Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

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Enter LUCIUS and LIGARIUS
LUCIUS and LIGARIUS enter. Ligarius wears a cloth wrapped around his head, indicating that he’s sick.

LUCIUS

320He is a sick man that would speak with you.

LUCIUS

Here’s a sick man who wants to speak with you.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

It’s Caius Ligarius, whom Metellus spoke of. Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius! How are you?

LIGARIUS

Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.

LIGARIUS

Please accept my feeble “good morning.”

BRUTUS

O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
325To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!

BRUTUS

Oh, what a time you’ve chosen to be sick, brave Caius! How I wish you felt better!

LIGARIUS

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

LIGARIUS

I’m not sick if you’ve prepared some honorable exploit for me.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

Indeed, I would have such an exploit for you, Ligarius, if you were healthy enough to hear it.

LIGARIUS

330 (removes his kerchief)
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
335My mortifièd spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible,
Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?

LIGARIUS

(takes off his head covering) By all the gods that Romans worship, I hereby throw off my sickness! Soul of Rome! Brave son of honorable ancestors! You’ve conjured up my deadened spirit like an exorcist. Now say the word, and I will tackle all kinds of impossible things, and succeed too. What is there to do?

BRUTUS

A piece of work that will make sick men whole.

BRUTUS

A deed that will make sick men healthy.

LIGARIUS

But are not some whole that we must make sick?

LIGARIUS

But aren’t there some healthy men whom we have to make sick?

BRUTUS

340That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee as we are going
To whom it must be done.

BRUTUS

That too. My dear Caius, I’ll explain the task at hand to you as we walk toward the man we must do it to.