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By your most gracious pardon,
My salad days;
I sing but after you.
When I was green in judgment; -Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then!-But, come, away.
Get me ink and paper; he shall have every day
A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Egypt.
SCENE I. Messina. A Room in Pompey's House.
Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS.
Pom. If the great gods be just, they shall assist The deeds of justest men.
Mene. Know, worthy Pompey, That what they do delay, they not deny. Pom. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays The thing we sue for.
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.
Pom. I shall do well.
The people love me, and the sea is mine;
My power's a 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. Cæsar gets money, where
He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both,
Of both is flattered; but he neither loves,
Nor either cares for him.
Cæsar and Lepidus
Are in the field; a mighty strength they carry.
Pom. Where have you this? 'Tis false,
From Silvius, sir.
Pom. He dreams; I know they are in Rome together,
Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wanned 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 honor,
Even till a lethed dulness!-How now, Varrius?
Var. 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.
I could have given less matter
A better ear.-Menas, I did not think
This amorous surfeiter would have donned 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.
I cannot hope
Cæsar and Antony shall well greet together.
His wife, that's dead, did trespasses to Cæsar;
His brother warred upon him; although, I think,
Not moved by Antony.
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 it as our gods will have it! It only stands
Our lives upon, to use our strongest hands.
SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of Lepidus.
Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS.
Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.
I shall entreat him
To answer like himself. If Cæsar move him,
Let Antony look over Cæsar's head,
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.
For private stomaching.
Serves for the matter that is then born in it.
Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Eno. Not if the small come first.
Your speech is passion;
But, pray you, stir no embers up.
The noble Antony.
And yonder, Cæsar.
Enter CESAR, MECENAS, and AGRIPPA. Ant. If we compose well here, to Parthia. Hark you, Ventidius.
Mecænas; ask Agrippa.
Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.
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.
Were we before our armies, and to fight,
I should do thus.
Cæs. Welcome to Rome.
Ant. I learn you take things ill, which are not so; Or, being, concern you not.
Cæs. I must be laughed at, If, or for nothing, or a little, I Should say myself offended; and with you Chiefly i' the world; more laughed at, that I should Once name you derogately, when to sound your name It not concerned me.
My being in Egypt, Cæsar,
What was't to you?
Cæs. 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.
How intend you, practised? Cæs. You may be pleased to catch at mine intent, By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother Made wars upon me; and their contestation Was theme for you; you were the word of war.
Ant. 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.
You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me; but
You patched up your excuses.
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.
Eno. 'Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
Ant. So much uncurable, her garboils, Cæsar,
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.
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 asked him pardon. Let this fellow
Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
Out of our question wipe him.
You have broken The article of your oath; which you shall never Have tongue to charge me with.
Ant. No, Lepidus, let him speak;
The honor's sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lacked it. But on, Cæsar;
The article of my oath,-
Cæs. To lend me arms, and aid, when I required them; The which you both denied.
And then, when poisoned 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 honor
To stoop in such a case.
'Tis nobly spoken.
Mec. 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.
Lep. Worthily spoken, Mecænas.
Eno. 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.
Ant. Thou art a soldier only; speak no more.
Eno. That truth should be silent, I had almost forgot.
Ant. You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
Eno. Go to, then; your considerate stone.
Cæs. I do not much dislike the matter, but
The manner of his speech; for it 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.