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 VII.

Scene VII.—On board POMPEY'S Galley off

Music. Enter two or three Servants, with a

First Serv. Here they'll be, man. Some o'
their plants are ill-rooted already; the least
wind i' the world will blow them down.
Sec. Serv. Lepidus is high-coloured.
First Serv. They have made him drink alms-
Sec. Serv. As they pinch one another by the
disposition, he cries out, 'No more;' reconciles
them to his entreaty, and himself to the drink.
First Serv. But it raises the greater war be-
tween him and his discretion.
Sec. Serv. Why, this it 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 Serv. 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 CÆSAR, ANTONY,
other Captains.
Ant. 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
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.
Lep. You've strange serpents there.
Ant. Ay, Lepidus.
Lep. Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of
your mud by the operation of your sun; so is
your crocodile.
Ant. They are so.
Pom. Sit,—and some wine! A health to
Lep. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll
ne'er out.
Eno. Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll
be in till then.
Lep. Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptole-
mies' pyramises are very goodly things; without
contradiction, I have heard that.
Men. Pompey, a word.
Pom. Say in mine ear; what is't?
Men. Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee,
And hear me speak a word.
Pom. Forbear me till anon,
This wine for Lepidus!
Lep. What manner o' thing is your crocodile?
Ant. 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 it own organs; it lives by
that which nourisheth it; and the elements
once out of it, it transmigrates.
Lep. What colour is it of?
Ant. Of it own colour too.
Lep. 'Tis a strange serpent.
Ant. 'Tis so; and the tears of it are wet.
Cæs. Will this description satisfy him?
Ant. With the health that Pompey gives him,
else he is a very epicure.
Pom. Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that?
Do as I bid you. Where's this cup I call'd
Men. If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear
Rise from thy stool.
Pom. I think thou'rt mad. The matter?
[Walks aside.
Men. I have ever held my cap off to thy for-
Pom. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith.
What's else to say?
Be jolly, lords.
Ant. These quick-sands, Lepidus,
Keep off them, for you sink.
Men. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?
Pom. What sayst thou?
Men. Wilt thou be lord of the whole world?
That's twice.
Pom. How should that be?
Men. But entertain it,
And though thou think me poor, I am the
Will give thee all the world.
Pom. Hast thou drunk well?
Men. No, Pompey, I have kept me from the
Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove:
Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.
Pom. Show me which way.
Men. These three world-sharers, these com-
Are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable;
And, when we are put off, fall to their throats:
All there is thine.
Pom. Ah! this thou shouldst have done,
And not have spoke on't. In me 'tis vil-
In thee't had been good service. Thou must
'Tis not my profit that does lead mine ho-
Mine honour it. Repent that e'er thy tongue
Hath so betray'd thine act; being done un-
I should have found it afterwards well done,
But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.
Men. [Aside.] For this,
I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes more.
Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis
Shall never find it more.
Pom. This health to Lepidus!
Ant. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him,
Eno. Here's to thee, Menas!
Men. Enobarbus, welcome!
Pom. Fill till the cup be hid.
Eno. There's a strong fellow, Menas.
[Pointing to the Attendant who carries
Men. Why?
Eno. A' bears the third part of the world,
man; see'st not?
Men. The third part then is drunk; would
it were all,
That it might go on wheels!
Eno. Drink thou; increase the reels.
Men. Come.
Pom. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
Ant. It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels,
Here is to Cæsar!
Cæs. I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,
And it grows fouler.
Ant. Be a child o' the time.
Cæs. Possess it, I'll make answer;
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.
Eno. [To ANTONY.] Ha! my brave emperor;
Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals,
And celebrate our drink?
Pom. Let's ha't, good soldier.
Ant. Come, let's all take hands,
Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our
In soft and delicate Lethe.
Eno. All take hands.
Make battery to our ears with the loud mu-
The while I'll place you; then the boy shall
The holding every man shall bear as loud
As his strong sides can volley.
[Music plays. ENOBARBUS places them
hand in hand.
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!
Cæs. 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
Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue
Splits what it speaks; the wild disguise hath
Antick'd us all. What needs more words? Good
Good Antony, your hand.
Pom. I'll try you on the shore.
Ant. And shall, sir. Give's your hand.
pom. O, Antony!
You have my father's house,—But, what? we
are friends.
Come down into the boat.
Eno. Take heed you fall not.
and Attendants.
Menas, I'll not on shore.
Men. 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!
[A flourish of trumpets with drums.
Eno. Hoo! says a'. There's my cap.
Men. Hoo! noble captain! come. [Exeunt.
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