Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

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' barlot, 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,

1

Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience,
And not my husband's secrets ?
Bru.

Oye gods!
Render me worthy of this noble wise.

[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 charactery of my sad brows. Leave me with haste.

[Exit PORTIA.

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! bow?

Lig. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

Bru. 0! what a ne 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, deriy'd from honourable loins,
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd 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 sick ?

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.
Lig.
Set on your foot,

And with a heart new-fir'd I follow you,
To do I know not what; but it sufficeth,
That Brutus leads me on.
Bru.

Follow me,

then.

[Exeunt.

[ocr errors]

SCENE II.
The Same. A Room in CÆSAR's Palace:
Thunder and Lightning. Enter CÆSAR, in his Night-gown.

Cæs. Nor heaven, nor earth, have been at peace to-night :
Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
· Help, ho! They murder Cæsar!” Who's within ?

Enter a Servant.
Serv. My lord.

Cæs. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my lord.

[Exit.
Enter CALPHURNIA.
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 threaten'd 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 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 do 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.
Cæs.

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 princes.

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 were two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;
And Cæsar shall go forth.
Cal.

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.

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

Enter Decius. Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.

Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar : 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.
Cæs.

Shall Cæsar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.

Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause, Lest I be laugh'd 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 dream'd to-night she saw my statue,
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 does she apply for warnings, and portents,
And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begg'd, 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 bath'd,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood; and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.
Cæs. And this way have you well expounded it.

« ZurückWeiter »