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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Antony and Cleopatra Scenes


Scene 6

Near Misenum.

(Pompey; Menas; Caesar; Lepidus; Antony; Enobarbus; Maecenas; Agrippa; Soldiers)


Pompey and the Triumvirs hold a parley. Pompey is given land and induced to return peacefully to Sicily. They agree to feast together to celebrate. Enobarbus prophesizes that Antony will abandon Octavia to return to Cleopatra, which is sure to cause trouble. (138 lines)

Flourish. Enter Pompey, Menas at one door, with Drum and Trumpet: at another, Caesar, Lepidus, Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, Agrippa, with Soldiers marching.

POM.

Your hostages I have, so have you mine;

And we shall talk before we fight.

CAES.

Most meet

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.

POM.

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 laboring for him. What was’t

That mov’d pale Cassius to conspire? And what

Made all-honor’d, honest, Roman Brutus,

With the arm’d 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 anger’d ocean foams, with which I meant

To scourge th’ ingratitude that despiteful Rome

Cast on my noble father.

CAES.

Take your time.

ANT.

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’er-count thee.

POM.

At land indeed

Thou dost o’er-count me of my father’s house;

But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,

Remain in’t as thou mayst.

LEP.

Be pleas’d to tell us

(For this is from the present) how you take

The offers we have sent you.

CAES.

There’s the point.

ANT.

Which do not be entreated to, but weigh

What it is worth embrac’d.

CAES.

And what may follow,

To try a larger fortune.

POM.

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 unhack’d edges and bear back

Our targes undinted.

CAES., ANT., LEP.

That’s our offer.

POM.

Know then

I came before you here a man prepar’d

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.

ANT.

I have heard it, Pompey,

And am well studied for a liberal thanks,

Which I do owe you.

POM.

Let me have your hand.

I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

ANT.

The beds i’ th’ East are soft, and thanks to you,

That call’d me timelier than my purpose hither;

For I have gain’d by’t.

CAES.

Since I saw you last,

There’s a change upon you.

POM.

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.

LEP.

Well met here.

POM.

I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.

I crave our composition may be written

And seal’d between us.

CAES.

That’s the next to do.

POM.

We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s

Draw lots who shall begin.

ANT.

That will I, Pompey.

POM.

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.

ANT.

You have heard much.

POM.

I have fair meanings, sir.

ANT.

And fair words to them.

POM.

Then so much have I heard;

And I have heard, Apollodorus carried—

ENO.

No more of that; he did so.

POM.

What, I pray you?

ENO.

A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.

POM.

I know thee now: how far’st thou, soldier?

ENO.

Well,

And well am like to do, for I perceive

Four feasts are toward.

POM.

Let me shake thy hand,

I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight,

When I have envied thy behavior.

ENO.

Sir,

I never lov’d you much, but I ha’ prais’d ye

When you have well deserv’d ten times as much

As I have said you did.

POM.

Enjoy thy plainness,

It nothing ill becomes thee.

Aboard my galley I invite you all.

Will you lead, lords?

CAES., ANT., LEP.

Show ’s the way, sir.

POM.

Come.

Exeunt. Manent Enobarbus and Menas.

MENAS.

Aside.

Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have made this treaty.—You and I have known, sir.

ENO.

At sea, I think.

MENAS.

We have, sir.

ENO.

You have done well by water.

MENAS.

And you by land.

ENO.

I will praise any man that will praise me, though it cannot be denied what I have done by land.

MENAS.

Nor what I have done by water.

ENO.

Yes, something you can deny for your own safety: you have been a great thief by sea.

MENAS.

And you by land.

ENO.

There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas; if our eyes had authority, here they might take two thieves kissing.

MENAS.

All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er their hands are.

ENO.

But there is never a fair woman has a true face.

MENAS.

No slander, they steal hearts.

ENO.

We came hither to fight with you.

MENAS.

For my part, I am sorry it is turn’d to a drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.

ENO.

If he do, sure he cannot weep’t back again.

MENAS.

Y’ have said, sir. We look’d not for Mark Antony here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?

ENO.

Caesar’s sister is call’d Octavia.

MENAS.

True, sir, she was the wife of Caius Marcellus.

ENO.

But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.

MENAS.

Pray ye, sir?

ENO.

’Tis true.

MENAS.

Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.

ENO.

If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would not prophesy so.

MENAS.

I think the policy of that purpose made more in the marriage than the love of the parties.

ENO.

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.

MENAS.

Who would not have his wife so?

ENO.

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.

MENAS.

And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a health for you.

ENO.

I shall take it, sir; we have us’d our throats in Egypt.

MENAS.

Come, let’s away.

Exeunt.

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Left Edge Theatre