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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act II. Scene IV.

Julius Cæsar

The Same.Another Part of the same Street, before the House of BRUTUS.


Por.I prithee, boy, run to the senate-house;

Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.

Why dost thou stay?

Luc.To know my errand, madam.

Por.I would have had thee there, and here again,

Ere 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!

Art thou here yet?

Luc.Madam, what shall I do?

Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?

And so return to you, and nothing else?

Por.Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,

For he went sickly forth; and take good note

What Cæsar doth, what suitors press to him.

Hark, boy! what noise is that?

Luc.I hear none, madam.

Por.Prithee, listen well:

I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,

And the wind brings it from the Capitol.

Luc.Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

Enter the Soothsayer.

Por.Come hither, fellow: which way hast thou been?

Sooth.At mine own house, good lady.

Por.What is ’t o’clock?

Sooth.About the ninth hour, lady.

Por.Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol?

Sooth.Madam, not yet: I go to take my stand,

To see him pass on to the Capitol.

Por.Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not?

Sooth.That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar

To be so good to Cæsar as to hear me,

I shall beseech him to befriend himself.

Por.Why, know’st thou any harm’s intended towards him?

Sooth.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 Cæsar at the heels,

Of senators, of prætors, common suitors,

Will crowd a feeble man almost to death:

I’ll get me to a place more void, and there

Speak to great Cæsar as he comes along.[Exit.

Por.I must go in. Ay me! how weak a thing

The heart of woman is. O Brutus!

The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise.

Sure, the boy heard me: Brutus hath a suit

That Cæsar 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, severally.