Enter Antony.

Ant. We can conquer,
You see, without your aid.
We have dislodged their troops;
They look on us at distance, and, like curs
’Scaped from the lion’s paws, they bay far off.
And lick their wounds, and faintly threaten war.
Five thousand Romans, with their faces upward,
Lie breathless on the plain.

Vent. ’Tis well; and he,
Who lost them, could have spared ten thousand more.
Yet if, by this advantage, you could gain
An easier peace, while Cæsar doubts the chance
Of arms—

Ant. Oh, think not on’t, Ventidius!
The boy pursues my ruin, he’ll no peace;
His malice is considerate in advantage.
Oh, he’s the coolest murderer! so staunch,
He kills, and keeps his temper.

Vent. Have you no friend
In all his army, who has power to move him?
Mæcenas, or Agrippa, might do much.

Ant. They’re both too deep in Cæsar’s interests.
We’ll work it out by dint of sword, or perish.

Vent. Fain I would find some other.

Ant. Thank thy love.
Some four or five such victories as this
Will save thy further pains.

Vent. Expect no more; Cæsar is on his guard:
I know, sir, you have conquered against odds;
But still you draw supplies from one poor town,
And of Egyptians: he has all the world,
And, at his beck, nations come pouring in,
To fill the gaps you make. Pray, think again.

Ant. Why dost thou drive me from myself, to search
For foreign aids?—to hunt my memory,
And range all o’er a waste and barren place,
To find a friend? The wretched have no friends.
Yet I had one, the bravest youth of Rome,
Whom Cæsar loves beyond the love of women:
He could resolve his mind, as fire does wax,
From that hard rugged image melt him down,
And mould him in what softer form he pleased.

Vent. Him would I see; that man, of all the world;
Just such a one we want.

Ant. He loved me too;
I was his soul; he lived not but in me:
We were so closed within each other’s breasts,
The rivets were not found, that joined us first.
That does not reach us yet: we were so mixt,
As meeting streams, both to ourselves were lost;
We were one mass; we could not give or take,
But from the same; for he was I, I he.

Vent. He moves as I would wish him.

Ant. After this,
I need not tell his name;—’twas Dolabella.

Vent. He’s now in Cæsar’s camp.

Ant. No matter where,
Since he’s no longer mine. He took unkindly,
That I forbade him Cleopatra’s sight,
Because I feared he loved her: he confessed,
He had a warmth, which, for my sake, he stifled;
For ’twere impossible that two, so one,
Should not have loved the same. When he departed.
He took no leave; and that confirmed my thoughts.

Vent. It argues, that he loved you more than her,
Else he had stayed; but he perceived you jealous,
And would not grieve his friend: I know he loves you.

Ant. I should have seen him, then, ere now.

Vent. Perhaps
He has thus long been labouring for your peace.

Ant. Would he were here!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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