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Fearing to strengthen that impatience,
Which seem'd too much enkindled; and, withal,
Hoping it was but an effect of humour,
Which sometime hath his hour with
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, go to bed.
Por. Is Brutus sick ? and is it physical
To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours
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 charge 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.
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;
15 To keep with you at meals, 16 comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the
suburbs Of your good pleasure? If it be no more, Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.
Bru. You are my true and honourable 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
I grant, I am a woman; but, wtihal,
A woman that lord Brutus took to wife:
I grant, I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman well-reputed; Cato's daughter.
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
Here, in the thigh: Can I bear that with patience,
And not my husband's secrets ?
Oye gods, Render me worthy of this noble wife!
[Knocking within. Hark, hark! one knocks: 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.
Enter Lucius and LIGARIUS.
Lucius, who's that, knocks? Luc. Here is a sick man, that would speak with
you. Bru. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.Boy, stand aside.—Caius Ligarius! how?
Lig. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
Bru. O, what a time have you chose out, brave
To wear a kerchief? 'Would you were not sick!
Lig. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.
Bru. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
Lig. By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness. Soul of Rome!
Brave son, deriv'd from honourable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible ;
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?
Bru. A piece of work, that will make sick men whole.
Lig. But are not some whole, that we must make
sick ? Bru. That must we also. What it is, my Caius, I shall unfold to thee, as we are going To whom it must be done. Lig.
Set on your foot;
And, with a heart new-fir'd, I follow
To do I know not what: but it sufficeth,
That Brutus leads me on.
Follow me then. [Ereunt.
The Same. A Room in Cæsar's Palace.
Thunder and lightning. Enter CÆSAR, in his Night
gown. Cæs. Nor heaven, nor earth, have been at peace
to-night: Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out, Help, ho! they murder Cæsar. Who's within?
Serv. My lord?
Cies. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice, And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my lord,
Cal. What mean you, Cæsar? Think you to walk
forth? You shall not stir out of your house to-day. Cæs. Cæsar shall forth: The things, that threaten'd
me, Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall
The face of Cæsar, they are vanished.
Cul. 17 Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets ;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead:
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol :
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan;
And ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the streets.
O Cæsar ! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.
What can be avoided,
Whose end is purpos’d by the mighty gods?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth : for these predictions
Are to the world in general, as to Cæsar,