Antony and Cleopatra - Act 2, scene 7
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Act 2, scene 7
At the feast on Pompey’s galley, Pompey refuses the suggestion that he kill his guests and thus become “lord of all the world.” Lepidus is carried off the boat in a drunken stupor.Music plays. Enter two or three Servants
with a banquet.
FIRST SERVANT 1332 Here they’ll be, man. Some o’ their
1333 plants are ill-rooted already. The least wind i’ th’
1334 world will blow them down.
SECOND SERVANT 1335 Lepidus is high-colored.
FIRST SERVANT 1336 5They have made him drink alms-drink.
SECOND SERVANT 1337 As they pinch one another by the
1338 disposition, he cries out “No more,” reconciles
1339 them to his entreaty and himself to th’ drink.
FIRST SERVANT 1340 But it raises the greater war between
1341 10 him and his discretion.
SECOND SERVANT 1342 Why, this it is to have a name in great
1343 men’s fellowship. I had as lief have a reed that will
1344 do me no service as a partisan I could not heave.
FIRST SERVANT 1345 To be called into a huge sphere, and not
1346 15 to be seen to move in ’t, are the holes where eyes
1347 should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.
A sennet sounded. Enter Caesar, Antony, Pompey,
Lepidus, Agrippa, Maecenas, Enobarbus, Menas, with
other Captains ⌜and a Boy.⌝
1348 Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o’ th’ Nile
1349 By certain scales i’ th’ Pyramid; they know
1350 By th’ height, the lowness, or the mean if dearth
1351 20 Or foison follow. The higher Nilus swells,
1352 The more it promises. As it ebbs, the seedsman
1353 Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
1354 And shortly comes to harvest.
LEPIDUS 1355 You’ve strange serpents there?
ANTONY 1356 25Ay, Lepidus.
LEPIDUS 1357 Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your
ANTONY 1360 They are so.
1361 30 Sit, and some wine. A health to Lepidus!
LEPIDUS 1362 I am not so well as I should be, but I’ll ne’er
ENOBARBUS, ⌜aside⌝ 1364 Not till you have slept. I fear me
1365 you’ll be in till then.
LEPIDUS 1366 35Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies’
1367 pyramises are very goodly things. Without contradiction
1368 I have heard that.
MENAS, ⌜aside to Pompey⌝
1369 Pompey, a word.
POMPEY, ⌜aside to Menas⌝ 1370 Say in mine ear what is ’t.
MENAS (whispers in ’s ear)
1371 40 Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,
1372 And hear me speak a word.
POMPEY, ⌜aside to Menas⌝
1373 Forbear me till anon.—This wine for Lepidus!
LEPIDUS 1374 What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?
ANTONY 1375 It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as
1376 45 it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is, and moves
1377 with it own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth
1378 it, and the elements once out of it, it
LEPIDUS 1380 What color is it of?
ANTONY 1381 50Of it own color too.
LEPIDUS 1382 ’Tis a strange serpent.
ANTONY 1383 ’Tis so, and the tears of it are wet.
CAESAR, ⌜aside to Antony⌝ 1384 Will this description satisfy
ANTONY 1386 55With the health that Pompey gives him, else he
1387 is a very epicure.
1388 Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away!
1389 Do as I bid you.—Where’s this cup I called for?
MENAS, ⌜aside to Pompey⌝
1390 If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,
1391 60 Rise from thy stool.
POMPEY 1392 I think th’ art mad!
⌜He rises, and they walk aside.⌝
1393 The matter?
1394 I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.
1395 Thou hast served me with much faith. What’s else
1396 65 to say?—
1397 Be jolly, lords.
ANTONY 1398 These quicksands, Lepidus,
1399 Keep off them, for you sink.
MENAS, ⌜aside to Pompey⌝
1400 Wilt thou be lord of all the world?
POMPEY 1401 70 What sayst thou?
1402 Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That’s twice.
POMPEY 1403 How should that be?
MENAS 1404 But entertain it,
1405 And though thou think me poor, I am the man
1406 75 Will give thee all the world.
POMPEY 1407 Hast thou drunk well?
