• 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
    5Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.
    —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!
    10—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
    15What 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,
    20And the wind brings it from the Capitol.

    LUCIUS

    Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.
    Enter the SOOTHSAYER
  • PORTIA and LUCIUS enter.

    PORTIA

    Boy, I beg you to run to the senate house. Don’t stay to answer me—get going. Why are you still standing there?

    LUCIUS

    To find out what you want me to do there, madam.

    PORTIA

    I want you there and back again before I can even tell you what you should do there. (to herself, so that no one can hear her) Oh, let my determination keep me from speaking what is in my heart! I have a man’s mind, but only a woman’s strength. How hard it is for women to keep secrets! (to LUCIUS) Are you still here?

    LUCIUS

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

    PORTIA

    Yes, return and tell me if your master looks well, because he was sick when he left. And pay attention to what Caesar does and which men are close to him. Listen, boy! What’s that noise?

    LUCIUS

    I don’t hear anything, madam.

    PORTIA

    I beg you, listen well. I heard a noise like a scuffle. The wind brings it from the Capitol.

    LUCIUS

    Truly, madam, I don’t hear anything.
    The SOOTHSAYER enters.