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Julius Caesar - Act 3, scene 2
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Navigate this workJulius Caesar - Act 3, scene 2
Act 3, scene 2
Brutus explains to the people that the cause of Caesar’s assassination was the preservation of the Roman Republic from Caesar’s ambition to be king. Mark Antony, bringing in Caesar’s body, refutes Brutus’s charge of ambition against Caesar, displays Caesar’s wounds, and reveals that Caesar had made the common people his heirs. Inflamed by Antony’s words, the people set off to attack the conspirators. A servant then informs Antony that Octavius Caesar, Antony’s ally, has come to Rome and that Brutus and Cassius have been forced to flee.Enter Brutus and Cassius with the Plebeians.
1478 We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!
1479 Then follow me and give me audience, friends.—
1480 Cassius, go you into the other street
1481 And part the numbers.—
1482 5 Those that will hear me speak, let ’em stay here;
1483 Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
p. 1171484 And public reasons shall be renderèd
1485 Of Caesar’s death.
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1486 I will hear Brutus speak.
1487 10 I will hear Cassius, and compare their reasons
1488 When severally we hear them renderèd.
⌜Cassius exits with some of the Plebeians.
Brutus goes into the pulpit.⌝
1489 The noble Brutus is ascended. Silence.
BRUTUS 1490 Be patient till the last.
1491 Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my
1492 15 cause, and be silent that you may hear. Believe me
1493 for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor
1494 that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom,
1495 and awake your senses that you may the better
1496 judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear
1497 20 friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love
1498 to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend
1499 demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my
1500 answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
1501 Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and
1502 25 die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all
1503 freemen? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him. As he
1504 was fortunate, I rejoice at it. As he was valiant, I
1505 honor him. But, as he was ambitious, I slew him.
1506 There is tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor
1507 30 for his valor, and death for his ambition. Who is
1508 here so base that would be a bondman? If any,
1509 speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so rude
1510 that would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him
1511 have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not
1512 35 love his country? If any, speak, for him have I
1513 offended. I pause for a reply.
PLEBEIANS 1514 None, Brutus, none.
BRUTUS 1515 Then none have I offended. I have done no
p. 1191516 more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The
1517 40 question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol, his
1518 glory not extenuated wherein he was worthy, nor
1519 his offenses enforced for which he suffered death.
Enter Mark Antony ⌜and others⌝ with Caesar’s body.
1520 Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony,
1521 who, though he had no hand in his death, shall
1522 45 receive the benefit of his dying—a place in the
1523 commonwealth—as which of you shall not? With
1524 this I depart: that, as I slew my best lover for the
1525 good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself
1526 when it shall please my country to need my death.
PLEBEIANS 1527 50Live, Brutus, live, live!
1528 Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
1529 Give him a statue with his ancestors.
1530 Let him be Caesar.
FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1531 Caesar’s better parts
1532 55 Shall be crowned in Brutus.
1533 We’ll bring him to his house with shouts and
1535 My countrymen—
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1536 Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1537 60Peace, ho!
1538 Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
1539 And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.
1540 Do grace to Caesar’s corpse, and grace his speech
1541 Tending to Caesar’s glories, which Mark Antony
1542 65 (By our permission) is allowed to make.
p. 1211543 I do entreat you, not a man depart,
1544 Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.
He ⌜descends and⌝ exits.
1545 Stay, ho, and let us hear Mark Antony!
1546 Let him go up into the public chair.
1547 70 We’ll hear him.—Noble Antony, go up.
1548 For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.
⌜He goes into the pulpit.⌝
FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1549 What does he say of Brutus?
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1550 He says for Brutus’ sake
1551 He finds himself beholding to us all.
1552 75 ’Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
1553 This Caesar was a tyrant.
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1554 Nay, that’s certain.
1555 We are blest that Rome is rid of him.
1556 Peace, let us hear what Antony can say.
1557 80 You gentle Romans—
PLEBEIANS 1558 Peace, ho! Let us hear him.
1559 Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
1560 I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
1561 The evil that men do lives after them;
1562 85 The good is oft interrèd with their bones.
1563 So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
1564 Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
1565 If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
1566 And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
1567 90 Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
1568 (For Brutus is an honorable man;
p. 1231569 So are they all, all honorable men),
1570 Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
1571 He was my friend, faithful and just to me,
1572 95 But Brutus says he was ambitious,
1573 And Brutus is an honorable man.
1574 He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
1575 Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
1576 Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
1577 100 When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept;
1578 Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
1579 Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
1580 And Brutus is an honorable man.
1581 You all did see that on the Lupercal
1582 105 I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
1583 Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
1584 Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
1585 And sure he is an honorable man.
1586 I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
1587 110 But here I am to speak what I do know.
1588 You all did love him once, not without cause.
1589 What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for
1591 O judgment, thou ⌜art⌝ fled to brutish beasts,
1592 115 And men have lost their reason!—Bear with me;
1593 My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
1594 And I must pause till it come back to me.⌜He weeps.⌝
1595 Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
1596 If thou consider rightly of the matter,
1597 120 Caesar has had great wrong.
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1598 Has he, masters?
1599 I fear there will a worse come in his place.
1600 Marked you his words? He would not take the
1602 125 Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.
p. 125FIRST PLEBEIAN
1603 If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
1604 Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
1605 There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
1606 Now mark him. He begins again to speak.
1607 130 But yesterday the word of Caesar might
1608 Have stood against the world. Now lies he there,
1609 And none so poor to do him reverence.
1610 O masters, if I were disposed to stir
1611 Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
1612 135 I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,
1613 Who, you all know, are honorable men.
1614 I will not do them wrong. I rather choose
1615 To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
1616 Than I will wrong such honorable men.
1617 140 But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar.
