Manet Brutus.

Boy: Lucius: Fast asleepe? It is no matter, Enioy the hony-heauy-Dew of Slumber: Thou hast no Figures, nor no Fantasies, Which busie care drawes, in the braines of men; Therefore thou sleep'st so sound. Enter Portia.

Por. Brutus, my Lord

Bru. Portia: What meane you? wherfore rise you now? It is not for your health, thus to commit Your weake condition, to the raw cold morning

Por. Nor for yours neither. Y'haue vngently Brutus Stole from my bed: and yesternight at Supper You sodainly arose, and walk'd about, Musing, and sighing, with your armes acrosse And when I ask'd you what the matter was, You star'd vpon me, with vngentle lookes. I vrg'd you further, then you scratch'd your head, And too impatiently stampt with your foote: Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not, But with an angry wafter of your hand Gaue signe for me to leaue you: So I did, Fearing to strengthen that impatience Which seem'd too much inkindled; and withall, Hoping it was but an effect of Humor, Which sometime hath his houre with euery man. It will not let you eate, nor talke, nor sleepe; And could it worke so much vpon your shape, As it hath much preuayl'd on your Condition, I should not know you Brutus. Deare my Lord, Make me acquainted with your cause of greefe

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 meanes to come by it

Bru. Why so I do: good Portia go to bed

Por. Is Brutus sicke? And is it Physicall To walke vnbraced, and sucke vp the humours Of the danke Morning? What, is Brutus sicke? And will he steale out of his wholsome bed To dare the vile contagion of the Night? And tempt the Rhewmy, and vnpurged Ayre, To adde vnto his sicknesse? No my Brutus, You haue some sicke Offence within your minde, Which by the Right and Vertue of my place I ought to know of: And vpon my knees, I charme you, by my once commended Beauty, By all your vowes of Loue, and that great Vow Which did incorporate and make vs one, That you vnfold to me, your selfe; your halfe Why you are heauy: and what men to night Haue had resort to you: for heere haue beene Some sixe or seuen, who did hide their faces Euen from darknesse

Bru. Kneele not gentle Portia

Por. I should not neede, if you were gentle Brutus. Within the Bond of Marriage, tell me Brutus, Is it excepted, I should know no Secrets That appertaine to you? Am I your Selfe, But as it were in sort, or limitation? To keepe with you at Meales, comfort your Bed, And talke 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 deere to me, as are the ruddy droppes That visit my sad heart

Por. If this were true, then should I know this secret. I graunt I am a Woman; but withall, A Woman that Lord Brutus tooke to Wife: I graunt I am a Woman; but withall, A Woman well reputed: Cato's Daughter. Thinke you, I am no stronger then my Sex Being so Father'd, and so Husbanded? Tell me your Counsels, I will not disclose 'em: I haue made strong proofe of my Constancie, Giuing my selfe a voluntary wound Heere, in the Thigh: Can I beare that with patience, And not my Husbands Secrets? Bru. O ye Gods! Render me worthy of this Noble Wife.


Harke, harke, one knockes: Portia go in a while, And by and by thy bosome shall partake The secrets of my Heart. All my engagements, I will construe to thee, All the Charractery of my sad browes: Leaue me with hast.

Exit Portia.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book