SHAKESPEARE: JULIUS CAESAR , FRAGMENTO 17
Caesar (17 of 32)
SCENE I. (CONT'D)
I'll fetch him presently.
I know that we shall have him well to friend.
I wish we may: but yet have I a mind
That fears him much; and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
But here comes Antony.--
Welcome, Mark Antony.
O mighty Caesar! 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:
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Caesar's death-hour, nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
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,
Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die:
No place will please me so, no means of death,
As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
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 Caesar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony;
Our arms in strength of amity, and our hearts
Of brothers' temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
Your voice shall be as strong as any man's
In the disposing of new dignities.
Only be patient till we have appeased
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause
Why I, that did love Caesar 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, yours;--now yours, Metellus;--
Yours, Cinna;--and, my valiant Casca, yours;--
Though last, not least in love, yours, 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, Caesar, 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 death.--
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!
Pardon me, Caius Cassius:
The enemies of Caesar shall say this;
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
I blame you not for praising Caesar 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?
Therefore I took your hands; but was indeed
Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Caesar.
Friends am I with you all, and love you all,
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons
Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous