Antony and Cleopatra
William Shakespeare [Collins edition]
Part 1 out of 4
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
by William Shakespeare
OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir
M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS, Triumvir
SEXTUS POMPEIUS Triumvir
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, friend to Antony
VENTIDIUS, friend to Antony
EROS, friend to Antony
SCARUS, friend to Antony
DERCETAS, friend to Antony
DEMETRIUS, friend to Antony
PHILO, friend to Antony
MAECENAS, friend to Caesar
AGRIPPA, friend to Caesar
DOLABELLA, friend to Caesar
PROCULEIUS, friend to Caesar
THYREUS, friend to Caesar
GALLUS, friend to Caesar
MENAS, friend to Pompey
MENECRATES, friend to Pompey
VARRIUS, friend to Pompey
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, attendant on Cleopatra
MARDIAN, attendant on Cleopatra
SELEUCUS, attendant on Cleopatra
DIOMEDES, attendant on Cleopatra
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt
OCTAVIA, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony
CHARMIAN, Attendant on Cleopatra
IRAS, Attendant on Cleopatra
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants
SCENE: Dispersed, in several parts of the Roman Empire.
SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter DEMETRIUS and 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
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust.
Look where they come:
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.
[Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning
If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
[Enter an Attendant.]
News, my good lord, from Rome.
Grates me:--the sum.
Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
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.'
How, my love!
Perchance! Nay, and most like:--
You must not stay here longer,--your dismission
Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. --
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
Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.--The messengers!
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 [Embracing]; when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?--
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.--
Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now:--what sport to-night?
Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom everything becomes,--to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself in thee fair and admir'd!
No messenger; but thine, and all alone
To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it:--speak not to us.
[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Train.]
Is Caesar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
I am full sorry
That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!
SCENE II. Alexandria. Another Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.]
Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost
most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so
to the queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must
charge his horns with garlands!
Is this the man?--Is't you, sir, that know things?
In nature's infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.
Show him your hand.
Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough
Cleopatra's health to drink.
Good, sir, give me good fortune.
I make not, but foresee.
Pray, then, foresee me one.
You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
He means in flesh.
No, you shall paint when you are old.
Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
You shall be more beloving than beloved.
I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Nay, hear him.
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.
You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
O, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
Then belike my children shall have no names:--pr'ythee, how many
boys and wenches must I have?
If every of your wishes had a womb,
And fertile every wish, a million.
Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
We'll know all our fortunes.
Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be--
drunk to bed.
There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot
scratch mine ear.--Pr'ythee, tell her but worky-day fortune.
Your fortunes are alike.
But how, but how? give me particulars.
I have said.
Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where
would you choose it?
Not in my husband's nose.
Our worser thoughts heavens mend!--Alexas,--come, his fortune!
his fortune!--O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet
Isis, I 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, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me
this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good
Isis, I beseech thee!
Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is
a heartbreaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a
deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear
Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would
make themselves whores but they'd do't!
Hush! Here comes Antony.
Not he; the queen.
Saw you my lord?
Was he not here?
He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him.--Enobarbus,--
Seek him, and bring him hither.--Where's Alexas?
Here, at your service.--My lord approaches.
We will not look upon him: go with us.
[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHAR., IRAS, ALEX., and
[Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and Attendants.]
Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Against my brother Lucius.
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
Upon the first encounter, drave them.
Well, what worst?
The nature of bad news infects the teller.
When it concerns the fool or coward.--On:--
Things that are past are done with me.--'Tis thus;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.
This is stiff news,--hath, with his Parthian force,
Extended Asia from Euphrates;
His conquering banner shook from Syria
To Lydia and to Ionia;
Antony, thou wouldst say,--
O, my lord!
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 licence 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.
At your noble pleasure.
From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!
The man from Sicyon--is there such an one?
He stays upon your will.
Let him appear.--
These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose myself in dotage.--
[Enter another MESSENGER.]
What are you?
Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she?
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter.]
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
What our contempts doth often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become
The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her on.
I must from this enchanting queen break off:
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
My idleness doth hatch--ho, Enobarbus!
What's your pleasure, sir?
I must with haste from hence.
Why, then we kill all our women: we see how mortal an unkindness
is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
I must be gone.
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.
