Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Antony and Cleopatra > Act II, scene I



	[Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in
	warlike manner]

POMPEY: If the great gods be just, they shall assist
	The deeds of justest men.

MENECRATES: Know, worthy Pompey,
	That what they do delay, they not deny.

POMPEY: Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
	The thing we sue for.

MENECRATES: We, ignorant of ourselves,
	Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
	Deny us for our good; so find we profit
	By losing of our prayers.

POMPEY: 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 the 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.

MENAS: Caesar and Lepidus
	Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.

POMPEY: Where have you this? 'tis false.

MENAS: From Silvius, sir.

POMPEY: He dreams: I know they are in Rome together,
	Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
	Salt Cleopatra, soften thy waned 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 honour
	Even till a Lethe'd dulness!

	[Enter VARRIUS]

		       How now, Varrius!

VARRIUS: 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 further travel.

POMPEY: 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.

MENAS: 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 moved by Antony.

POMPEY: 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.

	[Exeunt]




	ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA






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