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Shakespeare's tragedy of Anthony and Cleopatra; online

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Room in Cleopatra's Palace




friends to Antony.

friends to Caesar.

Mark Antony, 1

OcTAVius C^SAR, \ triumvirs.

M. tEmilius Lepidus, J

Sextus Pomteius.

DoMiTius Enobarbus,





Demetrius, |

Philo, J







Menas, 1

Menecrates, \ friends to Pompey.

Varrius, J

Taurus, lieutenant-general to Caesar.

Canidius, lieutenant-general to Antony.

SiLius, an officer in Ventidius's army.

EuPHRONius, an ambassador from Antony to Caesar.

Alexas, 1

Mardian, a Eunuch, I .^„„ j ^^ r^1„„.,„^„„

Seleucus, j- attendants on Cleopatra.


A Soothsayer.

A Clown.

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.

Octavia, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony.

JJ^^g^^'^^' j attendants on Cleopatra.

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
Scene: /m several parts of the Roman empire.

Atrium in Cesar's House


Scene I. Alexandria, A Room in Cleopatra's Palace

Enter Demetrius and Philo

Philo. Nay, but this dotage of our general's
O'erflows the measure. Those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front ; his captain's heart.
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst


30 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gypsy's lust. —

Flourish. Enter Antony, Cleopatra, her Ladies ^ the
Train, with Eunuchs fanning her

Look, where they come ! lo
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool ; behold and see.

Cleopatra. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Antony. There 's beggary in the love that can be

Cleopatra. I '11 set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
Antony. Then must thou needs find out new heaven,
new earth.

Enter an Attendant

Attendant. News, my good lord, from Rome.

Antony. Grates me ; the sum.

Cleopatra. Nay, hear them, Antony.
Fulvia perchance is angry ; or, who knows 20

If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, ' Do this, or this ;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that ;
Perform 't, or else we damn thee ' ?

Antony. How, my love !

Cleopatra, l^erchance, — nay, and most like, —
You must not stay here longer, your dismission
Is come from Caesar ; therefore hear it, Antony.

Scene I] Antony and Cleopatra 31

Where 's Fulvia's process ? Caesar's, I would say ? both ? —
Call in the messengers. — As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine 30

Is Caesar's homager ; else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. — The messengers !

Antony. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall ! Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay ; our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
Is to do thus, when such a mutual pair \_Embracing.

And such a twain can do 't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless.

Cleopatra. Excellent falsehood ! 40

Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her ? —
I '11 seem the fool I am not ; Antony
Will be himself.

Antony. But stirr'd by Cleopatra. —

Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let 's not confound the time with conference harsh j
There 's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now. What sport to-night ?

Cleopatra. Hear the ambassadors.

Antony. Fie, wrangling queen !

Whom every thing becomes — to chide, to laugh,
To weep ; whose every passion fully strives 50

To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd !
No messenger but thine ; and all alone
To-night we '11 wander through the streets and note

32 Antony and Cleopatra [Act I

The qualities of people. Come, my queen ;
Last night you did desire it. — Speak ~fiot to us.

\Exeunt Antojty and Cleopatra with their train.

Demetiiits. Is Caesar with Antonius priz'd so slight?

Philo. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.

Demetrius. I am full sorry

That he approves the common liar, who 60

Thus speaks of him at Rome ; but I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy ! \_Exeunt.

Scene II. The Same. Another Room
Enter Charmian, .Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer

Charmian\\uOrA Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any
thing Alexas, athiost most absolute Alexas, where 's the
soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? j O, that
I knew this husband, which, you say, must <fharge his
horns with garlands !

Alexas. Soothsayer !

Soothsayer. Your will?

Chai-niian. Is this the man ? — Is 't you, sir, that know
things ?

Soothsayer. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
A httle I can read.

Alexas, Show him your hand. 10


Scene II] Antony and Cleopatra ^3

Ente7' Enobarbus

Enobarhus. Bring in the banquet quickly ; wine enough
Cleopatra's health to drink.

Charmian. Good sir, give me good fortune.

Soothsayer. I make not, but foresee.

Charmian, Pray, then, foresee me one.

Soothsayer. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Charmian. He means in flesh.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

Charmian. Wrinkles forbid !

Alexas. Vex not his prescience \ be attentive. 20

Charmian. Hush !

Soothsayer. You shall be more beloving than belov'd.

