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Antony and Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

Act 1

Scene 1

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 glowed 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 gypsy’s lust. [Flourish. Enter Antony, Cleopatra, her Ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her.] Look where they come. Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transformed 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 reckoned.

Cleopatra:I’ll set a bourn how far to be beloved.

Antony:Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new Earth.

Enter a Messenger.

Messenger:News, my good lord, from Rome.

Antony:Grates me, the sum.

Cleopatra: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."

Antony:How, my love?

Cleopatra: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-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!

Antony:Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch Of the ranged 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 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! Why did he marry Fulvia and not love her? I’ll seem the fool I am not. Antony Will be himself.

Antony:But stirred 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 tonight?

Cleopatra:Hear the ambassadors.

Antony:Fie, wrangling queen, Whom everything becomes—to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admired! No messenger but thine, and all alone Tonight we’ll wander through the streets and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen, Last night you did desire it. [To the Messenger.] Speak not to us.

Antony and Cleopatra exit with the Train.

Demetrius:Is Caesar with Antonius prized 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 Thus speaks of him at Rome; but I will hope Of better deeds tomorrow. Rest you happy!

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius, Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, Alexas, and Servants.

Charmian:Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where’s the soothsayer that you praised so to th’ Queen? O, that I knew this husband which you say must charge his horns with garlands!

Alexas:Soothsayer!

A Soothsayer:Your will?

Charmian:Is this the man?—Is ’t you, sir, that know things?

A Soothsayer:In nature’s infinite book of secrecy A little I can read.

Alexas:[to Charmian] Show him your hand.

Enobarbus:[to Servants] Bring in the banquet quickly, wine enough Cleopatra’s health to drink.

Charmian:[giving her hand to the Soothsayer] Good sir, give me good fortune.

A Soothsayer:I make not, but foresee.

Charmian:Pray then, foresee me one.

A 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.

Charmian:Hush.

A Soothsayer:You shall be more beloving than beloved.

Charmian:I had rather heat my liver with drinking.

Alexas:Nay, hear him.

Charmian: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.

A Soothsayer:You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

Charmian:O, excellent! I love long life better than figs.

A Soothsayer:You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune Than that which is to approach.

Charmian:Then belike my children shall have no names. Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

A Soothsayer:If every of your wishes had a womb, And 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:[to Soothsayer] Nay, come. Tell Iras hers.

Alexas:We’ll know all our fortunes.

Enobarbus:Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight, shall be—drunk to bed.

Iras:[giving her hand to the Soothsayer] There’s a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Charmian:E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

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 tell her but a workaday fortune.

A Soothsayer:Your fortunes are alike.

Iras:But how, but how? Give me particulars.

A 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 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!

Iras: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.

Charmian:Amen.

Alexas:Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores but 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 disposed to mirth, but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.—Enobarbus!

Enobarbus:Madam?

Cleopatra:Seek him and bring him hither.—Where’s Alexas?

Alexas:Here at your service. My lord approaches.

Enter Antony with a Messenger.

Cleopatra:We will not look upon him. Go with us.

All but Antony and the Messenger exit.

Messenger:Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

Antony:Against my brother Lucius?

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 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. ’Tis thus: Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, I hear him as he flattered.

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, 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 called 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 winds lie still, and our ills told us Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.

Messenger:At your noble pleasure.

Messenger exits.

Enter another Messenger.

Antony:From Sicyon how the news? Speak there.

Second Messenger:The man from Sicyon—

Antony:Is there such an one?

Second Messenger:He stays upon your will.

Antony:Let him appear. [Second Messenger exits.] These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, Or lose myself in dotage. [Enter another Messenger with a letter.] What are you?

Third Messenger:Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Antony:Where died she?

Third Messenger:In Sicyon. Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears.

He hands Antony the letter.

Antony:Forbear me. [Third Messenger exits.] 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 shoved her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off. Ten thousand harms more than the ills I know My idleness doth hatch.—How now, Enobarbus!

Enter Enobarbus.

Enobarbus:What’s your pleasure, sir?

Antony:I must with haste from hence.

Enobarbus: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.

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.

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 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 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 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 broachèd in the state Cannot endure my absence.

Enobarbus:And the business you have broached here cannot be without you, especially that of Cleopatra’s, which wholly depends on your abode.

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 Caesar and commands The empire of the sea. Our slippery people, Whose love is never linked 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’ th’ 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.

Enobarbus:I shall do ’t.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Alexas, and Iras.

Cleopatra:Where is he?

Charmian:I did not see him since.

Cleopatra:[to Alexas] 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.

Alexas exits.

Charmian:Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly, 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 nothing.

Cleopatra:Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him.

Charmian:Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear. In time we hate that which we often fear. [Enter Antony.] But here comes Antony.

Cleopatra:I am sick and sullen.

Antony:I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose—

Cleopatra:Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall. It cannot be thus long; the sides of nature Will not sustain it.

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? 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.

Antony:The gods best know—

Cleopatra:O, never was there queen So mightily betrayed! Yet at the first I saw the treasons planted.

Antony:Cleopatra—

Cleopatra:Why should I think you can be mine, and true— Though you in swearing shake the thronèd gods— Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows Which break themselves in swearing!

Antony:Most sweet queen—

Cleopatra:Nay, pray you seek no color for your going, But bid farewell and go. When you sued 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 turned the greatest liar.

Antony:How now, lady?

Cleopatra:I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know 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 condemned Pompey, Rich in his father’s honor, creeps apace Into the hearts of such as have not thrived 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 freedom, It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?

Antony:She’s dead, my queen. [He shows her papers.] Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read The garboils she awaked; at the last, best, See when and where she died.

Cleopatra: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 received shall be.

Antony:Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know The purposes I bear, which are or cease As you shall give th’ advice. By the fire That quickens Nilus’ slime, I go from hence Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war As thou affects.

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 honorable trial.

Cleopatra:So Fulvia told me. 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 honor.

Antony:You’ll heat my blood. No more!

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’ll leave you, lady.

Cleopatra:Courteous lord, one word. Sir, you and I must part, but that’s not it; Sir, you and I have loved, 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.

Antony:But that your Royalty Holds idleness your subject, I should take you For idleness itself.

Cleopatra:’Tis sweating labor 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 honor 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 strewed before your feet.

Antony: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. Away!

They exit.

Scene 4

Enter Octavius Caesar, reading a letter, Lepidus, and their Train.

Octavius Caesar: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 Vouchsafed to think he had partners. You shall find there A man who is th’ abstract of all faults That all men follow.

Lepidus:I must not think there are Evils enough to darken all his goodness. His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven, More fiery by night’s blackness, hereditary Rather than purchased, what he cannot change Than what he chooses.

Octavius Caesar: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 smells 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 filled 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.

Lepidus:Here’s more news.

Messenger: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 feared Caesar. To the ports The discontents repair, and men’s reports Give him much wronged.

Octavius Caesar:I should have known no less. It hath been taught us from the primal state That he which is was wished until he were, And the ebbed man, ne’er loved till ne’er worth love, Comes feared by being lacked. This common body, Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream, Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide To rot itself with motion.

Enter a Second Messenger.

Second Messenger:Caesar, I bring thee word Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates, Makes 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.

Octavius Caesar:Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew’st Hirsius 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 browsèd. On the Alps It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh Which some did die to look on. And all this— It wounds thine honor that I speak it now— Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek So much as lanked not.

Lepidus:’Tis pity of him.

Octavius Caesar:Let his shames quickly Drive him to Rome. ’Tis time we twain Did show ourselves i’ th’ field, and to that end Assemble we immediate council. Pompey Thrives in our idleness.

Lepidus:Tomorrow, Caesar, I shall be furnished to inform you rightly Both what by sea and land I can be able To front this present time.

Octavius Caesar:Till which encounter, It is my business too. Farewell.

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

Octavius Caesar:Doubt not, sir. I knew it for my bond.

They exit.

Scene 5

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.

Cleopatra:Charmian!

Charmian:Madam?

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

Charmian:Why, madam?

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

Charmian:You think of him too much.

Cleopatra:O, ’tis treason!

Charmian:Madam, I trust not so.

Cleopatra:Thou, eunuch Mardian!

Mardian:What’s your Highness’ pleasure?

Cleopatra:Not now to hear thee sing. I take no pleasure In aught an eunuch has. ’Tis well for thee That, being unseminared, thy freer thoughts May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?

Mardian:Yes, gracious madam.

Cleopatra:Indeed?

Mardian: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.

Cleopatra:O, Charmian, 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 wot’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.

Enter Alexas from Antony.

Alexas:Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

Cleopatra:How much unlike art thou Mark Antony! Yet coming from him, that great med’cine hath With his tinct gilded thee. How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

Alexas:Last thing he did, dear queen, He kissed—the last of many doubled kisses— This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my heart.

Cleopatra:Mine ear must pluck it thence.

Alexas:"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-gaunt steed, Who neighed so high that what I would have spoke Was beastly dumbed by him.

Cleopatra:What, was he sad, or merry?

Alexas:Like to the time o’ th’ year between th’ extremes Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.

Cleopatra: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 seemed 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’s else.—Met’st thou my posts?

Alexas:Ay, madam, twenty several messengers. Why do you send so thick?

Cleopatra: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?

Charmian:O, that brave Caesar!

Cleopatra:Be choked with such another emphasis! Say "the brave Antony."

Charmian:The valiant Caesar!

Cleopatra:By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth If thou with Caesar paragon again My man of men.

Charmian:By your most gracious pardon, I sing but after you.

Cleopatra: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.

They exit.

Act 2

Scene 1

Enter Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, in warlike manner.

Sextus Pompeius:If the great gods be just, they shall assist The deeds of justest men.

Menas:Know, worthy Pompey, That what they do delay they not deny.

Sextus Pompeius:Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays The thing we sue for.

Menas: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.

Sextus Pompeius: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 th’ 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 flattered; but he neither loves, Nor either cares for him.

Menas:Caesar and Lepidus Are in the field. A mighty strength they carry.

Sextus Pompeius:Where have you this? ’Tis false.

Menas:From Silvius, sir.

Sextus Pompeius:He dreams. I know they are in Rome together, Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love, Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wanned 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 honor Even till a Lethe’d dullness— [Enter Varrius.] How now, Varrius?

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 farther travel.

Sextus Pompeius:I could have given less matter A better ear.—Menas, I did not think This amorous surfeiter would have donned 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.

Menas:I cannot hope Caesar and Antony shall well greet together. His wife that’s dead did trespasses to Caesar; His brother warred upon him, although I think Not moved by Antony.

Sextus Pompeius: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 entertainèd 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. Come, Menas.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Enobarbus and Lepidus.

Lepidus:Good Enobarbus, ’tis a worthy deed, And shall become you well, to entreat your captain To soft and gentle speech.

Enobarbus: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 Antonio’s beard, I would not shave ’t today.

Lepidus:’Tis not a time for private stomaching.

Enobarbus:Every time serves for the matter that is then born in ’t.

Lepidus:But small to greater matters must give way.

Enobarbus:Not if the small come first.

Lepidus:Your speech is passion; but pray you stir No embers up. Here comes the noble Antony.

Enter, at one door, Antony and Ventidius.

Enobarbus:And yonder Caesar.

Enter, at another door, Caesar, Maecenas, and Agrippa.

Antony:[to Ventidius] If we compose well here, to Parthia. Hark, Ventidius.

They talk aside.

Octavius Caesar:[to Maecenas] I do not know, Maecenas. Ask Agrippa.

Lepidus:[to Caesar and Antony] Noble friends, That which combined 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 th’ matter.

Antony:’Tis spoken well. Were we before our armies, and to fight, I should do thus.

Flourish.

Octavius Caesar:Welcome to Rome.

Antony:Thank you.

Octavius Caesar:Sit.

Antony:Sit, sir.

Octavius Caesar:Nay, then.

They sit.

Antony:I learn you take things ill which are not so, Or, being, concern you not.

Octavius Caesar:I must be laughed at If or for nothing or a little, I Should say myself offended, and with you Chiefly i’ th’ world; more laughed at, that I should Once name you derogately when to sound your name It not concerned me.

Antony:My being in Egypt, Caesar, what was ’t to you?

Octavius Caesar:No more than my residing here at Rome Might be to you in Egypt. Yet if you there Did practice on my state, your being in Egypt Might be my question.

Antony:How intend you, practiced?

Octavius Caesar:You may be pleased 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.

Antony: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 to make it with, It must not be with this.

Octavius Caesar:You praise yourself By laying defects of judgment to me; but You patched up your excuses.

Antony: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’ th’ world is yours, which with a snaffle You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

Enobarbus:Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!

Antony: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.

Octavius Caesar:I wrote to you When rioting in Alexandria; you Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts Did gibe my missive out of audience.

Antony:Sir, He fell upon me ere admitted, then; Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want Of what I was i’ th’ morning. But next day I told him of myself, which was as much As to have asked him pardon. Let this fellow Be nothing of our strife; if we contend, Out of our question wipe him.

Octavius Caesar:You have broken The article of your oath, which you shall never Have tongue to charge me with.

Lepidus:Soft, Caesar!

Antony:No, Lepidus, let him speak. The honor is sacred which he talks on now, Supposing that I lacked it.—But on, Caesar: The article of my oath?

Octavius Caesar:To lend me arms and aid when I required them, The which you both denied.

Antony:Neglected, rather; And then when poisoned 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 honor To stoop in such a case.

Lepidus:’Tis noble spoken.

Maecenas:If it might please you to enforce no further The griefs between you, to forget them quite Were to remember that the present need Speaks to atone you.

Lepidus:Worthily spoken, Maecenas.

Enobarbus: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.

