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LESSON LXII.

ANTONY'S ORATION OVER CÆSAR.

SKAKSPEARE

:

1. 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 interred with their bones
So let it be with Cæsar! Noble Brutus
Hath told you, Cæsar was ambitious :
If it were so, it were a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honorable man,
So are they all, all honorable men,)

Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.
2. He was my friend, faithful and just to me:

But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill :

Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious ?
3. When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept;

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff;
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?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And sure, he is an honorable man.
4. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am, to speak what I do know.

H

You all did love him once; not without cause :
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. 5. 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,
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.
6. 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,
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.
7. 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 overcome 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!
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 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. 8. 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 dint 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, by traitors. Good friends! sweet friends! let me not stir you up

To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
9. 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 honorable,
And will, no doubt, with reason 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

friend—and that they know full well, That gave me public leave to speak of him. 10. For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,

Action, nor utterance, nor power of speech,
To stir men's blood; I only speak right on:
I tell you that which you yourselves do know

a

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
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.

LESSON LXIII.

FALSE AND TRUE ENERGY.

WIRT.

1. You object to Mr. Madison, the want of energy. The want of energy! How has Mr, Madison shown it? Was it in standing abreast with the van of our revolutionary patriots, and braving the horrors of a seven years' war for liberty, while you were shuddering at the sound of the storm, and clinging closer with terror to your mothers' breasts? Was it, on the declaration of our independence, in being among the first and most effective agents in casting aside the feeble threads which so poorly connected the states together, and, in lieu of them, substituting that energetic bond of union, the federal constitution? Was it in the manner in which he advocated the adoption of this substitute; in the courage and firmness with which he met, on this topic, fought hand to hand, and finally vanquished, that boasted prodigy of nature, Patrick Henry? Where was this timid and apprehensive spirit which you are pleased to ascribe to Mr. Madison, when he sat under the sound of Henry's voice for days and weeks together; when he saw that Henry, whose soul had so undauntedly led the revolution, shrinking back from this bold experiment, from the energy of this new and untried constitution; when he heard the magic of his eloquence exerted to its highest pitch, in painting,

with a prophet's fire, the oppressions which would flow from it; in harrowing up the soul with anticipated horrors, and enlisting even the thunders of heaven in his cause?

2. How did it happen that the feeble and effeminate spirit of James Madison, instead of flying in confusion and dismay be. fore this awful and tremendous combination, sat serene and unmoved upon its throne; that, with a penetration so vigorous and clear, he dissipated these phantoms of fancy, rallied back the courage of the house to the charge, and, in the state of Virginia, in which Patrick Henry was almost adored as infallible, succeeded in throwing that Henry into a minority? Is this the proof of his want of energy? Or will you find it in the manner in which he watched the first movements of the federal constitution; in the boldness with which he resisted what he deemed infractions of its spirit; in the independence, ability, and vigor, with which, in spite of declining health, he maintained this conflict during eight years? He was then in a manority. Turn to the debates of congress, and read his arguments: you will see how the business of a virtuous and able minority is conducted. Do you discover in them any evidence of want of energy? Yes; if energy consist, as you seem to think it does, in saying rude things, in bravado and bluster, in pouring a muddy torrent of coarse invective, as destitute of argument as unwarranted by provocation, you will find great evidence of want of energy in his speeches.

3. But, if true energy be evinced, as we think it is, by the calm and dignified, yet steady, zealous, and persevering pursuit of an object, his whole conduct during that period is honorably marked with energy. And that energy rested on the most solid and durable basis-conscious rectitude; supported by the most profound and extensive information, by an habitual power of investigation, which unraveled, with intuitive certainty, the most intricate subjects; and an eloquence, chaste, luminous, and cogent, which won respect, while it forced con

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