by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

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