Antony:Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.

Enobarbus:That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.

Antony:You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.

Enobarbus:Go to, then. Your considerate stone.

Octavius Caesar: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 diff’ring in their acts. Yet if I knew What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to edge O’ th’ world I would pursue it.

Agrippa:Give me leave, Caesar.

Octavius Caesar:Speak, Agrippa.

Agrippa:Thou hast a sister by the mother’s side, Admired Octavia. Great Mark Antony Is now a widower.

Octavius Caesar:Say not so, Agrippa. If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof Were well deserved of rashness.

Antony:I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear Agrippa further speak.

Agrippa: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.

Antony:Will Caesar speak?

Octavius Caesar:Not till he hears how Antony is touched With what is spoke already.

Antony:What power is in Agrippa, If I would say "Agrippa, be it so," To make this good?

Octavius Caesar:The power of Caesar, and His power unto Octavia.

Antony: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.

Octavius Caesar:There’s my hand. [They clasp hands.] 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.

Lepidus:Happily, amen!

Antony: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.

Lepidus:Time calls upon ’s. Of us must Pompey presently be sought, Or else he seeks out us.

Antony:Where lies he?

Octavius Caesar:About the Mount Misena.

Antony:What is his strength by land?

Octavius Caesar:Great and increasing; But by sea he is an absolute master.

Antony:So is the fame. Would we had spoke together. Haste we for it. Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we The business we have talked of.

Octavius Caesar:With most gladness, And do invite you to my sister’s view, Whither straight I’ll lead you.

Antony:Let us, Lepidus, not lack your company.

Lepidus:Noble Antony, not sickness should detain me.

Flourish. All but Enobarbus, Agrippa, and Maecenas exit.

Maecenas:[to Enobarbus] Welcome from Egypt, sir.

Enobarbus:Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas!—My honorable friend Agrippa!

Agrippa:Good Enobarbus!

Maecenas:We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested. You stayed well by ’t in Egypt.

Enobarbus:Ay, sir, we did sleep day out of countenance and made the night light with drinking.

Maecenas:Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there. Is this true?

Enobarbus:This was but as a fly by an eagle. We had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.

Maecenas:She’s a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

Enobarbus:When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart upon the river of Cydnus.

Agrippa:There she appeared indeed, or my reporter devised well for her.

Enobarbus:I will tell you. The barge she sat in like a burnished throne Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold, Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were lovesick 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 beggared all description: she did lie In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue— O’erpicturing that Venus where we see The fancy outwork nature. On each side her Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, And what they undid did.

Agrippa:O, rare for Antony!

Enobarbus:Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, So many mermaids, tended her i’ th’ 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, Enthroned i’ th’ market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to th’ air, which but for vacancy Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too And made a gap in nature.

Agrippa:Rare Egyptian!

Enobarbus: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 barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast, And for his ordinary pays his heart For what his eyes eat only.

Agrippa:Royal wench! She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed; He ploughed her, and she cropped.

Enobarbus: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 pour breath forth.

Maecenas:Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Enobarbus: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.

Maecenas:If beauty, wisdom, modesty can settle The heart of Antony, Octavia is A blessèd lottery to him.

Agrippa:Let us go. Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest Whilst you abide here.

Enobarbus:Humbly, sir, I thank you.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Antony, Caesar; Octavia between them.

Antony:The world and my great office will sometimes Divide me from your bosom.

Octavia:All which time Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers To them for you.

Antony:[to Caesar] Goodnight, 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 th’ rule. Good night, dear lady.— Good night, sir.

Octavius Caesar:Goodnight.

Caesar and Octavia exit.

Enter Soothsayer.

Antony:Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?

A Soothsayer:Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither.

Antony:If you can, your reason?

A Soothsayer:I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue. But yet hie you to Egypt again.

Antony:Say to me, whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar’s or mine?

A Soothsayer:Caesar’s. Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side. Thy dæmon—that thy spirit which keeps thee—is Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, Where Caesar’s is not. But near him, thy angel Becomes afeard, as being o’erpowered. Therefore Make space enough between you.

Antony:Speak this no more.

A Soothsayer: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 luster thickens When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit Is all afraid to govern thee near him; But he away, ’tis noble.

Antony:Get thee gone. Say to Ventidius I would speak with him. [Soothsayer exits.] 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 naught, and his quails ever Beat mine, inhooped, at odds. I will to Egypt. And though I make this marriage for my peace, I’ th’ East my pleasure lies. [Enter Ventidius.] O, come, Ventidius. You must to Parthia; your commission’s ready. Follow me and receive ’t.

They exit.

Scene 4

Enter Lepidus, Maecenas, and Agrippa.

Lepidus:Trouble yourselves no further. Pray you hasten Your generals after.

Agrippa:Sir, Mark Antony Will e’en but kiss Octavia, and we’ll follow.

Lepidus:Till I shall see you in your soldiers’ dress, Which will become you both, farewell.

Maecenas:We shall, As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount Before you, Lepidus.

Lepidus:Your way is shorter; My purposes do draw me much about. You’ll win two days upon me.

Maecenas, Agrippa:Sir, good success.

Lepidus:Farewell.

They exit.

Scene 5

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas.

Cleopatra:Give me some music—music, moody food Of us that trade in love.

Charmian, Iras, Alexas:The music, ho!

Enter Mardian the eunuch.

Cleopatra:Let it alone. Let’s to billiards. Come, Charmian.

Charmian:My arm is sore. Best play with Mardian.

Cleopatra:As well a woman with an eunuch played As with a woman.—Come, you’ll play with me, sir?

Mardian:As well as I can, madam.

Cleopatra:And when good will is showed, though ’t come too short, The actor may plead pardon. I’ll none now. Give me mine angle; we’ll to th’ river. There, My music playing far off, I will betray Tawny-finned 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 "Aha! You’re caught."

Charmian:’Twas merry when You wagered on your angling; when your diver Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he With fervency drew up.

Cleopatra:That time?—O, times!— I laughed him out of patience; and that night I laughed 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.

Messenger:Madam, madam—

Cleopatra:Antonio’s dead! 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 lipped and trembled kissing.

Messenger:First, madam, he is well.

Cleopatra: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.

Messenger:Good madam, hear me.

Cleopatra:Well, go to, I will. But there’s no goodness in thy face—if Antony Be free and healthful, so tart a favor To trumpet such good tidings! If not well, Thou shouldst come like a Fury crowned with snakes, Not like a formal man.

Messenger:Will ’t please you hear me?

Cleopatra: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.

Messenger:Madam, he’s well.

Cleopatra:Well said.

Messenger:And friends with Caesar.

Cleopatra:Th’ art an honest man.

Messenger:Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.

Cleopatra:Make thee a fortune from me.

Messenger:But yet, madam—

Cleopatra:I do not like "But yet." It does allay The good precedence. Fie upon "But yet." "But yet" is as a jailer to bring forth Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, 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.

Messenger:Free, madam, no. I made no such report. He’s bound unto Octavia.

Cleopatra:For what good turn?

Messenger:For the best turn i’ th’ bed.

Cleopatra:I am pale, Charmian.

Messenger:Madam, he’s married to Octavia.

Cleopatra:The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

Strikes him down.

Messenger:Good madam, patience!

Cleopatra:What say you? [Strikes him.] Hence, 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 whipped with wire and stewed in brine, Smarting in ling’ring pickle.

Messenger:Gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match.

Cleopatra: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.

Messenger:He’s married, madam.

Cleopatra:Rogue, thou hast lived too long.

Draw a knife.

Messenger:Nay then, I’ll run. What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.

He exits.

Charmian:Good madam, keep yourself within yourself. The man is innocent.

Cleopatra:Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt. Melt Egypt into Nile, and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again. Though I am mad, I will not bite him. Call!

Charmian:He is afeard to come.

Cleopatra:I will not hurt him. These hands do lack nobility that they strike A meaner than myself, since I myself Have given myself the cause. [Enter the Messenger again.] Come hither, sir. Though it be honest, it is never good To bring bad news. Give to a gracious message An host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell Themselves when they be felt.

Messenger:I have done my duty.

Cleopatra:Is he married? I cannot hate thee worser than I do If thou again say "yes."

Messenger:He’s married, madam.

Cleopatra:The gods confound thee! Dost thou hold there still?

Messenger:Should I lie, madam?

Cleopatra:O, I would thou didst, So half my Egypt were submerged and made A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence. Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?

Messenger:I crave your Highness’ pardon.

Cleopatra:He is married?

Messenger:Take no offense that I would not offend you. To punish me for what you make me do Seems much unequal. He’s married to Octavia.

Cleopatra:O, that his fault should make a knave of thee That art not what th’ art sure of! Get thee hence. The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome Are all too dear for me. Lie they upon thy hand, And be undone by ’em!

Messenger exits.

Charmian:Good your Highness, patience.

Cleopatra:In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.

Charmian:Many times, madam.

Cleopatra:I am paid for ’t now. Lead me from hence; I faint. O, Iras, Charmian! ’Tis no matter.— Go to the fellow, good Alexas. Bid him Report the feature of Octavia, her years, Her inclination; let him not leave out The color of her hair. Bring me word quickly. [Alexas exits.] Let him forever go—let him not, Charmian. Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon, The other way ’s a Mars. [(To Mardian.)] Bid you Alexas Bring me word how tall she is.—Pity me, Charmian, But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.

They exit.

Scene 6

Flourish. Enter Pompey and Menas at one door, with Drum and Trumpet; at another Caesar, Lepidus, Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, and Agrippa, with Soldiers marching.

Sextus Pompeius:Your hostages I have, so have you mine, And we shall talk before we fight.

Octavius Caesar:Most meet That first we come to words, and therefore have we Our written purposes before us sent, Which if thou hast considered, let us know If ’twill tie up thy discontented sword And carry back to Sicily much tall youth That else must perish here.

Sextus Pompeius:To you all three, The senators alone of this great world, Chief factors for the gods: I do not know Wherefore my father should revengers want, Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar, Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted, There saw you laboring for him. What was ’t That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what Made the all-honored, honest, Roman Brutus, With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom, To drench the Capitol, but that they would Have one man but a man? And that is it Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden The angered ocean foams, with which I meant To scourge th’ ingratitude that despiteful Rome Cast on my noble father.

Octavius Caesar:Take your time.

Antony:Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails. We’ll speak with thee at sea. At land thou know’st How much we do o’ercount thee.

Sextus Pompeius:At land indeed Thou dost o’ercount me of my father’s house; But since the cuckoo builds not for himself, Remain in ’t as thou mayst.

Lepidus:Be pleased to tell us— For this is from the present—how you take The offers we have sent you.

Octavius Caesar:There’s the point.

Antony:Which do not be entreated to, but weigh What it is worth embraced.

Octavius Caesar:And what may follow To try a larger fortune.

Sextus Pompeius:You have made me offer Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send Measures of wheat to Rome. This ’greed upon, To part with unhacked edges and bear back Our targes undinted.

Octavius Caesar, Lepidus, Antony:That’s our offer.

Sextus Pompeius:Know then I came before you here a man prepared To take this offer. But Mark Antony Put me to some impatience.—Though I lose The praise of it by telling, you must know When Caesar and your brother were at blows, Your mother came to Sicily and did find Her welcome friendly.

Antony:I have heard it, Pompey, And am well studied for a liberal thanks, Which I do owe you.

Sextus Pompeius:Let me have your hand. [They clasp hands.] I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

Antony:The beds i’ th’ East are soft; and thanks to you, That called me timelier than my purpose hither, For I have gained by ’t.

Octavius Caesar:[to Pompey] Since I saw you last, There’s a change upon you.

Sextus Pompeius:Well, I know not What counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face, But in my bosom shall she never come To make my heart her vassal.

Lepidus:Well met here.

Sextus Pompeius:I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed. I crave our composition may be written And sealed between us.

Octavius Caesar:That’s the next to do.

Sextus Pompeius:We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s Draw lots who shall begin.

Antony:That will I, Pompey.

Sextus Pompeius:No, Antony, take the lot. But, first or last, Your fine Egyptian cookery shall have The fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar Grew fat with feasting there.

Antony:You have heard much.

Sextus Pompeius:I have fair meanings, sir.

Antony:And fair words to them.

Sextus Pompeius:Then so much have I heard. And I have heard Apollodorus carried—

Enobarbus:No more of that. He did so.

Sextus Pompeius:What, I pray you?

Enobarbus:A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.

Sextus Pompeius:I know thee now. How far’st thou, soldier?

Enobarbus:Well, And well am like to do, for I perceive Four feasts are toward.

Sextus Pompeius:Let me shake thy hand. I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight When I have envied thy behavior.

Enobarbus:Sir, I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised you When you have well deserved ten times as much As I have said you did.

Sextus Pompeius:Enjoy thy plainness; It nothing ill becomes thee.— Aboard my galley I invite you all. Will you lead, lords?

Octavius Caesar, Lepidus, Antony, Maecenas, Agrippa:Show ’s the way, sir.

Sextus Pompeius:Come.

They exit, except for Enobarbus and Menas.

Menas:[aside] Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have made this treaty.—You and I have known, sir.

Enobarbus:At sea, I think.

Menas:We have, sir.

Enobarbus:You have done well by water.

Menas:And you by land.

Enobarbus:I will praise any man that will praise me, though it cannot be denied what I have done by land.

Menas:Nor what I have done by water.

Enobarbus:Yes, something you can deny for your own safety: you have been a great thief by sea.

Menas:And you by land.

Enobarbus:There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas. [They clasp hands.] If our eyes had authority, here they might take two thieves kissing.

Menas:All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er their hands are.

Enobarbus:But there is never a fair woman has a true face.

Menas:No slander. They steal hearts.

Enobarbus:We came hither to fight with you.

Menas:For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.

Enobarbus:If he do, sure he cannot weep ’t back again.

Menas:You’ve said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?

Enobarbus:Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.

Menas:True, sir. She was the wife of Caius Marcellus.

Enobarbus:But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.

Menas:Pray you, sir?

Enobarbus:’Tis true.

Menas:Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.

Enobarbus:If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would not prophesy so.

Menas:I think the policy of that purpose made more in the marriage than the love of the parties.

Enobarbus:I think so, too. But you shall find the band that seems to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy, cold, and still conversation.

Menas:Who would not have his wife so?

Enobarbus:Not he that himself is not so, which is Mark Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again. Then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is the strength of their amity shall prove the immediate author of their variance. Antony will use his affection where it is. He married but his occasion here.

Menas:And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a health for you.

Enobarbus:I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats in Egypt.

Menas:Come, let’s away.

They exit.

Scene 7

Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with a banquet.

First Servant:Here they’ll be, man. Some o’ their plants are ill-rooted already. The least wind i’ th’ world will blow them down.

Second Servant:Lepidus is high-colored.

First Servant:They have made him drink alms-drink.

Second Servant:As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out "No more," reconciles them to his entreaty and himself to th’ drink.

First Servant:But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.

Second Servant:Why, this it is to have a name in great men’s fellowship. I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service as a partisan I could not heave.

First Servant:To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in ’t, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.

A sennet sounded. Enter Caesar, Antony, Pompey, Lepidus, Agrippa, Maecenas, Enobarbus, Menas, with other Captains and a Boy.

Antony:Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o’ th’ Nile By certain scales i’ th’ Pyramid; they know By th’ height, the lowness, or the mean if dearth Or foison follow. The higher Nilus swells, The more it promises. As it ebbs, the seedsman Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain, And shortly comes to harvest.

Lepidus:You’ve strange serpents there?

Antony:Ay, Lepidus.

Lepidus:Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun; so is your crocodile.

Antony:They are so.

Sextus Pompeius:Sit, and some wine. A health to Lepidus!

Lepidus:I am not so well as I should be, but I’ll ne’er out.

Enobarbus:[aside] Not till you have slept. I fear me you’ll be in till then.

Lepidus:Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies’ pyramises are very goodly things. Without contradiction I have heard that.

Menas:[aside to Pompey] Pompey, a word.

Sextus Pompeius:[aside to Menas] Say in mine ear what is ’t.

Menas:[(whispers in ’s ear)] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain, And hear me speak a word.

Sextus Pompeius:[aside to Menas] Forbear me till anon.—This wine for Lepidus!

Lepidus:What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?

Antony:It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is, and moves with it own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

Lepidus:What color is it of?

Antony:Of it own color too.

Lepidus:’Tis a strange serpent.

Antony:’Tis so, and the tears of it are wet.

Octavius Caesar:[aside to Antony] Will this description satisfy him?

Antony:With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.

Sextus Pompeius:[aside to Menas] Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away! Do as I bid you.—Where’s this cup I called for?

Menas:[aside to Pompey] If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me, Rise from thy stool.

Sextus Pompeius:I think th’ art mad! [He rises, and they walk aside.] The matter?

Menas:I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.

Sextus Pompeius:Thou hast served me with much faith. What’s else to say?— Be jolly, lords.

Antony:These quicksands, Lepidus, Keep off them, for you sink.

Menas:[aside to Pompey] Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

Sextus Pompeius:What sayst thou?

Menas:Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That’s twice.

Sextus Pompeius:How should that be?

Menas:But entertain it, And though thou think me poor, I am the man Will give thee all the world.

Sextus Pompeius:Hast thou drunk well?

Menas:No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup. Thou art, if thou dar’st be, the earthly Jove. Whate’er the ocean pales or sky inclips Is thine, if thou wilt ha ’t.

Sextus Pompeius:Show me which way.

Menas:These three world-sharers, these competitors, Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable, And when we are put off, fall to their throats. All there is thine.

Sextus Pompeius:Ah, this thou shouldst have done And not have spoke on ’t! In me ’tis villainy; In thee ’t had been good service. Thou must know ’Tis not my profit that does lead mine honor; Mine honor, it. Repent that e’er thy tongue Hath so betrayed thine act. Being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done, But must condemn it now. Desist and drink.

Menas:[aside] For this I’ll never follow thy palled fortunes more. Who seeks and will not take when once ’tis offered Shall never find it more.

Sextus Pompeius:This health to Lepidus!

Antony:[to Servant] Bear him ashore.—I’ll pledge it for him, Pompey.

Enobarbus:Here’s to thee, Menas.

Menas:Enobarbus, welcome.

Sextus Pompeius:Fill till the cup be hid.

Enobarbus:[pointing to the Servant carrying Lepidus] There’s a strong fellow, Menas.

Menas:Why?

Enobarbus:He bears The third part of the world, man. Seest not?

Menas:The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all, That it might go on wheels.

Enobarbus:Drink thou. Increase the reels.

Menas:Come.

Sextus Pompeius:This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

Antony:It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho! Here’s to Caesar.

Octavius Caesar:I could well forbear ’t. It’s monstrous labor when I wash my brain And it grows fouler.

Antony:Be a child o’ th’ time.

Octavius Caesar:Possess it, I’ll make answer. But I had rather fast from all, four days, Than drink so much in one.

Enobarbus:[to Antony] Ha, my brave emperor, Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals And celebrate our drink?

Sextus Pompeius:Let’s ha ’t, good soldier.

Antony:Come, let’s all take hands Till that the conquering wine hath steeped our sense In soft and delicate Lethe.

Enobarbus:All take hands. Make battery to our ears with the loud music, The while I’ll place you; then the boy shall sing. The holding every man shall beat as loud As his strong sides can volley.

Music plays. Enobarbus places them hand in hand.

A Boy:Come, thou monarch of the vine, Plumpy Bacchus, with pink eyne. In thy vats our cares be drowned. With thy grapes our hairs be crowned.

Octavius Caesar, Antony, Sextus Pompeius, Lepidus, Agrippa, Maecenas, Enobarbus, Menas, A Captain, A Boy:Cup us till the world go round, Cup us till the world go round.

Octavius Caesar:What would you more?—Pompey, goodnight.— Good brother, Let me request you off. Our graver business Frowns at this levity.—Gentle lords, let’s part. You see we have burnt our cheeks. Strong Enobarb Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue Splits what it speaks. The wild disguise hath almost Anticked us all. What needs more words? Goodnight. Good Antony, your hand.

Sextus Pompeius:I’ll try you on the shore.

Antony:And shall, sir. Give ’s your hand.

Sextus Pompeius:O, Antony, you have my father’s house. But what? We are friends! Come down into the boat.

Enobarbus:Take heed you fall not. [All but Menas and Enobarbus exit.] Menas, I’ll not on shore.

Menas:No, to my cabin. These drums, these trumpets, flutes! What! Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell To these great fellows. Sound and be hanged. Sound out!

Sound a flourish, with drums.

Enobarbus:Hoo, says ’a! There’s my cap!

He throws his cap in the air.

Menas:Hoo! Noble captain, come.

They exit.

Act 3

Scene 1

Enter Ventidius as it were in triumph, the dead body of Pacorus borne before him; with Silius and Soldiers.

Ventidius:Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck, and now Pleased Fortune does of Marcus Crassus’ death Make me revenger. Bear the King’s son’s body Before our army. Thy Pacorus, Orodes, Pays this for Marcus Crassus.

Silius:Noble Ventidius, Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm, The fugitive Parthians follow. Spur through Media, Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither The routed fly. So thy grand captain, Antony, Shall set thee on triumphant chariots and Put garlands on thy head.

Ventidius:O, Silius, Silius, I have done enough. A lower place, note well, May make too great an act. For learn this, Silius: Better to leave undone than by our deed Acquire too high a fame when him we serve ’s away. Caesar and Antony have ever won More in their officer than person. Sossius, One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant, For quick accumulation of renown, Which he achieved by th’ minute, lost his favor. Who does i’ th’ wars more than his captain can Becomes his captain’s captain; and ambition, The soldier’s virtue, rather makes choice of loss Than gain which darkens him. I could do more to do Antonius good, But ’twould offend him. And in his offense Should my performance perish.

Silius:Thou hast, Ventidius, that Without the which a soldier and his sword Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?

Ventidius:I’ll humbly signify what in his name, That magical word of war, we have effected; How, with his banners and his well-paid ranks, The ne’er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia We have jaded out o’ th’ field.

Silius:Where is he now?

Ventidius:He purposeth to Athens, whither, with what haste The weight we must convey with ’s will permit, We shall appear before him.—On there, pass along!

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Agrippa at one door, Enobarbus at another.

Agrippa:What, are the brothers parted?

Enobarbus:They have dispatched with Pompey; he is gone. The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps To part from Rome. Caesar is sad, and Lepidus, Since Pompey’s feast, as Menas says, is troubled With the greensickness.

Agrippa:’Tis a noble Lepidus.

Enobarbus:A very fine one. O, how he loves Caesar!

Agrippa:Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!

Enobarbus:Caesar? Why, he’s the Jupiter of men.

Agrippa:What’s Antony? The god of Jupiter.

Enobarbus:Spake you of Caesar? How, the nonpareil!

Agrippa:O Antony, O thou Arabian bird!

Enobarbus:Would you praise Caesar, say "Caesar." Go no further.

Agrippa:Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.

Enobarbus:But he loves Caesar best, yet he loves Antony. Hoo, hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets, cannot Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number—hoo!— His love to Antony. But as for Caesar, Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.

Agrippa:Both he loves.

Enobarbus:They are his shards and he their beetle. [Trumpet within.] So, This is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.

Agrippa:Good fortune, worthy soldier, and farewell.

Enter Caesar, Antony, Lepidus, and Octavia.

Antony:No further, sir.

Octavius Caesar:You take from me a great part of myself. Use me well in ’t.—Sister, prove such a wife As my thoughts make thee, and as my farthest bond Shall pass on thy approof.—Most noble Antony, Let not the piece of virtue which is set Betwixt us, as the cement of our love To keep it builded, be the ram to batter The fortress of it. For better might we Have loved without this mean, if on both parts This be not cherished.

Antony:Make me not offended In your distrust.

Octavius Caesar:I have said.

Antony:You shall not find, Though you be therein curious, the least cause For what you seem to fear. So the gods keep you, And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends. We will here part.

Octavius Caesar:Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well. The elements be kind to thee and make Thy spirits all of comfort. Fare thee well.

Octavia:My noble brother.

She weeps.

Antony:The April’s in her eyes. It is love’s spring, And these the showers to bring it on.—Be cheerful.

Octavia:[to Caesar] Sir, look well to my husband’s house, and—

Octavius Caesar:What, Octavia?

Octavia:I’ll tell you in your ear.

Caesar and Octavia walk aside.

Antony:Her tongue will not obey her heart, nor can Her heart inform her tongue—the swan’s-down feather That stands upon the swell at the full of tide And neither way inclines.

Enobarbus:[aside to Agrippa] Will Caesar weep?

Agrippa:He has a cloud in ’s face.

Enobarbus:He were the worse for that were he a horse; So is he being a man.

Agrippa:Why, Enobarbus, When Antony found Julius Caesar dead, He cried almost to roaring. And he wept When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.

Enobarbus:That year indeed he was troubled with a rheum. What willingly he did confound he wailed, Believe ’t, till I wept too.

Octavius Caesar:[coming forward with Octavia] No, sweet Octavia, You shall hear from me still. The time shall not Outgo my thinking on you.

Antony:Come, sir, come, I’ll wrestle with you in my strength of love. Look, here I have you, thus I let you go, And give you to the gods.

Octavius Caesar:Adieu, be happy.

Lepidus:[to Antony] Let all the number of the stars give light To thy fair way.

Octavius Caesar:Farewell, farewell.

Kisses Octavia.

Antony:Farewell.

Trumpets sound. They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas.

Cleopatra:Where is the fellow?

Alexas:Half afeard to come.

Cleopatra:Go to, go to.—Come hither, sir.

Enter the Messenger as before.

Alexas:Good Majesty, Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you But when you are well pleased.

Cleopatra:That Herod’s head I’ll have! But how, when Antony is gone, Through whom I might command it?—Come thou near.

Messenger:Most gracious Majesty!

Cleopatra:Did’st thou behold Octavia?

Messenger:Ay, dread queen.

Cleopatra:Where?

Messenger:Madam, in Rome. I looked her in the face and saw her led Between her brother and Mark Antony.

Cleopatra:Is she as tall as me?

Messenger:She is not, madam.

Cleopatra:Didst hear her speak? Is she shrill-tongued or low?

Messenger:Madam, I heard her speak. She is low-voiced.

Cleopatra:That’s not so good. He cannot like her long.

Charmian:Like her? O Isis, ’tis impossible!

Cleopatra:I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue, and dwarfish!— What majesty is in her gait? Remember, If e’er thou looked’st on majesty.

Messenger:She creeps. Her motion and her station are as one. She shows a body rather than a life, A statue than a breather.

Cleopatra:Is this certain?

Messenger:Or I have no observance.

Charmian:Three in Egypt Cannot make better note.

Cleopatra:He’s very knowing. I do perceive ’t. There’s nothing in her yet. The fellow has good judgment.

Charmian:Excellent.

Cleopatra:[to Messenger] Guess at her years, I prithee.

Messenger:Madam, she was a widow.

Cleopatra:Widow? Charmian, hark.

