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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 disinember 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 cominon eyes,
We shall be call'd 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.

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 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.

Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter..

Bru. Peace, count the clock.
Cas.

Treb. "Tis time to part.

Cas.

[Clock strikes.

The clock hath stricken three.

But it is doubtful yet,

Whe'r 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 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 resolv'd,
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.

Cas. The morning comes upon us: We'll leave you, Brutus:

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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 untir'd spirits, and formal constancy:
And so, good morrow to you every one.

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Exeunt all but 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.

Por.

Enter PORTIA.

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 star'd upon me with ungentle looks:
I urg'd 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 hot 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,
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 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 anpurged 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 Bratus. 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 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:

1 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! [Knocking within.
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.

Enter LUCIUS and LIGARIUS.

Lucius, who's 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, deriv'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.

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