’Good friend,’ quoth he ’Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot, To mend the petty present, I will piece Her opulent throne with kingdoms; all the east, Say thou, shall call her mistress.’
—Menas, I did not think This amorous surfeiter would have donn’d his helm For such a petty war; his soldiership Is twice the other twain: but let us rear The higher our opinion, that our stirring Can from the lap of Egypt’s widow pluck The ne’er lust-wearied Antony.
Such as I am, I come from Antony: I was of late as petty to his ends As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf To his grand sea.
Were’t not that we stand up against them all, ’Twere pregnant they should square between themselves; For they have entertained cause enough To draw their swords: but how the fear of us May cement their divisions, and bind up The petty difference, we yet not know.
This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possess’d of: ’tis exactly valued; Not petty things admitted.