Messenger:And I do think she’s thirty.

Cleopatra:Bear’st thou her face in mind? Is ’t long or round?

Messenger:Round even to faultiness.

Cleopatra:For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so. Her hair what color?

Messenger:Brown, madam, and her forehead As low as she would wish it.

Cleopatra:[giving money] There’s gold for thee. Thou must not take my former sharpness ill. I will employ thee back again. I find thee Most fit for business. Go, make thee ready. Our letters are prepared.

Messenger exits.

Charmian:A proper man.

Cleopatra:Indeed he is so. I repent me much That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him, This creature’s no such thing.

Charmian:Nothing, madam.

Cleopatra:The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.

Charmian:Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend, And serving you so long!

Cleopatra:I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian, But ’tis no matter. Thou shalt bring him to me Where I will write. All may be well enough.

Charmian:I warrant you, madam.

They exit.

Scene 4

Enter Antony and Octavia.

Antony:Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that— That were excusable, that and thousands more Of semblable import—but he hath waged New wars ’gainst Pompey; made his will and read it To public ear; Spoke scantly of me; when perforce he could not But pay me terms of honor, cold and sickly He vented them, most narrow measure lent me; When the best hint was given him, he not took ’t, Or did it from his teeth.

Octavia:O, my good lord, Believe not all, or if you must believe, Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady, If this division chance, ne’er stood between, Praying for both parts. The good gods will mock me presently When I shall pray "O, bless my lord and husband!" Undo that prayer by crying out as loud "O, bless my brother!" Husband win, win brother Prays and destroys the prayer; no midway ’Twixt these extremes at all.

Antony:Gentle Octavia, Let your best love draw to that point which seeks Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself; better I were not yours Than yours so branchless. But, as you requested, Yourself shall go between ’s. The meantime, lady, I’ll raise the preparation of a war Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste, So your desires are yours.

Octavia:Thanks to my lord. The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak, Your reconciler. Wars ’twixt you twain would be As if the world should cleave, and that slain men Should solder up the rift.

Antony:When it appears to you where this begins, Turn your displeasure that way, for our faults Can never be so equal that your love Can equally move with them. Provide your going; Choose your own company, and command what cost Your heart has mind to.

They exit.

Scene 5

Enter Enobarbus and Eros.

Enobarbus:How now, friend Eros?

Eros:There’s strange news come, sir.

Enobarbus:What, man?

Eros:Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.

Enobarbus:This is old. What is the success?

Eros:Caesar, having made use of him in the wars ’gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality, would not let him partake in the glory of the action; and, not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote to Pompey; upon his own appeal seizes him. So the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.

Enobarbus:Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no more, And throw between them all the food thou hast, They’ll grind the one the other. Where’s Antony?

Eros:He’s walking in the garden, thus, and spurns The rush that lies before him; cries "Fool Lepidus!" And threats the throat of that his officer That murdered Pompey.

Enobarbus:Our great navy’s rigged.

Eros:For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius: My lord desires you presently. My news I might have told hereafter.

Enobarbus:’Twill be naught, But let it be. Bring me to Antony.

Eros:Come, sir.

They exit.

Scene 6

Enter Agrippa, Maecenas, and Caesar.

Octavius Caesar:Contemning Rome, he has done all this and more In Alexandria. Here’s the manner of ’t: I’ th’ marketplace, on a tribunal silvered, Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold Were publicly enthroned. At the feet sat Caesarion, whom they call my father’s son, And all the unlawful issue that their lust Since then hath made between them. Unto her He gave the stablishment of Egypt, made her Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia, Absolute queen.

Maecenas:This in the public eye?

Octavius Caesar:I’ th’ common showplace where they exercise. His sons he there proclaimed the kings of kings. Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assigned Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia. She In th’ habiliments of the goddess Isis That day appeared, and oft before gave audience, As ’tis reported, so.

Maecenas:Let Rome be thus informed.

Agrippa:Who, queasy with his insolence already, Will their good thoughts call from him.

Octavius Caesar:The people knows it and have now received His accusations.

Agrippa:Who does he accuse?

Octavius Caesar:Caesar, and that, having in Sicily Sextus Pompeius spoiled, we had not rated him His part o’ th’ isle. Then does he say he lent me Some shipping, unrestored. Lastly, he frets That Lepidus of the triumvirate Should be deposed and, being, that we detain All his revenue.

Agrippa:Sir, this should be answered.

Octavius Caesar:’Tis done already, and the messenger gone. I have told him Lepidus was grown too cruel, That he his high authority abused And did deserve his change. For what I have conquered, I grant him part; but then in his Armenia And other of his conquered kingdoms I Demand the like.

Maecenas:He’ll never yield to that.

Octavius Caesar:Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

Enter Octavia with her Train.

Octavia:Hail, Caesar, and my lord! Hail, most dear Caesar.

Octavius Caesar:That ever I should call thee castaway!

Octavia:You have not called me so, nor have you cause.

Octavius Caesar:Why have you stol’n upon us thus? You come not Like Caesar’s sister. The wife of Antony Should have an army for an usher and The neighs of horse to tell of her approach Long ere she did appear. The trees by th’ way Should have borne men, and expectation fainted, Longing for what it had not. Nay, the dust Should have ascended to the roof of heaven, Raised by your populous troops. But you are come A market-maid to Rome, and have prevented The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown, Is often left unloved. We should have met you By sea and land, supplying every stage With an augmented greeting.

Octavia:Good my lord, To come thus was I not constrained, but did it On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony, Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted My grievèd ear withal, whereon I begged His pardon for return.

Octavius Caesar:Which soon he granted, Being an abstract ’tween his lust and him.

Octavia:Do not say so, my lord.

Octavius Caesar:I have eyes upon him, And his affairs come to me on the wind. Where is he now?

Octavia:My lord, in Athens.

Octavius Caesar:No, my most wrongèd sister. Cleopatra Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire Up to a whore, who now are levying The kings o’ th’ Earth for war. He hath assembled Bocchus, the King of Libya; Archelaus Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, King Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas; King Manchus of Arabia; King of Pont; Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, King Of Comagen; Polemon and Amyntas, The Kings of Mede and Lycaonia, With a more larger list of scepters.

Octavia:Ay me, most wretched, That have my heart parted betwixt two friends That does afflict each other!

Octavius Caesar:Welcome hither. Your letters did withhold our breaking forth Till we perceived both how you were wrong led And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart. Be you not troubled with the time, which drives O’er your content these strong necessities, But let determined things to destiny Hold unbewailed their way. Welcome to Rome, Nothing more dear to me. You are abused Beyond the mark of thought, and the high gods, To do you justice, makes his ministers Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort, And ever welcome to us.

Agrippa:Welcome, lady.

Maecenas:Welcome, dear madam. Each heart in Rome does love and pity you; Only th’ adulterous Antony, most large In his abominations, turns you off And gives his potent regiment to a trull That noises it against us.

Octavia:[to Caesar] Is it so, sir?

Octavius Caesar:Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray you Be ever known to patience. My dear’st sister!

They exit.

Scene 7

Enter Cleopatra and Enobarbus.

Cleopatra:I will be even with thee, doubt it not.

Enobarbus:But why, why, why?

Cleopatra:Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars And say’st it is not fit.

Enobarbus:Well, is it, is it?

Cleopatra:Is ’t not denounced against us? Why should not we Be there in person?

Enobarbus:Well, I could reply: If we should serve with horse and mares together, The horse were merely lost. The mares would bear A soldier and his horse.

Cleopatra:What is ’t you say?

Enobarbus:Your presence needs must puzzle Antony, Take from his heart, take from his brain, from ’s time What should not then be spared. He is already Traduced for levity, and ’tis said in Rome That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids Manage this war.

Cleopatra:Sink Rome, and their tongues rot That speak against us! A charge we bear i’ th’ war, And as the president of my kingdom will Appear there for a man. Speak not against it. I will not stay behind.

Enter Antony and Canidius.

Enobarbus:Nay, I have done. Here comes the Emperor.

Antony:Is it not strange, Canidius, That from Tarentum and Brundusium He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea And take in Toryne?—You have heard on ’t, sweet?

Cleopatra:Celerity is never more admired Than by the negligent.

Antony:A good rebuke, Which might have well becomed the best of men, To taunt at slackness.—Canidius, we will fight With him by sea.

Cleopatra:By sea, what else?

Canidius:Why will My lord do so?

Antony:For that he dares us to ’t.

Enobarbus:So hath my lord dared him to single fight.

Canidius:Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia, Where Caesar fought with Pompey. But these offers, Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off, And so should you.

Enobarbus:Your ships are not well manned, Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people Engrossed by swift impress. In Caesar’s fleet Are those that often have ’gainst Pompey fought. Their ships are yare, yours heavy. No disgrace Shall fall you for refusing him at sea, Being prepared for land.

Antony:By sea, by sea.

Enobarbus:Most worthy sir, you therein throw away The absolute soldiership you have by land, Distract your army, which doth most consist Of war-marked footmen, leave unexecuted Your own renownèd knowledge, quite forgo The way which promises assurance, and Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard From firm security.

Antony:I’ll fight at sea.

Cleopatra:I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

Antony:Our overplus of shipping will we burn, And with the rest full-manned, from th’ head of Actium Beat th’ approaching Caesar. But if we fail, We then can do ’t at land. [Enter a Messenger.] Thy business?

Messenger:The news is true, my lord; he is descried. Caesar has taken Toryne.

He exits.

Antony:Can he be there in person? ’Tis impossible; Strange that his power should be. Canidius, Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land, And our twelve thousand horse. We’ll to our ship.— Away, my Thetis. [Enter a Soldier.] How now, worthy soldier?

Soldier:O noble emperor, do not fight by sea! Trust not to rotten planks. Do you misdoubt This sword and these my wounds? Let th’ Egyptians And the Phoenicians go a-ducking. We Have used to conquer standing on the earth And fighting foot to foot.

Antony:Well, well, away.

Antony, Cleopatra, and Enobarbus exit.

Soldier:By Hercules, I think I am i’ th’ right.

Canidius:Soldier, thou art, but his whole action grows Not in the power on ’t. So our leader’s led, And we are women’s men.

Soldier:You keep by land The legions and the horse whole, do you not?

Canidius:Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius, Publicola, and Caelius are for sea, But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar’s Carries beyond belief.

Soldier:While he was yet in Rome, His power went out in such distractions as Beguiled all spies.

Canidius:Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?

Soldier:They say one Taurus.

Canidius:Well I know the man.

Enter a Messenger.

Messenger:The Emperor calls Canidius.

Canidius:With news the time’s in labor, and throws forth Each minute some.

They exit.

Scene 8

Enter Caesar with his army, and Taurus, marching.

Octavius Caesar:Taurus!

Taurus:My lord?

Octavius Caesar:Strike not by land, keep whole. Provoke not battle Till we have done at sea. Do not exceed The prescript of this scroll. [Hands him a scroll.] Our fortune lies Upon this jump.

They exit.

Scene 9

Enter Antony and Enobarbus.

Antony:Set we our squadrons on yond side o’ th’ hill In eye of Caesar’s battle, from which place We may the number of the ships behold And so proceed accordingly.

They exit.

Scene 10

Canidius marcheth with his land army one way over the stage, and Taurus the lieutenant of Caesar the other way. After their going in is heard the noise of a sea fight.

Alarum. Enter Enobarbus.

Enobarbus:Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer. Th’ Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral, With all their sixty, fly and turn the rudder. To see ’t mine eyes are blasted.

Enter Scarus.

Scarus:Gods and goddesses, All the whole synod of them!

Enobarbus:What’s thy passion?

Scarus:The greater cantle of the world is lost With very ignorance. We have kissed away Kingdoms and provinces.

Enobarbus:How appears the fight?

Scarus:On our side, like the tokened pestilence, Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt, Whom leprosy o’ertake, i’ th’ midst o’ th’ fight, When vantage like a pair of twins appeared Both as the same—or, rather, ours the elder— The breeze upon her like a cow in June, Hoists sails and flies.

Enobarbus:That I beheld. Mine eyes did sicken at the sight and could not Endure a further view.

Scarus:She once being loofed, The noble ruin of her magic, Antony, Claps on his sea-wing and, like a doting mallard, Leaving the fight in height, flies after her. I never saw an action of such shame. Experience, manhood, honor ne’er before Did violate so itself.

Enobarbus:Alack, alack.

Enter Canidius.

Canidius:Our fortune on the sea is out of breath And sinks most lamentably. Had our general Been what he knew himself, it had gone well. O, he has given example for our flight Most grossly by his own.

Enobarbus:Ay, are you thereabouts? Why then goodnight indeed.

Canidius:Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.

Scarus:’Tis easy to ’t, and there I will attend What further comes.

He exits.

Canidius:To Caesar will I render My legions and my horse. Six kings already Show me the way of yielding.

He exits.

Enobarbus:I’ll yet follow The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason Sits in the wind against me.

He exits.

Scene 11

Enter Antony with Attendants.

Antony:Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon ’t. It is ashamed to bear me. Friends, come hither. I am so lated in the world that I Have lost my way forever. I have a ship Laden with gold. Take that, divide it. Fly, And make your peace with Caesar.

Attendants:Fly? Not we!

Antony:I have fled myself and have instructed cowards To run and show their shoulders. Friends, begone. I have myself resolved upon a course Which has no need of you. Begone. My treasure’s in the harbor; take it. O, I followed that I blush to look upon! My very hairs do mutiny, for the white Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them For fear and doting. Friends, begone. You shall Have letters from me to some friends that will Sweep your way for you. Pray you look not sad, Nor make replies of loathness. Take the hint Which my despair proclaims. Let that be left Which leaves itself. To the seaside straightway! I will possess you of that ship and treasure. Leave me, I pray, a little—pray you, now, Nay, do so—for indeed I have lost command. Therefore I pray you—I’ll see you by and by.

