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Julius Caesar

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255
What Antony shall speak, I will protest,
He speaks by leave and by permission,
And that we are contented Caesar shall
Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies.
It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
What Antony says, I’ll announce, he says only by our permission and by our conviction that Caesar should be honored with all the usual and lawful ceremonies. It’ll help us more than hurt us.

CASSIUS
(aside to BRUTUS) I know not what may fall. I like it not.
CASSIUS
(speaking so that only BRUTUS can hear) I’m worried about the outcome of his speech. I don’t like this plan.



260




265
BRUTUS
Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar’s body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
But speak all good you can devise of Caesar,
And say you do ’t by our permission.
Else shall you not have any hand at all
About his funeral. And you shall speak
In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
After my speech is ended.
BRUTUS
Mark Antony, take Caesar’s body. You will not blame us in your funeral speech, but will say all the good you want to about Caesar and that you do it by our permission. Otherwise, you’ll have no role at all in his funeral. And you’ll speak on the same platform as I do, after I’m done.


ANTONY
Be it so.
I do desire no more.
ANTONY
So be it. I don’t want anything more.

BRUTUS
Prepare the body then, and follow us.
BRUTUS
Prepare the body, then, and follow us.
Exeunt. Manet ANTONY
Everyone except ANTONY exits.


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275

ANTONY
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever livèd in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue—
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men.
ANTONY
Oh, pardon me, you bleeding corpse, for speaking politely and acting mildly with these butchers! You are what’s left of the noblest man that ever lived. Pity the hand that shed this valuable blood. Over your wounds—which, like speechless mouths, open their red lips, as though to beg me to speak—I predict that a curse will fall upon the bodies of men.

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