Antony and Cleopatra (1606)

Intro
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.b.
Date variant: 1606-7
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

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Act II, Scene 1

Messina. POMPEY's house.

POMPEY
If the great gods be just, they shall assist
The deeds of justest men.

MENECRATES
Know, worthy Pompey,
That what they do delay, they not deny.

POMPEY
Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
The thing we sue for.

MENECRATES
We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.

POMPEY
I shall do well:
The people love me, and the sea is mine;
My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
Says it will come to the full. Mark Antony
In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
No wars without doors: Caesar gets money where
He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,
Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves,
Nor either cares for him.

MENAS
Caesar and Lepidus
Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.

POMPEY
Where have you this? 'tis false.

MENAS
From Silvius, sir.

POMPEY
He dreams: I know they are in Rome together,
Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy waned lip!
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
Keep his brain fuming; Epicurean cooks
Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite;
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
Even till a Lethe'd dulness!
[Enter VARRIUS]
How now, Varrius!

VARRIUS
This is most certain that I shall deliver:
Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
Expected: since he went from Egypt 'tis
A space for further travel.

POMPEY
I could have given less matter
A better ear. Menas, I did not think
This amorous surfeiter would have donn'd his helm
For such a petty war: his soldiership
Is twice the other twain: but let us rear
The higher our opinion, that our stirring
Can from the lap of Egypt's widow pluck
The ne'er-lust-wearied Antony.

MENAS
I cannot hope
Caesar and Antony shall well greet together:
His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar;
His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think,
Not moved by Antony.

POMPEY
I know not, Menas,
How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
Were't not that we stand up against them all,
'Twere pregnant they should square between
themselves;
For they have entertained cause enough
To draw their swords: but how the fear of us
May cement their divisions and bind up
The petty difference, we yet not know.
Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands
Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
Come, Menas.

Act II, Scene 2

Rome. The house of LEPIDUS.

LEPIDUS
Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: if Caesar move him,
Let Antony look over Caesar's head
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.

LEPIDUS
'Tis not a time
For private stomaching.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Every time
Serves for the matter that is then born in't.

LEPIDUS
But small to greater matters must give way.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Not if the small come first.

LEPIDUS
Your speech is passion:
But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
And yonder, Caesar.

ANTONY
If we compose well here, to Parthia:
Hark, Ventidius.

OCTAVIUS
I do not know,
Mecaenas; ask Agrippa.

LEPIDUS
Noble friends,
That which combined us was most great, and let not
A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
May it be gently heard: when we debate
Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners,
The rather, for I earnestly beseech,
Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor curstness grow to the matter.

ANTONY
'Tis spoken well.
Were we before our armies, and to fight.
I should do thus.

OCTAVIUS
Welcome to Rome.

ANTONY
Thank you.

ANTONY
Sit, sir.

OCTAVIUS
Nay, then.

ANTONY
I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
Or being, concern you not.

OCTAVIUS
I must be laugh'd at,
If, or for nothing or a little, I
Should say myself offended, and with you
Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at, that I should
Once name you derogately, when to sound your name
It not concern'd me.

ANTONY
My being in Egypt, Caesar,
What was't to you?

OCTAVIUS
No more than my residing here at Rome
Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there
Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
Might be my question.

ANTONY
How intend you, practised?

OCTAVIUS
You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
By what did here befal me. Your wife and brother
Made wars upon me; and their contestation
Was theme for you, you were the word of war.

ANTONY
You do mistake your business; my brother never
Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it;
And have my learning from some true reports,
That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
Discredit my authority with yours;
And make the wars alike against my stomach,
Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
As matter whole you have not to make it with,
It must not be with this.

OCTAVIUS
You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me; but
You patch'd up your excuses.

ANTONY
Not so, not so;
I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
Very necessity of this thought, that I,
Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
I would you had her spirit in such another:
The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Would we had all such wives, that the men might go
to wars with the women!