Attendants move aside. Antony sits down.

Enter Cleopatra led by Charmian, Iras, and Eros.

Eros:Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.

Iras:Do, most dear queen.

Charmian:Do! Why, what else?

Cleopatra:Let me sit down. O Juno!

She sits down.

Antony:No, no, no, no, no.

Eros:See you here, sir?

Antony:Oh fie, fie, fie!

Charmian:Madam.

Iras:Madam, O good empress!

Eros:Sir, sir—

Antony:Yes, my lord, yes. He at Philippi kept His sword e’en like a dancer, while I struck The lean and wrinkled Cassius, and ’twas I That the mad Brutus ended. He alone Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had In the brave squares of war, yet now—no matter.

Cleopatra:Ah, stand by.

Eros:The Queen, my lord, the Queen.

Iras:Go to him, madam; speak to him. He’s unqualitied with very shame.

Cleopatra:[rising] Well, then, sustain me. O!

Eros:Most noble sir, arise. The Queen approaches. Her head’s declined, and death will seize her but Your comfort makes the rescue.

Antony:I have offended reputation, A most unnoble swerving.

Eros:Sir, the Queen.

Antony:[rising] O, whither hast them led me, Egypt? See How I convey my shame out of thine eyes, By looking back what I have left behind ’Stroyed in dishonor.

Cleopatra:O, my lord, my lord, Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought You would have followed.

Antony:Egypt, thou knew’st too well My heart was to thy rudder tied by th’ strings, And thou shouldst tow me after. O’er my spirit Thy full supremacy thou knew’st, and that Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods Command me.

Cleopatra:O, my pardon!

Antony:Now I must To the young man send humble treaties, dodge And palter in the shifts of lowness, who With half the bulk o’ th’ world played as I pleased, Making and marring fortunes. You did know How much you were my conqueror, and that My sword, made weak by my affection, would Obey it on all cause.

Cleopatra:Pardon, pardon!

Antony:Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss. [They kiss.] Even this repays me.— We sent our schoolmaster. Is he come back?— Love, I am full of lead.—Some wine Within there, and our viands! Fortune knows We scorn her most when most she offers blows.

They exit.

Scene 12

Enter Caesar, Agrippa, Thidias, and Dolabella, with others.

Octavius Caesar:Let him appear that’s come from Antony. Know you him?

Dolabella:Caesar, ’tis his schoolmaster— An argument that he is plucked, when hither He sends so poor a pinion of his wing, Which had superfluous kings for messengers Not many moons gone by.

Enter Ambassador from Antony.

Octavius Caesar:Approach, and speak.

A Schoolmaster: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.

Octavius Caesar:Be ’t so. Declare thine office.

A Schoolmaster:Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and Requires to live in Egypt, which not granted, He lessens his requests, and to thee sues To let him breathe between the heavens and Earth, A private man in Athens. This for him. Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness, Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs, Now hazarded to thy grace.

Octavius Caesar:For Antony, I have no ears to his request. The Queen Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend, Or take his life there. This if she perform, She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.

A Schoolmaster:Fortune pursue thee!

Octavius Caesar:Bring him through the bands. [Ambassador exits, with Attendants.] [To Thidias.] To try thy eloquence now ’tis time. Dispatch. From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise, And in our name, what she requires; add more, From thine invention, offers. Women are not In their best fortunes strong, but want will perjure The ne’er-touched vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias. Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we Will answer as a law.

Thidias:Caesar, I go.

Octavius Caesar:Observe how Antony becomes his flaw, And what thou think’st his very action speaks In every power that moves.

Thidias:Caesar, I shall.

They exit.

Scene 13

Enter Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, and Iras.

Cleopatra:What shall we do, Enobarbus?

Enobarbus:Think, and die.

Cleopatra:Is Antony or we in fault for this?

Enobarbus:Antony only, that would make his will Lord of his reason. What though you fled From that great face of war, whose several ranges Frighted each other? Why should he follow? The itch of his affection should not then Have nicked his captainship, at such a point, When half to half the world opposed, he being The merèd question. ’Twas a shame no less Than was his loss, to course your flying flags And leave his navy gazing.

Cleopatra:Prithee, peace.

Enter the Ambassador with Antony.

Antony:Is that his answer?

A Schoolmaster:Ay, my lord.

Antony:The Queen shall then have courtesy, so she Will yield us up?

A Schoolmaster:He says so.

Antony:Let her know ’t.— To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head, And he will fill thy wishes to the brim With principalities.

Cleopatra:That head, my lord?

Antony:[to Ambassador] To him again. Tell him he wears the rose Of youth upon him, from which the world should note Something particular: his coin, ships, legions May be a coward’s, whose ministers would prevail Under the service of a child as soon As i’ th’ command of Caesar. I dare him therefore To lay his gay caparisons apart And answer me declined, sword against sword, Ourselves alone. I’ll write it. Follow me.

Antony and Ambassador exit.

Enobarbus:[aside] Yes, like enough, high-battled Caesar will Unstate his happiness and be staged to th’ show Against a sworder! I see men’s judgments are A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward Do draw the inward quality after them To suffer all alike. That he should dream, Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued His judgment too.

Enter a Servant.

Servant:A messenger from Caesar.

Cleopatra:What, no more ceremony? See, my women, Against the blown rose may they stop their nose That kneeled unto the buds.—Admit him, sir.

Servant exits.

Enobarbus:[aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square. The loyalty well held to fools does make Our faith mere folly. Yet he that can endure To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord Does conquer him that did his master conquer, And earns a place i’ th’ story.

Enter Thidias.

Cleopatra:Caesar’s will?

Thidias:Hear it apart.

Cleopatra:None but friends. Say boldly.

Thidias:So haply are they friends to Antony.

Enobarbus:He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has, Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master Will leap to be his friend. For us, you know Whose he is we are, and that is Caesar’s.

Thidias:So.— Thus then, thou most renowned: Caesar entreats Not to consider in what case thou stand’st Further than he is Caesar.

Cleopatra:Go on; right royal.

Thidias:He knows that you embrace not Antony As you did love, but as you feared him.

Cleopatra:O!

Thidias:The scars upon your honor therefore he Does pity as constrainèd blemishes, Not as deserved.

Cleopatra:He is a god and knows What is most right. Mine honor was not yielded, But conquered merely.

Enobarbus:[aside] To be sure of that, I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for Thy dearest quit thee.

Enobarbus exits.

Thidias:Shall I say to Caesar What you require of him? For he partly begs To be desired to give. It much would please him That of his fortunes you should make a staff To lean upon. But it would warm his spirits To hear from me you had left Antony And put yourself under his shroud, The universal landlord.

Cleopatra:What’s your name?

Thidias:My name is Thidias.

Cleopatra:Most kind messenger, Say to great Caesar this in deputation: I kiss his conqu’ring hand. Tell him I am prompt To lay my crown at ’s feet, and there to kneel. Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear The doom of Egypt.

Thidias:’Tis your noblest course. Wisdom and fortune combating together, If that the former dare but what it can, No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay My duty on your hand.

She gives him her hand to kiss.

Cleopatra:Your Caesar’s father oft, When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in, Bestowed his lips on that unworthy place As it rained kisses.

Enter Antony and Enobarbus.

Antony:Favors? By Jove that thunders! What art thou, fellow?

Thidias:One that but performs The bidding of the fullest man and worthiest To have command obeyed.

Enobarbus:You will be whipped.

Antony:[calling for Servants] Approach there!—Ah, you kite!—Now, gods and devils, Authority melts from me. Of late when I cried "Ho!" Like boys unto a muss kings would start forth And cry "Your will?" Have you no ears? I am Antony yet. [Enter Servants.] Take hence this jack and whip him.

Enobarbus:[aside] ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp Than with an old one dying.

Antony:Moon and stars! Whip him! Were ’t twenty of the greatest tributaries That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them So saucy with the hand of she here—what’s her name Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows, Till like a boy you see him cringe his face And whine aloud for mercy. Take him hence.

Thidias:Mark Antony—

Antony:Tug him away. Being whipped, Bring him again. This jack of Caesar’s shall Bear us an errand to him. [Servants exit with Thidias.] [To Cleopatra.] You were half blasted ere I knew you. Ha! Have I my pillow left unpressed in Rome, Forborne the getting of a lawful race, And by a gem of women, to be abused By one that looks on feeders?

Cleopatra:Good my lord—

Antony:You have been a boggler ever. But when we in our viciousness grow hard— O, misery on ’t!—the wise gods seel our eyes, In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us Adore our errors, laugh at ’s while we strut To our confusion.

Cleopatra:O, is ’t come to this?

Antony:I found you as a morsel cold upon Dead Caesar’s trencher; nay, you were a fragment Of Gneius Pompey’s, besides what hotter hours, Unregistered in vulgar fame, you have Luxuriously picked out. For I am sure, Though you can guess what temperance should be, You know not what it is.

Cleopatra:Wherefore is this?

Antony:To let a fellow that will take rewards And say "God quit you!" be familiar with My playfellow, your hand, this kingly seal And plighter of high hearts! O, that I were Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar The hornèd herd! For I have savage cause, And to proclaim it civilly were like A haltered neck which does the hangman thank For being yare about him. [Enter a Servant with Thidias.] Is he whipped?

Servant:Soundly, my lord.

Antony:Cried he? And begged he pardon?

Servant:He did ask favor.

Antony:[to Thidias] If that thy father live, let him repent Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry To follow Caesar in his triumph, since Thou hast been whipped for following him. Henceforth The white hand of a lady fever thee; Shake thou to look on ’t. Get thee back to Caesar. Tell him thy entertainment. Look thou say He makes me angry with him; for he seems Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am, Not what he knew I was. He makes me angry, And at this time most easy ’tis to do ’t, When my good stars that were my former guides Have empty left their orbs and shot their fires Into th’ abysm of hell. If he mislike My speech and what is done, tell him he has Hipparchus, my enfranchèd bondman, whom He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture, As he shall like to quit me. Urge it thou. Hence with thy stripes, begone!

Thidias exits.

Cleopatra:Have you done yet?

Antony:Alack, our terrene moon is now eclipsed, And it portends alone the fall of Antony.

Cleopatra:I must stay his time.

Antony:To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes With one that ties his points?

Cleopatra:Not know me yet?

Antony:Coldhearted toward me?

Cleopatra:Ah, dear, if I be so, From my cold heart let heaven engender hail And poison it in the source, and the first stone Drop in my neck; as it determines, so Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite, Till by degrees the memory of my womb, Together with my brave Egyptians all, By the discandying of this pelleted storm Lie graveless till the flies and gnats of Nile Have buried them for prey!

Antony:I am satisfied. Caesar sits down in Alexandria, where I will oppose his fate. Our force by land Hath nobly held; our severed navy too Have knit again, and fleet, threatening most sealike. Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady? If from the field I shall return once more To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood. I and my sword will earn our chronicle. There’s hope in ’t yet.

Cleopatra:That’s my brave lord!

Antony:I will be treble-sinewed, -hearted, -breathed, And fight maliciously; for when mine hours Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives Of me for jests. But now I’ll set my teeth And send to darkness all that stop me. Come, Let’s have one other gaudy night. Call to me All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more. Let’s mock the midnight bell.

Cleopatra:It is my birthday. I had thought t’ have held it poor. But since my lord Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.

Antony:We will yet do well.

Cleopatra:Call all his noble captains to my lord.

Antony:Do so; we’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force The wine peep through their scars.—Come on, my queen, There’s sap in ’t yet. The next time I do fight I’ll make Death love me, for I will contend Even with his pestilent scythe.

All but Enobarbus exit.

Enobarbus:Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still A diminution in our captain’s brain Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek Some way to leave him.

He exits.

Act 4

Scene 1

Enter Caesar, Agrippa, and Maecenas, with his army, Caesar reading a letter.

Octavius Caesar:He calls me "boy," and chides as he had power To beat me out of Egypt. My messenger He hath whipped with rods, dares me to personal combat, Caesar to Antony. Let the old ruffian know I have many other ways to die; meantime Laugh at his challenge.

Maecenas:Caesar must think, When one so great begins to rage, he’s hunted Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now Make boot of his distraction. Never anger Made good guard for itself.

Octavius Caesar:Let our best heads Know that tomorrow the last of many battles We mean to fight. Within our files there are, Of those that served Mark Antony but late, Enough to fetch him in. See it done, And feast the army; we have store to do ’t, And they have earned the waste. Poor Antony.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Antony, Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras, with others.

Antony:He will not fight with me, Domitius?

Enobarbus:No.

Antony:Why should he not?

Enobarbus:He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune, He is twenty men to one.

Antony:Tomorrow, soldier, By sea and land I’ll fight. Or I will live Or bathe my dying honor in the blood Shall make it live again. Woo’t thou fight well?

Enobarbus:I’ll strike and cry "Take all."

Antony:Well said. Come on. Call forth my household servants. [Enter three or four Servitors.] Let’s tonight Be bounteous at our meal.—Give me thy hand; Thou hast been rightly honest.—So hast thou,— Thou,—and thou,—and thou. You have served me well, And kings have been your fellows.

Cleopatra:[aside to Enobarbus] What means this?

Enobarbus:[aside to Cleopatra] ’Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow shoots Out of the mind.

Antony:[to another Servitor] And thou art honest too. I wish I could be made so many men, And all of you clapped up together in An Antony, that I might do you service So good as you have done.

