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I urg'd you further; then you scratch'd your
And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot:
Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not;
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Gave sign for me to leave you: So I did;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience,
Which seem'd too much enkindled; and, withal,
Hoping it was but an effect of humor
Which sometimes hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep;
And, could it work so much upon your shape,
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear, my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
Bru. I am not well in health, and that is all.
Por. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
Bru. Why, so I do : Good Portia, leave me.
Por. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical
To walk unbraced, and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick;
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
To dare the vile contagion of the night?
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;
You have some sick offence within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of: And, upon my knees,
I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love, and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy; and what men to-night
Have had resort to you: for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
Bru. Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Por. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus. Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted, I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself,
But, as it were, in sort or limitation ?
Bru. You are my true and honorable wife:
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
Por. If this were true, then should I know this secret.
I grant, I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman that lord Brutus took to wife:
I grant, I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman well reputed; Cato's daughter.
Think you, I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so father'd, and so husbanded?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose them:
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound.—
Can I bear that with patience,
And not my husband's secrets?
Render me worthy of this noble wife!
Portia, go in a while;
And, by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows:--
Leave me with haste.
On the day arranged by the conspirators, for the assassination of Cæsar, he is persuaded by Calphurnia and the Augurers, not to go forth to the Capitol. He resists all their warnings, and departs with Antony, Brutus, &c., to keep his appointment.
SCENE I.-The Capitol; the Senate sitting.
A crowd of people in the street leading to the Capitol; among them,
ARTEMIDORUS, and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CÆSAR,
BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINna,
ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPILIUS, PUBLIUS, and others.
Cas. The ides of March are come.
Sooth. Ay, Cæsar; but not gone.
Art. Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.
Dec. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read,
At your best leisure this his humble suit.
Art. O, Cæsar, read mine first; for mine's a suit
That touches Cæsar nearer: Read it, great Cæsar.
Cas. What touches us ourself, shall be last serv'd.
Art. Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
Cas. What, is the fellow mad?
Cas. What, urge you your petitions in the street?
CESAR enters the Capitol, the rest following. All the Senators rise.
Pop. I wish, your enterprise to-day may thrive.
Cas. What enterprise, Popilius?
Pop. Fare you well.
Bru. What said Popilius Lena?
Cas. He wish'd, to-day our enterprise might thrive.
I fear, our purpose is discovered.
Bru. Look, how he makes to Cæsar: Mark him.
Cas. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.-
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
Cas. Trebonius knows his time; for, look you,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[Exeunt ANTONY and TREBONIUS.
CESAR and the Senators take their seats.
Dec. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
Bru. He is address'd: press near, and second him.
Cin. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
Cæs. Are we all ready? what is now amiss,
That Cæsar, and his senate, must redress?
Met. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings, and these lowly courtesies,
Might fire the blood of ordinary men ;
And turn pre-ordinance, and first decree,
Into the law of children. Be not fond,
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood,
That will be thaw'd from the true quality
With that which melteth fools; I mean sweet words,
Low crooked curt'sies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished;
If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn, for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong: nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
Met. Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar's ear,
For the repealing of my banish'd brother?
Bru. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar; Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
Cas. What, Brutus !
Pardon, Cæsar: Cæsar, pardon;
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
Cas. I could be well mov'd, if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me:
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-rix'd, and resting quality,
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
They are all fire, and every one doth shine;
But there's but one in all doth hold his place:
So, in the world; 'Tis furnish'd well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet, in the number, I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak'd of motion: and, that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this;
That I was constant, Cimber should be banish'd,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
Casca. Speak, hands, for me.
[CASCA stabs CESAR in the neck. CESAR catches hold of his arm. He is then stabbed by several other Conspirators, and at last by MARCUS BRUTUS.
Cas. Et tu Brute?-Then fall, Cæsar.
[Dies. The senators and people retire in confusion.
Cin. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
Cas. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement !
Bru. People, and senators! be not affrighted; Fly not; stand still :-ambition's debt is paid. Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
Cin. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
Met. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar's
Bru. Talk not of standing;-Publius, good cheer;
There is no harm intended to your person,
Nor to no Roman else: so tell them, Publius.
Cas. And leave us, Publius; lest that the people,
Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Bru. Do so;-and let no man abide this deed,
But we the doers.
Fled to his house amaz'd:
Cas. Where is Antony?
Men, wives, and children, stare, cry out, and run,
Fates! we will know your pleasures
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time,
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
Cas. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life,
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
Bru. Grant that, and then is death a benefit:
So are we Cæsar's friends, that have abridg'd
His time of fearing death.-Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords:
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place;
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry, Peace! Freedom! and Liberty!
Cas. Stoop then, and wash.-How many ages hence,
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over,
In states unborn, and accents yet unknown?
Bru. How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey's basis lies along,
No worthier than the dust?
So often shall the knot of us be call'd
The men that gave our country liberty.
Dec. What, shall we forth?
Ay, every man away :
Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Bru. Soft, who comes here? A friend of Antony's
Serv. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down:
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say.
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest:
Cæsar was mighty, bold, røyal, and loving :
Say, I loved Brutus, and I honor him:
Say, I fear'd Cæsar, honor'd him, and lov'd him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe, that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolv'd
How Cæsar hath deserv'd to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus,
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state,
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
Bru. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honor,