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Home > Anthony and Cleopatra > ACT II - SCENE II. Rome. The house of LEPIDUS.

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ACT II - SCENE II. Rome. The house of LEPIDUS.
Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS

LEPIDUS
1    Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
2    And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
3    To soft and gentle speech.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
4    I shall entreat him
5    To answer like himself: if Caesar move him,
6    Let Antony look over Caesar's head
7    And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
8    Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
9    I would not shave't to-day.
LEPIDUS
10   'Tis not a time
11   For private stomaching.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
12   Every time
13   Serves for the matter that is then born in't.
LEPIDUS
14   But small to greater matters must give way.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
15   Not if the small come first.
LEPIDUS
16   Your speech is passion:
17   But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
18   The noble Antony.
Enter MARK ANTONY and VENTIDIUS

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
19   And yonder, Caesar.
Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA

MARK ANTONY
20   If we compose well here, to Parthia:
21   Hark, Ventidius.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
22   I do not know,
23   Mecaenas; ask Agrippa.
LEPIDUS
24   Noble friends,
25   That which combined us was most great, and let not
26   A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
27   May it be gently heard: when we debate
28   Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
29   Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners,
30   The rather, for I earnestly beseech,
31   Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
32   Nor curstness grow to the matter.
MARK ANTONY
33   'Tis spoken well.
34   Were we before our armies, and to fight.
35   I should do thus.
Flourish

