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I found it in his closet, 'tis his will;

Let but the commons hear this statement,
(Which pardon me, I do not mean to read),
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's

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.

If you have tears prepare to shed them now,
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 dagger through;
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
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel:
Judge, O ye gods, how Cæsar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms
Quite vanquished him, then burst his mighty

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.

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 impression of pity; these are gracious drops.
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!
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you

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 honor-

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 friends, and that they know full

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 Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb

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 Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny!"

This oration fired the Roman people to mutiny, and Brutus and Cassius with their followers fled

from the city and prepared for war with Antony and Octavius, who had suddenly returned to Rome.

The passionate quarrel between Brutus and Cassius in their military camp at Sardis was a natural outcome of conspirators.

Cassius accused Brutus of having wronged him, and Brutus twitted his brother assassin thus:

"Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself

Are much condemned to have an itching palm, To sell and mart your offices for gold

To undeservers!"

Cassius fires back this reply:

"I an itching palm?

You know that you are Brutus that speak this, Or by the gods this speech were else your last!"

The night before the battle of Philippi the spirit of Cæsar appeared in the tent of Brutus, who startles from a slumbering trance and exclaims:

"Ha! who comes here?

I think it is the weakness of mine eyes,
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me! Art thou anything?
Art thou some god, some angel or some devil,
That makest my blood cold, and my hair to stare?
Speak to me, what thou art.

The Ghost replies:

"Thy evil spirit, Brutus!

Brutus: Why comest thou?

Ghost: To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
Brutus: Well, then I shall see thee again?
Ghost: Ay, at Philippi!"

The armies of Antony and Octavius and Brutus and Cassius meet in crash of battle.

Cassius is hotly pursued by the enemy, and to prevent capture and exhibition at Rome, craves the service of Pindrus to run him through with his sword. He says:

"Now be a freeman, and with this good sword That ran through Cæsar's bowels, search this bosom.

Stand not to answer; here, take thou the hilt; And when my face is covered, as 'tis now, Guide thou the sword; Cæsar, thou art revenged, Even with the sword that killed thee!" (Dies.)

Brutus is run to earth, and most of his generals dead or fled. He implores Strato to assist him to suicide, and says:

"I pray thee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord;
Thou art a fellow of good respect;

Thy life hath had some smack of honor in it;
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it!

Farewell, good Strato; Cæsar now be still,
I killed not thee with half so good a will!
(Runs on his sword and dies.)

Antony and Octavius and his army soon find Brutus slain by his own sword, and with a most magnificent and undeserved generosity Antony pronounces this benediction over the dead body of the vilest and most intelligent conspirator who ever lived!

"This was the noblest Roman of them all;
All the conspirators, save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He only in a general honest thought,
And common good to all made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements

So mixed in him that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!"

The whole audience, led by Southampton, Essex, Bacon and Drayton gave three cheers and a lion roar for "Julius Cæsar," the greatest historical and classical play ever composed, and destined to run down the ages for a million years!

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