ACT II
Scene 7
 

On board POMPEY'S galley, off Misenum

Music plays. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet

FIRST SERVANT
Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are
ill-rooted already; the least wind i' th' world will blow them
down.

SECOND SERVANT
Lepidus is high-colour'd.

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 th' drink.

FIRST SERVANT
But it raises the greater war between him and his
discretion.

SECOND SERVANT
Why, this it 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 partizan I could not heave.

FIRST SERVANT
To be call'd 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 CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS,
POMPEY, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS, MENAS,
with other CAPTAINS

ANTONY
[To CAESAR] Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o' th'
Nile
By certain scales i' th' pyramid; they know
By th' 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
Y'have strange serpents there.

ANTONY
Ay, Lepidus.

LEPIDUS
Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the
operation of your sun; so is your crocodile.

ANTONY
They are so.

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.

ENOBARBUS
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; what is't?

MENAS
[Aside to POMPEY] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee,
Captain,
And hear me speak a word.

POMPEY
[ Whispers in's ear ] Forbear me till anon-
This wine for Lepidus!

LEPIDUS
What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

ANTONY
It is shap'd, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it
hath breadth; it is just so high as it is, and moves with it 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 its own colour too.

LEPIDUS
'Tis a strange serpent.

ANTONY
'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

CAESAR
Will this description satisfy him?

ANTONY
With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very
epicure.

POMPEY
[Aside to MENAS] Go, hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that!
Away!
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 th'art mad. [Rises and walks
aside]
The matter?

MENAS
I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.

POMPEY
Thou hast serv'd me with much faith. What's else to say?-
Be jolly, lords.

ANTONY
These quicksands, 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 you think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.

POMPEY
Hast thou drunk well?

MENAS
No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
Thou art, if thou dar'st 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 villainy:
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.

ENOBARBUS
Here's to thee, Menas!

MENAS
Enobarbus, welcome!

POMPEY
Fill till the cup be hid.

ENOBARBUS
There's a strong fellow, Menas.

[Pointing to the servant who carries off LEPIDUS]

MENAS
Why?

ENOBARBUS
'A bears the third part of the world, man; see'st not?

MENAS
The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all,
That it might go on wheels!

ENOBARBUS
Drink thou; increase the reels.

MENAS
Come.

POMPEY
This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

ANTONY
It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho!
Here's to Caesar!

CAESAR
I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour when I wash my brain
And it grows fouler.

ANTONY
Be a child o' th' time.

CAESAR
Possess it, I'll make answer.
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.

ENOBARBUS
[To ANTONY] Ha, my brave emperor!
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.

ENOBARBUS
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. ENOBARBUS places them hand in hand]

align="center">THE SONG

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!

CAESAR
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.

ENOBARBUS
Take heed you fall not.

Exeunt all but 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]

ENOBARBUS
Hoo! says 'a. There's my cap.

MENAS
Hoo! Noble Captain, come.

Exeunt