2. SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of LEPIDUS.
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthron'd i' the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.
Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper: she replied
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated: our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed:
He ploughed her, and she cropp'd.
I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And, having lost her breath, she spoke and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.
Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Never; he will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies: for vilest things
Become themselves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.
If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery to him.
Let us go.--
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
Whilst you abide here.
Humbly, sir, I thank you.