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So differing in their acts. Yet, if I knew
What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to edge
O’ the world I would pursue it.
Agr. Give me leave, Cæsar,—
Cæs. Speak, Agrippa.
Agr. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
Admir’d Octavia : great Mark Antony
Is now a widower.
Cas. Say not so, Agrippa;
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
Were well deserv'd of rashness. .
Ant. I am not married, Cæsar : let me hear
Agrippa further speak.
Agr. To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts With an unslipping knot, take Antony Octavia to his wife : whose beauty claims No worse a husband than the best of men; Whose virtue, and whose general graces, speak That which none else can utter. By this marriage, All little jealousies, which now seem great, And all great fears, which now import their dangers, Would then be nothing : truths would be but tales, Where now half tales be truths: her love to both, Would, each to other, and all loves to both, Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke; For 'tis a studied, not a present thought, By duty ruminated.
Ant. Will Cæsar speak?
Cæs. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd With what is spoke already.
Ant. What power is in Agrippa,
If I would say, Agrippa, be it so,
To make this good ?
Cæs. The power of Cæsar, and
His power unto Octavia.
Ant. May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
Dream of impediment !- Let me have thy hand:
Further this act of grace; and, from this hour,
The heart of brothers govern in our loves,
And sway our great designs !
Cæs. There is my hand.
A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
Did ever love so dearly: Let her live
To join our kingdoms, and our hearts; and never
Fly off our loves again!
Lep. Happily, amen!
Ant. I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pom-
For he hath laid strange courtesies, and great,
Of late upon me: I must thank him only,
Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
At heel of that, defy him.
Lep. Time calls upon us :
Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.
Ant. And where lies he ?
Cæs. About the Mount Misenum.
Ant. What's his strength
Cas. Great, and increasing : but by sea He is an absolute master.
Ant. So is the fame.
'Would, we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, despatch we
The business we have talk'd of.
Cas. With most gladness;
And do invite you to my sister's view,
Whither straight I will lead you.
Ant. Let us, Lepidus,
Not lack your company.
Lep. Noble Antony,
Not sickness should detain me.
[Flourish. Exeunt CÆSAR, Antony, and LEPIDUS. Mec. Welcome from Egypt, sir.
Eno. Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecænas !my honourable friend, Agrippa !
Agr. Good Enobarbus!
Mec. We have cause to be glad, that matters are so well digested. You stayed well by it in Egypt.
Eno. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking.
Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there; Is this true ?
Eno. This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.
Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
Agr. There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised well for her.
Eno. I will tell you:
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them : the oars were
Which to the tune of Autes kept stroke, and made
The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description : she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, of tissue,)
O’er-picturing that Venus, where we see
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.
Agr. O, rare for Antony !
Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming Mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthron’d in the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.
Agr. Rare Egyptian!
Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her, Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better, he became her guest;
Which she entreated : Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of No woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast;
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart,
For what his eyes eat only.
Agr. Royal wench !
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed ;
He plough'd her, and she cropp’d.
Eno. I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street:
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect, perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.
Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Eno. Never; he will not ;
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: Other women
Cloy th' appetites they feed; but she makes hungry,
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her, when she is riggish.
Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery to him.
Agr. Let us go.
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest,
Whilst you abide here.
Eno. Humbly sir, I thank you.