ANTONY
So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar
Made out of her impatience, which not wanted
Shrewdness of policy too, I grieving grant
Did you too much disquiet: for that you must
But say, I could not help it.

OCTAVIUS
I wrote to you
When rioting in Alexandria; you
Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
Did gibe my missive out of audience.

ANTONY
Sir,
He fell upon me ere admitted: then
Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
Of what I was i' the morning: but next day
I told him of myself; which was as much
As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
Out of our question wipe him.

OCTAVIUS
You have broken
The article of your oath; which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.

LEPIDUS
Soft, Caesar!

ANTONY
No,
Lepidus, let him speak:
The honour is sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lack'd it. But, on, Caesar;
The article of my oath.

OCTAVIUS
To lend me arms and aid when I required them;
The which you both denied.

ANTONY
Neglected, rather;
And then when poison'd hours had bound me up
From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty
Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia,
To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
So far ask pardon as befits mine honour
To stoop in such a case.

LEPIDUS
'Tis noble spoken.

MECAENAS
If it might please you, to enforce no further
The griefs between ye: to forget them quite
Were to remember that the present need
Speaks to atone you.

LEPIDUS
Worthily spoken, Mecaenas.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Or, if you borrow one another's love for the
instant, you may, when you hear no more words of
Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to
wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.

ANTONY
Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.

ANTONY
You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Go to, then; your considerate stone.

OCTAVIUS
I do not much dislike the matter, but
The manner of his speech; for't cannot be
We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
So differing in their acts. Yet if I knew
What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge
O' the world I would pursue it.

AGRIPPA
Give me leave, Caesar,--

OCTAVIUS
Speak, Agrippa.

AGRIPPA
Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
Admired Octavia: great Mark Antony
Is now a widower.

OCTAVIUS
Say not so, Agrippa:
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
Were well deserved of rashness.

ANTONY
I am not married, Caesar: let me hear
Agrippa further speak.

AGRIPPA
To hold you in perpetual amity,
To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
With an unslipping knot, take Antony
Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims
No worse a husband than the best of men;
Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
All little jealousies, which now seem great,
And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
Would then be nothing: truths would be tales,
Where now half tales be truths: her love to both
Would, each to other and all loves to both,
Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke;
For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
By duty ruminated.

ANTONY
Will Caesar speak?

OCTAVIUS
Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
With what is spoke already.

ANTONY
What power is in Agrippa,
If I would say, 'Agrippa, be it so,'
To make this good?

OCTAVIUS
The power of Caesar, and
His power unto Octavia.

ANTONY
May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand:
Further this act of grace: and from this hour
The heart of brothers govern in our loves
And sway our great designs!

OCTAVIUS
There is my hand.
A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
Did ever love so dearly: let her live
To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
Fly off our loves again!

LEPIDUS
Happily, amen!

ANTONY
I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
Of late upon me: I must thank him only,
Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
At heel of that, defy him.

LEPIDUS
Time calls upon's:
Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.

ANTONY
Where lies he?

OCTAVIUS
About the mount Misenum.

ANTONY
What is his strength by land?

OCTAVIUS
Great and increasing: but by sea
He is an absolute master.

ANTONY
So is the fame.
Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
The business we have talk'd of.

OCTAVIUS
With most gladness:
And do invite you to my sister's view,
Whither straight I'll lead you.

ANTONY
Let us, Lepidus,
Not lack your company.

LEPIDUS
Noble Antony,
Not sickness should detain me.
[Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK ANTONY,]
and LEPIDUS]

MECAENAS
Welcome from Egypt, sir.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Mecaenas! My
honourable friend, Agrippa!

AGRIPPA
Good Enobarbus!

MECAENAS
We have cause to be glad that matters are so well
digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and
made the night light with drinking.

MECAENAS
Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and
but twelve persons there; is this true?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more
monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.

MECAENAS
She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to
her.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up
his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.

AGRIPPA
There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised
well for her.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion--cloth-of-gold of tissue--
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.

