Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Antony and Cleopatra > Act II, scene II

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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.

	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.


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

OCTAVIUS CAESAR:                   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.

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


OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Welcome to Rome.

MARK ANTONY:                   Thank you.


MARK ANTONY: Sit, sir.


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

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: 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.

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

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: 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.

MARK ANTONY: How intend you, practised?

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: 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.

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

MARK 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!

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

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

LEPIDUS: Soft, Caesar!

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

MARK 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.

MARK ANTONY: Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.

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

MARK ANTONY: You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Go to, then; your considerate stone.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: 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 CAESAR: Speak, Agrippa.

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

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

MARK 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.

MARK ANTONY:                   Will Caesar speak?

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

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

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

MARK 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 CAESAR: 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!

MARK 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.

MARK ANTONY: Where lies he?

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: About the mount Misenum.

MARK ANTONY: What is his strength by land?

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

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

MARK ANTONY: Let us, Lepidus,
	Not lack your company.

LEPIDUS: Noble Antony,
	Not sickness should detain me.


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

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.

	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.



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