Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 13

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    Dwell I but in the suburbs
295Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.
Is my place only on the outskirts of your happiness? If it’s nothing more than that, then I’m your whore, not your wife.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

You’re my true and honorable wife, as dear to me as the blood that runs through my sad heart.

PORTIA

300If 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.
305Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so fathered 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
310Here in the thigh. Can I bear that with patience,
And not my husband’s secrets?

PORTIA

If that were true, then I’d know your secret. I admit I’m only a woman, but nevertheless I’m the woman Lord Brutus took for his wife. I admit I’m only a woman, but I’m still a woman from a noble family—I’m Cato’s daughter. Do you really think I’m no stronger than the rest of my sex, with such a father and such a husband? Tell me your secrets. I won’t betray them. I’ve proved my trustworthiness by giving myself a voluntary wound here in my thigh. If I can bear that pain, then I can bear my husband’s secrets.

BRUTUS

     O ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife!

BRUTUS

Oh, gods, make me worthy of this noble wife!
Knock within
A knocking sound offstage.
Hark, hark! One knocks. Portia, go in awhile.
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
315The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste.
Listen! Someone knocks. Portia, go inside awhile, and soon enough you’ll share the secrets of my heart. I’ll explain all that I have committed to do and all the reasons for my sad face. Leave me quickly.
Exit PORTIA
PORTIA exits.
Lucius, who’s that knocking?
Lucius, who’s that knocking?