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 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 charactery1 of my sad brows.—

Leave me with haste.



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.

1 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. 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 CESAR, in his


Cæs. Nor heaven, nor earth, have been at peace


Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
Help, ho! they murder Cæsar!-Who's within?

1 Here, and in all other places, Shakspeare uses exorcist for one who 'raises spirits, not one who lays them. But it has been erroneously said that he is singular in this use of the word.

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 forth?

You shall not stir out of your house to-day.

Cæs. Cæsar shall forth. The things that threatened me,

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,1
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


1 Never paid a regard to prodigies or omens.

2 To hurtle is to clash, or move with violence and noise.

3 Henry Howard, earl of Northampton, in his Defensative against the

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,

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

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; 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 were1 two lions littered in one day,

And I the elder and more terrible;

And Cæsar shall go forth.


Alas, my lord,

Your wisdom is consumed 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.

Cæs. Mark Antony shall say I am not well; And, for thy humor, I will stay at home.

Poison of supposed Prophecies, 1583, says, "Next to the shadows and pretences of experience (which have been met with all at large), they seem to brag most of the strange events which follow (for the most part) after blazing starres; as if they were the summonses of God to call princes to the seat of judgment. The surest way to shake their painted bulwarkes of experience is, by making plaine that neither princes always dye when comets blaze, nor comets ever (i. e. always) when princes dye." In this work is a curious anecdote of queen Elizabeth, "then lying at Richmond, being dissuaded from looking on a comet; with a courage equal to the greatness of her state, she caused the windowe to be sette open, and said, Jacta est alea-the dice are thrown."

1. The old copy reads, "We heare," &c. The emendation was made by Theobald. Upton proposed to read, "We are,” &c.


Here's Decius Brutus; he shall tell them so.
Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy

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.
Cannot is false; and that I dare not, falser.

I will not come to-day. Tell them so, Decius.
Cal. Say he is sick.


Shall Cæsar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far,

To be afeard to tell gray-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.

Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause, Lest I be laughed at, when I tell them so.

Cæs. The cause is in my will, I will not come; That is enough to satisfy the senate.

But, for your private satisfaction,

Because I love you, I will let you know.
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
She dreamed to-night she saw my statua,'
Which, like a fountain, with a hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it.
And these doth she apply for warnings and portents,
And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begged, that I will stay at home to-day.
Dec. This dream is all amiss interpreted;

It was a vision, fair and fortunate.
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood; and that great men shall press

1 "The old copy reads statue; but it has been shown by Mr. Reed, beyond controversy, that statua was pronounced as a trisyllable by our ancestors, and hence generally written statua"

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