Plain English Julius Caesar Act IV

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Act IV, Scene 1

[Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.]

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

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

Lepidus. I agree--

Octavius. Mark his name, Antony.

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

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.

Lepidus. What? Will you still be here when I return?

Octavius. Either here or at the Capitol.

[Exit Lepidus.]

Antony. 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?

Octavius. 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.

Antony. 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.

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

Antony. 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and told to go forward; An emptyspirited fellow; one who feeds on objects, arts, and imitations, which, when they are out of date and put away by other men, he then makes his own fashion.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 mustimmediately 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.

Octavius. 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.


Act IV, Scene 2: Camp near Sardis, in front of Brutus' tent. A drum plays.

Enter Brutus, Lucilius, Lucius, and the army. Titinius and Pindarus meet them.

Brutus. Stand ho!

Lucilius. Give the word ho! and stand.

Brutus. What is it now, Lucilius? Is Cassius nearby?

Lucilius. He is here, and Pindarus has come to bring you a greeting from his master.

Brutus. Pindarus, I don’t know if it is because Cassius has changed, or because of bad officers, but he has recently given me good reason to wish things that are done to be undone; but if he is here I will get a satisfactory explanation.

Pindarus. He is. They intend to stay tonight in Sardis. Most of them, all of the cavalry, have come with

Cassius.[Enter Cassius and his soldiers.]

Brutus. Look, he has arrived. Walk slowly forward to meet him.

Cassius. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.

Brutus. How so?

Cassius. Brutus, you know what I am talking about, so don’t play like --Brutus. Cassius, calm down, speak about your complaints quietly; We do not need to fight in front of our soldiers. Come into my tent and I will listen to what you have to say.

Cassius. Pindarus, ask our commanders to lead their soldiers back a little from this spot.

Brutus. Lucius, you do the same, and let no one come to our tent until we have had our meeting. Let Lucilius and Titinius guard our door.

[Exit. Brutus and Cassius withdraw into Brutus' tent, while Lucilius and Titinius mount guard outside.]

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Act IV of Plain English Julius Caesar