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'Twere pregnant they should square between them
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 it as our gods will have it! It only stands
Our lives upon, to use our strongest hands.
SCENE II.— Rome. A Room in the House of Lepidus.
Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS.
Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.
Eno. I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: If Cæsar move him,
Let Antony look over Cæsar's head,
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonio's beard,
I would not shave to-day.
Lep. 'Tis not a time
For private stomaching.
Eno. Every time
Serves for the matter that is then born in it.
Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Eno. Not if the small come first.
Lep. Your speech is passion :
But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony.
Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.
Eno. And yonder, Cæsar.
Enter CÆSAR, Mecænas, and AGRIPPA. Ant. If we compose well here, to Parthia: Hark you, Ventidius.
Cæs. I do not know, Mecænas; ask Agrippa.
Lep. Noble friends,
That which combin’d us was most great, and let not
A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
May it be gently heard : When we debate
Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds: Then, noble partners,
(The rather, for I earnestly beseech,)
Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor curstness grow to the matter.
Ant. 'Tis spoken well;
Were we before our armies, and to fight,
I should do thus.
Cæs. Welcome to Rome.
Ant. Thank you.
Ant. Sit, sir !
Ant. I learn, you take things ill, which are not so ; Or, being, concern you not.
Cæs. I must be laugh'd at,
If, or for nothing, or a little, I
Should say myself offended; and with you
Chiefly i' the world : more laugh’d at, that I should Once name you derogately, when to sound your name It not concern'd me.
Ant. My being in Egypt, Cæsar,
What was't to you?
Cæs. No more than my residing here at Rome
Might be to you in Egypt: Yet, if you there
Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
Might be my question.
Ant. How intend you, practis'd ?
Cæs. You may be pleas’d to catch at mine intent,
By what did here befal me. Your wife, and brother,
Made wars upon me; and their contestation
Was theme for you, you were the word of war.
Ant. You do mistake your business: my brother never
Did urge me in his act: I did enquire it;
And have my learning from some true reports,
That drew their swords with you. · Did he not rather
Discredit my authority with yours;
And make the wars alike against my stomach,
Having alike your cause ? Of this, my letters
Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
As matter whole you have not to make it with,
It must not be with this.
Cæs. You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me; but
You patch'd up your excuses.
Ant. Not so, not so;
I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
Very necessity of this thought, that I,
Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
Which 'fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
I would you had her spirit in such another :
The third o’the world is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
Eno. 'Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
Ant. So much incurable, her garboils, Cæsar,
Made out of her impatience, (which not wanted
Shrewdness of policy too,) I grieving grant,
Did you too much disquiet: for that, you must
But say, I could not help it.
Cæs. I wrote to you,
When rioting in Alexandria ; you
Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
Did gibe my missive out of audience.
He fell upon me, ere admitted ; then
Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
Of what I was i’ the morning; but, next day,
I told him of myself; which was as much
As to have ask'd him pardon: Let this fellow
Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
Out of our question wipe him.
Cæs. You have broken
The article of your oath ; which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.
Lep. Soft, Cæsar.
Ant. No, Lepidus, let him speak;
The honour's sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lack'd it: But on, Cæsar;
The article of my oath,
Cæs. To lend me arms, and aid, when I requir'd
The which you both denied.
Ant. Neglected, rather;
And then, when poison’d hours had bound me up
From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
I'll play the penitent to you : but mine honesty
Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
Work without it: Truth is, that Fulvia,
To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
So far ask pardon, as befits mine honour
To stoop in such a case.
Lep. 'Tis nobly spoken.
Mec. If it might please you, to enforce no further The griefs between ye: to forget them quite, Were to remember that the present need Speaks to atone you.
Lep. Worthily spoke, Mecænas.
Eno. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant, you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to wrangle in, when you have nothing else to do.
Ant. Thou art a soldier only; speak no more.
Eno. That truth should be silent, I had almost for-
Ant. You wrong this presence, therefore speak no
more. Eno. Go to then; your considerate stone.
Cæs. I do not much dislike the matter, but The manner of his speech : for it cannot be, We shall remain in friendship, our conditions