Mark Anthony's Eulogy

from "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, 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 Caesar. The noble Brutus has told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault and grievously has Caesar answered it.

Here under leave of Brutus and the rest --- for Brutus is an honorable man --- so are they all honorable men --- come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me --- but Brutus says he was ambitious and Brutus is an honorable man.

He has brought many captives home to Rome whose ransoms did fill the general coffers. Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?

When the poor have cried, Caesar has 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.

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,

But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause.

What cause witholds you then, to mourn for him now?

Oh judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason.

Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin here with Caesar and I must pause til it come back to me.

But yesterday the word of Caesar might have stood against the world; now he lies there.

And none so poor to do him reverence.

Oh 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.

But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar --- I found it in his closet, 'tis his will: Let but the people hear this testament, which, pardon me, I do not mean to read, and they would go and kiss dead Caesar'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.

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it; it is not right you know how Caesar loved you. You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; and, being men, bearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you, it will make you mad! 'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs, for if you should, oh, what would come of it!

Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile? I have overshot myself to tell you of it. I fear the honorable men whose daggers have stabbed Caesar, I do fear it!

You will compel me, then to read the will?

Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar, and let me show you him that made the will. Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. You all do know this coat --- I remember the first time Caesar put it on. 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, that day he overcame the Huns.

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 Caesar followed it, as rushing out of doors, to be resolved if Brutus so unkindly knocked or no.

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel --- judge, oh you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him. This was the most unkindest cut of all! For when the noble Caesar saw his stab, ingratitude, more strong than traitor's 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 Caesar fell.

Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I and you and all of us fell down, while bloody treason flourished over us.

Oh 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 Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here! Here is himself marred as you see with traitors.

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up to such a sudden flood of mutiny. They that have done this deed are honorable. What private griefs they have, alas, I know not what made them do it. They are wise and honorable 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 loves my friend and that they know full well 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 Caesar's wounds, poor dumb mouths, and bid them speak for me

but were I Brutus, and Brutus, Anthony, there were an Anthony would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue in every wound of Caesar that should move the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

But friends, you go to do you know not what! Wherein has Caesar thus deserved your love? Alas, you know not --- I must tell you then --- You have forgot the will I told you of.

Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. To every several man, seventy-five drachmas!

Moreover, he has left you all his walks, his private arbors and new-planted orchards --- he has left them all to you.

And to your heirs forever, common pleasures, to walk abroad, to recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! When comes another?