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Scene VII

On board Pompey's galley, off Misenum

Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with include("$IP_TMPL_DIR/pretitle.php");?>William Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene VII | Infoplease.com

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Scene VII

On board Pompey's galley, off Misenum

Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with a banquet

First Servant

Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are ill-rooted already: the least wind i' the world will blow them down.

Second Servant

Lepidus is high-coloured.

First Servant

They have made him drink alms-drink.

Second Servant

As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out 'No more;' reconciles them to his entreaty, and himself to the drink.

First Servant

But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.

Second Servant

Why, this is to have a name in great men's fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service as a partisan I could not heave.

First Servant

To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.

A sennet sounded. Enter Octavius Caesar, Mark Antony, Lepidus, Pompey, Agrippa, Mecaenas, Domitius Enobarbus, Menas, with other captains

Mark Antony

To Octavius Caesar

Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o' the Nile
By certain scales i' the pyramid; they know,
By the height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth
Or foison follow: the higher Nilus swells,
The more it promises: as it ebbs, the seedsman
Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
And shortly comes to harvest.

Lepidus

You've strange serpents there.

Mark Antony

Ay, Lepidus.

Lepidus

Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun: so is your crocodile.

Mark Antony

They are so.

Pompey

Sit,—and some wine! A health to Lepidus!

Lepidus

I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.

Domitius Enobarbus

Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be in till then.

Lepidus

Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction, I have heard that.

Menas

Aside to Pompey

Pompey, a word.

Pompey

Aside to Menas

Say in mine ear: what is't?

Menas

Aside to Pompey

Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,
And hear me speak a word.

Pompey

Aside to Menas

Forbear me till anon.
This wine for Lepidus!

Lepidus

What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

Mark Antony

It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

Lepidus

What colour is it of?

Mark Antony

Of it own colour too.

Lepidus

'Tis a strange serpent.

Mark Antony

'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

Octavius Caesar

Will this description satisfy him?

Mark Antony

With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.

Pompey

Aside to Menas

Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? away!
Do as I bid you. Where's this cup I call'd for?

Menas

Aside to Pompey

If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,
Rise from thy stool.

Pompey

Aside to Menas

I think thou'rt mad.
The matter?

Rises, and walks aside

Menas

I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.

Pompey

Thou hast served me with much faith. What's else to say?
Be jolly, lords.

Mark Antony

These quick-sands, Lepidus,
Keep off them, for you sink.

Menas

Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

Pompey

What say'st thou?

Menas

Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice.

Pompey

How should that be?

Menas

But entertain it,
And, though thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.

Pompey

Hast thou drunk well?

Menas

Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
Thou art, if thou darest be, the earthly Jove:
Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.

Pompey

Show me which way.

Menas

These three world-sharers, these competitors,
Are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable;
And, when we are put off, fall to their throats:
All there is thine.

Pompey

Ah, this thou shouldst have done,
And not have spoke on't! In me 'tis villany;
In thee't had been good service. Thou must know,
'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour;
Mine honour, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue
Hath so betray'd thine act: being done unknown,
I should have found it afterwards well done;
But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.

Menas

Aside

For this,
I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes more.
Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd,
Shall never find it more.

Pompey

This health to Lepidus!

Mark Antony

Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.

Domitius Enobarbus

Here's to thee, Menas!

Menas

Enobarbus, welcome!

Pompey

Fill till the cup be hid.

Domitius Enobarbus

There's a strong fellow, Menas.

Pointing to the Attendant who carries off Lepidus

Menas

Why?

Domitius Enobarbus

A' bears the third part of the world, man; see'st not?

Menas

The third part, then, is drunk: would it were all,
That it might go on wheels!

Domitius Enobarbus

Drink thou; increase the reels.

Menas

Come.

Pompey

This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

Mark Antony

It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho?
Here is to Caesar!

Octavius Caesar

I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,
And it grows fouler.

Mark Antony

Be a child o' the time.

Octavius Caesar

Possess it, I'll make answer:
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.

Domitius Enobarbus

Ha, my brave emperor!

To Mark Antony

Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals,
And celebrate our drink?

Pompey

Let's ha't, good soldier.

Mark Antony

Come, let's all take hands,
Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe.

Domitius Enobarbus

All take hands.
Make battery to our ears with the loud music:
The while I'll place you: then the boy shall sing;
The holding every man shall bear as loud
As his strong sides can volley.

Music plays. Domitius Enobarbus places them hand in hand

The Song.

Come, thou monarch of the vine,
Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
In thy fats our cares be drown'd,
With thy grapes our hairs be crown'd:
Cup us, till the world go round,
Cup us, till the world go round!

Octavius Caesar

What would you more? Pompey, good night. Good brother,
Let me request you off: our graver business
Frowns at this levity. Gentle lords, let's part;
You see we have burnt our cheeks: strong Enobarb
Is weaker than the wine; and mine own tongue
Splits what it speaks: the wild disguise hath almost
Antick'd us all. What needs more words? Good night.
Good Antony, your hand.

Pompey

I'll try you on the shore.

Mark Antony

And shall, sir; give's your hand.

Pompey

O Antony,
You have my father's house,—But, what? we are friends.
Come, down into the boat.

Domitius Enobarbus

Take heed you fall not.

Exeunt all but Domitius Enobarbus and Menas

Menas, I'll not on shore.

Menas

No, to my cabin.
These drums! these trumpets, flutes! what!
Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell
To these great fellows: sound and be hang'd, sound out!

Sound a flourish, with drums

Domitius Enobarbus

Ho! says a' There's my cap.

Menas

Ho! Noble captain, come.

Exeunt

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