Act 2, Scene 4

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[Enter Portia and Lucius.]

Portia

I prithee, boy, run to the Senate House.
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.
Why dost thou stay?

Lucius

                                  To know my errand, madam.

Portia

I would have had thee there and here again
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.
[Aside] O constancy, be strong upon my side;
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!
[To Lucius] Art thou here yet?

Lucius

                               Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?

Portia

Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth; and take good note
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! What noise is that?

Lucius

I hear none, madam.

Portia

                                    Prithee listen well.
I heard a bustling rumor like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.

Lucius

Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.
[Enter the Soothsaye.r]

Portia

Come hither, fellow.  Which way hast thou been?

Soothsayer

At mine own house, good lady.

Portia

What is't o'clock?

Soothsayer

                             About the ninth hour, lady.

Portia

Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol?

Soothsayer

Madam, not yet. I go to take my stand,
To see him pass on to the Capitol.

Portia

Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?

Soothsayer

That I have, lady, if it will please Caesar
To be so good to Caesar as to hear me,
I shall beseech him to befriend himself.

Portia

Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards him?

Soothsayer

None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow;
The throng that follows Caesar at the heels —
Of senators, of praetors, common suitors —
Will crowd a feeble man almost to death.
I'll get me to a place more void, and there
Speak to great Caesar as he comes along.
[Exit Soothsayer.]

Portia

I must go in. Ay me, how weak a thing
The heart of woman is! O Brutus,
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise.
[Aside] Sure the boy heard me. [To Lucius] Brutus hath a suit
That Caesar will not grant. O, I grow faint!
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord;
Say I am merry.  Come to me again,
And bring me word what he doth say to thee.
[Exeunt separately.]