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Antony and Cleopatra: Act 2 Scene 1
Scene I Messina. POMPEY's house.
- [Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in
- warlike manner]
- If the great gods be just, they shall assist
- The deeds of justest men.
- Know, worthy Pompey,
- That what they do delay, they not deny.
- 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.
- I shall do well:
- The people love me, and the sea is mine;
- My powers are 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: Caesar gets money where
- He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,
- Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves,
- Nor either cares for him.
- Caesar and Lepidus
- Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.
- Where have you this? 'tis false.
- From Silvius, sir.
- He dreams: I know they are in Rome together,
- Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
- Salt Cleopatra, soften thy waned 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 honour
- Even till a Lethe'd dulness!
- [Enter VARRIUS]
- How now, Varrius!
- 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 donn'd 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
- Caesar and Antony shall well greet together:
- His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar;
- His brother warr'd 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
- 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't as our gods will have't! It only stands
- Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
- Come, Menas.