William Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene VII
Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with a banquet
Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are ill-rooted already: the least wind i' the world will blow them down.
As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out 'No more;' reconciles them to his entreaty, and himself to the drink.
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.
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
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.
Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun: so is your crocodile.
Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction, I have heard that.
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.
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?
Rises, and walks aside
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pointing to the Attendant who carries off Lepidus
I could well forbear't. It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain, And it grows fouler.
Possess it, I'll make answer: But I had rather fast from all four days Than drink so much in one.
Ha, my brave emperor!
To Mark Antony
Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals, And celebrate our drink?
Come, let's all take hands, Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense In soft and delicate Lethe.
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
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!
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.
Take heed you fall not.
Exeunt all but Domitius Enobarbus and Menas
Menas, I'll not on shore.
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