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Else I confess that I am guilty too:
If he loves CÆSAR, all that he can do
Is to be griev'd, and pine away for CÆSAR :
And it were strange he should; for he is given
Too much to Wildness, Company, and Pleasures.
There is no fear of him; let him not die ;
For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.
But hold, how late's the Night?
'Tis five, at least,
O how I long to welcome the Eighth Hour,
The wish'd Alarm to our great Purposes!
'Tis time to part, lest at our several Homes
We should be miss'd too long.
But what if CÆSAR Should forbear coming to the Capitol ? The unaccustom'd Terror of this Night May move the Augurs to forbid his going : And, tho' himself's above such idle Fears, Yet the most wise and brave muft yield to Custam,
DECIMUS BRUT U S.
Never doubt that: And tho' he were resolv'd,
I can o'er-sway him; for he loves to hear me.
Prudence, tho'much superior, often yields
To subtle Mirth, and sly Infinuation.
If CÆSAR stay at home because it thunders,
I can in jest reproach him with his Fear;
He'll laugh, yet fear he shall be thought afraid,
Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
But see, 'tis almost Day ; some Light appears.
Then let us be dispers’d, like foggy Clouds,
To meet again in Thunder.
Only remember that we all are Romans;
That Thought will keep up our exalted Spirits.
[Exeunt Conspirators, Manet BRUTUS.
SCENE III. Enter PORTỊA undress'd, as new risen from Bed.
BRUTUS! my Lord, where are you?
Whát, my PORTIA!
Why do you thus expose your tender Health?
Can I consider Health, without your Love?
You have unkindly stoln from me to-night,
And by your Absence robb’d me of my Rest:
How could my BRUTUS thus ungently leave
One so unwilling to be left by you?
Chide not too much, my PORTIA; and yet
There is some Pleasure to be chid so kindly.
Our Sex has tenderness equal to yours ;
Yet we, incumbred with vexatious Cares,
No sooner bend our softer Thoughts to Love,
But Business, like a Master too severe, 1.
Stands hov'ring over us amidst our Pleasure,
And drags us to our tiresome Task again.
But Life is short; O why should we mispend it?
A Wretch condemn'd to die within few hours,
Would think them ill employ'd in Complements :
The folemn Trifles of a busy World
Are oft but Complement, compar'd with Love,
Whose short and precious Hours you throw away.
Dear Portia, now you but disturb my Thoughts.
Can mine be easy then ? 'tis no small thing
Can vex your even Mind, and make you froward,
Froward with me, which you was ne'er till now:
This Night I folded you within these Arms,
And ask'd you if you Nept, if you were well ?
You said, you could not sleep, and yet turn’d from me.
Turning from thee is Restlessness indeed ;
Thou only Comfort to my troubled Mind !
May Joys, and full Content remain in yours.
Oh, preach Content to one upon a Rack,
And he will hear as soon.
My Soul is so perplex'd with Fears for you,
That all the Joys of Nature or of Fortune,
Could find no entrance here at such a time.
Retire, retire; talking so tenderly,
You, like officious and condoling Friends,
But more afflict that Mind you would compose.
I hope you think me neither false nor foolish;
If it were fit for you to know my Cares,
'Twere ill in me to let you ask me twice:
Let that suffice, and leave me; 'tis a word,
I never us'd to thee before.
You would not use it now, if still you lov'd.
Can you have Thoughts unfit to own to me?
You are unjust, and I undone, farewel.
What means my PÒRTIA?
Oh,'tis a Wonder, which your very Foes
Would not believe, tho? told it by your Friends :
And to me too, who had leaft cause to fear it!
So little I deserv'd to find him so.
Am I but only Partner of your Pleasures?
Fit for your trifling Hours, and to be kept
At hateful distance from your nobler Thoughts?
What is it I have innocently done,
To lose that Trust, which always follows Kindness.
And therefore yours is chang'd; I see it plainly:
Thunder is fall’n on my poor guiltless Head, [Weeps.
And all but I, perhaps, have heard the Blow.
In this you wrong me, PORTIA.
Would I did : 3