Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

ACT II. SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of LEPIDUS.

[Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS.]

LEPIDUS.
Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.

ENOBARBUS.
I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: if Caesar move him,
Let Antony look over Caesar's head,
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.

LEPIDUS.
'Tis not a time
For private stomaching.

ENOBARBUS.
Every time
Serves for the matter that is then born in't.

LEPIDUS.
But small to greater matters must give way.

ENOBARBUS.
Not if the small come first.

LEPIDUS.
Your speech is passion:
But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony.

[Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.]

ENOBARBUS.
And yonder, Caesar.

[Enter CAESAR, MAECENAS, and AGRIPPA.]

ANTONY.
If we compose well here, to Parthia;
Hark, Ventidius.

CAESAR.
I do not know,
Maecenas; ask Agrippa.

LEPIDUS.
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.

ANTONY.
'Tis spoken well.
Were we before our armies, and to fight,
I should do thus.

CAESAR.
Welcome to Rome.

ANTONY.
Thank you.

CAESAR.
Sit.

ANTONY.
Sit, sir.

CAESAR.
Nay, then.

ANTONY.
I learn you take things ill which are not so,
Or being, concern you not.

CAESAR.
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.

ANTONY.
My being in Egypt, Caesar,
What was't to you?

CAESAR.
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.

ANTONY.
How intend you practis'd?

CAESAR.
You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent
By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother
Made wars upon me; and their contestation
Was theme for you, you were the word of war.

ANTONY.
You do mistake your business; my brother never
Did urge me in his act: I did inquire 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.

CAESAR.
You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me; but
You patch'd up your excuses.

ANTONY.
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' theworld is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

ENOBARBUS.
Would we had all such wives, that the men
Might go to wars with the women.

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As the play unfolds, to whom is Antony betrothed?




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