Servant, Servant, First Servant, Second Servant, Servants, Servants, Servants:The gods forbid!

Antony:Well, my good fellows, wait on me tonight. Scant not my cups, and make as much of me As when mine empire was your fellow too And suffered my command.

Cleopatra:[aside to Enobarbus] What does he mean?

Enobarbus:[aside to Cleopatra] To make his followers weep.

Antony:[to the Servitors] Tend me tonight; May be it is the period of your duty. Haply you shall not see me more, or if, A mangled shadow. Perchance tomorrow You’ll serve another master. I look on you As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends, I turn you not away, but, like a master Married to your good service, stay till death. Tend me tonight two hours—I ask no more— And the gods yield you for ’t!

Enobarbus:What mean you, sir, To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep, And I, an ass, am onion-eyed. For shame, Transform us not to women.

Antony:Ho, ho, ho! Now the witch take me if I meant it thus! Grace grow where those drops fall! My hearty friends, You take me in too dolorous a sense, For I spake to you for your comfort, did desire you To burn this night with torches. Know, my hearts, I hope well of tomorrow, and will lead you Where rather I’ll expect victorious life Than death and honor. Let’s to supper, come, And drown consideration.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter a company of Soldiers.

First Soldier:Brother, goodnight. Tomorrow is the day.

Second Soldier:It will determine one way. Fare you well. Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?

First Soldier:Nothing. What news?

Second Soldier:Belike ’tis but a rumor. Goodnight to you.

First Soldier:Well, sir, goodnight.

They meet other Soldiers who are entering.

Second Soldier:Soldiers, have careful watch.

Third Soldier:And you. Goodnight, goodnight.

They place themselves in every corner of the stage.

Second Soldier:Here we; and if tomorrow Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope Our landmen will stand up.

First Soldier:’Tis a brave army, and full of purpose.

Music of the hautboys is under the stage.

Second Soldier:Peace. What noise?

First Soldier:List, list!

Second Soldier:Hark!

First Soldier:Music i’ th’ air.

Third Soldier:Under the earth.

Fourth Soldier:It signs well, does it not?

Third Soldier:No.

First Soldier:Peace, I say. What should this mean?

Second Soldier:’Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony loved, Now leaves him.

First Soldier:Walk. Let’s see if other watchmen Do hear what we do.

Second Soldier:How now, masters?

Speak together.

Soldier, Soldier, Soldier, Soldiers, First Soldier, Second Soldier, Third Soldier, Fourth Soldier:How now? How now? Do you hear this?

First Soldier:Ay. Is ’t not strange?

Third Soldier:Do you hear, masters? Do you hear?

First Soldier:Follow the noise so far as we have quarter. Let’s see how it will give off.

Soldier, Soldier, Soldier, Soldiers, First Soldier, Second Soldier, Third Soldier, Fourth Soldier:Content. ’Tis strange.

They exit.

Scene 4

Enter Antony and Cleopatra, with Charmian, and others.

Antony:[calling] Eros! Mine armor, Eros!

Cleopatra:Sleep a little.

Antony:No, my chuck.—Eros, come, mine armor, Eros. [Enter Eros, carrying armor.] Come, good fellow, put thine iron on. If fortune be not ours today, it is Because we brave her. Come.

Cleopatra:Nay, I’ll help too. What’s this for?

Antony:Ah, let be, let be! Thou art The armorer of my heart. False, false. This, this!

Cleopatra:Sooth, la, I’ll help. Thus it must be.

Antony:Well, well, We shall thrive now.—Seest thou, my good fellow? Go, put on thy defenses.

Eros:Briefly, sir.

Cleopatra:Is not this buckled well?

Antony:Rarely, rarely. He that unbuckles this, till we do please To daff ’t for our repose, shall hear a storm.— Thou fumblest, Eros, and my queen’s a squire More tight at this than thou. Dispatch.—O love, That thou couldst see my wars today, and knew’st The royal occupation, thou shouldst see A workman in ’t. [Enter an armed Soldier.] Good morrow to thee. Welcome. Thou look’st like him that knows a warlike charge. To business that we love we rise betime And go to ’t with delight.

Soldier:A thousand, sir, Early though ’t be, have on their riveted trim And at the port expect you.

Shout. Trumpets flourish.

Enter Captains and Soldiers.

A Captain:The morn is fair. Good morrow, general.

A Captain, Soldier, Soldier, Soldier, Soldiers, First Soldier, Second Soldier, Third Soldier, Fourth Soldier:Good morrow, general.

Antony:’Tis well blown, lads. This morning, like the spirit of a youth That means to be of note, begins betimes. So, so.—Come, give me that. This way.—Well said.— Fare thee well, dame. [He kisses her.] Whate’er becomes of me, This is a soldier’s kiss. Rebukable And worthy shameful check it were to stand On more mechanic compliment. I’ll leave thee Now like a man of steel.—You that will fight, Follow me close. I’ll bring you to ’t.—Adieu.

Antony, Eros, Captains, and Soldiers exit.

Charmian:Please you retire to your chamber?

Cleopatra:Lead me. He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might Determine this great war in single fight, Then Antony—but now—. Well, on.

They exit.

Scene 5

Trumpets sound. Enter Antony and Eros, and a Soldier who meets them.

Soldier:The gods make this a happy day to Antony.

Antony:Would thou and those thy scars had once prevailed To make me fight at land.

Soldier:Had’st thou done so, The kings that have revolted and the soldier That has this morning left thee would have still Followed thy heels.

Antony:Who’s gone this morning?

Soldier:Who? One ever near thee. Call for Enobarbus, He shall not hear thee, or from Caesar’s camp Say "I am none of thine."

Antony:What sayest thou?

Soldier:Sir, He is with Caesar.

Eros:Sir, his chests and treasure He has not with him.

Antony:Is he gone?

Soldier:Most certain.

Antony:Go, Eros, send his treasure after. Do it. Detain no jot, I charge thee. Write to him— I will subscribe—gentle adieus and greetings. Say that I wish he never find more cause To change a master. O, my fortunes have Corrupted honest men. Dispatch.—Enobarbus!

They exit.

Scene 6

Flourish. Enter Agrippa, Caesar, with Enobarbus and Dolabella.

Octavius Caesar:Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight. Our will is Antony be took alive; Make it so known.

Agrippa:Caesar, I shall.

He exits.

Octavius Caesar:The time of universal peace is near. Prove this a prosp’rous day, the three-nooked world Shall bear the olive freely.

Enter a Messenger.

Messenger:Antony Is come into the field.

Octavius Caesar:Go charge Agrippa Plant those that have revolted in the vant That Antony may seem to spend his fury Upon himself.

All but Enobarbus exit.

Enobarbus:Alexas did revolt and went to Jewry on Affairs of Antony, there did dissuade Great Herod to incline himself to Caesar And leave his master Antony. For this pains, Caesar hath hanged him. Canidius and the rest That fell away have entertainment but No honorable trust. I have done ill, Of which I do accuse myself so sorely That I will joy no more.

Enter a Soldier of Caesar’s.

Soldier:Enobarbus, Antony Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with His bounty overplus. The messenger Came on my guard, and at thy tent is now Unloading of his mules.

Enobarbus:I give it you.

Soldier:Mock not, Enobarbus. I tell you true. Best you safed the bringer Out of the host. I must attend mine office Or would have done ’t myself. Your emperor Continues still a Jove.

He exits.

Enobarbus:I am alone the villain of the Earth, And feel I am so most. O Antony, Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid My better service, when my turpitude Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart. If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean Shall outstrike thought, but thought will do ’t, I feel. I fight against thee? No. I will go seek Some ditch wherein to die; the foul’st best fits My latter part of life.

He exits.

Scene 7

Alarum, Drums and Trumpets. Enter Agrippa, with other of Caesar’s soldiers.

Agrippa:Retire! We have engaged ourselves too far. Caesar himself has work, and our oppression Exceeds what we expected.

They exit.

Alarums. Enter Antony, and Scarus wounded.

Scarus:O my brave emperor, this is fought indeed! Had we done so at first, we had droven them home With clouts about their heads.

Antony:Thou bleed’st apace.

Scarus:I had a wound here that was like a T, But now ’tis made an H.

Sound of retreat far off.

Antony:They do retire.

Scarus:We’ll beat ’em into bench-holes. I have yet Room for six scotches more.

Enter Eros.

Eros:They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves For a fair victory.

Scarus:Let us score their backs And snatch ’em up as we take hares, behind. ’Tis sport to maul a runner.

Antony:I will reward thee Once for thy sprightly comfort and tenfold For thy good valor. Come thee on.

Scarus:I’ll halt after.

They exit.

Scene 8

Alarum. Enter Antony again in a march; Scarus, with others.

Antony:We have beat him to his camp. Run one before And let the Queen know of our gests. [A Soldier exits.] Tomorrow Before the sun shall see ’s, we’ll spill the blood That has today escaped. I thank you all, For doughty-handed are you, and have fought Not as you served the cause, but as ’t had been Each man’s like mine. You have shown all Hectors. Enter the city. Clip your wives, your friends. Tell them your feats, whilst they with joyful tears Wash the congealment from your wounds and kiss The honored gashes whole. [Enter Cleopatra.] [To Scarus.] Give me thy hand. To this great fairy I’ll commend thy acts, Make her thanks bless thee.—O, thou day o’ th’ world, Chain mine armed neck. Leap thou, attire and all, Through proof of harness to my heart, and there Ride on the pants triumphing.

Cleopatra:Lord of lords! O infinite virtue, com’st thou smiling from The world’s great snare uncaught?

Antony:Mine nightingale, We have beat them to their beds. What, girl, though gray Do something mingle with our younger brown, yet ha’ we A brain that nourishes our nerves and can Get goal for goal of youth. Behold this man. Commend unto his lips thy favoring hand.— Kiss it, my warrior. [Scarus kisses her hand.] He hath fought today As if a god in hate of mankind had Destroyed in such a shape.

Cleopatra:[to Scarus] I’ll give thee, friend, An armor all of gold. It was a king’s.

Antony:He has deserved it, were it carbuncled Like holy Phoebus’ car. Give me thy hand. Through Alexandria make a jolly march. Bear our hacked targets like the men that owe them. Had our great palace the capacity To camp this host, we all would sup together And drink carouses to the next day’s fate, Which promises royal peril.—Trumpeters, With brazen din blast you the city’s ear. Make mingle with our rattling taborins, That heaven and Earth may strike their sounds together, Applauding our approach.

They exit.

Scene 9

Enter a Sentry and his company. Enobarbus follows.

Sentry:If we be not relieved within this hour, We must return to th’ court of guard. The night Is shiny, and they say we shall embattle By th’ second hour i’ th’ morn.

First Watch:This last day was a shrewd one to ’s.

Enobarbus:O, bear me witness, night—

Second Watch:What man is this?

First Watch:Stand close, and list him.

Enobarbus:Be witness to me, O thou blessèd moon, When men revolted shall upon record Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did Before thy face repent.

Sentry:Enobarbus?

Second Watch:Peace! Hark further.

Enobarbus:O sovereign mistress of true melancholy, The poisonous damp of night dispunge upon me, That life, a very rebel to my will, May hang no longer on me. Throw my heart Against the flint and hardness of my fault, Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony, Nobler than my revolt is infamous, Forgive me in thine own particular, But let the world rank me in register A master-leaver and a fugitive. O Antony! O Antony!

He dies.

First Watch:Let’s speak to him.

Sentry:Let’s hear him, for the things he speaks may concern Caesar.

Second Watch:Let’s do so. But he sleeps.

Sentry:Swoons rather, for so bad a prayer as his Was never yet for sleep.

First Watch:Go we to him.

Second Watch:Awake, sir, awake! Speak to us.

First Watch:Hear you, sir?

Sentry:The hand of death hath raught him. [Drums afar off.] Hark, the drums Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him To th’ court of guard; he is of note. Our hour Is fully out.

Second Watch:Come on then. He may recover yet.

They exit, carrying Enobarbus’ body.

Scene 10

Enter Antony and Scarus, with their army.

Antony:Their preparation is today by sea; We please them not by land.

Scarus:For both, my lord.

Antony:I would they’d fight i’ th’ fire or i’ th’ air; We’d fight there too. But this it is: our foot Upon the hills adjoining to the city Shall stay with us—order for sea is given; They have put forth the haven— Where their appointment we may best discover And look on their endeavor.

They exit.

Scene 11

Enter Caesar and his army.

Octavius Caesar:But being charged, we will be still by land— Which, as I take ’t, we shall, for his best force Is forth to man his galleys. To the vales, And hold our best advantage.

They exit.

Scene 12

Enter Antony and Scarus.

Antony:Yet they are not joined. Where yond pine does stand, I shall discover all. I’ll bring thee word Straight how ’tis like to go.

He exits.

Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight.

Scarus:Swallows have built In Cleopatra’s sails their nests. The augurs Say they know not, they cannot tell, look grimly And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony Is valiant and dejected, and by starts His fretted fortunes give him hope and fear Of what he has and has not.

Enter Antony.

Antony:All is lost! This foul Egyptian hath betrayèd me. My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder They cast their caps up and carouse together Like friends long lost. Triple-turned whore! ’Tis thou Hast sold me to this novice, and my heart Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly— For when I am revenged upon my charm, I have done all. Bid them all fly. Begone! [Scarus exits.] O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more. Fortune and Antony part here; even here Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets On blossoming Caesar, and this pine is barked That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am. O, this false soul of Egypt! This grave charm, Whose eye becked forth my wars and called them home, Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end, Like a right gypsy hath at fast and loose Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.— What Eros, Eros! [Enter Cleopatra.] Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!

