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are ill-rooted already, the least wind i'the world will blow them down.

2 Serv. Lepidus is high-coloured.

1 Serv. They have made him drink alms-drink. 5

2 Serv. As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out, no more; reconciles them to his entreaty, and himself to the drink.

1 Serv. But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.

2 Serv. Why, this it is to have a name in great men's fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service, as a partizan 6 I could not heave.

1 Serv. To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.

A Sennet sounded. Enter CESAR, ANTONY, POMPEY, LEPIDUS, AGRIPPA, MECENAS, ENOBARBUS, MENAS, with other Captains.

Ant. Thus do they, sir: [to CESAR.] They take the flow o'the Nile

By certain scales i'the pyramid; they know,

By the height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth,
Or foizon, follow: The higher Nilus swells,

The more it promises: as it ebbs, the seedsman
Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,

And shortly comes to harvest.

Lep. You have strange serpents there.

5 They have made him drink alms-drink.] A phrase, amongst good fellows, to signify that liquor of another's share which his companion drinks to ease him. But it satirically alludes to Cæsar and Antony's admitting him into the triumvirate, in order to take off from themselves the load of envy.

6 — a partizan-] A pike.

the mean,] i. e. the middle.

Or foizon, follow :] Foizon is a French word signifying plenty, abundance.

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Ant. Ay, Lepidus.

Lep. Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun: so is your crocodile.

Ant. They are so.

Pom. Sit, and some wine.-A health to Lepidus. Lep. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er


Eno. Not till you have slept; I fear me, you'll be in till then.

Lep. Nay, certainly, I have heard, the Ptolomies' pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction, I have heard that.

Men. Pompey, a word.



Say in mine year: what is't? Men. Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,

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Lep. What manner o'thing is your crocodile ?

Ant. It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

Lep. What colour is it of?
Ant. Of its own colour too.

Lep. 'Tis a strange serpent.

Ant. 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

Cæs. Will this description satisfy him?

Ant. With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.

9 I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things;] Pyramis for pyramid was in common use in our author's time.

From this word Shakspeare formed the English plural, pyramises, to mark the indistinct pronunciation of a man nearly intoxicated, whose tongue is now beginning to " split what it speaks."

Pom. [to MENAS aside.] Go, hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? away!

Do as I bid you.

Where's this cup I call'd for? Men. If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,

Rise from thy stool.


[Aside. I think, thou'rt mad. The matter? [Rises, and walks aside.

Men. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes. Pom. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith: What's else to say?

Be jolly, lords.


These quicksands, Lepidus,

Keep off them, for you sink.

Men. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?


What say'st thou ?

Men. Wilt thou be lord of the whole world?

That's twice.

Pom. How should that be?


But entertain it, and,

Although thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.


Hast thou drunk well?

Men. No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.

Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove:

Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,'

Is thine, if thou wilt have't.


Show me which way.

Men. These three world-sharers, these competitors, 2

Are in thy vessel: Let me cut the cable;

And, when we are put off, fall to their throats:

All there is thine.


Ah, this thou should'st have done,

And not have spoke on't! In me, 'tis villainy;

In thee, it had been good service. Thou must know, 'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour;



—or sky inclips,] i. e. embraces...

competitors, i. e. confederates, partners.

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.

Men. For this,

Desist, and drink.


I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes3 more.
Who seeks, and will not take, when once 'tis offer'd,
Shall never find it more.


This health to Lepidus.

Ant. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him,


Eno. Here's to thee, Menas.


Pom. Fill, till the cup be hid.

Enobarbus, welcome.

Eno. There's a strong fellow, Menas.

[Pointing to the Attendant who carries off





He bears

The third part of the world, man; See'st not?

Men. The third part then is drunk: 'Would it were all,

That it might go on wheels!

Eno. Drink thou; increase the reels.

Men. Come.

Pom. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

Ant. It ripens towards it.-Strike the vessels1, ho!

Here is to Cæsar.

Cæs. I could well forbear it.

It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,

And it grows fouler.


Be a child o'the time.

3— thy pall'd fortunes-] Palled is vapid, past its time of excellence; palled wine, is wine that has lost its original sprightliness. JOHNSON.

4— Strike the vessels,] i. e. chink the vessels one against the other, as a mark of our unanimity in drinking, as we now say, chink glasses.

Cas. Possess it, I'll make answer: but I had rather


From all, four days, than drink so much in one.

Eno. Ha, my brave emperor!

Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals,

And celebrate our drink?



Let's ha't, good soldier.

Ant. Come, let us all take hands;

'Till that the conquering wine hath steeped our sense In soft and delicate lethe.


All take hands.

Make battery to our ears with the loud musick:

The while, I'll place you: Then the boy shall sing;
The holding every man shall bear3, as loud

As his strong sides can volley.

[Musick plays. ENOBARBUS places them hand

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With thy grapes our hairs be crown'd;
Cup us, till the world go round;

Cup us, till the world go round!

Cas. What would you more?-Pompey, good night.
Good brother,

Let me request you off: our graver business
Frowns at this levity.-Gentle lords, let's part;

5 The holding every man shall bear,] To bear the burden, or, as it

is here called, the holding of a song, is the phrase at this day.


with pink eyne:] Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, says a pink eye is a small eye, and quotes this passage for his authority. Pink eyne, however, may be red eyes: eyes inflamed with drinking, are very well appropriated to Bacchus.

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