Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

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OCTAVIUS

    So you thought him.
And took his voice who should be pricked to die
In our black sentence and proscription.

OCTAVIUS

You thought it made sense, and you listened to him about who should be marked to die in these harsh death sentences.

ANTONY

Octavius, I have seen more days than you.
20And though we lay these honors on this man
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous 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.
25And 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.

ANTONY

Octavius, I’m older than you are. And although we’re giving these honors to this man so that he shares some of the blame for what we’re doing, he’ll carry these honors like a jackass carries gold—groaning and sweating under the load, either led or pushed, as we direct him. Once he’s carried our treasure where we want it, we’ll free him of the load and turn him loose like a jackass, to shake his ears and graze in the public pastures.

OCTAVIUS

    You may do your will,
But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.

OCTAVIUS

You can do what you want, but he’s an experienced and honorable soldier.

ANTONY

30So 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,
35And, 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,
40Begin 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,
45Our best friends made, our means stretched.

ANTONY

So is my horse, Octavius, and for that reason I give him all the hay he wants. But my horse is a creature that I teach to fight—to turn, to stop, to run in a straight line. I govern the motion of his body. And in some ways, Lepidus is just like that. He has to be taught and trained and told to go forward. He’s an empty man, who pays attention to fashions and tastes that other men took up and got tired of long ago. Don’t think about Lepidus except as a means to an end. And now, Octavius, listen to more important things. Brutus and Cassius are raising armies. We have to raise our own immediately. So, we should combine forces and organize our allies, pull together our friends, and stretch our resources as far as they’ll go.