|ACT II SCENE II
|Rome. The house of Lepidus
|[Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS]
|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 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.
|'Tis not a time
|For private stomaching.
|Serves for the matter that is then born in't.
|But small to greater matters must give way.
|Not if the small come first.
|Your speech is passion:
|But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
|The noble Antony.
|[Enter MARK ANTONY and VENTIDIUS]
|And yonder, Caesar.
|[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA]
|If we compose well here, to Parthia:
|I do not know,
|Mecaenas; ask Agrippa.
|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.
|'Tis spoken well.
|Were we before our armies, and to fight.
|I should do thus.
|Welcome to Rome.
|I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
|Or being, concern you not.
|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.
|My being in Egypt, Caesar,
|What was't to you?
|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?
|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.
|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 patch'd 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.
|Would we had all such wives, that the men might go
|to wars with the women!
|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.
|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.
|You have broken
|The article of your oath; which you shall never
|Have tongue to charge me with.
|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.
|To lend me arms and aid when I required them;
|The which you both denied.
|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.
|'Tis noble spoken.
|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.
|Worthily spoken, Mecaenas.
|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.
|Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.
|That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
|You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
|Go to, then; your considerate stone.
|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.
|Give me leave, Caesar,--
|Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
|Admired Octavia: great Mark Antony
|Is now a widower.
|Say not so, Agrippa:
|If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
|Were well deserved of rashness.
|I am not married, Caesar: let me hear
|Agrippa further speak.
|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.
|Will Caesar speak?
|Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
|With what is spoke already.
|What power is in Agrippa,
|If I would say, 'Agrippa, be it so,'
|To make this good?
|The power of Caesar, and
|His power unto Octavia.
|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!
|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!
|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.
|Time calls upon's:
|Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
|Or else he seeks out us.
|Where lies he?
|About the mount Misenum.
|What is his strength by land?
|Great and increasing: but by sea
|He is an absolute master.
|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.
|With most gladness:
|And do invite you to my sister's view,
|Whither straight I'll lead you.
|Let us, Lepidus,
|Not lack your company.
|Not sickness should detain me.
Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK ANTONY,
|Welcome from Egypt, sir.
|Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Mecaenas! My
|honourable friend, Agrippa!
|We have cause to be glad that matters are so well
|digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.
|Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and
|made the night light with drinking.
|Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and
|but twelve persons there; is this true?
|This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more
|monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
|She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to
|When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up
|his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
|There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised
|well for her.
|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.
|O, rare for Antony!
|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.
|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.
|She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed:
|He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.
|I saw her once
|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.
|Now Antony must leave her utterly.
|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.
|If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
|The heart of Antony, Octavia is
|A blessed lottery to him.
|Let us go.
|Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
|Whilst you abide here.
|Humbly, sir, I thank you.