Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marc Antony, Brutus and Dan Martins

As many of you know, the Reverend Dan Martins has been nominated for Bishop in the diocese of Springfield. I simply could not do justice to the work Mr. Martins performed while here in the diocese of San Joaquin. I have neither the eloquence nor the erudition and so I will allow William Shakespeare to tell the tale.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury the Episcopal Church, not to praise it.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with the Epsicopal Church. The noble Dan Martins
Hath told you the Episcopal Church was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath the Episcopal Church answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Dan Martins and the rest, --
For Dan is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men, --
Come I to speak at the Epsicopal Church's funeral.
It was my church, faithful and just to me:
But Dan Martins says the church was ambitious;
And Dan is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home from Rome.
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in the Episcopal Church seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, the Episcopal Churh hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Dan says the church was ambitious;
And Dan is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented to the church a crown,
Which the church did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Dan says the church was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Dan Martins spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love the Episcopal Church once, --not without cause:
What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for the church?
O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason! --Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with the Episcopal Church,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
But yesterday the word of the Presiding Bishop might
Have stood against the world: now lies the church there,
And none so poor to do the church reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Dan Martins wrong and John David Schofield wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
But here's a parchment with the seal of the Episcopal Church in the United States, --
I found it in the closet, --'tis the church's will:
Let but the commons hear this testament, --
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read, --
And they would go and kiss the dead church's wounds,
And dip their napkins in the sacred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of it 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 meet you know how the church loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of the Episcopal Church,
It will inflame you, --it will make you mad:
'Tis good you know not that you are it's heirs;
For, if you should, O, what would come of it!
Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabbed the Episcopal Church; I do fear it.
You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of the church,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?
Nay, press not so upon me; stand far
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle: I remember
The first time ever the Presiding Bishop put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in her church,
That day she overcame the earthquakes and floods:--
Look! in this place ran Jack Iker's dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Robert Duncan made:
Through this the well-beloved Dan Martins stabbed;
And, as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of the church followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved.
If Dan so unkindly knocked or no;
For Dan Martins, as you know, was the church's angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly the Episcopal Church loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble church saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquished him: then burst the church's mightly heart;
And, in the church's mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Rowan William's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Episcopal Church 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 Epsicopal Church's vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is the church, marred, as you see, with traitors.
Stay, countrymen.
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a 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 honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
I am no blogger, as Dan Martins is;
But as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my church; and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of it:
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 the sweet church's wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me: but were I Dan Martins,
And Dan Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of the church, that should move
The stones of the United States to rise and mutiny.

by (and with apolgies to) William Shakespeare