A house in Rome.
(Antony; Octavius; Lepidus)
Antony, Octavius and Lepidus, now the rulers of Rome, make up execution lists, trading family members who shall die. After Lepidus leaves, Antony admits that he scorns the man, but that he is useful enough. Octavius and Antony agree to join forces and consider how to deal with the army that Brutus and Cassius are raising. (54 lines)
Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.
These many then shall die, their names are prick’d.
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 prick’d 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 govern’d by my spirit;
And in some taste is Lepidus but so:
He must be taught, and train’d, and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and stal’d 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 combin’d,
Our best friends made, our means stretch’d,
And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclos’d,
And open perils surest answered.
Let us do so; for we are at the stake,
And bay’d about with many enemies,
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.