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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 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
Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor the insuppressive metal 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. 178. 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.
181. 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. 182. 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 is not fit.
Dec. Shall no man else be touched but only Cæsar? 186. Cas. Decius, well urged. – I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar. 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 Cæsar fall together. 187. 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 not 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 'em. This shall mark
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 Cæsar's arm
When Cæsar's head is off. 188. Cas. Yet I do fear him:
For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar,
18 Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of himn :
If he loves Cæsar, 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.
190. Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
[Clock strikes Bru. Peace, count the clock.
192. Cas. The clock hath stricken three.
Treb. Tis time to part. 194.
Cas. But it is doubtful yet
Whether Cæsar 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 unaccustomed terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers,
May hold him from the Capitol to-day.
195. Dec. 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 flattered.
Let me work:
For I can give his humour the true bent;
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him. 197. Bru. By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?
Cin. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then. 199. 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 hin reasons;
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him.
Cas. The morning comes upon us : we'll leave you,
And, friends, disperse yourselves : but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.
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.
[Exeunt all but BRUTUS Boy! Lucius ! - Fast asleep? It is no matter;
Enjoy the heavy honey-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
It is not for your health, thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw-cold morning. 205. Por. Nor for yours neither. You've 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 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 prevailed on your condition,
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. 209. 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 here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
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 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.
Bru. You are my true and honorable wife;
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart. 213. 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 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 ? 214. Bru. O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife! [Knocking within,
Hark, hark! one knocks. Portia, go in awhile;
And by and by thy bosom shall partake