William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra in the complete original text
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Antony and Cleopatra

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Act II. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—Near Misenum.

Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS, at
one side, with drum and trumpet; at the other,

Pom. Your hostages I have, so have you
And we shall talk before we fight
Cæs. Most meet
That first we come to words, and therefore have
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.
Pom. 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 Cæsar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What
That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire? and what
Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous free-
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 burden
The anger'd ocean foams, with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.
Cæs. Take your time.
Ant. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with
thy sails;
We'll speak with thee at sea: at land, thou
How much we do o'er-count thee.
Pom. 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.
Lep. Be pleas'd to tell us—
For this is from the present—how you take
The offers we have sent you.
Cæs. There's the point.
Ant. Which do not be entreated to, but
What it is worth embraced.
Cæs. And what may follow,
To try a larger fortune.
Pom. 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 targets undinted.
Cæs., Ant. & Lep.} That's our offer.
Pom. Know, then,
I came before you here a man prepar'd
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 Cæsar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily and did find
Her welcome friendly.
Ant. I have heard it, Pompey;
And am well studied for a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.
Pom. Let me have your hand:
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
Ant. 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.
Cæs. Since I saw you last,
There is a change upon you.
Pom. 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.
Lep. We'll met here.
Pom. I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are
I crave our composition may be written
And seal'd between us.
Cæs. That's the next to do.
Pom. We'll feast each other ere we part; and
Draw lots who shall begin.
Ant. That will I, Pompey.
Pom. No, Antony, take the lot:
But, first or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius
Grew fat with feasting there.
Ant. You have heard much.
Pom. I have fair meanings, sir.
Ant. And fair words to them.
Pom. Then, so much have I heard;
And I have heard Apollodorus carried—
Eno. No more of that: he did so.
Pom. What, I pray you?
Eno. A certain queen to Cæsar in a mattress.
Pom. I know thee now; how far'st thou, sol-
Eno. Well;
And well am like to do; for I perceive
Four feasts are toward.
Pom. Let me shake thy hand;
I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight,
When I have envied thy behaviour.
Eno. Sir,
I ne'er loved you much, but I ha' prais'd ye
When you have well deserv'd ten times as much
As I have said you did.
Pom. Enjoy thy plainness,
It nothing ill becomes thee.
Aboard my galley I invite you all: So
Will you lead, lords?
Cæs., Ant. & Lep.}Show us the way, sir.
Pom. Come.
[Exeunt all except MENAS and ENOBARBUS.
Men. Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have
made this treaty. You and I have known, sir.
Eno. At sea, I think.
Men. We have, sir.
Eno. You have done well by water,
Men. And you by land.
Eno. I will praise any man that will praise
me; though it cannot be denied what I have
done by land.
Men. Nor what I have done by water.
Eno. Yes, something you can deny for your
own safety; you have been a great thief by sea.
Men. And you by land.
Eno. There I deny my land service. But
give me your hand, Menas; if our eyes had
authority, here they might take two thieves
Men. All men's faces are true, whatsoe'er
their hands are.
Eno, But there is never a fair woman has a
true face.
Men. No slander; they steal hearts.
Eno. We came hither to fight with you.
Men. For my part, I am sorry it is turned to
a drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away
his fortune.
Eno. If he do, sure, he cannot weep if back
Men. You have said, sir. We looked not for
Mark Antony here: pray you, is he married to
Eno. Cæsar's sister is called Octavia,
Men. True, sir; she was the wife of Cams
Eno. But she is now the wife of Marcus
Men. Pray ye, sir?
Eno. 'Tis true,
Men. Then is Cæsar and he for ever knit
Eno. If I were bound to divine of this unity,
I would not prophesy so.
Men. I think the policy of that purpose
made more in the marriage than the love of the
Eno. 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.
Men. Who would not have his wife so?
Eno. 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 Cæsar, 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.
Men. And thus it may be. Come, sir, will
you aboard? I have a health for you.
Eno. I shall take it, sir: we have used our
throats in Egypt.
Men. Come; let's away. [Exeunt.
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