Charmian. I had rather neat my liver with drinking.

Alexas. Nay, hear him.

Charmiafi. Good now, some excellent fortune ! Let
me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow
them all ; let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod
of Jewry may do homage ; find me to marry me with
Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.

Soothsayer. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

Charmian. O excellent ! I love long life better than
figs. - 31

Soothsayer. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former
Than that which is to approach.

Cha7'mian. Then belike my children shall have no
Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

ANTONY — 3 .

34 Antony and, Cleopatra [Act i

Soothsayer. If fertile every wish, a million.

Charmian. Out, fool ! I forgive thee for a witch.

Alexas. You think none but your sheets are privy
to your wishes.

Charmian. Nay, come, tell Iras hers. 40

Alexas. We '11 know all our fortunes.

Enobarbus. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night,
shall be — drunk to bed.

Iras. There 's a palm presages chastity, if nothing

Charmian. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth

Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Charmian. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful
prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, 50
tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Soothsayer. Your fortunes are ahke.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.

Soothsayer. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she ?

Charmian. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune
better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Charmian. Our worser thoughts heavens mend !
Alexas, — come, his fortune, his fortune ! — O, let him 60
marry a woman that cannot go, (sweet Isis, % beseech
thee ! and let her die too, and give him a worse ! and
let worse follow worse till the worst of all follow him
laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold ! — Good

Scene II] Antony and Cleopatra 35

Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a
matter of more weight ; good Isis, I beseech thee !

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of
the people ! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a
handsome man loose- wived, so it is a deadly sorrow
to behold a foul knave uncuckolded ; therefore, dear 70
Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly !

Charmian. Amen.

Alexas. Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me
a cuckold, they 'd do 't !

Enobarbus. Hush ! here comes Antony.

Charmian, Not he \ the queen.

Enter Cleopatra

Cleopatra. Saw you my lord ?

Enobarbus. No, lady.

Cleopatra. Was he not here ?

Charmian, No, madam.

Cleopatra. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him. — Enobarbus !

Enobarbus. Madam ? 80

Cleopatra. Seek him, and bring him hither. — Where 's
Alexas ?

Alexas. Here, at your service. — My lord approaches.

Cleopatra. We will not look upon him ; go with us.

Enter Antony with a Messenger and Attendants

Messenger. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Antony. Against my brother Lucius?

36 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

Messenger. Ay ;
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Caesar,
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy 89

Upon the first encounter drave them.

Antony. Well, what worst?

Messenger. The nature of bad news infects the teller.

Antony. When it concerns the fool or coward. — On !
Things that are past are done with me. — 'T is thus :
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.

Messenger. Labienus — .

This is stiff news — hath, with his Parthian force,
Extended Asia from Euphrates,
His conquering banner shook from Syria
To Lydia and to Ionia, 99

Whilst —

Antony. Antony, thou wouldst say, —

Messenger. O, my lord !

Antony. Speak to me home, mince not the general
tongue :
Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome ;
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunt my faults
With such full license as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds
When our quick minds lie still, and our ills told us
Is as our earing ! Fare thee well awhile.

Messenger. At your noble pleasure. \_Exit.

Antony. From Sicyon, ho, the news ! Speak there !

Scene II] Antony and Cleopatra 37

1 Attendant. The man from Sicyon, — is there such

an one? no

2 Attendant, He stays upon your will.

Antony. Let him appear. —

These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, .
Or lose myself in dotage.

Enter another Messenger.

What are you ?

2 Messenger. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Antony. Where died she?

Messenger. In Sicyon ;
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears. \^Gives a letter.

Antony. Forbear me. —

\_Exit 2 Messenger.
"There 's a great spirit gone ! Thus did I desire it.
What our contempt doth often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again ; the present pleasure, 120

By revolution lowering, does become
The opposite of itself. She 's good, being gone ;
The hand could gluck her back that shov'd her on.
I must from this ^nchanting queen break off;
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know.
My idleness doth hatch. — Ho ! Enobarbus !

Re-enter Enobarbus

Enobarbus. What's your pleasure, sir?
Antony. I must with haste from hence.
Enobarbus. Why, then, we kill all our women. We

38 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

see how mortal an unkindness is to them ; if they suffer 130
our departure, death's the word.

Antony. I must be gone.

