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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workJulius Caesar
Act 4, scene 1
Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius meet to condemn to death those who may oppose them. Sending Lepidus for Caesar’s will, Antony expresses contempt for Lepidus and plans with Octavius to raise an army to fight the troops of Brutus and Cassius.Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.
1805 These many, then, shall die; their names are
1807 Your brother too must die. Consent you, Lepidus?
1808 I do consent.
OCTAVIUS 1809 5 Prick him down, Antony.
1810 Upon condition Publius shall not live,
1811 Who is your sister’s son, Mark Antony.
1812 He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
1813 But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar’s house;
1814 10 Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
1815 How to cut off some charge in legacies.
LEPIDUS 1816 What, shall I find you here?
OCTAVIUS 1817 Or here, or at the Capitol.Lepidus exits.
1818 This is a slight, unmeritable man,
1819 15 Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
1820 The threefold world divided, he should stand
1821 One of the three to share it?
p. 143OCTAVIUS 1822 So you thought him
1823 And took his voice who should be pricked to die
1824 20 In our black sentence and proscription.
1825 Octavius, I have seen more days than you,
1826 And, though we lay these honors on this man
1827 To ease ourselves of diverse sland’rous loads,
1828 He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
1829 25 To groan and sweat under the business,
1830 Either led or driven, as we point the way;
1831 And having brought our treasure where we will,
1832 Then take we down his load and turn him off
1833 (Like to the empty ass) to shake his ears
1834 30 And graze in commons.
OCTAVIUS 1835 You may do your will,
1836 But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.
1837 So is my horse, Octavius, and for that
1838 I do appoint him store of provender.
1839 35 It is a creature that I teach to fight,
1840 To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
1841 His corporal motion governed by my spirit;
1842 And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so.
1843 He must be taught and trained and bid go forth—
1844 40 A barren-spirited fellow, one that feeds
1845 On objects, arts, and imitations
1846 Which, out of use and staled by other men,
1847 Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him
1848 But as a property. And now, Octavius,
1849 45 Listen great things. Brutus and Cassius
1850 Are levying powers. We must straight make head.
1851 Therefore let our alliance be combined,
1852 Our best friends made, our means stretched;
1853 And let us presently go sit in council
1854 50 How covert matters may be best disclosed
1855 And open perils surest answerèd.
1856 Let us do so, for we are at the stake
1857 And bayed about with many enemies,
1858 And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
1859 55 Millions of mischiefs.