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And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence ;-
Of battles bravely, hardly fought; of victories,
For which the conquerer mourned—so many fell!
Sometimes I told the story of a siege,
Wherein I had to combat plagues and famine :
Soldiers unpaid ; fearsul to fight, yet bold
In dangerous mutiny.
These things to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse : which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour; and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,-
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctively. I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffered. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs !
She swore, “ In faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful :"
She wished she had not heard it;-yet she wished
That heav'n had made her such a man ;—she thanked me:
And bade me if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake.
She loved me for the dangers I had past;
And I loved her that she did pity them.
-This only is the witchcraft I have used.
CXLVII. SPEECH OF HENRY V. TO
BEFORE HARFLEUR.-Shakspeare. Once more unto the breach, dear friends! once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility :
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews-summon up the blood-
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage :
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head,
Like the brass cannon ;-let the brow o'erwhelm it,
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide;
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height !-On, on, you noble English,
Whose blood is set from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have, in these parts, from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonor not your mothers. Now attest
That those whom you called fathers did beget you!
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war!
And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, shew us here
The mettle of your pasture ; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding: which I doubt not:
For there is none of you so mean and base,
T'hat hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.
The game's afoot.
Follow your spirit: and upon this charge,
Cry-God for Harry! England ! and St. George!
CXLVIII. ANTONY'S ORATION OVER CÆSAR'S BODY.—Shakspeare 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 was 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
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 ?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar bath 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 :
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 :
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.
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 tostir 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-1 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 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 bloodYea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills; Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, Unto their issue.
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 NerviiLook! in this place ran Cassius's 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.
O what 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, 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,
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 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 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 mouths,
And bid them speak for me. But, were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffile up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise in mutiny.
MARK ANTONY'S ADDRESS TO THE DEAD BODY OF
O pardon me, thou piece of bleeding earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers !