Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 1

Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.

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

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 offense within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of: and, upon my knees,
I charge 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.

Kneel not, gentle Portia.

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.

You are my true and honorable wife;
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.

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 '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?

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.]

— Lucius, who's that knocks?

[Re-enter Lucius with Ligarius.]

Here is a sick man that would speak with you.

Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of. —
Boy, stand aside. — Caius Ligarius, — how?

Vouchsafe good-morrow from a feeble tongue.

O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.

Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.

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 mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible;
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?

A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

But are not some whole that we must make sick?

That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee, as we are going,
To whom it must be done.

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.

Follow me then.


Back to Top

Take the Quiz

After discovering Cassius’ body, Brutus decides to