1618 I found it in his closet. ’Tis his will.
1619 Let but the commons hear this testament,
1620 Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,
1621 And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
1622 145 And dip their napkins in his sacred blood—
1623 Yea, beg a hair of him for memory
1624 And, dying, mention it within their wills,
1625 Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
1626 Unto their issue.
1627 150 We’ll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.
1628 The will, the will! We will hear Caesar’s will.
1629 Have patience, gentle friends. I must not read it.
p. 1271630 It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
1631 You are not wood, you are not stones, but men.
1632 155 And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,
1633 It will inflame you; it will make you mad.
1634 ’Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,
1635 For if you should, O, what would come of it?
1636 Read the will! We’ll hear it, Antony.
1637 160 You shall read us the will, Caesar’s will.
1638 Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
1639 I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it.
1640 I fear I wrong the honorable men
1641 Whose daggers have stabbed Caesar. I do fear it.
FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1642 165They were traitors. Honorable men?
PLEBEIANS 1643 The will! The testament!
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1644 They were villains, murderers. The
1645 will! Read the will.
1646 You will compel me, then, to read the will?
1647 170 Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
1648 And let me show you him that made the will.
1649 Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?
PLEBEIANS 1650 Come down.
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1651 Descend.
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1652 175You shall have leave.
FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1653 A ring; stand round.
1654 Stand from the hearse. Stand from the body.
1655 Room for Antony, most noble Antony.
1656 Nay, press not so upon me. Stand far off.
p. 129PLEBEIANS 1657 180Stand back! Room! Bear back!
1658 If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
1659 You all do know this mantle. I remember
1660 The first time ever Caesar put it on.
1661 ’Twas on a summer’s evening in his tent,
1662 185 That day he overcame the Nervii.
1663 Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through.
1664 See what a rent the envious Casca made.
1665 Through this the well-belovèd Brutus stabbed,
1666 And, as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
1667 190 Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,
1668 As rushing out of doors to be resolved
1669 If Brutus so unkindly knocked or no;
1670 For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel.
1671 Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
1672 195 This was the most unkindest cut of all.
1673 For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
1674 Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
1675 Quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart,
1676 And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
1677 200 Even at the base of Pompey’s statue
1678 (Which all the while ran blood) great Caesar fell.
1679 O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
1680 Then I and you and all of us fell down,
1681 Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
1682 205 O, now you weep, and I perceive you feel
1683 The dint of pity. These are gracious drops.
1684 Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
1685 Our Caesar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,
⌜Antony lifts Caesar’s cloak.⌝
1686 Here is himself, marred as you see with traitors.
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1687 210O piteous spectacle!
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1688 O noble Caesar!
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1689 O woeful day!
p. 131FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1690 O traitors, villains!
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1691 O most bloody sight!
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1692 215We will be revenged.
⌜PLEBEIANS⌝ 1693 Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill!
1694 Slay! Let not a traitor live!
ANTONY 1695 Stay, countrymen.
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1696 Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1697 220We’ll hear him, we’ll follow him,
1698 we’ll die with him.
1699 Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
1700 To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
1701 They that have done this deed are honorable.
1702 225 What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
1703 That made them do it. They are wise and honorable
1704 And will no doubt with reasons answer you.
1705 I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts.
1706 I am no orator, as Brutus is,
1707 230 But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man
1708 That love my friend, and that they know full well
1709 That gave me public leave to speak of him.
1710 For I have neither ⌜wit,⌝ nor words, nor worth,
1711 Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech
1712 235 To stir men’s blood. I only speak right on.
1713 I tell you that which you yourselves do know,
1714 Show you sweet Caesar’s wounds, poor poor dumb
1716 And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,
1717 240 And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
1718 Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue
1719 In every wound of Caesar that should move
1720 The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
1721 We’ll mutiny.
FIRST PLEBEIAN 1722 245 We’ll burn the house of Brutus.
p. 133THIRD PLEBEIAN
1723 Away then. Come, seek the conspirators.
1724 Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
1725 Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony!
1726 Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
1727 250 Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
1728 Alas, you know not. I must tell you then.
1729 You have forgot the will I told you of.
1730 Most true. The will! Let’s stay and hear the will.
1731 Here is the will, and under Caesar’s seal:
1732 255 To every Roman citizen he gives,
1733 To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
1734 Most noble Caesar! We’ll revenge his death.
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1735 O royal Caesar!
ANTONY 1736 Hear me with patience.
PLEBEIANS 1737 260Peace, ho!
1738 Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
1739 His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,
1740 On this side Tiber. He hath left them you,
1741 And to your heirs forever—common pleasures
1742 265 To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.
1743 Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?
1744 Never, never!—Come, away, away!
1745 We’ll burn his body in the holy place
1746 And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.
1747 270 Take up the body.
SECOND PLEBEIAN 1748 Go fetch fire.
THIRD PLEBEIAN 1749 Pluck down benches.
p. 135FOURTH PLEBEIAN 1750 Pluck down forms, windows,
Plebeians exit ⌜with Caesar’s body.⌝
1752 275 Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot;
1753 Take thou what course thou wilt.
1754 How now, fellow?
1755 Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
ANTONY 1756 Where is he?
1757 280 He and Lepidus are at Caesar’s house.
1758 And thither will I straight to visit him.
1759 He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry
1760 And in this mood will give us anything.
1761 I heard him say Brutus and Cassius
1762 285 Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
1763 Belike they had some notice of the people
1764 How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.