ACT 2 SCENE 1: Messina. POMPEY's house.

[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.                                                                                [5]

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                                 [10]
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,                                              [15]
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,                                [20]
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;                                             [25]
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
Even till a Lethe'd dullness!

[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                                                 [30]
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                                                 [35]
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;                                       [40]
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;              [45]
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                                           [50]
Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
Come, Menas.

[Exeunt]


Go to the next scene.
Go to the previous scene.
Return to the list of scenes