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Julius Caesar

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 1



Rome. Brutus' orchard

Enter BRUTUS in his orchard

Enter BRUTUS in his orchard

BRUTUS

What, Lucius, ho!—

I cannot by the progress of the stars

Give (make a) guess how near to day.—Lucius, I say!—

I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.—

(I wish I had your fault of sleeping soundly)

When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!

 

BRUTUS

What, Lucius, ho!—

I cannot by the progress of the stars

Give guess how near to day.—Lucius, I say!—

I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.—

When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!

 

Enter LUCIUS

Enter LUCIUS

LUCIUS

Called you, my lord?

 

LUCIUS

Called you, my lord?

 

BRUTUS

Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.

taper=candle

When it is lighted, come and call me here.

 

BRUTUS

Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.

When it is lighted, come and call me here.

 

LUCIUS

I will, my lord.

 

LUCIUS

I will, my lord.

 

Exit LUCIUS

Exit LUCIUS

BRUTUS

It must be by his death, and for my part

his death=Caesar’s death

I know no personal cause to spurn at him

spurn at=attack

But for the general. He would [like to] be crowned.

How that might change his nature, there’s the question.

It is the bright day that brings forth the adder

(the sunshine causes the adder to emerge)

And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,

that=as a king

And then, I grant, we put a sting in him

in him=in him who, with the power of a king, can be dangerous

That at his will he may do danger with.

Th' abuse of greatness is when it disjoins

Remorse from power. And, to speak truth of Caesar,

(the abuse of greatness is to act without conscience)

I have not known when his affections swayed

More than his reason, but ’tis a common proof

proof=experience

That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,

lowliness=(pretended) humility

Whereto the climber upward turns his face,

But when he once attains the upmost round,

round=rung

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

base degrees=rungs

By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.

Then, lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel

quarrel=cause for complaint

Will bear no color for the thing he is,

Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,

(augmented by the addition of a crown)

Would run to these and these extremities,

And, therefore, think [of] him as a serpent’s egg—

Which, hatched, would, as his kind, grow mischievous—

as his kind=according to his nature

And kill him in the shell.

 

BRUTUS

It must be by his death, and for my part

I know no personal cause to spurn at him

But for the general. He would be crowned.

How that might change his nature, there’s the question.

It is the bright day that brings forth the adder

And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,

And then I grant we put a sting in him

That at his will he may do danger with.

Th' abuse of greatness is when it disjoins

Remorse from power. And, to speak truth of Caesar,

I have not known when his affections swayed

More than his reason. But ’tis a common proof

That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,

Whereto the climber upward turns his face.

But when he once attains the upmost round,

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.

Then, lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel

Will bear no color for the thing he is,

Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,

Would run to these and these extremities.

And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg—

Which, hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous—

And kill him in the shell.

 

Enter LUCIUS

Enter LUCIUS

LUCIUS

The taper burneth in your closet, sir.

closet=study

Searching the window for a flint, I found

flint=means of lighting the taper

This paper, thus sealed up, and I am sure

It did not lie there when I went to bed.

(gives him a letter)

 

LUCIUS

The taper burneth in your closet, sir.

Searching the window for a flint, I found

This paper, thus sealed up, and I am sure

It did not lie there when I went to bed.

(gives him a letter)

 

BRUTUS

Get you to bed again. It is not day.

Is not tomorrow, boy, the ides of March?

 

BRUTUS

Get you to bed again. It is not day.

Is not tomorrow, boy, the ides of March?

 

LUCIUS

I know not, sir.

 

LUCIUS

I know not, sir.

 

BRUTUS

Look in the calendar and bring me word.

 

BRUTUS

Look in the calendar and bring me word.

 

LUCIUS

I will, sir.

 

LUCIUS

I will, sir.

 

Exit LUCIUS

Exit LUCIUS

BRUTUS

The exhalations whizzing in the air

Give so much light that I may read by them.

(opens the letter and reads)

“Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake, and see thyself.

Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!”

redress=fix wrongs

“Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake.”

