by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation by Carlo Rusconi (1819 - 1889)

I should not need, if you were gentle...
Language: English 
Portia
 I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
 Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
 Is 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? Dwell I but in the suburbs
 Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
 Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.

Brutus
 You are my true and honorable wife,
 As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
 That visit my sad heart. 
	
Portia:
 If 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.
 Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
 Being so father'd 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
 Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience.
 And not my husband's secrets? 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-02-11
Line count: 27
Word count: 191

Non avrei avuto uopo d’inginocchiarmi,...
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the English 
Porz. 
Non avrei avuto uopo d’inginocchiarmi, se foste ancora per me l’affettuoso Bruto. 
Ma rispondetemi, signore... rispondetemi. 
Nel nostro contratto di nozze non fu egli detto 
ch’io avrei parte nei vostri segreti? Non fa’ io unita 
vosco che per dividere il vostro letto, il vostro pasto, 
e ricambiar talvolta una parola con voi? 
Non occupo io un posto nel vostro cuore? 
Ah! se ciò è, Porzia è divenuta 
la meretrice di Bruto, non la sua sposa.

Br. 
Tu sei mia sposa, sei la sposa di cui vo’ altero, 
e che m’è cara come le goccie di sangue che alimentano 
la vita nell’esulcerato mio cuore.

Porz. 
Se ciò fosse, noto mi sarebbe già questo fatal segreto. 
So d’esser donna; ma 
son la donna che Bruto prese in isposa. 
So d’esser donna; ma non degenere dal nome che porto, 
ma non tralignata figlia del gran Catone.
Credete voi che più forte io non sia del mio sesso, 
nata di padre tale, donna di tanto sposo? 
Confidatemi il segreto, e noi rivelerò; 
che già feci prova della mia costanza immergendomi volontaria 
questo pugnale nel fianco. 
Se tal dolore seppi portar senza gemiti, 
non saprò conservare i segreti del mio consorte?

About the headline (FAQ)

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Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-05-02
Line count: 27
Word count: 197