Plutarch and Shakespeare Compared

The Life of Marcus Antonius Antony and Cleopatra
And when they [Antony, Caesar, Lepidus, Pompey, et al ] began to grow warm, and jests were passing freely on Antony and Cleopatra's loves, Menas, the pirate, whispered Pompey, in the ear, "Shall I," said he, "cut the cables and make you master not of Sicily only and Sardinia, but of the whole Roman empire?" Pompey, having considered a little while, returned him answer, "Menas, this might have been done without acquainting me; now we must rest content; I do not break my word.


Pompey

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 thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.
POMPEY
Hast thou drunk well?
MENAS
Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
Thou art, if thou darest 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 villany;
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.

II.vii.62-81


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