She is cunning past man's thought.
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.
Would I had never seen her!
O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which
not to have been blest withal would have discredited your travel.
Fulvia is dead.
Fulvia is dead.
Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth
their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to
man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein that when old
robes are 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 crown'd with consolation; your old
smock brings forth a new petticoat:--and, indeed, the tears live
in an onion that should water this sorrow.
The business she hath broached in the state
Cannot endure my absence.
And the business you have broached here cannot be without you;
especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your
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 Caesar, and commands
The empire of the sea; our slippery 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
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
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.
I shall do't.
SCENE III. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.]
Where is he?
I did not see him since.
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.
Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.
What should I do, I do not?
In each thing give him way; cross him in nothing.
Thou teachest like a fool,--the way to lose him.
Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear;
In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick and sullen.
I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--
Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall;
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest queen,--
Pray you, stand farther from me.
What's the matter?
I know by that same eye there's some good news.
What says the married woman?--You may go.
Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here,--
I have no power upon you; hers you are.
The gods best know,--
O, never was there queen
So mightily betray'd! Yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.
Why should I think you can be mine and true,
Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing!
Most sweet queen,--
Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
But bid farewell, and go: when you su'd staying,
Then was the time for words: no going then;--
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.
How now, lady!
I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
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
Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd
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.
Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness:--can Fulvia die?
She's dead, my queen.
Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils she awak'd;at the last, best.
See when and where she died.
O most false love!
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.
Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give theadvice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war
As thou affect'st.
Cut my lace, Charmian, come;--
But let it be: I am quickly ill and well,
So Antony loves.
My precious queen, forbear;
And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.
So Fulvia told me.
I pr'ythee, 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.
You'll heat my blood: no more.
You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Now, by my sword,--
And target.--Still he mends;
But this is not the best:--look, pr'ythee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.
I'll leave you, lady.
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, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.
But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.
'Tis 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
Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!
Let us go. Come;
Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
SCENE IV. Rome. An Apartment in CAESAR'S House.
[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.]
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.
I must not think there are
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.
You are too indulgent. Let's 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
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 foils 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,--'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 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.
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 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.
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
Lack 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.
Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
Was 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
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 browsed'st; on the Alps
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
So much as lank'd not.
'Tis pity of him.
Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome; 'tis time we twain
Did show ourselves i' thefield; and to that end
Assemble we immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.
I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able
To front this present time.
Till which encounter
It is my business too. Farewell.
Farewell, my lord: what you shall know meantime
Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
To let me be partaker.
Doubt not, sir;
I knew it for my bond.
SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN.]
Give me to drink mandragora.
That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away.
You think of him too much.
O, 'tis treason!
Madam, I trust, not so.
Thou, eunuch Mardian!
What's your highness' pleasure?
Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure
In aught an eunuch has; 'tis well for thee
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
Yes, gracious madam.
Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
But what indeed is honest to be done:
Yet have I fierce affections, and think
What Venus did with Mars.
Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he?
Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?
O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely, horse! for wott'st thou whom thou mov'st?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men.--He's speaking now,
Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?'
For so he calls me.--Now I feed myself
With most delicious poison:--think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
When thou wast here above the ground I was
A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey
Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect and die
With looking on his life.
Sovereign of Egypt, hail!
How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
With his tinct gilded thee.--
How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?
Last thing he did, dear queen,
He kiss'd,--the last of many doubled kisses,--
This orient pearl: his speech sticks in my heart.
Mine ear must pluck it thence.
'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.' So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an arm-girt steed,
Who neigh'd so high that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb'd by him.
What, was he sad or merry?
Like to the time o' the year between the extremes
Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.
O well-divided disposition!--Note him,
Note him, good Charmian; 'tis the man; but note him:
He was not sad,--for he would shine on those
That make their looks by his; he was not merry,--
Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay
In Egypt with his joy; but between both:
O heavenly mingle!--Be'st thou sad or merry,
The violence of either thee becomes,
So does it no man else.--Mett'st thou my posts?
Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
Why do you send so thick?
Who's born that day
When I forget to send to Antony
Shall die a beggar.--Ink and paper, Charmian.--
Welcome, my good Alexas.--Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Caesar so?
O that brave Caesar!
Be chok'd with such another emphasis!
