Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene II [Be patient till the last]

Brutus speaks at a pulpit

Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my
cause, and be silent that you may hear. Believe me
for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor
that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom,
and awake your senses that you may the better
judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear
friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love
to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend
demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my
answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and
die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all
freemen? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him. As he
was fortunate, I rejoice at it. As he was valiant, I
honor him. But, as he was ambitious, I slew him.
There is tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor
for his valor, and death for his ambition. Who is
here so base that would be a bondman? If any,
speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so rude
that would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him
have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not
love his country? If any, speak, for him have I
offended. I pause for a reply.

This poem is in the public domain.