Such instigations have been often dropped

instigations=incitements

Where I have took them up.

—“Shall Rome, etc.” Thus must I piece it out:

“Shall Rome stand under one man’s awe?” What, Rome?

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome

The Tarquin drive when he was called a king.

the Tarquin=the last king, expelled in 510 B.C.E.

—“Speak, strike, redress!” Am I entreated

To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,

If the redress will follow, thou receivest

Thy full petition at (from) the hand of Brutus!

thy full petition=everything you’re asking for

 

BRUTUS

The exhalations whizzing in the air

Give so much light that I may read by them.

(opens the letter and reads)

“Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake, and see thyself.

Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!”

“Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake.”

Such instigations have been often dropped

Where I have took them up.

—“Shall Rome, etc.” Thus must I piece it out:

“Shall Rome stand under one man’s awe?” What, Rome?

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome

The Tarquin drive when he was called a king.

—“Speak, strike, redress!” Am I entreated

To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise,

If the redress will follow, thou receivest

Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!

 

Enter LUCIUS

Enter LUCIUS

LUCIUS

Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.

 

LUCIUS

Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.

 

Knock within

Knock within

BRUTUS

'Tis good. Go to the gate. Somebody knocks.

 

BRUTUS

'Tis good. Go to the gate. Somebody knocks.

 

Exit LUCIUS

Exit LUCIUS

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,

I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.

phantasma=hallucination

The genius and the mortal instruments

genius=characteristic disposition

mortal instruments=physical and psychological attributes

Are then in council, and the state of man,

in council=debating

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

insurrection=riot

 

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,

I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.

The genius and the mortal instruments

Are then in council, and the state of man,

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

 

Enter LUCIUS

Enter LUCIUS

LUCIUS

Sir, ’tis your brother Cassius at the door,

(Cassius is Brutus’ brother-in-law)

Who doth desire to see you.

 

LUCIUS

Sir, ’tis your brother Cassius at the door,

Who doth desire to see you.

 

BRUTUS

Is he alone?

 

BRUTUS

Is he alone?

 

LUCIUS

No, sir, there are more with him.

 

LUCIUS

No, sir, there are more with him.

 

BRUTUS

Do you know them?

 

BRUTUS

Do you know them?

 

LUCIUS

No, sir. Their hats are plucked about their ears

And half their faces buried in their cloaks,

That by no means I may discover them

discover=recognize

By any mark of favor.

mark of favor=distinction

 

LUCIUS

No, sir. Their hats are plucked about their ears,

And half their faces buried in their cloaks,

That by no means I may discover them

By any mark of favor.

 

BRUTUS

    Let 'em enter.

 

BRUTUS

    Let 'em enter.

 

Exit LUCIUS

Exit LUCIUS

They are the faction. O conspiracy,

Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow [only] by night

When evils are most free? O, then by day

Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough

To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy.

none=no cavern

Hide it in smiles and affability.

it=monstrous visage

For if thou [proceed on your] path, thy native semblance on (showing your own face),

Not Erebus itself were dim enough

Erebus=the darkness under the earth

To hide thee from prevention (being stopped).

 

They are the faction. O conspiracy,

Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night

When evils are most free? O, then by day

Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough

To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy.

Hide it in smiles and affability.

For if thou path, thy native semblance on,

Not Erebus itself were dim enough

To hide thee from prevention.

 

Enter the conspirators: CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, METELLUS, and TREBONIUS

Enter the conspirators: CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, METELLUS, and TREBONIUS

CASSIUS

I think we are too bold [intruding] upon your rest.

Good morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you?

 

CASSIUS

I think we are too bold upon your rest.

Good morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you?

 

BRUTUS

I have been up this hour, awake all night.

this hour=for at least an hour

Know I these men that come along with you?

 

BRUTUS

I have been up this hour, awake all night.

Know I these men that come along with you?

 

CASSIUS

Yes, every man of them, and no man here

But honors you, and every one doth wish

You had but that opinion of yourself

Which every noble Roman bears of you.

This is Trebonius.

