Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

reservoir', your lordship might swim in it'?—[Here the judge interfered'.]

Let no man dare', when I am dead', to charge me with dis. honour': let no man attaint my memory', by believing that I could engage in any cause but that of my country's liberty and independence'; or that I could become the pliant minion of power in the oppression or the miseries of my countrymen'. The proclamation of the provisional government speaks my views'; from which no inference can be tortured to countenance barbarity or debasement at home', or subjection', or humilia. tion', or treachery', from abroad'. I would not have submitted to a foreign invader', for the same reason that I would resist the domestick oppressor'. In the dignity of freedom', I would have fought upon the threshold of my country', and its enemy should enter only by passing over my lifeless corpse'. And am I', who lived but for my country', who have subjected myself to the dangers of the jealous and watchful oppressor', and now to the bondage of the grave', only to give my countrymen their rights', and my country her independence', to be loaded with calumny', and not suffered to resent and REPEL it'? No'; God forbid'!

If the spirits of the illustrious dead', participate in the con. cerns and cares of those who were dear to them in this transi. tory life'-oh'! ever dear and venerated shade of my departed father', look down with scrutiny upon the conduct of your suffering son', and see if I have', even for a moment', a deviated from those principles of morality and patriotism' which it was your care to instil into my youthful mind', and for which I am now to offer up my life'.

My lords', you seem impatient for the sacrifice'. The blood for which you thirst', is not congealed by the artificial terrours which surround your victim': it circulates warmly and unruffled through the channels which God created for noble purposes', but which you are bent to destroy for purposes so grievous', that they cry to Heaven'.

Be yet patient'. I have but a few words more to say'. I am going to my cold and silent grave': my lamp of life is nearly extinguished': my race is run': the grave opens to receive me'; and I sink into its bosom'. I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world': it is the charity of its silence Let no man write my epitaph'; for', as no man who knows my motives', dares now vindicate them, let not prejudice nor ignorance asperse them'. Let them and me repose in obscurity', *M&'mènt-not, mo'munt. På'tre-åt-izm. Såk'rd.fize. dSi'lēnse.

and my tomb remain uninscribed', until other times and other men can do justice to my character'. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth', then', and not till then', let my epitaph be written'.- I HAVE DONE'.

SECTION XIX.
Brutus' Harangue on the Death of Cesar.-SHAKSPEARE.

Romans', countrymen', and lovers' hear me for my cause'; and be silent', that you may hear'. Believe me for my honour'; and have respect to my honour', that you may believe'. Cen. sure me in your wisdom'; and awake your senses', that you may the better judge'.-If there is any in this assembly', any dear friend of Cesar's', to him I say', that Brutus' love to Cesar was no less than his'. If, then', that friend demand why Brutus rose against Cesar', this is my answer': Not that I loved Cesar less', but that I loved Rome more'. Had you rather Cesar were living', and die all SLÂVES', than that Cesar were dead', to live all freemen'?— As Cesar loved me', I weep for him'; as he was fortunate', I rejoice at it'; as he was valiant', I honour him'; but', as he was AMBITIOUS', I slew him'. There are tears for his love', joy for his fortune', honour for his valour', and DEATH for his AMBITION'.-Who is here so base', that he would be a bondman'? If any', speak'; for him I have offended'. Who is here so rude', that he would not be a Ro. man'? If any', speak'; for him I have offended'.-Who is here so vile', that he will not love his country'? If any', speak'; for him I have offended'.—I pause for a reply'

None'! Then none have I offended'. I have done no more to Cesar', than you shall do to Brutus'. The question of his death is enrolled in the capitol'; his glory not extenuated', wherein he was worthy'; nor his offences enforced', for which he suffered death'.

Here comes his body', mourned by Mark Antony'; who', though he had no hand in his death', shall receive the benefit of his dying', a place in the commonwealth'; as which of you shall not'?—With this', I depart—and', as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome', I have the same dagger for myself', when it shall please my country to need my death'.

SECTION XX.
Antony's Oration over Cesar's Dead Body.-SHAKSPEARE.