AGRIPPA
O, rare for Antony!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

AGRIPPA
Rare Egyptian!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated: our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

AGRIPPA
Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed:
He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

MECAENAS
Now Antony must leave her utterly.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Never; he will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

MECAENAS
If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery to him.

AGRIPPA
Let us go.
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
Whilst you abide here.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Humbly, sir, I thank you.

Act II, Scene 3

The same. OCTAVIUS CAESAR's house.

ANTONY
The world and my great office will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.

OCTAVIA
All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.

ANTONY
Good night, sir. My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
I have not kept my square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.
Good night, sir.

OCTAVIUS
Good night.

ANTONY
Now, sirrah; you do wish yourself in Egypt?

Soothsayer
Would I had never come from thence, nor you Thither!

ANTONY
If you can, your reason?

Soothsayer
I see it in
My motion, have it not in my tongue: but yet
Hie you to Egypt again.

ANTONY
Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?

Soothsayer
Caesar's.
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
Thy demon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous high, unmatchable,
Where Caesar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
Becomes a fear, as being o'erpower'd: therefore
Make space enough between you.

ANTONY
Speak this no more.

Soothsayer
To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 'tis noble.

ANTONY
Get thee gone:
Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:
[Exit Soothsayer]
He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap,
He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him;
And in our sports my better cunning faints
Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds;
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt:
And though I make this marriage for my peace,
I' the east my pleasure lies.
[Enter VENTIDIUS]
O, come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia: your commission's ready;
Follow me, and receive't.

Act II, Scene 4

The same. A street.

LEPIDUS
Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten
Your generals after.

AGRIPPA
Sir, Mark Antony
Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.

LEPIDUS
Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.

MECAENAS
We shall,
As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount
Before you, Lepidus.

LEPIDUS
Your way is shorter;
My purposes do draw me much about:
You'll win two days upon me.

MECAENAS
[with Agrippa] Sir, good success!

LEPIDUS
Farewell.

Act II, Scene 5

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.

CLEOPATRA
Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.

Attendants
The music, ho!

CLEOPATRA
Let it alone; let's to billiards: come, Charmian.

Charmian
My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.

CLEOPATRA
As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me, sir?

MARDIAN
As well as I can, madam.

CLEOPATRA
And when good will is show'd, though't come
too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:
Give me mine angle; we'll to the river: there,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say 'Ah, ha! you're caught.'

Charmian
'Twas merry when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.

CLEOPATRA
That time,--O times!--
I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience; and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan.
[Enter a Messenger]
O, from Italy
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.

Messenger
Madam, madam,--

CLEOPATRA
Antonius dead!--If thou say so, villain,
Thou kill'st thy mistress: but well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss; a hand that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

Messenger
First, madam, he is well.

CLEOPATRA
Why, there's more gold.
But, sirrah, mark, we use
To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.

Messenger
Good madam, hear me.

CLEOPATRA
Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
Be free and healthful,--so tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a Fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.

Messenger
Will't please you hear me?

CLEOPATRA
I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
Yet if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.

Messenger
Madam, he's well.

CLEOPATRA
Well said.

Messenger
And friends with Caesar.

CLEOPATRA
Thou'rt an honest man.

Messenger
Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.

CLEOPATRA
Make thee a fortune from me.

Messenger
But yet, madam,--

CLEOPATRA
I do not like 'But yet,' it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon 'But yet'!
'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar:
In state of health thou say'st; and thou say'st free.

Messenger
Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.

CLEOPATRA
For what good turn?

Messenger
For the best turn i' the bed.

CLEOPATRA
I am pale, Charmian.

Messenger
Madam, he's married to Octavia.

CLEOPATRA
The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

Messenger
Good madam, patience.

CLEOPATRA
What say you? Hence,
[Strikes him again]
Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[She hales him up and down]
Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in lingering pickle.

Messenger
Gracious madam,
I that do bring the news made not the match.

CLEOPATRA
Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.

Messenger
He's married, madam.