 

CASSIUS

Yes, every man of them, and no man here

But honors you, and every one doth wish

You had but that opinion of yourself

Which every noble Roman bears of you.

This is Trebonius.

 

BRUTUS

    He is welcome hither.

 

BRUTUS

    He is welcome hither.

 

CASSIUS

This, Decius Brutus.

 

CASSIUS

This, Decius Brutus.

 

BRUTUS

He is welcome too.

 

BRUTUS

He is welcome too.

 

CASSIUS

This, Casca. This, Cinna. And this, Metellus Cimber.

 

CASSIUS

This, Casca. This, Cinna. And this, Metellus Cimber.

 

BRUTUS

They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

 

BRUTUS

They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

 

CASSIUS

Shall I entreat a word?

CASSIUS

Shall I entreat a word?

BRUTUS and CASSIUS withdraw and whisper

BRUTUS and CASSIUS withdraw and whisper

DECIUS

Here lies the east. Doth not the day break here?

 

DECIUS

Here lies the east. Doth not the day break here?

 

CASCA

No.

 

CASCA

No.

 

CINNA

O, pardon, sir, it doth, and yon gray lines

That fret the clouds are messengers of day.

fret=adorn

 

CINNA

O, pardon, sir, it doth, and yon gray lines

That fret the clouds are messengers of day.

 

CASCA

You shall confess that you are both deceived.

(points his sword)

Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,

Which is a great way growing on the south,

a great way growing on the south=quite far south from due east

Weighing the youthful season of the year.

weighing . . .=considering it’s almost spring

Some two months hence up higher toward the north

He first presents his fire, and the high east

high east=due east

Stands, as [does] the Capitol, directly here.

 

CASCA

You shall confess that you are both deceived.

(points his sword)

Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,

Which is a great way growing on the south,

Weighing the youthful season of the year.

Some two months hence up higher toward the north

He first presents his fire, and the high east

Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.

 

BRUTUS

(comes forward with CASSIUS)

Give me your hands all over, one by one.

(shakes their hands)

 

BRUTUS

(comes forward with CASSIUS)

Give me your hands all over, one by one.

(shakes their hands)

 

CASSIUS

And let us swear our resolution.

 

CASSIUS

And let us swear our resolution.

 

BRUTUS

No, not an oath. If not the face of men,

face=troubled looks

The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse—

If these be motives weak, break off betimes,

betimes=right now

And every man hence to his idle bed.

So let high-sighted tyranny range on

high-sighted=looking down from on high

range on=stay on the prowl

Till each man drop by lottery. But if these—

by lottery=as chance will have it at Caesar’s whim

As I am sure they do—bear fire enough

To kindle cowards and to steel with valor

The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,

What need we any spur but our own cause

To prick us to redress? What other bond

prick us to redress=goad us to right wrongs

Than secret Romans that have spoke the word

And will not palter? And what other oath

palter=back down

Than honesty to honesty engaged,

That this shall be, or we will fall for it?

or we will fall for it=or we will fail trying

Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,

swear priests=let priests swear

cautelous=wary

Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls

carrions=rotting carcases

That welcome wrongs. Unto bad causes swear

Such creatures as men doubt. But do not stain

as men doubt=suspected of bad faith

The even virtue of our enterprise,

Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits,

mettle=vigor

To think that or our cause or our performance

or . . . or=either . . .or

Did need an oath, when every drop of blood

That every Roman bears—and nobly bears—

Is guilty of a several bastardy

a several bastardy=individually not being a Roman citizen

If he do break the smallest particle

Of any promise that hath passed from him.

 

BRUTUS

No, not an oath. If not the face of men,

The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse—

If these be motives weak, break off betimes,

And every man hence to his idle bed.

So let high-sighted tyranny range on

Till each man drop by lottery. But if these—

As I am sure they do—bear fire enough

To kindle cowards and to steel with valor

The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,

What need we any spur but our own cause

To prick us to redress? What other bond

Than secret Romans that have spoke the word

And will not palter? And what other oath

Than honesty to honesty engaged,

That this shall be, or we will fall for it?

Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,

Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls

That welcome wrongs. Unto bad causes swear

Such creatures as men doubt. But do not stain

The even virtue of our enterprise,

Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits,

To think that or our cause or our performance

Did need an oath, when every drop of blood

That every Roman bears—and nobly bears—

Is guilty of a several bastardy

If he do break the smallest particle

Of any promise that hath passed from him.

 

CASSIUS

But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him [out]?

I think he will stand very strong with us.

 

CASSIUS

But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?

I think he will stand very strong with us.

 

CASCA

Let us not leave him out.

 

CASCA

Let us not leave him out.

 

CINNA

    No, by no means.

 

CINNA

    No, by no means.

 

METELLUS

O, let us have him, for his silver hairs

Will purchase us a good opinion

And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.

It shall be said his judgment ruled our hands.

Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear

But all be buried in his gravity.

 

METELLUS

O, let us have him, for his silver hairs

Will purchase us a good opinion

And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.

It shall be said his judgment ruled our hands.

Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,

But all be buried in his gravity.

 

BRUTUS

O, name him not. Let us not break with him,

break=be open

For he will never follow anything

That other men begin.

 

BRUTUS

O, name him not. Let us not break with him,

For he will never follow anything

That other men begin.

 

CASSIUS

Then leave him out.

 

CASSIUS

Then leave him out.

 

CASCA

Indeed he is not fit.

 

CASCA

Indeed he is not fit.

 

DECIUS

Shall no man else be touched but only Caesar?

 

DECIUS

Shall no man else be touched but only Caesar?

 

CASSIUS

Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet

Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,

Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him

A shrewd contriver, and, you know, his means,

means=resources

If he improve them, may well stretch so far

As to annoy us all, which to prevent,

Let Antony and Caesar fall together.

 

CASSIUS

Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet

Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,

Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him

A shrewd contriver. And, you know, his means,

If he improve them, may well stretch so far

As to annoy us all; which to prevent,

Let Antony and Caesar fall together.

 

BRUTUS

Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,

To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,

Like wrath in death and envy afterwards,

For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.

Let us be sacrificers but not butchers, Caius.

We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,

And in the spirit of men there is no blood.

Oh, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit

And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,

Caesar must bleed for it. And, gentle friends,

gentle=noble

Let’s kill him boldly but not wrathfully.

Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,

Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.

And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,

subtle=astute

Stir up their servants to an act of rage

their servants=their hands/passions

And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make

chide ‘em=scold their hands/passions

Our purpose necessary and not envious,

Which, so appearing to the common eyes,

We shall be called purgers, not murderers.

And [as] for Mark Antony, think not of him,

For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm

When Caesar’s head is off.

 

BRUTUS

Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,

To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,

Like wrath in death and envy afterwards,

For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.

Let us be sacrificers but not butchers, Caius.

We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,

And in the spirit of men there is no blood.

Oh, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit

And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,

Caesar must bleed for it. And, gentle friends,

Let’s kill him boldly but not wrathfully.

Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,

Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.

And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,

Stir up their servants to an act of rage

And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make

Our purpose necessary and not envious,

Which so appearing to the common eyes,

We shall be called purgers, not murderers.

And for Mark Antony, think not of him,

For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm

When Caesar’s head is off.

 

CASSIUS

    Yet I fear him.

For in the engrafted love he bears to Caesar—

engrafted=deep rooted

 

CASSIUS

    Yet I fear him.

For in the engrafted love he bears to Caesar—

 

BRUTUS

Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.

If he love Caesar, all that he can do

Is to himself: take thought and die for Caesar.

take thought=grieve

And that were much he should, for he is given

much he should=more than he is likely to do

To sports, to wildness, and much company.

TREBONIUS

There is no fear in him. Let him not die,

For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.

 

BRUTUS

Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.

If he love Caesar, all that he can do

Is to himself: take thought and die for Caesar.

And that were much he should, for he is given

To sports, to wildness and much company.

 

 

TREBONIUS

There is no fear in him. Let him not die,

For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.

 

Clock strikes

Clock strikes

BRUTUS

Peace! Count the clock (the number of strikes).

 

BRUTUS

Peace! Count the clock.

 

CASSIUS

The clock hath stricken three.

 

CASSIUS

The clock hath stricken three.

 

TREBONIUS

'Tis time to part.

 

TREBONIUS

'Tis time to part.

 

CASSIUS

But it is doubtful yet

Whether Caesar will come forth today or no,

For he is superstitious grown of late,

Quite from the main opinion he held once

Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.

It may be, these apparent prodigies,

The unaccustomed terrors of this night,

And the persuasion of his augurers

augurers=soothsayers

May hold him from the Capitol today.

 

CASSIUS

    But it is doubtful yet

Whether Caesar will come forth today or no.

For he is superstitious grown of late,

Quite from the main opinion he held once

Of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies.

It may be, these apparent prodigies,

The unaccustomed terror of this night,

And the persuasion of his augurers

May hold him from the Capitol today.

 

DECIUS

Never fear that. If he be so resolved,

I can o'ersway him. For he loves to hear

That unicorns may be betrayed with trees,

betrayed with trees=tricked by trees

And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,

glasses=mirrors, bears being vain

with holes=with pits

Lions with toils, and men with flatterers.

toils=nets

But, when I tell him he hates flatterers,

He says he does, being then most flatterèd.

Let me work,

For I can give his humor the true bent,

humor the true bent=disposition the right direction

And I will bring him to the Capitol.

 

DECIUS

Never fear that. If he be so resolved,

I can o'ersway him. For he loves to hear

That unicorns may be betrayed with trees,

And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,

Lions with toils, and men with flatterers.

But when I tell him he hates flatterers,

He says he does, being then most flatterèd.

Let me work.

For I can give his humor the true bent,

And I will bring him to the Capitol.

 

CASSIUS

Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.

 

CASSIUS

Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.

 

BRUTUS

By the eighth hour. Is that the uttermost (latest)?

 

BRUTUS

By the eighth hour. Is that the uttermost?

 

CINNA

Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.

 

CINNA

Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.

 

METELLUS

Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,

bear Caesar hard=hold a grudge against Caesar

Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey.

rated=berated

I wonder none of you have thought of him.

 

METELLUS

Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,

Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey.

I wonder none of you have thought of him.

 

BRUTUS

Now, good Metellus, go along by (to) him (Caius Ligarius).

He loves me well, and I have given him reasons.

Send him but hither and I’ll fashion him.

fashion=shape

 

BRUTUS

Now, good Metellus, go along by him.

He loves me well, and I have given him reasons.

Send him but hither and I’ll fashion him.

 

CASSIUS

The morning comes upon ’s. We’ll leave you, Brutus.

—And, friends, disperse yourselves. But all remember

What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.

 

CASSIUS

The morning comes upon ’s. We’ll leave you, Brutus.

—And, friends, disperse yourselves. But all remember

What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.

 

BRUTUS

Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily.

look=appear

Let not our looks put on our purposes,

put on=reveal

But bear it as our Roman actors do

With untired spirits and formal constancy.

And so good morrow to you every one.

morrow=morning

 

BRUTUS

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. Manet BRUTUS

Exeunt. Manet 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.

 

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.

 

Enter PORTIA

Enter PORTIA

PORTIA

     Brutus, my lord.

 

PORTIA

     Brutus, my lord.

 

BRUTUS

Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise you now?

wherefore=why

It is not [good] for your health thus to commit

Your weak condition to the raw, cold morning.

 

BRUTUS

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.

 

PORTIA

Nor for yours neither. Y' have ungently, Brutus,

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,

yet . . . yet=still . . . still

But with an angry wafture of your hand

wafture=waving

Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did,

Fearing to strengthen that impatience

Which seemed too much enkindled and withal

withal=moreover

Hoping it was but an effect of humor,

humor=moodiness

Which sometimes 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.

 

PORTIA

Nor for yours neither. Y' have ungently, Brutus,

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

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.

 

BRUTUS

I am not well in health, and that is all.