Cleopatra:Why is my lord enraged against his love?

Antony:Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving And blemish Caesar’s triumph. Let him take thee And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians! Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot Of all thy sex; most monster-like be shown For poor’st diminutives, for dolts, and let Patient Octavia plow thy visage up With her preparèd nails. [Cleopatra exits.] ’Tis well th’ art gone, If it be well to live. But better ’twere Thou fell’st into my fury, for one death Might have prevented many.—Eros, ho!— The shirt of Nessus is upon me. Teach me, Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage. Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o’ th’ moon, And with those hands that grasped the heaviest club Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die. To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall Under this plot. She dies for ’t.—Eros, ho!

He exits.

Scene 13

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.

Cleopatra:Help me, my women! O, he’s more mad Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly Was never so embossed.

Charmian:To th’ monument! There lock yourself and send him word you are dead. The soul and body rive not more in parting Than greatness going off.

Cleopatra:To th’ monument!— Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself. Say that the last I spoke was "Antony," And word it, prithee, piteously. Hence, Mardian, And bring me how he takes my death.—To th’ monument!

They exit.

Scene 14

Enter Antony and Eros.

Antony:Eros, thou yet behold’st me?

Eros:Ay, noble lord.

Antony:Sometime we see a cloud that’s dragonish, A vapor sometime like a bear or lion, A towered citadel, a pendent rock, A forkèd mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon ’t that nod unto the world And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs. They are black vesper’s pageants.

Eros:Ay, my lord.

Antony:That which is now a horse, even with a thought The rack dislimns and makes it indistinct As water is in water.

Eros:It does, my lord.

Antony:My good knave Eros, now thy captain is Even such a body. Here I am Antony, Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave. I made these wars for Egypt, and the Queen, Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine— Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto ’t A million more, now lost—she, Eros, has Packed cards with Caesar and false-played my glory Unto an enemy’s triumph. Nay, weep not, gentle Eros. There is left us Ourselves to end ourselves. [Enter Mardian.] O, thy vile lady! She has robbed me of my sword.

Mardian:No, Antony, My mistress loved thee and her fortunes mingled With thine entirely.

Antony:Hence, saucy eunuch! Peace! She hath betrayed me and shall die the death.

Mardian:Death of one person can be paid but once, And that she has discharged. What thou wouldst do Is done unto thy hand. The last she spake Was "Antony, most noble Antony." Then in the midst a tearing groan did break The name of Antony; it was divided Between her heart and lips. She rendered life Thy name so buried in her.

Antony:Dead, then?

Mardian:Dead.

Antony:Unarm, Eros. The long day’s task is done, And we must sleep.—That thou depart’st hence safe Does pay thy labor richly. Go. [Mardian exits.] Off, pluck off! [Eros begins to remove Antony’s armor.] The sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides! Heart, once be stronger than thy continent; Crack thy frail case. Apace, Eros, apace! No more a soldier. Bruisèd pieces, go. You have been nobly borne.—From me awhile. [Eros exits.] I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now All length is torture. Since the torch is out, Lie down and stray no farther. Now all labor Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles Itself with strength. Seal, then, and all is done.— Eros!—I come, my queen.—Eros!—Stay for me. Where souls do couch on flowers, we’ll hand in hand, And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze. Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops, And all the haunt be ours.—Come, Eros, Eros!

Enter Eros.

Eros:What would my lord?

Antony:Since Cleopatra died I have lived in such dishonor that the gods Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword Quartered the world and o’er green Neptune’s back With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack The courage of a woman—less noble mind Than she which, by her death, our Caesar tells "I am conqueror of myself." Thou art sworn, Eros, That when the exigent should come, which now Is come indeed, when I should see behind me Th’ inevitable prosecution of Disgrace and horror, that on my command Thou then wouldst kill me. Do ’t. The time is come. Thou strik’st not me; ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st. Put color in thy cheek.

Eros:The gods withhold me! Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts, Though enemy, lost aim and could not?

Antony:Eros, Wouldst thou be windowed in great Rome and see Thy master thus with pleached arms, bending down His corrigible neck, his face subdued To penetrative shame, whilst the wheeled seat Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded His baseness that ensued?

Eros:I would not see ’t.

Antony:Come, then, for with a wound I must be cured. Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn Most useful for thy country.

Eros:O, sir, pardon me!

Antony:When I did make thee free, swor’st thou not then To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once, Or thy precedent services are all But accidents unpurposed. Draw, and come.

Eros:Turn from me then that noble countenance Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.

Antony:Lo thee!

He turns away.

Eros:My sword is drawn.

Antony:Then let it do at once The thing why thou hast drawn it.

Eros:My dear master, My captain, and my emperor, let me say, Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

Antony:’Tis said, man, and farewell.

Eros:Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

Antony:Now, Eros.

Eros:Why, there, then. [Stabs himself.] Thus I do escape the sorrow Of Antony’s death.

Dies.

Antony:Thrice nobler than myself, Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what I should and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros Have by their brave instruction got upon me A nobleness in record. But I will be A bridegroom in my death and run into ’t As to a lover’s bed. Come then, and, Eros, Thy master dies thy scholar. To do thus I learned of thee. [He stabs himself.] How, not dead? Not dead? The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

Enter a company of the Guard, one of them named Dercetus.

First Guard:What’s the noise?

Antony:I have done my work ill, friends. O, make an end Of what I have begun!

Second Guard:The star is fall’n.

First Guard:And time is at his period.

Guardsman, First Guard, Second Guard, Guards, Dercetus, First Guard, Second Guard, Third Guard, Dercetus:Alas, and woe!

Antony:Let him that loves me strike me dead.

First Guard:Not I.

Second Guard:Nor I.

Third Guard:Nor anyone.

All but Antony and Dercetus exit.

Dercetus:Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly. [He takes Antony’s sword.] This sword but shown to Caesar with this tidings Shall enter me with him.

Enter Diomedes.

Diomedes:Where’s Antony?

Dercetus:There, Diomed, there.

Diomedes:Lives he? Wilt thou not answer, man?

Dercetus exits.

Antony:Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me Sufficing strokes for death.

Diomedes:Most absolute lord, My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.

Antony:When did she send thee?

Diomedes:Now, my lord.

Antony:Where is she?

Diomedes:Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear Of what hath come to pass. For when she saw— Which never shall be found—you did suspect She had disposed with Caesar, and that your rage Would not be purged, she sent you word she was dead; But fearing since how it might work, hath sent Me to proclaim the truth, and I am come, I dread, too late.

Antony:Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.

Diomedes:What ho! The Emperor’s guard! The guard, what ho! Come, your lord calls.

Enter four or five of the Guard of Antony.

Antony:Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides. ’Tis the last service that I shall command you.

First Guard:Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear All your true followers out.

Guardsman, First Guard, Second Guard, Guards, Dercetus, First Guard, Second Guard, Third Guard:Most heavy day!

Antony:Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome Which comes to punish us, and we punish it, Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up. I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends, And have my thanks for all.

They exit bearing Antony and the body of Eros.

Scene 15

Enter Cleopatra and her maids aloft, with Charmian and Iras.

Cleopatra:O Charmian, I will never go from hence.

Charmian:Be comforted, dear madam.

Cleopatra:No, I will not. All strange and terrible events are welcome, But comforts we despise. Our size of sorrow, Proportioned to our cause, must be as great As that which makes it. [Enter Diomedes below.] How now? Is he dead?

Diomedes:His death’s upon him, but not dead. Look out o’ th’ other side your monument. His guard have brought him thither.

Enter Antony below, and the Guard bearing him.

Cleopatra:O sun, Burn the great sphere thou mov’st in. Darkling stand The varying shore o’ th’ world! O Antony, Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian! Help, Iras, help! Help, friends below! Let’s draw him hither.

Antony:Peace! Not Caesar’s valor hath o’erthrown Antony, But Antony’s hath triumphed on itself.

Cleopatra:So it should be that none but Antony Should conquer Antony, but woe ’tis so!

Antony:I am dying, Egypt, dying. Only I here importune death awhile until Of many thousand kisses the poor last I lay upon thy lips.

Cleopatra:I dare not, dear, Dear my lord, pardon, I dare not, Lest I be taken. Not th’ imperious show Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall Be brooched with me; if knife, drugs, serpents have Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe. Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes And still conclusion, shall acquire no honor Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony.— Help me, my women!—We must draw thee up.— Assist, good friends.

They begin lifting him.

Antony:O, quick, or I am gone.

Cleopatra:Here’s sport indeed. How heavy weighs my lord! Our strength is all gone into heaviness; That makes the weight. Had I great Juno’s power, The strong-winged Mercury should fetch thee up And set thee by Jove’s side. Yet come a little. Wishers were ever fools. O, come, come, come! [They heave Antony aloft to Cleopatra.] And welcome, welcome! Die when thou hast lived; Quicken with kissing. Had my lips that power, Thus would I wear them out.

She kisses him.

Charmian, Iras, Guardsman, First Guard, Second Guard, Guards, Dercetus, First Guard, Second Guard, Third Guard, Diomedes:A heavy sight!

Antony:I am dying, Egypt, dying. Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.

Cleopatra:No, let me speak, and let me rail so high That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel, Provoked by my offense.

Antony:One word, sweet queen: Of Caesar seek your honor with your safety—O!

Cleopatra:They do not go together.

Antony:Gentle, hear me. None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.

Cleopatra:My resolution and my hands I’ll trust, None about Caesar.

Antony:The miserable change now at my end Lament nor sorrow at, but please your thoughts In feeding them with those my former fortunes Wherein I lived the greatest prince o’ th’ world, The noblest, and do now not basely die, Not cowardly put off my helmet to My countryman—a Roman by a Roman Valiantly vanquished. Now my spirit is going; I can no more.

Cleopatra:Noblest of men, woo’t die? Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide In this dull world, which in thy absence is No better than a sty? O see, my women, The crown o’ th’ Earth doth melt.—My lord! [Antony dies.] O, withered is the garland of the war; The soldier’s pole is fall’n; young boys and girls Are level now with men. The odds is gone, And there is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon.

Charmian:O, quietness, lady!

Cleopatra swoons.

Iras:She’s dead, too, our sovereign.

Charmian:Lady!

Iras:Madam!

Charmian:O madam, madam, madam!

Iras:Royal Egypt! Empress!

Cleopatra stirs.

Charmian:Peace, peace, Iras!

Cleopatra:No more but e’en a woman, and commanded By such poor passion as the maid that milks And does the meanest chares. It were for me To throw my scepter at the injurious gods, To tell them that this world did equal theirs Till they had stolen our jewel. All’s but naught. Patience is sottish, and impatience does Become a dog that’s mad. Then is it sin To rush into the secret house of death Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women? What, what, good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian? My noble girls! Ah, women, women! Look, Our lamp is spent; it’s out. Good sirs, take heart. We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave, what’s noble, Let’s do ’t after the high Roman fashion And make death proud to take us. Come, away. This case of that huge spirit now is cold. Ah women, women! Come, we have no friend But resolution and the briefest end.

They exit, bearing off Antony’s body.

Act 5

Scene 1

Enter Caesar with Agrippa, Dolabella, Maecenas, Gallus, and Proculeius, his council of war.

Octavius Caesar:[aside to Dolabella] Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield. Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks The pauses that he makes.

Dolabella:Caesar, I shall.

Dolabella exits.

Enter Dercetus with the sword of Antony.

Octavius Caesar:Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar’st Appear thus to us?

Dercetus:I am called Dercetus. Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy Best to be served. Whilst he stood up and spoke, He was my master, and I wore my life To spend upon his haters. If thou please To take me to thee, as I was to him I’ll be to Caesar; if thou pleasest not, I yield thee up my life.

Octavius Caesar:What is ’t thou say’st?

Dercetus:I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.

Octavius Caesar:The breaking of so great a thing should make A greater crack. The round world Should have shook lions into civil streets And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony Is not a single doom; in the name lay A moiety of the world.

Dercetus:He is dead, Caesar, Not by a public minister of justice, Nor by a hirèd knife, but that self hand Which writ his honor in the acts it did Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it, Splitted the heart. This is his sword. I robbed his wound of it. Behold it stained With his most noble blood.

Octavius Caesar:Look you sad, friends? The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings To wash the eyes of kings.

Agrippa:And strange it is That nature must compel us to lament Our most persisted deeds.

Maecenas:His taints and honors Waged equal with him.

Agrippa:A rarer spirit never Did steer humanity, but you gods will give us Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touched.

Maecenas:When such a spacious mirror’s set before him, He needs must see himself.

Octavius Caesar:O Antony, I have followed thee to this, but we do lance Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce Have shown to thee such a declining day Or look on thine. We could not stall together In the whole world. But yet let me lament With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts That thou my brother, my competitor In top of all design, my mate in empire, Friend and companion in the front of war, The arm of mine own body, and the heart Where mine his thoughts did kindle—that our stars Unreconciliable should divide Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends— [Enter an Egyptian.] But I will tell you at some meeter season. The business of this man looks out of him. We’ll hear him what he says.—Whence are you?

An Egyptian:A poor Egyptian yet, the Queen my mistress, Confined in all she has, her monument, Of thy intents desires instruction, That she preparedly may frame herself To th’ way she’s forced to.

Octavius Caesar:Bid her have good heart. She soon shall know of us, by some of ours, How honorable and how kindly we Determine for her. For Caesar cannot live To be ungentle.

An Egyptian:So the gods preserve thee.

He exits.

Octavius Caesar:Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say We purpose her no shame. Give her what comforts The quality of her passion shall require, Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke She do defeat us, for her life in Rome Would be eternal in our triumph. Go, And with your speediest bring us what she says And how you find of her.

