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CASS. The morning comes upon's: we'll leave you, ACT II


And, Friends, disperse yourselves: but all remember

What you have said, and shew yourselves true


BRU. Good Gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;

Let not our looks put on our purposes;

But bear it as our Roman actors do,

With untir'd spirits and formal1 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.


Sc. I



Brutus, my Lord!

BRU. Portia, what mean you? wherefore rise you now?
It is not for your health thus to commit

Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.

POR. Nor for your's neither. You've ungently, Brutus,
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,

1 stately. VIII: D

2 apparitions, antics of fancy.

3 i.e. folded.




Sc. I

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.
POR. Is Brutus sick?

Good Portia, go to bed.
and is it physical1

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 charm2 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 suburbs3
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.

I grant I am a woman; but withal

A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:


1 i.e. physically wholesome.

2 conjure.

3 those of London were, in Shakespeare's time, whore-haunted.


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 'em.
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?


Render me worthy of this noble wife!


O ye Gods,

[Knocking within.

Hark, hark! one knocks: Portia, go in awhile;

And by-and-by thy bosom shall partake

The secrets of my heart:

All my engagements I will construe to thee,

All the charactery1 of my sad brows:

Leave me with haste. [Exit PORTIA.] Lucius, who's that knocks?

Re-enter LUCIUS with LIGARIUS.

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 Caius,
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 mortify'd 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?



1 written meaning.


Sc. I

ACT II BRU. That must we also. What it is, my Caius,

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Thunder and lightning. Enter CÆSAR, in his

CAS. Nor Heaven nor Earth have been at peace to-night:
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out
Help, ho! they murder Cæsar! Who's within?

SERV. My Lord?

Enter a Servant.

CAS. 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.

CES. Cæsar shall forth: the things that threaten 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 fought 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;

1 i.e. dressing-gown.

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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.

CAL. When beggars die, there are no Comets seen;


The Heavens themselves blaze forth the death of

CES. Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

Re-enter 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. CAS. The Gods do this in shame of cowardice: Cæsar should be a beast without a heart,

If he should stay at home to-day for fear.

No; Cæsar shall not: Danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he :

We are two lions litter'd in one day,

And I the elder and more terrible;

And Cæsar shall go forth.


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.
We'll send Mark Antony to the Senate-house;
And he shall say you are not well to-day:
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
CES. Mark Antony shall say I am not well;

And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.



Sc. II

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