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Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
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
Kneel not, gentle Portia.
1 Condition is temper, disposition, demeanor. 2 “ I charm you.” This is the reading of the old copy, which Pope and Hanmer changed to “I charge you,” without necessity. To charm is to invoke or entreat by words or other fascinating means. VOL. VI.
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;
O ye gods,
[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.
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. 1 Charactery is defined" writing by characters or strange marks." In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act v. Sc. 1, it is said, “ Fairies use flowers for their charactery."
Bru. O, what a time have you chose out, brave
Lig. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
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 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? Bru. A piece of work that will make sick men
whole. Lig. But are not some whole, that we must make
Set on your foot ;
Follow me, then.
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 ?
1 Here, and in all other places, Shakspeare uses exorcist for one who raises spirits, not one who lays them. But it has been erroneously said that he is singular in this use of the word.
Enter a Servant.
Sero. My lord ?
Cæs. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice, And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my lord.
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 threat
Ne'er looked but on my back; when they shall see
Cal. Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,
What can be avoided, Whose end is purposed 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
1 Never paid a regard to prodigies or omens. 2 To hurile is to clash, or move with violence and noise. 3 Henry Howard, earl of Northampton, in his Defensative against the 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 ?
Cæs. The gods do this in shame of cowardice;
Alas, my lord,
Cæs. Mark Antony shall say I am not well;
Poison of supposed Prophecies, 1583, says, “Next to the shadows and pretences of experience (which have been met with all at large), they seem to brag most of the strange events which follow (for the most part) after bluzing starres ; as if they were the summonses of God to call princes to the seat of judgment. The surest way to shake their painted bulwarkes of experience is, by making plaine that neither princes always dye when comets blaze, nor comets ever (i. e. always) when princes dye." In this work is a curious anecdote of queen Elizabeth, “then lying at Richmond, being dissuaded from looking on a comet; with a courage equal to the greatness of her state, she caused the windowe to be sette open, and said, Jacta est alea—the dice are thrown.”
| The old copy reads, “ We heare,” &c. The emendation was made by Theobald. Upton proposed to read, “ We are," &c.