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Antony and Cleopatra

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Music plays. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet
Music plays. Two or three SERVANTS enter with a feast.

FIRST SERVANT
Here they’ll be, man. Some o’ their plants are ill-rooted already. The least wind i’ th’ world will blow them down.
FIRST SERVANT
Here’s where they’ll end up, on the floor. Some of them are leaning already. It won’t take much for them to fall over.

SECOND SERVANT
Lepidus is high-colored.
SECOND SERVANT
Lepidus is red in the face.

FIRST SERVANT
They have made him drink alms-drink.
FIRST SERVANT
They made him drink the leftover wine usually given to the poor.

5
SECOND SERVANT
As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out, “No more,” reconciles them to his entreaty and himself to th’ drink.
SECOND SERVANT
Their various personalities grate on one another. Lepidus cries, “No more arguing!” and then when they agree he resigns himself to drink.

FIRST SERVANT
But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.
FIRST SERVANT
Which goes on to impede his judgment.

SECOND SERVANT
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 partisan I could not heave.
SECOND SERVANT
That’s what happens when you partner with great men but lack their power. I’d rather carry a reed that obviously can’t protect me than a sword I cannot lift.

FIRST SERVANT
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.
FIRST SERVANT
To be so unimportant in the company of important men is like having a face without any eyes.
A sennet sounded. Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, POMPEY, LEPIDUS, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS, and MENAS, with other captains and a BOY
A trumpet call sounds. CAESAR, ANTONY, POMPEY, LEPIDUS, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS, and MENAS enter, along with other captains and a BOY.




20


ANTONY
Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o’ th’ Nile
By certain scales i’ th’ Pyramid. They know
By th’ height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth
Or foison 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.
ANTONY
This is how they do it, sir: they measure the depth of the Nile, according to certain marks made on the walls of the Pyramid. They know by those measurements if there will be famine or plenty. The higher the Nile flows, the better the harvest. As the river ebbs, the farmer scatters his seeds on the remaining silt. The harvest comes shortly after that.