Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Scenes from the Tragedies
Antony’s Speech over Cæsar’s Body
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From ‘Julius Cæsar

Scene: The Roman Forum.

ANTONY—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 interrèd with their bones:
So let it be with Cæsar. The noble Brutus        5
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;        10
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.        15
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:        20
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?        25
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;        30
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….        35
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,        40
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.        45
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,        50
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.        55
  Fourth Citizen—We’ll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.
  All—The will, the will! we will hear Cæsar’s will.
  Antony—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,        60
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?…
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.        65
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’s dagger through;        70
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved        75
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, 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,        80
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 Cæsar fell.        85
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
Oh, now you weep; and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.        90
Kind souls! What! weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is himself, marred, as you see, with traitors.
  First Citizen—O piteous spectacle!
  Second Citizen—O noble Cæsar!        95
  Third Citizen—O woeful day!
  Fourth Citizen—O traitors! villains!
  First Citizen—O most bloody sight!
  All—We will be revenged. Revenge! about—seek—burn—fire—kill—slay!—let not a traitor live.  [They are rushing out.]
  Antony—Stay, countrymen.        100
  First Citizen—Peace there! hear the noble Antony.
  Second Citizen—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:        105
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,        110
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,        115
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        120
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.
  All—We’ll mutiny.
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.