Antony and Cleopatra
Act II, Scene 1
Messina. Pompey’s house.
- Enter Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, in warlike manner.
Pompeius1 - 2
- If the great gods be just, they shall assist
- The deeds of justest men.
Menas3 - 4
- Know, worthy Pompey,
- That what they do delay, they not deny.
Pompeius5 - 6
- Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
- The thing we sue for.
Menecrates7 - 10
- We, ignorant of ourselves,
- Beg often our own harms, which the wise pow’rs
- Deny us for our good; so find we profit
- By losing of our prayers.
Pompeius11 - 19
- I shall do well:
- The people love me, and the sea is mine;
- My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
- Says it will come to th’ full. Mark Antony
- In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
- No wars without-doors. Caesar gets money where
- He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both,
- Of both is flatter’d; but he neither loves,
- Nor either cares for him.
Menas20 - 21
- Caesar and Lepidus
- Are in the field, a mighty strength they carry.
- Where have you this? ’Tis false.
- From Silvius, sir.
Pompeius24 - 33
- He dreams; I know they are in Rome together,
- Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
- Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan’d lip!
- Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both,
- Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
- Keep his brain fuming; epicurean cooks
- Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite,
- That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honor,
- Even till a Lethe’d dullness—
- Enter Varrius.
- How now, Varrius?
Varrius34 - 37
- This is most certain that I shall deliver:
- Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
- Expected. Since he went from Egypt, ’tis
- A space for farther travel.
Pompeius38 - 45
- I could have given less matter
- A better ear. Menas, I did not think
- This amorous surfeiter would have donn’d his helm
- For such a petty war. His soldiership
- Is twice the other twain; but let us rear
- The higher our opinion, that our stirring
- Can from the lap of Egypt’s widow pluck
- The ne’er-lust-wearied Antony.
Menas46 - 50
- I cannot hope
- Caesar and Antony shall well greet together:
- His wife that’s dead did trespasses to Caesar;
- His brother warr’d upon him, although I think
- Not mov’d by Antony.
Pompeius51 - 61
- I know not, Menas,
- How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
- Were’t not that we stand up against them all,
- ’Twere pregnant they should square between themselves,
- For they have entertained cause enough
- To draw their swords; but how the fear of us
- May cement their divisions, and bind up
- The petty difference, we yet not know.
- Be’t as our gods will have’t! It only stands
- Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
- Come, Menas.