THE TRAGEDY OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
by William Shakespeare
SCENE VI. Near Misenum.
Flourish. Enter Pompey and Menas at one door, with drum and trumpet; at another, Caesar, Lepidus, Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, Agrippa, with Soldiers marching.
Your hostages I have, so have you mine,
And we shall talk before we fight.
That first we come to words, and therefore have we
Our written purposes before us sent,
Which if thou hast considered, let us know
If ’twill tie up thy discontented sword
And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
That else must perish here.
To you all three,
The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods: I do not know
Wherefore my father should revengers want,
Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was’t
That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what
Made the all-honoured, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol, but that they would
Have one man but a man? And that is it
Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden
The angered ocean foams, with which I meant
To scourge th’ ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.
Take your time.
Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails.
We’ll speak with thee at sea. At land thou know’st
How much we do o’ercount thee.
At land indeed
Thou dost o’ercount me of my father’s house;
But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in’t as thou mayst.
Be pleased to tell us—
For this is from the present—how you take
The offers we have sent you.
There’s the point.
Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
What it is worth embraced.
And what may follow
To try a larger fortune.
You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
Measures of wheat to Rome. This ’greed upon,
To part with unhacked edges and bear back
Our targes undinted.
CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS.
That’s our offer.
I came before you here a man prepared
To take this offer. But Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience. Though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know
When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily and did find
Her welcome friendly.
I have heard it, Pompey,
And am well studied for a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.
Let me have your hand.
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
The beds i’ th’ East are soft; and thanks to you,
That called me timelier than my purpose hither,
For I have gained by ’t.
Since I saw you last,
There is a change upon you.
Well, I know not
What counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face,
But in my bosom shall she never come
To make my heart her vassal.
Well met here.
I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.
I crave our composition may be written
And sealed between us.
That’s the next to do.
We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s
Draw lots who shall begin.
That will I, Pompey.
No, Antony, take the lot.
But, first or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
Grew fat with feasting there.
You have heard much.
I have fair meanings, sir.
And fair words to them.
Then so much have I heard.
And I have heard Apollodorus carried—
No more of that. He did so.
What, I pray you?
A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
I know thee now. How far’st thou, soldier?
And well am like to do, for I perceive
Four feasts are toward.
Let me shake thy hand.
I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight
When I have envied thy behaviour.
I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised ye
When you have well deserved ten times as much
As I have said you did.
Enjoy thy plainness;
It nothing ill becomes thee.
Aboard my galley I invite you all.
Will you lead, lords?
CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS.
Show’s the way, sir.
[Exeunt all but Enobarbus and Menas.]
[Aside.] Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have made this treaty.—
You and I have known, sir.
At sea, I think.
We have, sir.
You have done well by water.
And you by land.
I will praise any man that will praise me, though it cannot be denied what I have done by land.
Nor what I have done by water.
Yes, something you can deny for your own safety: you have been a great thief by sea.
And you by land.
There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas. If our eyes had authority, here they might take two thieves kissing.
All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er their hands are.
But there is never a fair woman has a true face.
No slander. They steal hearts.
We came hither to fight with you.
For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.
If he do, sure he cannot weep ’t back again.
You have said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?
Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.
True, sir. She was the wife of Caius Marcellus.
But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.
Pray you, sir?
Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.
If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would not prophesy so.
I think the policy of that purpose made more in the marriage than the love of the parties.
I think so too. But you shall find the band that seems to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy, cold, and still conversation.
Who would not have his wife so?
Not he that himself is not so; which is Mark Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again. Then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is the strength of their amity shall prove the immediate author of their variance. Antony will use his affection where it is. He married but his occasion here.
And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a health for you.
I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats in Egypt.
Come, let’s away.
THE TRAGEDY OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA by William Shakespeare
Author: William Shakespeare
Native Language: English