[Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with]
- 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
- 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]
- 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.
- Lepidus. Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the
operation of your sun: so is your crocodile.
- 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 Enobarus. 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:
- Menas. [Aside to POMPEY] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech
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?
- 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?
- Antony. Of it own colour too.
- Lepidus. 'Tis a strange serpent.
- Antony. 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
- Octavius. Will this description satisfy him?
- Antony. With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a
- Pompey. [Aside to MENAS] Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of
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.
[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.
- 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!
- Antony. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.
- Domitius Enobarus. Here's to thee, Menas!
- Menas. Enobarbus, welcome!
- Pompey. Fill till the cup be hid.
- Domitius Enobarus. There's a strong fellow, Menas.
[Pointing to the Attendant who carries off LEPIDUS]
- Domitius Enobarus. A' bears the third part of the world, man; see'st
- Menas. The third part, then, is drunk: would it were all,
That it might go on wheels!
- Domitius Enobarus. Drink thou; increase the reels.
- Pompey. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
- Antony. It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho?
Here is to Caesar!
- Octavius. I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,
And it grows fouler.
- Antony. Be a child o' the time.
- Octavius. Possess it, I'll make answer:
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.
- Domitius Enobarus. 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.
- Antony. Come, let's all take hands,
Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe.
- Domitius Enobarus. 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!
- Octavius. 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.
- 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 Enobarus. 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 Enobarus. Ho! says a' There's my cap.
- Menas. Ho! Noble captain, come.