Enobarbus. Under a compelling occasion, let women
die ; it were pity to cast them away for nothing,
though, between them and a great cause, they should
be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the
least noise of this, dies instantly ; I have seen her die
twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do think
there is mettle in death which commits some loving
act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying. . 140

Antony. She is cunning past man's thought.

Enobarbus. Alack, sir, no : her passions are made
of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot
call her winds and waters sighs and tears ; they are
greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report.
This cannot be cunning in her ; if it be, she makes, a
shower of rain as well as Jove.

Antony. Would I had never seen her !

Enobarbus. O, sir, you had then left, unseen a
wonderful piece of work, which not to have been blest 150
withal would have discredited your travel.

Antony. Fulvia is dead.

Enobarbus. Sir?

Antony. Fulvia is dead.

Enobarbus. Fulvia !

Antony. Dead.

Enobarbus. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful
sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the

Scene II] Antony and Cleopatra 39

wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of
the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are 160
worn out, there are members to make new. If there
were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed
a cut and the case to be lamented. This grief is
crowned with consolation ; your old smock brings
forth a new petticoat ; — and indeed the tears live in
an onion that should water this sorrow.

Antony. The business she hath broached in the
Cannot endure my absence.

Enobarbus, And the business you have broached
here cannot be without you ; especially that of Cleo-
patra's, which wholly depends on your abode. 171

Antony. No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the queen.
And get her leave to part ; for not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us, but the letters too
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Csesar and commands 180

The empire of the sea ; our shppery people.
Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
Pompey the Great and all his dignities
Upon his son, who, high in name and power.
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up

40 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

For the main soldier, whose quality, going on,

The sides o' the world may danger. Much is breeding

Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life.

And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, 190

To such whose place is under us, requires

Our quick remove from hence.

Enobarbus. I shall do 't. \_Exeunt.

Scene III. The Same. Another Room

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas

Cleopatra. Where is he?

Charmian. I did not see him since.

Cleopatra. See where he is, who 's with him, what he
does ;
I did not send you. — If you find him sad.
Say I am dancing ; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

\_Exit Alexas.
Charmian. Madam, methinks, if you did love him
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

Cleopatra. What should I do, I do not?

Charmian. In each thing give him way, cross him in

Cleopatra. Thou teachest hke a fool, — the way* to
lose him. 10

Scene III] Antony and Cleopatra 41

Charmian. Tempt him not so too far ; I wish, for-
In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.

Enter Antony

Cleopatra. I am sick and sullen.

Antony. I am sorry to give breathing to my pur-
pose, — / ''
■ Cleopatra. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature /
Will not sustain it. s

Antony. Now, my dearest queen, — ■ ' ** •

Cleopatra. Pray you, stand farther from me.

Antony. What 's the matter ?

Cleopatra. I know, by that same eye, there 's some
good news.
What says the married woman ? — You may go ; — ^o"
Would she haSniever given you leave to come !
Let her not say 't is I that keep you here ;
I have no power upon you, hers you are.

Antony. The gods best know —

Cleopatra. O, never was there queen

So mightily betray'd ! yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.

Antony. Cleopatra, — -

Cleopatra. Why should I think you can be mine and

42 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows 30

Which break themselves in swearing,!

Antony, "-*-==*' Most sweet queen, —

Cleopatra. Nay, pray you, seek^ no colour for your
But bid farewell and go. When you sued staying.
Then was the time for words. No going then j
Eternity was in our lips and eyes.
Bliss in our brows' bent, none our parts so poor
But was a race of heaven ; they are so still.
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.

Antony. How now, lady !

Cleopatra. I would I had thy inches ; thou shouldst
know 40

There were a heart in Egypt.

Antony. Hear me, queen.

The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
Shines o'er with civil swords ; Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.
Equality of two domestic powers

Breed scrupulous faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love ; the condemn'd Pompey,
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace 50

Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd

Scene III] Antony and Cleopatra 43

Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten ;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change. My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going.
Is Fulvia's death.

Cleopatra. Though age from folly could not give me
It does from childishness. — Can Fulvia die?

Antony. She 's dead, my queen. „ - -****
Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read 60

The garboils she awak'd ; at the last, best,
See when and where she died.

Cleopatra. \0 most false love ! j

Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see.
In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.

Anto7iy. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes I bear, which are, or cease.
As you shall give the advice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war 70

As thou affect'st.

Cleopatra. Cut my lace, Charmian, come. —

But let it be. — I am quickly ill, — and well.
So Antony loves.