Say 'the brave Antony.'
The valiant Caesar!
By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth
If thou with Caesar paragon again
My man of men.
By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment:--cold in blood,
To say as I said then!--But come, away;
Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day
A several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.
SCENE I. Messina. A Room in POMPEY'S house.
[Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS.]
If the great gods be just, they shall assist
The deeds of justest men.
Know, worthy Pompey,
That what they do delay they not deny.
Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
The thing we sue for.
We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
I shall do well;
The people love me, and the sea is mine;
My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
Says it will come to the full. Mark Antony
In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
No wars without doors: Caesar gets money where
He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,
Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves
Nor either cares for him.
Caesar and Lepidus
Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.
Where have you this? 'tis false.
From Silvius, sir.
He dreams: I know they are in Rome together,
Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip!
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
Keep his brain fuming; Epicurean cooks
Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite;
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
Even till a Lethe'd dullness.
How now, Varrius!
This is most certain that I shall deliver:--
Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
Expected: since he went from Egypt 'tis
A space for further travel.
I could have given less matter
A better ear.--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.
I cannot hope
Caesar and Antony shall well greet together:
His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar;
His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think,
Not mov'd by Antony.
I know not, Menas,
How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
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.
Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands
Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of LEPIDUS.
[Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS.]
Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.
I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: if Caesar move him,
Let Antony look over Caesar's head,
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.
'Tis not a time
For private stomaching.
Serves for the matter that is then born in't.
But small to greater matters must give way.
Not if the small come first.
Your speech is passion:
But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony.
[Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.]
And yonder, Caesar.
[Enter CAESAR, MAECENAS, and AGRIPPA.]
If we compose well here, to Parthia;
I do not know,
Maecenas; ask Agrippa.
That which combin'd us was most great, and let not
A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
May it be gently heard: when we debate
Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners,--
The rather for I earnestly beseech,--
Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor curstness grow to the matter.
'Tis spoken well.
Were we before our armies, and to fight,
I should do thus.
Welcome to Rome.
I learn you take things ill which are not so,
Or being, concern you not.
I must be laugh'd at
If, or for nothing or a little, I
Should say myself offended, and with you
Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at that I should
Once name you derogately, when to sound your name
It not concern'd me.
My being in Egypt, Caesar,
What was't to you?
No more than my residing here at Rome
Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there
Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
Might be my question.
How intend you practis'd?
You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent
By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother
Made wars upon me; and their contestation
Was theme for you, you were the word of war.
You do mistake your business; my brother never
Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it;
And have my learning from some true reports
That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
Discredit my authority with yours;
And make the wars alike against my stomach,
Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel
As matter whole you have not to make it with,
It must not be with this.
You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me; but
You patch'd up your excuses.
Not so, not so;
I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
Very necessity of this thought, that I,
Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
Which 'fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
I would you had her spirit in such another:
The third o' theworld is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
Would we had all such wives, that the men
Might go to wars with the women.
So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar,
Made out of her impatience,--which not wanted
Shrewdness of policy too,--I grieving grant
Did you too much disquiet: for that you must
But say I could not help it.
I wrote to you
When rioting in Alexandria; you
Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
Did gibe my missive out of audience.
He fell upon me ere admitted: then
Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
Of what I was i' the morning: but next day
I told him of myself; which was as much
As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
Out of our question wipe him.
You have broken
The article of your oath; which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.
No; Lepidus, let him speak.
The honour is sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lack'd it.--But on, Caesar;
The article of my oath.
To lend me arms and aid when I requir'd them;
The which you both denied.
And then when poison'd hours had bound me up
From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty
Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia,
To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
So far ask pardon as befits mine honour
To stoop in such a case.
'Tis noble spoken.
If it might please you to enforce no further
The griefs between ye: to forget them quite
Were to remember that the present need
Speaks to atone you.
Worthily spoken, Maecenas.
Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant, you may,
when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again: you shall
have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.
Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.
That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
Go to, then; your considerate stone!
I do not much dislike the matter, but
The manner of his speech; for't cannot be
We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
So differing in their acts. Yet if I knew
What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge
O' the world, I would pursue it.
Give me leave, Caesar,--
Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
Admir'd Octavia: great Mark Antony
Is now a widower.
