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Within the bond of marriage, tell me Brutus,
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the 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, withal,
A woman that lord Brutus took to wife:
grant, I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman well reputed; Cato's daughter.
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose them:
Here, in the thigh: Can I bear that with patience,
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 engagenients I will construe to thee,
All the charactery' of my sad brows:
Leave me with haste.
Lucius, who is that, knocks?
Enter Lucius and LIGARIUs.
Luc. Here is a sick man, that would speak with
[J. CAS. 27]
All that is charactered on, &c.
Bru. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.-
Lig. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
To wear a kerchief? 'Would you were not sick!
Bru. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Lig. By all the gods that Romans bow before,
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. I shall unfold to thee, as we To whom it must be done.
What it is, my Caius, are going,
Set on your foot;
Follow me then. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.—The same. A room in Cæsar's palace.
Enter CESAR in his
Thunder and lightning.
Cas. 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? [J. CES. 28]
Serv. My lord?
Enter a Servant.
Cæs. 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 You shall not stir out of your house to-day. [forth? Cæs. Cæsar shall forth: The things that threaten'd
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,
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead:
The noise of battle hurtled1 in the air,
And ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the streets.
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.
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,
1 i. e. clashed.
[J. Cæs. 29]
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Will come, when it will come.
Re-enter a Servant.
What say the augurers?
Serv. They would not have you to stir forth to-day. Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
Cæs. The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
We were two lions litter'd in one day,
Alas, my lord,
Your wisdom is consum'd in confidence.
Do not go forth to-day: Call it my fear,
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
And he shall say, you are not well to-day :
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
Cæs. Mark Antony shall say, I am not well; And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
I come to fetch you to the senate-house.
Cæs. And you are come in very happy time,
To bear my greeting to the senators,
And tell them, that I will not come to-day:
Shall Cæsar send a lie? Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
[J. CAS. 30]
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth?
Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause, Lest I be laugh'd at, when I tell them so.
Cæs. The cause is in my will, I will not come;
Cas. And this way have you well expounded it.
Pardon me, Cæsar; for my dear, dear love
Handkerchiefs, or other linen, tinged with blood. [J. CES. 31]