

They were villains, murderers! The will! Read the will!

Antony

You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?

Several Plebeians

Come down.

Second Plebeian

                        Descend.

Third Plebeian

                                         You shall have leave.
[Antony comes down.]

Fourth Plebeian

                                                                              A ring.
Stand round.

First Plebeian

                        Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

Second Plebeian

Room for Antony, most noble Antony!

Antony

Nay, press not so upon me. Stand far off.

Several Plebeians

Stand back! Room! Bear back!

Antony

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle. I remember
The first time ever Caesar 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-belovèd Brutus stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,
As rushing out of doors to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked or no — 
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all,
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
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 statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished 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 Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here!
[He removes the mantle.]
Here is himself, marred as you see with traitors.

First Plebeian

O piteous spectacle!

Second Plebeian

                                   O noble Caesar!

Third Plebeian

O woeful day!

Fourth Plebeian

O traitors! Villains!

First Plebeian

                                O most bloody sight!

Second Plebeian

We will be revenged.

All

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
Let not a traitor live!

Antony

                                   Stay, countrymen.

First Plebeian

Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.

Second Plebeian

We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him!

Antony

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 Caesar'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 Caesar that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

All

We'll mutiny!

First Plebeian

We'll burn the house of Brutus!

Third Plebeian

Away then! Come, seek the conspirators.

Antony

Yet hear me, countrymen, yet hear me speak.

All

Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony.

Antony

Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
Alas, you know not. I must tell you then — 
You have forgot the will I told you of.

All

Most true! The will! Let's stay and hear the will.

Antony

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

Second Plebeian

Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death!

Third Plebeian

O royal Caesar!

Antony

Hear me with patience.

All

Peace, ho!

Antony

Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbors and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber. He hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever — common pleasures,
To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?

First Plebeian

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.

Second Plebeian

Go fetch fire!

Third Plebeian

Pluck down benches!

Fourth Plebeian

Pluck down forms, windows, anything!
[Exeunt Plebeians with the body.]

Antony

Now let it work! Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt.
[Enter a Servant]
                                                       How now, fellow?

Servant

Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.

Antony

Where is he?

Servant

He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house.

Antony

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

Servant

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

Antony

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