Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

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BRUTUS

265I am not well in health, and that is all.

BRUTUS

I’m not feeling well—that’s all.

PORTIA

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

PORTIA

You’re smart, though, and if you were sick, you’d take what you needed to get better.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

I’m doing so. Good Portia, go to bed.

PORTIA

Is Brutus sick? And is it physical
270To walk unbracèd and suck up the humors
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 unpurgèd air
275To 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.
(kneels) And upon my knees
280I 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, your self, your half,
Why you are heavy, and what men tonight
285Have had to resort to you. For here have been
Some six or seven who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.

PORTIA

Are you sick? And is it healthy to walk uncovered and breathe in the dampness of the morning? You’re sick, yet you sneak out of your warm bed and let the humid and disease-infested air make you sicker? No, my Brutus, you have some sickness within your mind, which by virtue of my position I deserve to know about. (she kneels) And on my knees, I urge you, by my once-praised beauty, by all your vows of love and that great vow of marriage which made the two of us one person, that you should reveal to me, who is one half of yourself, why you’re troubled and what men have visited you tonight. For there were six or seven men here, who hid their faces even in the darkness.

BRUTUS

    Kneel not, gentle Portia.

BRUTUS

Don’t kneel, noble Portia.

PORTIA

(rising) I should not need if you were gentle, Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
290Is 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?

PORTIA

(getting up) I wouldn’t need to if you were acting nobly. Tell me, Brutus, as your wife, aren’t I supposed to be told the secrets that concern you? Am I part of you only in a limited sense—I get to have dinner with you, sleep with you, and talk to you sometimes?