Act 1 - Scene 4
Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR's house.
Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter, LEPIDUS, and their Train
You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate
Our great competitor: from
This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel; is not more man-
Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
to think he had partners: you shall find there
A man who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.
I must not think there are
Evils enow to darken all his goodness:
His faults in him seem as the spots of
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
what he chooses.
You are too indulgent. Let us grant, it is not
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
To give a kingdom
for a mirth; to sit
And keep the turn of tippling with a slave;
To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
knaves that smell of sweat: say this
As his composure must be rare indeed
things cannot blemish, yet must Antony
No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
So great weight in his
lightness. If he fill'd
His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
on him for't: but to confound such time,
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own
state and ours,'tis to be chid
As we rate boys, who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to
their present pleasure,
And so rebel to judgment.
Enter a Messenger
Here's more news.
Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,
Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report
How 'tis abroad.
Pompey is strong at sea;
And it appears he is beloved of those
That only have fear'd Caesar: to the ports
discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.
I should have known no less.
It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he which is was wish'd
until he were;
And the ebb'd man, ne'er loved till ne'er worth love,
Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This
Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
rot itself with motion.
Caesar, I bring thee word,
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Make the sea serve them, which they
ear and wound
With keels of every kind: many hot inroads
They make in Italy; the borders maritime
blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt:
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
Taken as seen; for
Pompey's name strikes more
Than could his war resisted.
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