[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, DOLABELLA, THYREUS, with others]
- Octavius. Let him appear that's come from Antony.
Know you him?
- Dolabella. Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster:
An argument that he is pluck'd, when hither
He sends so poor a pinion off his wing,
Which had superfluous kings for messengers
Not many moons gone by.
[Enter EUPHRONIUS, ambassador from MARK ANTONY]
- Octavius. Approach, and speak.
- Euphronius. Such as I am, I come from Antony:
I was of late as petty to his ends
As is the morn-dew on the myrtle-leaf
To his grand sea.
- Octavius. Be't so: declare thine office.
- Euphronius. Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
Requires to live in Egypt: which not granted,
He lessens his requests; and to thee sues
To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,
A private man in Athens: this for him.
Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness;
Submits her to thy might; and of thee craves
The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
Now hazarded to thy grace.
- Octavius. For Antony,
I have no ears to his request. The queen
Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend,
Or take his life there: this if she perform,
She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.
- Euphronius. Fortune pursue thee!
- Octavius. Bring him through the bands.
[To THYREUS] To try eloquence, now 'tis time: dispatch;]
From Antony win Cleopatra: promise,
And in our name, what she requires; add more,
From thine invention, offers: women are not
In their best fortunes strong; but want will perjure
The ne'er touch'd vestal: try thy cunning, Thyreus;
Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
Will answer as a law.
- Octavius. Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
And what thou think'st his very action speaks
In every power that moves.
- Thyreus. Caesar, I shall.