FRIENDS', Romans', countrymen'! Lend me your ears.
I come to bury Cesar', 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 Cesar'! Noble Brutus
Hath told you', that Cesar was ambitious'.
If it were so', it was a grievous fault';
And grievously hath Cesar answered it'.
Here', under leave of Brutus and the rest',
(For Brutus is an hônourable mân';
So are they all', all hônourable mên',)
Come I to speak in Cesar's funeral'.-

He was my friend', faithful and just to me':
But Brutus says', he was ambitious';
And Brutus is an honourable mân'.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome',
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Cesar seem ambitious'?
When that the pôôr have cried', Cesar hath wept'.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff'.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious';
And Brutus is an hônourable mân'.
You all did sec', 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 hônourable 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 withholds you then to môurn 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 Cesar';
And I must pause till it come back to me.

But yesterday the word', Cesar', might
Have stood against the world'! Now lies he there',
And none so poor [as] 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 honourable men'.
I will not do them wrong'-I rather choose
To wrong the dead', to wrong myself and you',
Than I will wrong such hônourable men'.

But here's à parchment', with the seal of Cesar'.
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 Cesar's wounds',
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood';
Yea', beg a hâir of him for memory',
And', dying', mention it within their wills',
Bequeathing it', as a rich legacy',
Unto their issue

If you have têars', prepare to shed them now'.
You all do know this mantle': I remember
The first time ever Cesar 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 Cesar followed it":
This', THIS was the unkindest cut of all!
For when the noble Cesar saw him stab',
Ingratitude', more strong than traitor's arms',
Quite vanquished himn'! 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 Cesar 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 dint of pity! These are gracious. drops'.
Kind souls'! What', weep you when you but behold
Our Cesar's vesture wounded'? Look ye here!
Here is himself -marred', as you see', by traitors'.

Good friends! Sweet friends!! Let me not stir you up
To any sudden flood of mutiny'.
They that have done this deed, are honourable'.
What private griefs they have', alas', I know not',
That made them do it. They are wise and hônourable',
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 publick leave to speak of him'!
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

Show you sweet Cesar's wounds', poor', poor', dumb mouths', • And bid them speak for me. But', were 1,' Brutus',

And Brutus', Antony', there were* an Antony (that)
Would ruffle up your spirits', and put a tongue
In every wound of Cesar', that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny'.

SECTION XXI.
Speech of Henry the Fifth before the battle of Agincourt.

SHAKSPEARE.
Who's he that wishes more men from England?
My cousin Westmoreland'? No, my fair cousin':
If we are marked to die', we are enough
To do our country loss'; and if to live',
The fewer men', the greater share of honour.
No', no', my lord'; wish not a man from England'.
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland', throughout my host',
That he who hath no stomach for this fight',
May straight depart'; his passport shall be made',
And crowns', for convoy', put into his purse'.
We would not dîe in that man's company'.
This day is called the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day', and comes safe home',
Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named',
And rouse him at the name of Crispian'.
He that outlives this day', and sees old age',
Will', yearly', on the vigil', feast his neighbours',
And say', To-morrow is St. Crispian':
Then will he strip his sleeve', and show his scars'.
Old men forget', yet shall not all forget';
But they 'll remember', with advantages',
What feats they did that day! Then shall our names',
Familiar in their mouths as household words',
Harry the king', Bedford and Exeter',
Warwick and Talbot'ja Salisburyb and Gloucester',
Be, in their flowing cups', freshly remembered'.
This story shall the good man teach his son',
And Crispian's day shall ne'erd go by',
From this time to the ending of the world',
But we and it shall be remembered';
We few', we happy few', we band of brothers';
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me',
Shall be my brother'; be he e'ere so vile',
This day shall gentle his condition';
And gentlemen in England', now abed',
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here';
And hold their manhoods cheap', while any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispian's day':

Tolbút. Solz'bêr-ré. «Gl8s'tër. Nåre. eåre.

* Would be, grammatically.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »