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Enter CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, METELLUS CIMBER,
Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest:
Good morrow, Brutus; Do we trouble you?
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.
Know I these men, that come along with you?
Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,
But honours you; and every one doth wish,
You had but that opinion of yourself,
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
Bru. He is welcome hither.
Cas. This Decius Brutus.
Bru. He is welcome too.
Cas. This, Casca; this, Cinna;
And this, Metellus Cimber.
Bru. They are all welcome.
What watchful cares do interpose themselves
Betwixt your eyes and night?
Cas. Shall I entreat a word ?
Dec. Here lies the east: Doth not the day break here?
Cin. O, pardon, Sir, it doth; and yon grey lines,
That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.
Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceived,
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.
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Cas. And let us swear our resolution.
Bru. 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 rage 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 valour
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
* Public opinion.
† By decimation.
Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor the 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 pass'd from him.
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I think, he will stand very strong with us.
Casca. Let us not leave him out.
Cin. No, by no means.
Met. 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.
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break† with him;
For he will never follow anything
That other men begin.
Cas. Then leave him out.
Casca. Indeed, he
Dec. Shall no man else be touch'd but only Cæsar?
Cas. Decius, well urged:-I think it is not meet,
Mark Anthony, so well beloved of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar: We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
If he improves them, may well stretch so far,
As to annoy us all which to prevent,
Let Antony, and Cæsar, fall together.
Bru. 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 Cæsar.
Let us be sacrificers, but no butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cæsar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Cæsar's spirit,
And not dismember Cæsar! But, alas,
Cæsar 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 them. This shall make
Our purpose necessary, and not envious:
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
† (The matter.)
For he can do no more than Cæsar's arm,
When Cæsar's head is off.
Cas. Yet I do fear him:
For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar,-
Bru. 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 Cæsar :
And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.
Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
And he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
Bru. Peace, count the clock.
Cas. The clock hath stricken three.
Treb. 'Tis time to part.
Cas. But it is doubtful yet,
Whe'r Caesar will come forth to-day, 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 unaccustom'd terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers,
May hold him from the Capitol to-day.
Dec. Never fear that: If he be so resolved.
I can o'ersway him: for he loves to hear,
That unicorns may be betray'd 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 flattered.
Let me work:
For I can give this humour the true bent;
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Bru. By the eighth hour: Is that the uttermost ?
Cin. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.
Met. Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæsar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey;
I wonder, none of you have thought of him.
Bru. 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.
And, friends, disperse yourselves: but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.
Cas. The morning comes upon us: We'll leave you, Brutus :-
Bru. 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.
Boy! Lucius!-Fast asleep? It is no matter;
By his house.
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.
Por. 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 yours neither. You have 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 stared upon me with ungentle looks:
I urged 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,f
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 there have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
* Imaginative shapes.
Bru. Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Por. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it expected, 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.
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:
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 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?
Bru. O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife!
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.
Enter LUCIUS and LIGARIUS.
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.
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, derived from honourable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run