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Antony and Cleopatra - Act 2, scene 1
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Last updated: Tue, Jun 02, 2020
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Act 2, scene 1
Pompey learns that Antony has left Egypt for Rome, and fears that Antony and Caesar will unite against him.Enter Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas,
in warlike manner.
0604 If the great gods be just, they shall assist
0605 The deeds of justest men.
MENAS 0606 Know, worthy Pompey,
0607 That what they do delay they not deny.
0608 5 Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
0609 The thing we sue for.
MENAS 0610 We, ignorant of ourselves,
0611 Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
0612 Deny us for our good; so find we profit
0613 10 By losing of our prayers.
POMPEY 0614 I shall do well.
0615 The people love me, and the sea is mine;
0616 My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
0617 Says it will come to th’ full. Mark Antony
0618 15 In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
0619 No wars without doors. Caesar gets money where
0620 He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both,
0621 Of both is flattered; but he neither loves,
0622 Nor either cares for him.
MENAS 0623 20 Caesar and Lepidus
0624 Are in the field. A mighty strength they carry.
0625 Where have you this? ’Tis false.
MENAS 0626 From Silvius, sir.
0627 He dreams. I know they are in Rome together,
0628 25 Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
0629 Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wanned lip!
0630 Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both;
0631 Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts;
0632 Keep his brain fuming. Epicurean cooks
0633 30 Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite,
0634 That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honor
0635 Even till a Lethe’d dullness—
0636 How now, Varrius?
0637 This is most certain that I shall deliver:
0638 35 Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
0639 Expected. Since he went from Egypt ’tis
0640 A space for farther travel.
POMPEY 0641 I could have given less matter
0642 A better ear.—Menas, I did not think
0643 40 This amorous surfeiter would have donned his helm
0644 For such a petty war. His soldiership
0645 Is twice the other twain. But let us rear
0646 The higher our opinion, that our stirring
0647 Can from the lap of Egypt’s widow pluck
0648 45 The ne’er lust-wearied Antony.
MENAS 0649 I cannot hope
0650 Caesar and Antony shall well greet together.
0651 His wife that’s dead did trespasses to Caesar;
0652 His brother ⌜warred⌝ upon him, although I think
0653 50 Not moved by Antony.
POMPEY 0654 I know not, Menas,
p. 550655 How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
0656 Were ’t not that we stand up against them all,
0657 ’Twere pregnant they should square between
0658 55 themselves,
0659 For they have entertainèd cause enough
0660 To draw their swords. But how the fear of us
0661 May cement their divisions and bind up
0662 The petty difference, we yet not know.
0663 60 Be ’t as our gods will have ’t. It only stands
0664 Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
0665 Come, Menas.