Imatges de pÓgina

But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untir'd 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 walk'd about,
Musing, and sighing, with your arms across :
And when I ask'd you what the matter was,
You star'd upon me with ungentle looks:
I urg'd you further; then you scratch'd your head,
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 humour,
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 prevail'd on your condition,'


- on your condition,] On your temper; the disposition of

your mind.

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 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,
And talk to you sometimes ? Dwell I but in the suburbş
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 secret.

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I grant,

I grant, I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman that lord Brutus took to wife :

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 ?

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.

[Exit Portia.

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 Caiu s 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,

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 exorcisto, 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.

Set on your foot ;
And, with a heart new-fir'd, I follow you,
To do I know not what : but it sufficeth,
That Brutus leads me on.

Follow me then. [E.reunt.


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 ?

Enter a Servant.
Serv. My lord ?

Cæs. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.

Serv. I will, my lord.

6 Thou, like an exorcist,] Here, and in all other places where the word occurs in Shakspeare, to exorcise means to raise spirits, not to lay them; and perhaps he is singular in his acceptation of it.

D 2.

Enter CALPHURNIA. 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 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 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, 8 Horses did neigh t, 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. Cæs.

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.

Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets seen ; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Cæs. Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

7 Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,] i.e. I never paid a ceremonious or superstitious regard to prodigies or omens.

3 The noise of battle hurtled in the air,] To hurtle is to clash, or ove with violence and noise. t“ do neigh,” — Malone.

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