Say not so, Agrippa:
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
Were well deserv'd of rashness.
I am not married, Caesar: let me hear
Agrippa further speak.
To hold you in perpetual amity,
To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
With an unslipping knot, take Antony
Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims
No worse a husband than the best of men;
Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
That which none else can utter. By this marriage
All little jealousies, which now seem great,
And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
Would then be nothing: truths would be tales,
Where now half tales be truths: her love to both
Would each to other, and all loves to both,
Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke;
For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
By duty ruminated.
Will Caesar speak?
Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
With what is spoke already.
What power is in Agrippa,
If I would say 'Agrippa, be it so,'
To make this good?
The power of Caesar, and
His power unto Octavia.
May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
Dream of impediment!--Let me have thy hand:
Further this act of grace; and from this hour
The heart of brothers govern in our loves
And sway our great designs!
There is my hand.
A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
Did ever love so dearly: let her live
To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
Fly off our loves again!
I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
Of late upon me. I must thank him only,
Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
At heel of that, defy him.
Time calls upon's:
Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.
Where lies he?
About the Mount Misenum.
What is his strength
Great and increasing; but by sea
He is an absolute master.
So is the fame.
Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, despatch we
The business we have talk'd of.
With most gladness;
And do invite you to my sister's view,
Whither straight I'll lead you.
Let us, Lepidus,
Not lack your company.
Not sickness should detain me.
[Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS.]
Welcome from Egypt, sir.
Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas!--my honourable friend,
We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested. You
stay'd well by it in Egypt.
Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night
light with drinking.
Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve
persons there. Is this true?
This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous
matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.
When she first met Mark Antony she pursed up his heart, upon the
river of Cydnus.
There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised well for her.
I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion,--cloth-of-gold of tissue,--
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
O, rare for Antony!
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.
SCENE III. Rome. A Room in CAESAR'S House.
[Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them, and Attendants.]
The world and my great office will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.
All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
Good night, sir.--My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
I have not kept my square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.--
Good night, sir.
[Exeunt CAESAR and OCTAVIA.]
Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?
Would I had never come from thence, nor you
If you can, your reason.
I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue; but yet
Hie you to Egypt again.
Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
Thy demon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Caesar's is not; but near him thy angel
Becomes a fear, as being o'erpower'd: therefore
Make space enough between you.
Speak this no more.
To none but thee; no more but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck
He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre thickens
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 'tis noble.
Get thee gone:
Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:--
He shall to Parthia.--Be it art or hap,
He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him;--
And in our sports my better cunning faints
Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds;
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt:
And though I make this marriage for my peace,
I' the East my pleasure lies.
O, come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia: your commission's ready;
Follow me and receive it.
SCENE IV. Rome. A street.
[Enter LEPIDUS, MAECENAS, and AGRIPPA.]
Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten
Your generals after.
Sir, Mark Antony
Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.
Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.
As I conceive the journey, be at the mount
Before you, Lepidus.
Your way is shorter;
My purposes do draw me much about.
You'll win two days upon me.
Sir, good success!
SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and Attendants.]
Give me some music,--music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
The music, ho!
Let it alone; let's to billiards:
My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.
As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
As with a woman.--Come, you'll play with me, sir?
As well as I can, madam.
And when good will is show'd, though't come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:--
Give me mine angle,--we'll to the river. There,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say 'Ah ha! You're caught.'
'Twas merry when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
That time?--O times!--
I laughed him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan.
[Enter a MESSENGER.]
O! from Italy!--
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress;
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss,--a hand that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
First, madam, he's well.
Why, there's more gold.
But, sirrah, mark, we use
To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
Be free and healthful,--why so tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.
Will't please you hear me?
I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Madam, he's well.
And friends with Caesar.
Th'art an honest man.
Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam,--
I do not like 'but yet', it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon 'but yet'!
'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.
For what good turn?
For the best turn i' the bed.
I am pale, Charmian.
Madam, he's married to Octavia.
The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down.]
Good madam, patience.
What say you?--Hence,
[Strikes him again.]
Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[She hales him up and down.]
Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in ling'ring pickle.
I that do bring the news made not the match.
Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.
He's married, madam.
Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.
[Draws a dagger.]
Nay, then I'll run.--
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
The man is innocent.
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