[Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, seated at a table.]
These many, then, shall die; their names are pricked.
Your brother too must die. Consent you, Lepidus?
I do consent —
Prick him down, Antony.
Upon condition Publius shall not live,
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.
He shall not live. Look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house.
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.
What, shall I find you here?
Or here, or at the Capitol.
This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
The threefold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?
So you thought him,
And took his voice who should be pricked to die
In our black sentence and proscription.
Octavius, I have seen more days than you;
And though we lay these honors on this man
To ease ourselves of divers sland’rous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way.
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load, and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears
And graze in commons.
You may do your will;
But he's a tried and valiant soldier.
So is my horse, Octavius, and for that
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion governed by my spirit,
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so.
He must be taught, and trained, and bid go forth:
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him
But as a property. And now, Octavius,
Listen great things. Brutus and Cassius
Are levying powers. We must straight make head.
Therefore let our alliance be combined,
Our best friends made, our means stretched;
And let us presently go sit in council
How covert matters may be best disclosed
And open perils surest answerèd.
Let us do so; for we are at the stake
And bayed about with many enemies;
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.