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Cas. The morning comes upon us.
you, Brutus ;
And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.
Bru. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on our purposes;
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untired spirits, and formal constancy.
And so, good-morrow to you every one.
[Exeunt all but BRUTUS.
Boy! Lucius !-Fast asleep?—It is no matter ;
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.
Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies,
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
Brutus, my lord ! Bru. Portia, what mean you ?
Wherefore rise you
It is not for your health, thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw-cold morning.
Por. Nor for yours, neither. You have ungently,
Stole from my bed ; and yesternight, at supper,
You suddenly arose, and walked about,
Musing, and sighing, with your arms across ;
And when I asked you what the matter was,
You stared upon me with ungentle looks.
I urged you further; then you scratched your head,
And too impatiently stamped with your foot.
Yet I insisted, yet you answered 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 seemed too much enkindled; and, withal,
1 “Let not our faces put on, that is, wear or show our designs.” 2 Shapes created by imagination.
Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
Which sometime 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 prevailed 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 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.
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 ;
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
1 Condition is temper, disposition, demeanor. 2 “I charm you.” This is the reading of the old copy, which Pope and Hanmer changed to “ I charge you,” without necessity. To charm is to invoke or entreat by words or other fascinating means.
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 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
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 fathered, 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 ?
O ye 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 is 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.
Charactery is defined “writing by characters or strange marks." In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act v. Sc. 1, it is said, “ Fairies use flowers for their charactery.”
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 honor.
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, derived from honorable loins !
Thou, like an exorcist,' hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid' me run,
And I will strive with things impossible ;
Yea, get the better of them.
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
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.
Set on your foot;
And, with a heart new-fired, I follow you,
To do I know not what: but it sufficeth,
That Brutus leads me on.
Follow me, then.
SCENE II. 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 ?
Cæs. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my
will, my lord.
Cal. What mean you, Cæsar? Think you to walk
You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
Cæs. Cæsar shall forth. The things that threat
Ne'er looked but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Cæsar, they are vanished.
Cal. 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 yawned, 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 purposed by the mighty gods ?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general, as to Cæsar.
Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of