CLEOPATRA
Rogue, thou hast lived too long.

Messenger
Nay, then I'll run.
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.

Charmian
Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
The man is innocent.

CLEOPATRA
Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.
Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again:
Though I am mad, I will not bite him: call.

Charmian
He is afeard to come.

CLEOPATRA
I will not hurt him.
[Exit CHARMIAN]
These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause.
[Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger]
Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: give to a gracious message.
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves when they be felt.

Messenger
I have done my duty.

CLEOPATRA
Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If thou again say 'Yes.'

Messenger
He's married, madam.

CLEOPATRA
The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still?

Messenger
Should I lie, madam?

CLEOPATRA
O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerged and made
A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?

Messenger
I crave your highness' pardon.

CLEOPATRA
He is married?

Messenger
Take no offence that I would not offend you:
To punish me for what you make me do.
Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.

CLEOPATRA
O, that his fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not what thou'rt sure of! Get thee hence:
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em!

Charmian
Good your highness, patience.

CLEOPATRA
In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.

Charmian
Many times, madam.

CLEOPATRA
I am paid for't now.
Lead me from hence:
I faint: O Iras, Charmian! 'tis no matter.
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination, let him not leave out
The colour of her hair: bring me word quickly.
[Exit ALEXAS]
Let him for ever go:--let him not--Charmian,
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
The other way's a Mars. Bid you Alexas
[To MARDIAN]
Bring me word how tall she is. Pity me, Charmian,
But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.

Act II, Scene 6

Near Misenum.

POMPEY
Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
And we shall talk before we fight.

OCTAVIUS
Most meet
That first we come to words; and therefore have we
Our written purposes before us sent;
Which, if thou hast consider'd, let us know
If 'twill tie up thy discontented sword,
And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
That else must perish here.

POMPEY
To you all three,
The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods, I do not know
Wherefore my father should revengers want,
Having a son and friends; since Julius Caesar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was't
That moved pale Cassius to conspire; and what
Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the arm'd rest, courtiers and beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol; but that they would
Have one man but a man? And that is it
Hath made me rig my navy; at whose burthen
The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.

OCTAVIUS
Take your time.

ANTONY
Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails;
We'll speak with thee at sea: at land, thou know'st
How much we do o'er-count thee.

POMPEY
At land, indeed,
Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house:
But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in't as thou mayst.

LEPIDUS
Be pleased to tell us--
For this is from the present--how you take
The offers we have sent you.

OCTAVIUS
There's the point.

ANTONY
Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
What it is worth embraced.

OCTAVIUS
And what may follow,
To try a larger fortune.

POMPEY
You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then, to send
Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon
To part with unhack'd edges, and bear back
Our targes undinted.

OCTAVIUS
[with Antony and Lepidus] That's our offer.

POMPEY
Know, then,
I came before you here a man prepared
To take this offer: but Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience: though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know,
When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily and did find
Her welcome friendly.

ANTONY
I have heard it, Pompey;
And am well studied for a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.

POMPEY
Let me have your hand:
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

ANTONY
The beds i' the east are soft; and thanks to you,
That call'd me timelier than my purpose hither;
For I have gain'd by 't.

OCTAVIUS
Since I saw you last,
There is a change upon you.

POMPEY
Well, I know not
What counts harsh fortune casts upon my face;
But in my bosom shall she never come,
To make my heart her vassal.

LEPIDUS
Well met here.

POMPEY
I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed:
I crave our composition may be written,
And seal'd between us.

OCTAVIUS
That's the next to do.

POMPEY
We'll feast each other ere we part; and let's
Draw lots who shall begin.

ANTONY
That will I, Pompey.

POMPEY
No, Antony, take the lot: but, first
Or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
Grew fat with feasting there.

ANTONY
You have heard much.

POMPEY
I have fair meanings, sir.

ANTONY
And fair words to them.

POMPEY
Then so much have I heard:
And I have heard, Apollodorus carried--

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
No more of that: he did so.

