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Antony and Cleopatra - Act 2, scene 6
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Navigate this workAntony and Cleopatra - Act 2, scene 6
Act 2, scene 6
In a prebattle conference, Pompey is offered terms by Caesar, Antony, and Lepidus. After Antony thanks Pompey for his earlier kindness to Antony’s mother, Pompey accepts the terms, and feasts are planned. Enobarbus predicts that Antony’s marriage will divide rather than unite Caesar and Antony.Flourish. Enter Pompey ⌜and⌝ Menas at one door,
with Drum and Trumpet; at another Caesar, Lepidus,
Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, ⌜and⌝ Agrippa,
with Soldiers marching.
1166 Your hostages I have, so have you mine,
1167 And we shall talk before we fight.
p. 91CAESAR 1168 Most meet
1169 That first we come to words, and therefore have we
1170 5 Our written purposes before us sent,
1171 Which if thou hast considered, let us know
1172 If ’twill tie up thy discontented sword
1173 And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
1174 That else must perish here.
POMPEY 1175 10 To you all three,
1176 The senators alone of this great world,
1177 Chief factors for the gods: I do not know
1178 Wherefore my father should revengers want,
1179 Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar,
1180 15 Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
1181 There saw you laboring for him. What was ’t
1182 That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what
1183 Made ⌜the⌝ all-honored, honest, Roman Brutus,
1184 With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous
1185 20 freedom,
1186 To drench the Capitol, but that they would
1187 Have one man but a man? And that ⌜is⌝ it
1188 Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden
1189 The angered ocean foams, with which I meant
1190 25 To scourge th’ ingratitude that despiteful Rome
1191 Cast on my noble father.
CAESAR 1192 Take your time.
1193 Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails.
1194 We’ll speak with thee at sea. At land thou know’st
1195 30 How much we do o’ercount thee.
POMPEY 1196 At land indeed
1197 Thou dost o’ercount me of my father’s house;
1198 But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
1199 Remain in ’t as thou mayst.
LEPIDUS 1200 35 Be pleased to tell us—
1201 For this is from the present—how you take
1202 The offers we have sent you.
p. 93CAESAR 1203 There’s the point.
1204 Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
1205 40 What it is worth embraced.
CAESAR 1206 And what may follow
1207 To try a larger fortune.
POMPEY 1208 You have made me offer
1209 Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
1210 45 Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
1211 Measures of wheat to Rome. This ’greed upon,
1212 To part with unhacked edges and bear back
1213 Our targes undinted.
ALL 1214 That’s our offer.
POMPEY 1215 50 Know then
1216 I came before you here a man prepared
1217 To take this offer. But Mark Antony
1218 Put me to some impatience.—Though I lose
1219 The praise of it by telling, you must know
1220 55 When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
1221 Your mother came to Sicily and did find
1222 Her welcome friendly.
ANTONY 1223 I have heard it, Pompey,
1224 And am well studied for a liberal thanks,
1225 60 Which I do owe you.
POMPEY 1226 Let me have your hand.
⌜They clasp hands.⌝
1227 I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
1228 The beds i’ th’ East are soft; and thanks to you,
1229 That called me timelier than my purpose hither,
1230 65 For I have gained by ’t.
CAESAR, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1231 Since I saw you last,
1232 There’s a change upon you.
POMPEY 1233 Well, I know not
1234 What counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face,
p. 951235 70 But in my bosom shall she never come
1236 To make my heart her vassal.
LEPIDUS 1237 Well met here.
1238 I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.
1239 I crave our composition may be written
1240 75 And sealed between us.
CAESAR 1241 That’s the next to do.
1242 We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s
1243 Draw lots who shall begin.
ANTONY 1244 That will I, Pompey.
1245 80 No, Antony, take the lot. But, first or last,
1246 Your fine Egyptian cookery shall have
1247 The fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
1248 Grew fat with feasting there.
ANTONY 1249 You have heard much.
POMPEY 1250 85I have fair ⌜meanings,⌝ sir.
ANTONY 1251 And fair words to them.
POMPEY 1252 Then so much have I heard.
1253 And I have heard Apollodorus carried—
1254 No more ⌜of⌝ that. He did so.
POMPEY 1255 90 What, I pray you?
1256 A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
1257 I know thee now. How far’st thou, soldier?
ENOBARBUS 1258 Well,
1259 And well am like to do, for I perceive
1260 95 Four feasts are toward.
POMPEY 1261 Let me shake thy hand.
1262 I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight
1263 When I have envied thy behavior.
p. 97ENOBARBUS 1264 Sir,
1265 100 I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised you
1266 When you have well deserved ten times as much
1267 As I have said you did.
POMPEY 1268 Enjoy thy plainness;
1269 It nothing ill becomes thee.—
1270 105 Aboard my galley I invite you all.
1271 Will you lead, lords?
ALL 1272 Show ’s the way, sir.
POMPEY 1273 Come.
They exit, except for Enobarbus and Menas.
MENAS, ⌜aside⌝ 1274 Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have
1275 110 made this treaty.—You and I have known, sir.
ENOBARBUS 1276 At sea, I think.
MENAS 1277 We have, sir.
ENOBARBUS 1278 You have done well by water.
MENAS 1279 And you by land.
ENOBARBUS 1280 115I will praise any man that will praise me,
1281 though it cannot be denied what I have done by
MENAS 1283 Nor what I have done by water.
ENOBARBUS 1284 Yes, something you can deny for your own
1285 120 safety: you have been a great thief by sea.
MENAS 1286 And you by land.
ENOBARBUS 1287 There I deny my land service. But give me
1288 your hand, Menas. ⌜They clasp hands.⌝ If our eyes
1289 had authority, here they might take two thieves
1290 125 kissing.
MENAS 1291 All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er their
1292 hands are.
ENOBARBUS 1293 But there is never a fair woman has a true
MENAS 1295 130No slander. They steal hearts.
ENOBARBUS 1296 We came hither to fight with you.
MENAS 1297 For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a
p. 991298 drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his
ENOBARBUS 1300 135If he do, sure he cannot weep ’t back
MENAS 1302 You’ve said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony
1303 here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?
ENOBARBUS 1304 Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.
MENAS 1305 140True, sir. She was the wife of Caius Marcellus.
ENOBARBUS 1306 But she is now the wife of Marcus
MENAS 1308 Pray you, sir?
ENOBARBUS 1309 ’Tis true.
MENAS 1310 145Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.
ENOBARBUS 1311 If I were bound to divine of this unity, I
1312 would not prophesy so.
MENAS 1313 I think the policy of that purpose made more in
1314 the marriage than the love of the parties.
ENOBARBUS 1315 150I think so, too. But you shall find the band
1316 that seems to tie their friendship together will be
1317 the very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy,
1318 cold, and still conversation.
MENAS 1319 Who would not have his wife so?
ENOBARBUS 1320 155Not he that himself is not so, which is
1321 Mark Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again.
1322 Then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in
1323 Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is the
1324 strength of their amity shall prove the immediate
1325 160 author of their variance. Antony will use his affection
1326 where it is. He married but his occasion here.
MENAS 1327 And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard?
1328 I have a health for you.
ENOBARBUS 1329 I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats
1330 165 in Egypt.
MENAS 1331 Come, let’s away.