Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter PORTIA and LUCIUS
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 stay to answer me—get going. Why are you still standing there?

LUCIUS

    To know my errand, madam.

LUCIUS

To find out what you want me to do there, 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?

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 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
15What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! What noise is that?

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 hear none, madam.

LUCIUS

I don’t hear anything, madam.

PORTIA

Prithee, listen well.
I heard a bustling rumor like a fray,
20And the wind brings it from the Capitol.

PORTIA

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

LUCIUS

Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

LUCIUS

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