Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Julius Caesar (Modern)
  • Editor: John D. Cox
  • General textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-366-3

    Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Peer Reviewed

    Julius Caesar (Modern)

    Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.
    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.
    Exit Lepidus
    This is a slight, unmeritable man,
    Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
    The three-fold 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
    1875To 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,
    1880Then 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.
    1890And 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,
    1895Begin 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,
    1900Our 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
    1905And bayed about with many enemies,
    And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
    Millions of mischiefs.