Antony. My precious queen, forbear, "

And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.

Cleopatra. So Fulvia told me.

44 Antony and Cleopatra [Act I

I prithee, turn aside and weep for her ;
Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
Like perfect honour.

Antony. You '11 heat my blood ; no more. 80

Cleopatra. You can do better yet ; but this is meetly.

Antony. Now, by my sword, —

Cleopatra. And target. — Still he mends.

But this is not the best. — Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.

Antony. I '11 leave you, lad v.

Cleopatra. (^Courteous lord,' one word.

Sir, you and I must part, — but that 's not it^*'
Sir, you and I have lov'd, — but there 's not it ;
That you know well ; something it is I would, — ■
O, ray oblivion is a very Antony, 90

And I am all forgotten.

Antony. But that your royalty

Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.

Cleopatra. 'T is sweating labour

To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me.
Since my becomings kill me when they do not
Eye well to you. Your honour calls you hence ;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you ! Upon your sword

Scene IV] Antony and Cleopatra 45

Sit laurel victory ! and smooth success 100

Be strevv'd before your feet !

Antony. Let us go. Come -,

Our separation so abides and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me.
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Away ! \_Exeunt.

Scene IV. Rome. Ccesar's House

Enter Octavius C^sar, reading a letter, Lepidus, and

their Train

JHcesar. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate
Our great competitor. From Alexandria
This is the news : he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel ; is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he ; hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf d to think he had partners. You shall find there
A man who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.

Lepidus. I must not think there are ic

Evils enow to darken all his goodness.
His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness, hereditary
Rather than purchas'd, what he cannot change
Than what he chooses.

CcBsar. You are too indulgent. Let us grant it is not

46 Antony and Cleopatra [Act i

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 20

With knaves that smell of sweat; say this becomes

him, —
As his composure must be rare indeed
Whom these 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
Call 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, — 't is to be chid 30

As we rate boys, who, being mature in knowledge.
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure
And so rebel to judgment.

Enter a Messenger

Lepidus, Here 's more news.

Messenger. Thy biddings have been done ; and every
Most noble Caesar, Ishalt thou have report
How 't is abroad. ^ Pompey is strong at sea,
And it appears he is belov'd of those
That only have fear'd Caesar ; to the ports
The discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.


Scene IV] Antony and Cleopatra 47

Ccesar, I should have known no less. 40

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 lov'd till ne'er worth love,
Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This common body,
Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream.
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.

Messenger. 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 50

They make in Italy ; the borders maritime
Lack blood to think on 't, and flush youth revolt.
No vessel can peep forth but 't is as soon
Taken as seen, for Pompey's name strikes more
Than could his war resisted.

Ccesar. Antony,

Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
Did famine follow, whom thou fought'st against.
Though daintily brought up, with patience more 60

Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink
The stale of horses and the gilded puddle
Which beasts would cough at ; thy palate then did deign
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge ;
Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsedst ; on the Alps

48 Antony and Cleopatra FAct i

It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh,

Which some did die to look on ; and all this —

It wounds thine honour that I speak it now —

Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek 70

So much as lank'd not.

Lepidus. 'T is pity of him.

Ccesar. Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome. 'T is time we twain
Did show ourselves i' the field, and to that end
Assemble we immediate council ; Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.

Lepidus. To-morrow, Caesar,

I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able
To front this present time.

Ccesar. Till which encounter,

It is my business too. Farewell. 80

Lepidus. Farewell, my lord. What you shall know
Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
To let me be partaker.

Ccesar. Doubt not, sir ;

I knew it for my bond. \^Exeunt.

Scene V. Alexandria. Cleopatra'' s Palace

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian

Cleopatra. Charmian !
Charmian. Madam ?

Scene V] Antony and Cleopatra 49

Cleopatra. Ha, ha ! —
Give me to drink mandragora.

Chantiian, Why, madam?

Cleopatra. That I might sleep out this great gap of
My Antony is away.

Charmian, You think of him too much.

Cleopat7'a. O, 't is treason !

Charmian. Madam, I trust, not so.

Cleopatra. Thou, eunuch Mardian !

Mardiaji. What 's your highness' pleasure ?

Cleopatra. Not now to hear thee sing. — O Charmian,
Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits
he? 10

Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?
O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony ! mmmmm
Do bravely, horse ! for wot'st thou whom thou mov'st?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men. — He 's speaking now.

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