« AnteriorContinuar »
Enter a Servant.
A friend of Antony's.
SERV. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down;
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving:
Say I love Brutus, and I honour him;
Say I fear'd Cæsar, honour'd him, and lov'd him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolv'd
How Cæsar hath deserv'd to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
BRU. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman ;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I'll fetch him presently.
BRU. I know that we shall have him well to friend.
CASS. I wish we may : but yet have I a mind
That fears him much; and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.1
BRU. But here comes Antony.
1 hugs the point mighty closely.
Welcome, Mark Antony.
ANT. O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, Gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:2
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
grown to offensiveness.
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand
I shall not find myself so apt to die:
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
BRU. O Antony, beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands and this our present act,
You see we do; yet see you but our hands,
And this the bleeding business they have done :
Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome
(As fire drives out fire, so pity pity)
Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony,
Our arms no strength of malice, and our hearts
Of brothers' temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
CASS. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's
In the disposing of new dignities.
BRU. Only be patient till we have appeas'd
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause,
Why I, that did love Cæsar when I struck him,
Have thus proceeded.
I doubt not of your wisdom.
Let each man render me his bloody hand:
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you;
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand;
Now, Decius Brutus, your's; now your's, Metellus ;
Your's, Cinna; and, my valiant Casca, your's;
Though last, not least in love, your's, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all-alas, what shall I say?
My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Cæsar, O, 'tis true:
If, then, thy Spirit look upon us now,
Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death,
To see thy Antony making his peace,
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes,
Most noble! in the presence of thy corse?
Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay'd, brave Hart;
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand,
Sign'd' in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe.2
O World, thou wast the forest to this hart;
And this, indeed, O World, the heart of thee.
How like a deer, strucken by many Princes,
Dost thou here lie!
CASS. Mark Antony-
Pardon me, Caius Cassius;
The enemies of Cæsar shall say this;
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
CASS. I blame you not for praising Cæsar so;
But what compact mean you to have with us?
Will you be prick'd in number of our friends;
Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
ANT. Therefore I took your hands; but was indeed
Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Cæsar.
Friends am I with you all, and love you all,
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons
Why and wherein Cæsar was dangerous.
BRU. Or else were this a savage spectacle :
Our reasons are so full of good regard
That, were you, Antony, the son of Cæsar,
You should be satisfied.
That's all I seek:
And am moreover suitor that I
Produce his body to the Market-Place;
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
Speak in the order of his funeral.
BRU. You shall, Mark Antony.
1 marked, blazoned: cf. 'bloody as the hunter.' 2 'a term used by hunters to
signify the blood shed by a deer at its fall.' Capel, Gloss., s.v. Letum (or lethum)
=violent death, slaughter.
Brutus, a word with you.
[aside to BRUTUS.] You know not what you do; do
That Antony speak in his funeral :
Know you how much the People may be mov'd
By that which he will utter?
By your pardon:
I will myself into the pulpit first,
And shew the reason of our Cæsar's death:
What Antony shall speak, I will protest
He speaks by leave and by permission ;
And that we are contented Cæsar shall
Have all true1 rites and lawful ceremonies.
It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
Cass. I know not what may fall; I like it not.
BRU. Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar's body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
But speak all good you can devise of Cæsar;
say you do 't by our permission;
Else shall you not have any hand at all
About his funeral: and you shall speak
In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
After my speech is ended.
Be it so;
I do desire no more.
BRU. Prepare the body, then, and follow us.
[Exeunt all but ANTONY.
ANT. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of Earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tides of Time.
Woe to the hands that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy
(Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips, 260
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue)
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic Fury and fierce Civil Strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and Destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of War;
All Pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds:
And Cæsar's Spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Até1 by his side come hot from Hell,
Shall in these confines with a Monarch's voice
Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of War;
That this foul deed shall smell above the Earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Cæsar, do you not?
SERV. I do, Mark Antony.
ANT. Cæsar did write for him to come to Rome.
SERV. He did receive his letters, and is coming;
And bid me say to you by word of mouth-
[seeing the body.] O Cæsar!—
ANT. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep.
Passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Begin to water. Is thy master coming?
SERV. He lies to-night within seven leagues of Rome.
ANT. Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc'd.
Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet;
Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet, stay awhile;
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corse
Into the Market-Place: there shall I try,
In my oration, how the People take
The cruel issue of these bloody men;
According to the which, thou shalt discourse
To young Octavius of the state of things.
Lend me your hand. [Exeunt with CESAR's body.
SCENE II. The Same. The Forum.
Enter BRUTUS and Cassius, and a throng of Citizens.
CITIZENS. We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
BRU. Then follow me, and give me audience, Friends.
1 Goddess of discord.
" (hunters') To the death /