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Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Translation Act 2, Scene 4

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PORTIA and LUCIUS enter.

PORTIA

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

PORTIA

Boy, I beg you to run to the Senate House. Don’t stand there to respond—get going. Why are you still here?

LUCIUS

To know my errand, madam.

LUCIUS

To find out what I'm supposed to do, madam.

PORTIA

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?

PORTIA

I want you there and back again before I can even tell you what you should do there. 

[To herself] Oh, willpower, support me so that I do not say what I know 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 so return to you, and nothing else?

LUCIUS

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

PORTIA

Yes, boy: bring me news of whether your master looks well, because he looked sick when he left. And pay attention to what Caesar does and who is standing close to him. Listen, boy! What’s that noise?

LUCIUS

I hear none, madam.

LUCIUS

I hear nothing, madam.

PORTIA

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

PORTIA

I beg you, listen well. I heard a clamor like some kind of brawl. It seemed to come on the wind from the Capitol.

LUCIUS

Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

LUCIUS

Truly, madam, I don’t hear anything.

The SOOTHSAYER enters.

PORTIA

Come hither, fellow. Which way hast thou been?

PORTIA

Come here, man. Where are you coming from?

SOOTHSAYER

At mine own house, good lady.

SOOTHSAYER

From my own house, good lady.

PORTIA

What is ’t o'clock?

PORTIA

What time is it?

SOOTHSAYER

About the ninth hour, lady.

SOOTHSAYER

Around nine o'clock, lady.

PORTIA

Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol?

PORTIA

Has Caesar gone to the Capitol yet?

SOOTHSAYER

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

SOOTHSAYER

Not yet, madam. I’m going to find a place to stand so I can see him pass on his way to the Capitol.

PORTIA

Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?

PORTIA

You have some request for Caesar, don’t you?

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.

SOOTHSAYER

I do, lady. If it pleases Caesar to do himself the favor of listening to me, I’ll beg him to do what’s good for him.

PORTIA

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

PORTIA

Why, do you know of any harm intended toward 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.

SOOTHSAYER

Nothing that I know for sure, but there's a lot that I fear may happen. Good morning to you. The street is narrow here. The mob that follows after Caesar—senators, judges, commoners asking for favors—will squeeze a feeble man almost to death. I’ll find a place that is less crowded and speak to great Caesar there as he walks past.

He exits.

PORTIA

I must go in. [aside] 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. [to LUCIUS] Brutus hath a suit That Caesar will not grant.—Oh, 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.

PORTIA

I must go inside. 

[To herself] Oh my, a woman’s heart is such a weak thing! Oh Brutus, may the gods help you in your efforts! Surely, the boy heard me. 

[To LUCIUS] Brutus has a claim that Caesar won’t grant. Oh, I'm getting faint. Run, Lucius, and give my greetings to my lord. Say that I’m happy. Then return to me and tell me what he says to you.

They exit in opposite directions.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.