POMPEY
What, I pray you?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.

POMPEY
I know thee now: how farest thou, soldier?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Well;
And well am like to do; for, I perceive,
Four feasts are toward.

POMPEY
Let me shake thy hand;
I never hated thee: I have seen thee fight,
When I have envied thy behavior.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Sir,
I never loved you much; but I ha' praised ye,
When you have well deserved ten times as much
As I have said you did.

POMPEY
Enjoy thy plainness,
It nothing ill becomes thee.
Aboard my galley I invite you all:
Will you lead, lords?

OCTAVIUS
[with Antony and Lepidus]

POMPEY
Come.

MENAS
[Aside] Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have
made this treaty.--You and I have known, sir.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
At sea, I think.

MENAS
We have, sir.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
You have done well by water.

MENAS
And you by land.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I will praise any man that will praise me; though it
cannot be denied what I have done by land.

MENAS
Nor what I have done by water.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Yes, something you can deny for your own
safety: you have been a great thief by sea.

MENAS
And you by land.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
There I deny my land service. But give me your
hand, Menas: if our eyes had authority, here they
might take two thieves kissing.

MENAS
All men's faces are true, whatsome'er their hands are.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
But there is never a fair woman has a true face.

MENAS
No slander; they steal hearts.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
We came hither to fight with you.

MENAS
For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking.
Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
If he do, sure, he cannot weep't back again.

MENAS
You've said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony
here: pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Caesar's sister is called Octavia.

MENAS
True, sir; she was the wife of Caius Marcellus.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.

MENAS
Pray ye, sir?

MENAS
Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would
not prophesy so.

MENAS
I think the policy of that purpose made more in the
marriage than the love of the parties.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I think so too. But you shall find, the band that
seems to tie their friendship together will be the
very strangler of their amity: Octavia is of a
holy, cold, and still conversation.

MENAS
Who would not have his wife so?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Not he that himself is not so; which is Mark Antony.
He will to his Egyptian dish again: then shall the
sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in Caesar; and, as
I said before, that which is the strength of their
amity shall prove the immediate author of their
variance. Antony will use his affection where it is:
he married but his occasion here.

MENAS
And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard?
I have a health for you.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
I shall take it, sir: we have used our throats in Egypt.

MENAS
Come, let's away.

Act II, Scene 7

On board POMPEY's galley, off Misenum.

First Servant
Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are
ill-rooted already: the least wind i' the world
will blow them down.

Second Servant
Lepidus is high-coloured.

First Servant
They have made him drink alms-drink.

Second Servant
As they pinch one another by the disposition, he
cries out 'No more;' reconciles them to his
entreaty, and himself to the drink.

First Servant
But it raises the greater war between him and
his discretion.

Second Servant
Why, this is to have a name in great men's
fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do
me no service as a partisan I could not heave.

First Servant
To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen
to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be,
which pitifully disaster the cheeks.
[A sennet sounded. Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK]
ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POMPEY, AGRIPPA, MECAENAS,
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, MENAS, with other captains]

ANTONY
[To OCTAVIUS CAESAR] Thus do they, sir: they take
the flow o' the Nile
By certain scales i' the pyramid; they know,
By the height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth
Or foison follow: the higher Nilus swells,
The more it promises: as it ebbs, the seedsman
Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
And shortly comes to harvest.

LEPIDUS
You've strange serpents there.

ANTONY
Ay, Lepidus.

LEPIDUS
Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the
operation of your sun: so is your crocodile.

ANTONY
They are so.

POMPEY
Sit,--and some wine! A health to Lepidus!

LEPIDUS
I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be in till then.

LEPIDUS
Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies'
pyramises are very goodly things; without
contradiction, I have heard that.

MENAS
[Aside to POMPEY] Pompey, a word.

POMPEY
[Aside to MENAS] Say in mine ear:
what is't?

MENAS
[Aside to POMPEY] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech
thee, captain,
And hear me speak a word.