OCTAVIUS CAESAR
36   Welcome to Rome.
MARK ANTONY
37   Thank you.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
38   Sit.
MARK ANTONY
39   Sit, sir.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
40   Nay, then.
MARK ANTONY
41   I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
42   Or being, concern you not.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
43   I must be laugh'd at,
44   If, or for nothing or a little, I
45   Should say myself offended, and with you
46   Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at, that I should
47   Once name you derogately, when to sound your name
48   It not concern'd me.
MARK ANTONY
49   My being in Egypt, Caesar,
50   What was't to you?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
51   No more than my residing here at Rome
52   Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there
53   Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
54   Might be my question.
MARK ANTONY
55   How intend you, practised?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
56   You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
57   By what did here befal me. Your wife and brother
58   Made wars upon me; and their contestation
59   Was theme for you, you were the word of war.
MARK ANTONY
60   You do mistake your business; my brother never
61   Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it;
62   And have my learning from some true reports,
63   That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
64   Discredit my authority with yours;
65   And make the wars alike against my stomach,
66   Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
67   Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
68   As matter whole you have not to make it with,
69   It must not be with this.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
70   You praise yourself
71   By laying defects of judgment to me; but
72   You patch'd up your excuses.
MARK ANTONY
73   Not so, not so;
74   I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
75   Very necessity of this thought, that I,
76   Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
77   Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
78   Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
79   I would you had her spirit in such another:
80   The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle
81   You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
82   Would we had all such wives, that the men might go
83   to wars with the women!
MARK ANTONY
84   So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar
85   Made out of her impatience, which not wanted
86   Shrewdness of policy too, I grieving grant
87   Did you too much disquiet: for that you must
88   But say, I could not help it.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
89   I wrote to you
90   When rioting in Alexandria; you
91   Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
92   Did gibe my missive out of audience.
MARK ANTONY
93   Sir,
94   He fell upon me ere admitted: then
95   Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
96   Of what I was i' the morning: but next day
97   I told him of myself; which was as much
98   As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
99   Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
100  Out of our question wipe him.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
101  You have broken
102  The article of your oath; which you shall never
103  Have tongue to charge me with.
LEPIDUS
104  Soft, Caesar!
MARK ANTONY
105  No,
106  Lepidus, let him speak:
107  The honour is sacred which he talks on now,
108  Supposing that I lack'd it. But, on, Caesar;
109  The article of my oath.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
110  To lend me arms and aid when I required them;
111  The which you both denied.
MARK ANTONY
112  Neglected, rather;
113  And then when poison'd hours had bound me up
114  From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
115  I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty
116  Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
117  Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia,
118  To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
119  For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
120  So far ask pardon as befits mine honour
121  To stoop in such a case.
LEPIDUS
122  'Tis noble spoken.
MECAENAS
123  If it might please you, to enforce no further
124  The griefs between ye: to forget them quite
125  Were to remember that the present need
126  Speaks to atone you.
LEPIDUS
127  Worthily spoken, Mecaenas.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
128  Or, if you borrow one another's love for the
129  instant, you may, when you hear no more words of
130  Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to
131  wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.
MARK ANTONY
132  Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
133  That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
MARK ANTONY
134  You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
135  Go to, then; your considerate stone.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
136  I do not much dislike the matter, but
137  The manner of his speech; for't cannot be
138  We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
139  So differing in their acts. Yet if I knew
140  What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge
141  O' the world I would pursue it.
AGRIPPA
142  Give me leave, Caesar,--
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
143  Speak, Agrippa.
AGRIPPA
144  Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
145  Admired Octavia: great Mark Antony
146  Is now a widower.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
147  Say not so, Agrippa:
148  If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
149  Were well deserved of rashness.
MARK ANTONY
150  I am not married, Caesar: let me hear
151  Agrippa further speak.
AGRIPPA
152  To hold you in perpetual amity,
153  To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
154  With an unslipping knot, take Antony
155  Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims
156  No worse a husband than the best of men;
157  Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
158  That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
159  All little jealousies, which now seem great,
160  And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
161  Would then be nothing: truths would be tales,
162  Where now half tales be truths: her love to both
163  Would, each to other and all loves to both,
164  Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke;
165  For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
166  By duty ruminated.
MARK ANTONY
167  Will Caesar speak?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
168  Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
169  With what is spoke already.
MARK ANTONY
170  What power is in Agrippa,
171  If I would say, 'Agrippa, be it so,'
172  To make this good?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
173  The power of Caesar, and
174  His power unto Octavia.
MARK ANTONY
175  May I never
176  To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
177  Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand:
178  Further this act of grace: and from this hour
179  The heart of brothers govern in our loves
180  And sway our great designs!
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
181  There is my hand.
182  A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
183  Did ever love so dearly: let her live
184  To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
185  Fly off our loves again!
LEPIDUS
186  Happily, amen!
MARK ANTONY
187  I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
188  For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
189  Of late upon me: I must thank him only,
190  Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
191  At heel of that, defy him.
LEPIDUS
192  Time calls upon's:
193  Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
194  Or else he seeks out us.
MARK ANTONY
195  Where lies he?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
196  About the mount Misenum.
MARK ANTONY
197  What is his strength by land?
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
198  Great and increasing: but by sea
199  He is an absolute master.
MARK ANTONY
200  So is the fame.
201  Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
202  Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
203  The business we have talk'd of.
OCTAVIUS CAESAR
204  With most gladness:
205  And do invite you to my sister's view,
206  Whither straight I'll lead you.
MARK ANTONY
207  Let us, Lepidus,
208  Not lack your company.
LEPIDUS
209  Noble Antony,
210  Not sickness should detain me.
MECAENAS
211  Welcome from Egypt, sir.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
212  Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Mecaenas! My
213  honourable friend, Agrippa!
AGRIPPA
214  Good Enobarbus!
MECAENAS
215  We have cause to be glad that matters are so well
216  digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
217  Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and
218  made the night light with drinking.
MECAENAS
219  Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and
220  but twelve persons there; is this true?
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
221  This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more
222  monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
MECAENAS
223  She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to
224  her.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
225  When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up
226  his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
AGRIPPA
227  There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised
228  well for her.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
229  I will tell you.
230  The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
231  Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
232  Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
233  The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
234  Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
235  The water which they beat to follow faster,
236  As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
237  It beggar'd all description: she did lie
238  In her pavilion--cloth-of-gold of tissue--
239  O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
240  The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
241  Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
242  With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
243  To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
244  And what they undid did.
AGRIPPA
245  O, rare for Antony!
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
246  Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
247  So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
248  And made their bends adornings: at the helm
249  A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
250  Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
251  That yarely frame the office. From the barge
252  A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
253  Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
254  Her people out upon her; and Antony,
255  Enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone,
256  Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
257  Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
258  And made a gap in nature.
AGRIPPA
259  Rare Egyptian!
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
260  Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
261  Invited her to supper: she replied,
262  It should be better he became her guest;
263  Which she entreated: our courteous Antony,
264  Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak,
265  Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
266  And for his ordinary pays his heart
267  For what his eyes eat only.
AGRIPPA
268  Royal wench!
269  She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed:
270  He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
271  I saw her once
272  Hop forty paces through the public street;
273  And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
274  That she did make defect perfection,
275  And, breathless, power breathe forth.
MECAENAS
276  Now Antony must leave her utterly.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
277  Never; he will not:
278  Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
279  Her infinite variety: other women cloy
280  The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
281  Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
282  Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
283  Bless her when she is riggish.
MECAENAS
284  If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
285  The heart of Antony, Octavia is
286  A blessed lottery to him.
AGRIPPA
287  Let us go.
288  Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
289  Whilst you abide here.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
290  Humbly, sir, I thank you.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IACT II, SCENE III (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X
  • SCENE XI
  • SCENE XII
  • SCENE XIII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X
  • SCENE XI
  • SCENE XII
  • SCENE XIII
  • SCENE XIV
  • SCENE XV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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