1408 No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
1409 Thou art, if thou dar’st be, the earthly Jove.
1410 Whate’er the ocean pales or sky inclips
1411 80 Is thine, if thou wilt ha ’t.
POMPEY 1412 Show me which way.
1413 These three world-sharers, these competitors,
1414 Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable,
1416 85 All there is thine.
POMPEY 1417 Ah, this thou shouldst have done
1418 And not have spoke on ’t! In me ’tis villainy;
1419 In thee ’t had been good service. Thou must know
1420 ’Tis not my profit that does lead mine honor;
1421 90 Mine honor, it. Repent that e’er thy tongue
1422 Hath so betrayed thine act. Being done unknown,
1423 I should have found it afterwards well done,
1424 But must condemn it now. Desist and drink.
MENAS, ⌜aside⌝ 1425 For this
1426 95 I’ll never follow thy palled fortunes more.
1427 Who seeks and will not take when once ’tis offered
1428 Shall never find it more.
POMPEY 1429 This health to Lepidus!
ANTONY, ⌜to Servant⌝
1430 Bear him ashore.—I’ll pledge it for him, Pompey.
1431 100 Here’s to thee, Menas.
MENAS 1432 Enobarbus, welcome.
POMPEY 1433 Fill till the cup be hid.
ENOBARBUS, ⌜pointing to the Servant carrying Lepidus⌝
1434 There’s a strong fellow, Menas.
MENAS 1435 Why?
ENOBARBUS 1436 105 He bears
1437 The third part of the world, man. Seest not?
1438 The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all,
1439 That it might go on wheels.
ENOBARBUS 1440 Drink thou. Increase the reels.
MENAS 1441 110Come.
1442 This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
1443 It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho!
1444 Here’s to Caesar.
1446 115 It’s monstrous labor when I wash my brain
1447 And it ⌜grows⌝ fouler.
ANTONY 1448 Be a child o’ th’ time.
CAESAR 1449 Possess it, I’ll make answer.
1450 But I had rather fast from all, four days,
1451 120 Than drink so much in one.
ENOBARBUS, ⌜to Antony⌝ 1452 Ha, my brave emperor,
1453 Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals
1454 And celebrate our drink?
POMPEY 1455 Let’s ha ’t, good soldier.
ANTONY 1456 125Come, let’s all take hands
1457 Till that the conquering wine hath steeped our
1459 In soft and delicate Lethe.
ENOBARBUS 1460 All take hands.
1461 130 Make battery to our ears with the loud music,
1462 The while I’ll place you; then the boy shall sing.
1463 The holding every man shall beat as loud
1464 As his strong sides can volley.
Music plays. Enobarbus places them hand in hand.
⌜BOY⌝ 1465 Come, thou monarch of the vine,
1466 135 Plumpy Bacchus, with pink eyne.
1467 In thy vats our cares be drowned.
1468 With thy grapes our hairs be crowned.
⌜ALL⌝ 1469 Cup us till the world go round,
1470 Cup us till the world go round.
1471 140 What would you more?—Pompey, goodnight.—
1472 Good brother,
1473 Let me request you off. Our graver business
1474 Frowns at this levity.—Gentle lords, let’s part.
1475 You see we have burnt our cheeks. Strong Enobarb
1476 145 Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue
1478 Anticked us all. What needs more words?
1480 Good Antony, your hand.
POMPEY 1481 150I’ll try you on the shore.
ANTONY 1482 And shall, sir. Give ’s your hand.
1483 O, Antony, you have my ⌜father’s⌝ house.
1484 But what? We are friends! Come down into the boat.
1485 Take heed you fall not.
⌜All but Menas and Enobarbus exit.⌝
1486 155 Menas, I’ll not on shore.
1487 No, to my cabin. These drums, these trumpets,
1488 flutes! What!
1489 Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell
1490 To these great fellows. Sound and be hanged. Sound
1491 160 out!Sound a flourish, with drums.
ENOBARBUS 1492 Hoo, says ’a! There’s my cap!
⌜He throws his cap in the air.⌝
MENAS 1493 Hoo! Noble captain, come.