Act IV, Scene 1

[Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.]

Then all these people will die, because their names are on our list.

Your brother must die too; do you agree, Lepidus?

I agree--

Mark his name, Antony.

On the condition that Publius will not live,
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.

He will not live; look, with a mark I condemn him.
But, Lepidus, go to Caesar's house; Bring the will here, and we will decide
How to cut down the amount that must be paid out.

What? Will you still be here when I return?

Either here or at the Capitol.

[Exit Lepidus.]

This is a small unexceptional man,
Suitable to be sent on errands; is it appropriate,
With the world divided in three parts, that he should be
One of the three to share it?

That's what you thought of him,
But you still accepted his vote as to who should be marked for death
In our dark sentencing and listing of the condemned.

Octavius, I have been alive longer than you,
And even though we give these honors to this man
To keep ourselves from carrying many burdens of slander,
He will only carry them the way a donkey carries gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, while we point the way;
And after bringing our treasure where we want it to be,
Then we take down his load, and send him off
(Like the unloaded donkey) to shake his ears
And graze in the field.

You can do what you want;
But he's an experienced and brave soldier.

So is my horse, Octavius, and because of that
I give him food.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To turn, to stop, to run straight ahead,
His physical motion controlled by my spirit;
And to some degree Lepidus is like that:
He must be taught, and trained, and told to go forward;
An empty-spirited fellow; one who feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, when they are out of date and put away by other men,
He then makes his own fashion. Do not talk about him
Except as a tool. And now, Octavius,
Listen to great news. Brutus and Cassius
Are gathering forces; we must immediately raise an army;
Therefore let's add to our allies,
Bring our good friends in, stretch our supplies,
And let's immediately have a meeting,
To discuss how secret matters may best be uncovered,
And open dangers most successfully dealt with.

Let us do so; for we are like a bear tied to a post,
Surrounded by many enemies like barking dogs,
And I am afraid that some people who smile have in their hearts
Millions of mischiefs.