POMPEY
[Aside to MENAS] Forbear me till anon.
This wine for Lepidus!

LEPIDUS
What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

ANTONY
It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad
as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is,
and moves with its own organs: it lives by that
which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of
it, it transmigrates.

LEPIDUS
What colour is it of?

ANTONY
Of it own colour too.

LEPIDUS
'Tis a strange serpent.

ANTONY
'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

OCTAVIUS
Will this description satisfy him?

ANTONY
With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a
very epicure.

POMPEY
[Aside to MENAS] Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of
that? away!
Do as I bid you. Where's this cup I call'd for?

MENAS
[Aside to POMPEY] If for the sake of merit thou
wilt hear me,
Rise from thy stool.

POMPEY
[Aside to MENAS] I think thou'rt mad.
The matter?

MENAS
I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.

POMPEY
Thou hast served me with much faith. What's else to say?
Be jolly, lords.

ANTONY
These quick-sands, Lepidus,
Keep off them, for you sink.

MENAS
Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

POMPEY
What say'st thou?

MENAS
Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice.

POMPEY
How should that be?

MENAS
But entertain it,
And, though thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.

POMPEY
Hast thou drunk well?

MENAS
Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
Thou art, if thou darest be, the earthly Jove:
Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.

POMPEY
Show me which way.

MENAS
These three world-sharers, these competitors,
Are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable;
And, when we are put off, fall to their throats:
All there is thine.

POMPEY
Ah, this thou shouldst have done,
And not have spoke on't! In me 'tis villany;
In thee't had been good service. Thou must know,
'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour;
Mine honour, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue
Hath so betray'd thine act: being done unknown,
I should have found it afterwards well done;
But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.

MENAS
[Aside] For this,
I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes more.
Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd,
Shall never find it more.

POMPEY
This health to Lepidus!

ANTONY
Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Here's to thee, Menas!

MENAS
Enobarbus, welcome!

POMPEY
Fill till the cup be hid.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
There's a strong fellow, Menas.

MENAS
Why?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
A' bears the third part of the world, man; see'st
not?

MENAS
The third part, then, is drunk: would it were all,
That it might go on wheels!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Drink thou; increase the reels.

MENAS
Come.

POMPEY
This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

ANTONY
It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho?
Here is to Caesar!

OCTAVIUS
I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,
And it grows fouler.

ANTONY
Be a child o' the time.

OCTAVIUS
Possess it, I'll make answer:
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Ha, my brave emperor!
[To MARK ANTONY]
Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals,
And celebrate our drink?

POMPEY
Let's ha't, good soldier.

ANTONY
Come, let's all take hands,
Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
All take hands.
Make battery to our ears with the loud music:
The while I'll place you: then the boy shall sing;
The holding every man shall bear as loud
As his strong sides can volley.
[Music plays. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS places them]
hand in hand]
THE SONG.
Come, thou monarch of the vine,
Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
In thy fats our cares be drown'd,
With thy grapes our hairs be crown'd:
Cup us, till the world go round,
Cup us, till the world go round!

OCTAVIUS
What would you more? Pompey, good night. Good brother,
Let me request you off: our graver business
Frowns at this levity. Gentle lords, let's part;
You see we have burnt our cheeks: strong Enobarb
Is weaker than the wine; and mine own tongue
Splits what it speaks: the wild disguise hath almost
Antick'd us all. What needs more words? Good night.
Good Antony, your hand.

POMPEY
I'll try you on the shore.

ANTONY
And shall, sir; give's your hand.

POMPEY
O Antony,
You have my father's house,--But, what? we are friends.
Come, down into the boat.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Take heed you fall not.
[Exeunt all but DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and MENAS]
Menas, I'll not on shore.

MENAS
No, to my cabin.
These drums! these trumpets, flutes! what!
Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell
To these great fellows: sound and be hang'd, sound out!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Ho! says a' There's my cap.

MENAS
Ho! Noble captain, come.

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© Copyright 2017-2023 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.