 

BRUTUS

I am not well in health, and that is all.

 

PORTIA

Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,

He would embrace the means to come by it.

to come by it=to overcome it

 

PORTIA

Brutus is wise, and were he not in health,

He would embrace the means to come by it.

 

BRUTUS

Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.

 

BRUTUS

Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.

 

PORTIA

Is Brutus sick? And is it physical

To walk unbracèd and suck up the humors

unbraced=with open jacket

humors=mists

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 unpurgèd air

rheumy and unpurged=humid and disease-infested

To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus,

You have some sick offense within your mind,

Which by the right and virtue of my place

I ought to know of.

(kneels) 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, your self, your half,

Why you are heavy and what men tonight

Have had to resort to you. For here have been

resort to=make a visit

Some six or seven who did hide their faces

Even from darkness.

 

PORTIA

Is Brutus sick? And is it physical

To walk unbracèd 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 unpurgèd air

To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus.

You have some sick offense within your mind,

Which by the right and virtue of my place

I ought to know of.

(kneels) 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, your self, your half,

Why you are heavy, and what men tonight

Have had to resort to you. For here have been

Some six or seven who did hide their faces

Even from darkness.

 

BRUTUS

    Kneel not, gentle Portia.

 

BRUTUS

    Kneel not, gentle Portia.

 

PORTIA

(rising) 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,

in sort or limitation=in only a limited way

To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,

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.

 

PORTIA

(rising) 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 suburbs

Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,

Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.

BRUTUS

You are my true and honorable wife,

As dear to me as are the ruddy drops

That visit my sad heart.

 

BRUTUS

You are my true and honorable wife,

As dear to me as are the ruddy drops

That visit my sad heart.

 

PORTIA

If this were true, then should I know this secret.

I grant I am a woman, but withal

withal=nevertheless

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 '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?

 

PORTIA

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.

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 '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?

 

BRUTUS

     O ye gods,

Render me worthy of this noble wife!

 

BRUTUS

     O ye gods,

Render me worthy of this noble wife!

 

Knock within

Knock within

Hark, hark! One knocks. Portia, go in [for] awhile.

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.

 

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 charactery of my sad brows.

Leave me with haste.

 

Exit PORTIA

Exit PORTIA

Lucius, who’s that knocking?

Lucius, who’s that knocking?

Enter LUCIUS and LIGARIUS

Enter LUCIUS and LIGARIUS

LUCIUS

He is a sick man that would speak with you.

 

LUCIUS

He is a sick man that would speak with you.

 

BRUTUS

Caius Ligarius that Metellus spake of.—

Boy, stand aside.—Caius Ligarius, how [are you]?

 

BRUTUS

Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.—

Boy, stand aside.—Caius Ligarius, how?

 

LIGARIUS

Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

 

LIGARIUS

Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

 

BRUTUS

O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,

To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

 

BRUTUS

O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,

To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

 

LIGARIUS

I am not sick if Brutus have in hand

Any exploit worthy [of] the name of honor.

 

LIGARIUS

I am not sick if Brutus have in hand

Any exploit worthy the name of honor.

 

BRUTUS

Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,

Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

 

BRUTUS

Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,

Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

 

LIGARIUS

(removes his kerchief)

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 mortifièd spirit. Now bid me run,

And I will strive with things impossible,

Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?

 

LIGARIUS

(removes his kerchief)

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 mortifièd spirit. Now bid me run,

And I will strive with things impossible,

Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?

 

BRUTUS

A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

 

BRUTUS

A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

 

LIGARIUS

But are not some whole that we must make sick?

 

LIGARIUS

But are not some whole that we must make sick?

 

BRUTUS

That must we, also. What it is, my Caius,

I shall unfold to thee, as we are going,

To whom it must be done.

 

BRUTUS

That must we also. What it is, my Caius,

I shall unfold to thee as we are going

To whom it must be done.

 

LIGARIUS

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.

 

LIGARIUS

    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.

 

Thunder

Thunder

BRUTUS

    Follow me, then.

 

BRUTUS

    Follow me, then.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

 

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