Proculeius:Caesar, I shall.

Proculeius exits.

Octavius Caesar:Gallus, go you along. [Gallus exits.] Where’s Dolabella, To second Proculeius?

Agrippa, Maecenas, Dercetus:Dolabella!

Octavius Caesar:Let him alone, for I remember now How he’s employed. He shall in time be ready. Go with me to my tent, where you shall see How hardly I was drawn into this war, How calm and gentle I proceeded still In all my writings. Go with me and see What I can show in this.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, and Iras.

Cleopatra:My desolation does begin to make A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar; Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave, A minister of her will. And it is great To do that thing that ends all other deeds, Which shackles accidents and bolts up change, Which sleeps and never palates more the dung, The beggar’s nurse, and Caesar’s.

Enter Proculeius.

Proculeius:Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt, And bids thee study on what fair demands Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.

Cleopatra:What’s thy name?

Proculeius:My name is Proculeius.

Cleopatra:Antony Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but I do not greatly care to be deceived That have no use for trusting. If your master Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him That majesty, to keep decorum, must No less beg than a kingdom. If he please To give me conquered Egypt for my son, He gives me so much of mine own as I Will kneel to him with thanks.

Proculeius:Be of good cheer. You’re fall’n into a princely hand; fear nothing. Make your full reference freely to my lord, Who is so full of grace that it flows over On all that need. Let me report to him Your sweet dependency, and you shall find A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness Where he for grace is kneeled to.

Cleopatra:Pray you tell him I am his fortune’s vassal and I send him The greatness he has got. I hourly learn A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly Look him i’ th’ face.

Proculeius:This I’ll report, dear lady. Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied Of him that caused it.

Gallus and Soldiers enter and seize Cleopatra.

Gallus:You see how easily she may be surprised. Guard her till Caesar come.

Iras:Royal queen!

Charmian:O, Cleopatra, thou art taken, queen!

Cleopatra:[drawing a dagger] Quick, quick, good hands!

Proculeius:[seizing the dagger] Hold, worthy lady, hold! Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this Relieved, but not betrayed.

Cleopatra:What, of death, too, That rids our dogs of languish?

Proculeius:Cleopatra, Do not abuse my master’s bounty by Th’ undoing of yourself. Let the world see His nobleness well acted, which your death Will never let come forth.

Cleopatra:Where art thou, Death? Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen Worth many babes and beggars.

Proculeius:O, temperance, lady!

Cleopatra:Sir, I will eat no meat; I’ll not drink, sir. If idle talk will once be necessary— I’ll not sleep neither. This mortal house I’ll ruin, Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I Will not wait pinioned at your master’s court, Nor once be chastised with the sober eye Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up And show me to the shouting varletry Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt Be gentle grave unto me; rather on Nilus’ mud Lay me stark naked, and let the waterflies Blow me into abhorring; rather make My country’s high pyramides my gibbet And hang me up in chains!

Proculeius:You do extend These thoughts of horror further than you shall Find cause in Caesar.

Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella:Proculeius, What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows, And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen, I’ll take her to my guard.

Proculeius:So, Dolabella, It shall content me best. Be gentle to her. [To Cleopatra.] To Caesar I will speak what you shall please, If you’ll employ me to him.

Cleopatra:Say I would die.

Proculeius, Gallus, and Soldiers exit.

Dolabella:Most noble empress, you have heard of me.

Cleopatra:I cannot tell.

Dolabella:Assuredly you know me.

Cleopatra:No matter, sir, what I have heard or known. You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams; Is ’t not your trick?

Dolabella:I understand not, madam.

Cleopatra:I dreamt there was an emperor Antony. O, such another sleep, that I might see But such another man.

Dolabella:If it might please you—

Cleopatra:His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted The little O, the Earth.

Dolabella:Most sovereign creature—

Cleopatra:His legs bestrid the ocean, his reared arm Crested the world. His voice was propertied As all the tunèd spheres, and that to friends; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in ’t; an autumn ’twas That grew the more by reaping. His delights Were dolphin-like; they showed his back above The element they lived in. In his livery Walked crowns and crownets; realms and islands were As plates dropped from his pocket.

Dolabella:Cleopatra—

Cleopatra:Think you there was, or might be, such a man As this I dreamt of?

Dolabella:Gentle madam, no.

Cleopatra:You lie up to the hearing of the gods! But if there be nor ever were one such, It’s past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff To vie strange forms with fancy, yet t’ imagine An Antony were nature’s piece ’gainst fancy, Condemning shadows quite.

Dolabella:Hear me, good madam. Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it As answering to the weight. Would I might never O’ertake pursued success but I do feel, By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites My very heart at root.

Cleopatra:I thank you, sir. Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

Dolabella:I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.

Cleopatra:Nay, pray you, sir.

Dolabella:Though he be honorable—

Cleopatra:He’ll lead me, then, in triumph.

Dolabella:Madam, he will. I know ’t.

Flourish. Enter Caesar, Proculeius, Gallus, Maecenas, and others of his train.

Proculeius, Gallus, Maecenas:Make way there! Caesar!

Octavius Caesar:Which is the Queen of Egypt?

Dolabella:It is the Emperor, madam.

Cleopatra kneels.

Octavius Caesar:Arise. You shall not kneel. I pray you, rise. Rise, Egypt.

Cleopatra:Sir, the gods Will have it thus. My master and my lord I must obey.

She stands.

Octavius Caesar:Take to you no hard thoughts. The record of what injuries you did us, Though written in our flesh, we shall remember As things but done by chance.

Cleopatra:Sole sir o’ th’ world, I cannot project mine own cause so well To make it clear, but do confess I have Been laden with like frailties which before Have often shamed our sex.

Octavius Caesar:Cleopatra, know We will extenuate rather than enforce. If you apply yourself to our intents, Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find A benefit in this change; but if you seek To lay on me a cruelty by taking Antony’s course, you shall bereave yourself Of my good purposes, and put your children To that destruction which I’ll guard them from If thereon you rely. I’ll take my leave.

Cleopatra:And may through all the world. ’Tis yours, and we, Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.

She holds out a paper.

Octavius Caesar:You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleopatra:This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued, Not petty things admitted.—Where’s Seleucus?

Enter Seleucus.

Seleucus:Here, madam.

Cleopatra:This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved To myself nothing.—Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Seleucus:Madam, I had rather seel my lips Than to my peril speak that which is not.

Cleopatra:What have I kept back?

Seleucus:Enough to purchase what you have made known.

Octavius Caesar:Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve Your wisdom in the deed.

Cleopatra:See, Caesar, O, behold How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours, And should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild.—O slave, of no more trust Than love that’s hired! What, goest thou back? Thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee! But I’ll catch thine eyes Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog! O rarely base!

Octavius Caesar:Good queen, let us entreat you—

Cleopatra:O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this, That thou vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honor of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should Parcel the sum of my disgraces by Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar, That I some lady trifles have reserved, Immoment toys, things of such dignity As we greet modern friends withal, and say Some nobler token I have kept apart For Livia and Octavia, to induce Their mediation, must I be unfolded With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me Beneath the fall I have. [To Seleucus.] Prithee, go hence, Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through th’ ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

Octavius Caesar:Forbear, Seleucus.

Seleucus exits.

Cleopatra:Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought For things that others do; and when we fall, We answer others’ merits in our name— Are therefore to be pitied.

Octavius Caesar:Cleopatra, Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged Put we i’ th’ roll of conquest. Still be ’t yours! Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe Caesar’s no merchant to make prize with you Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheered. Make not your thoughts your prisons. No, dear queen, For we intend so to dispose you as Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed and sleep. Our care and pity is so much upon you That we remain your friend. And so adieu.

Cleopatra:My master and my lord!

Octavius Caesar:Not so. Adieu.

Flourish. Caesar and his train exit.

Cleopatra:He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian.

She whispers to Charmian.

Iras:Finish, good lady. The bright day is done, And we are for the dark.

Cleopatra:[to Charmian] Hie thee again. I have spoke already, and it is provided. Go put it to the haste.

Charmian:Madam, I will.

Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella:Where’s the Queen?

Charmian:Behold, sir.

She exits.

Cleopatra:Dolabella.

Dolabella:Madam, as thereto sworn by your command, Which my love makes religion to obey, I tell you this: Caesar through Syria Intends his journey, and within three days You with your children will he send before. Make your best use of this. I have performed Your pleasure and my promise.

Cleopatra:Dolabella, I shall remain your debtor.

Dolabella:I your servant. Adieu, good queen. I must attend on Caesar.

Cleopatra:Farewell, and thanks. [He exits.] Now, Iras, what think’st thou? Thou an Egyptian puppet shall be shown In Rome as well as I. Mechanic slaves With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers shall Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths, Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded And forced to drink their vapor.

Iras:The gods forbid!

Cleopatra:Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers Ballad us out o’ tune. The quick comedians Extemporally will stage us and present Our Alexandrian revels. Antony Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness I’ th’ posture of a whore.

Iras:O the good gods!

Cleopatra:Nay, that’s certain.

Iras:I’ll never see ’t! For I am sure mine nails Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleopatra:Why, that’s the way To fool their preparation and to conquer Their most absurd intents. [Enter Charmian.] Now, Charmian! Show me, my women, like a queen. Go fetch My best attires. I am again for Cydnus To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah Iras, go.— Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch indeed, And when thou hast done this chare, I’ll give thee leave To play till Doomsday.—Bring our crown and all. [Iras exits. A noise within.] Wherefore’s this noise?

Enter a Guardsman.

Guardsman:Here is a rural fellow That will not be denied your Highness’ presence. He brings you figs.

Cleopatra:Let him come in. [Guardsman exits.] What poor an instrument May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty. My resolution’s placed, and I have nothing Of woman in me. Now from head to foot I am marble-constant. Now the fleeting moon No planet is of mine.

Enter Guardsman and Countryman, with a basket.

Guardsman:This is the man.

Cleopatra:Avoid, and leave him. [Guardsman exits.] Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there That kills and pains not?

A Countryman:Truly I have him, but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal. Those that do die of it do seldom or never recover.

Cleopatra:Remember’st thou any that have died on ’t?

A Countryman:Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday—a very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honesty— how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt. Truly, she makes a very good report o’ th’ worm. But he that will believe all that they say shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is most falliable, the worm’s an odd worm.

Cleopatra:Get thee hence. Farewell.

A Countryman:I wish you all joy of the worm.

He sets down the basket.

Cleopatra:Farewell.

A Countryman:You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

Cleopatra:Ay, ay, farewell.

A Countryman:Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping of wise people, for indeed there is no goodness in the worm.

Cleopatra:Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.

A Countryman:Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth the feeding.

Cleopatra:Will it eat me?

A Countryman:You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish for the gods if the devil dress her not. But truly these same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women, for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.

Cleopatra:Well, get thee gone. Farewell.

A Countryman:Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o’ th’ worm.

He exits.

Enter Iras bearing Cleopatra’s royal regalia.

Cleopatra:Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I have Immortal longings in me. Now no more The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip. [Charmian and Iras begin to dress her.] Yare, yare, good Iras, quick. Methinks I hear Antony call. I see him rouse himself To praise my noble act. I hear him mock The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men To excuse their after wrath.—Husband, I come! Now to that name my courage prove my title. I am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life.—So, have you done? Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips. Farewell, kind Charmian.—Iras, long farewell. [She kisses them. Iras falls and dies.] Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch, Which hurts and is desired. Dost thou lie still? If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world It is not worth leave-taking.

Charmian:Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say The gods themselves do weep!

Cleopatra:This proves me base. If she first meet the curlèd Antony, He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss Which is my heaven to have.—Come, thou mortal wretch, [She places an asp on her breast.] With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool, Be angry and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak, That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass Unpolicied!

Charmian:O eastern star!

Cleopatra:Peace, peace! Dost thou not see my baby at my breast, That sucks the nurse asleep?

Charmian:O, break! O, break!

Cleopatra:As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle— O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee too. [She places an asp on her arm.] What should I stay—

Dies.

Charmian:In this wild world? So, fare thee well. Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies A lass unparalleled. Downy windows, close, [She closes Cleopatra’s eyes.] And golden Phoebus, never be beheld Of eyes again so royal. Your crown’s awry. I’ll mend it, and then play—

Enter the Guard rustling in.

First Guard:Where’s the Queen?

Charmian:Speak softly. Wake her not.

First Guard:Caesar hath sent—

Charmian:Too slow a messenger. [She takes out an asp.] O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.

First Guard:Approach, ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s beguiled.

Second Guard:There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.

A Guardsman exits.

First Guard:What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

Charmian:It is well done, and fitting for a princess Descended of so many royal kings. Ah, soldier!

Charmian dies.

Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella:How goes it here?

Second Guard:All dead.

Dolabella:Caesar, thy thoughts Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming To see performed the dreaded act which thou So sought’st to hinder.

Enter Caesar and all his train, marching.

Proculeius, Gallus, Maecenas:A way there, a way for Caesar!

Dolabella:O sir, you are too sure an augurer: That you did fear is done.

Octavius Caesar:Bravest at the last, She leveled at our purposes and, being royal, Took her own way. The manner of their deaths? I do not see them bleed.

Dolabella:Who was last with them?

First Guard:A simple countryman that brought her figs. This was his basket.

Octavius Caesar:Poisoned, then.

First Guard:O Caesar, This Charmian lived but now; she stood and spake. I found her trimming up the diadem On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood, And on the sudden dropped.

Octavius Caesar:O, noble weakness! If they had swallowed poison, ’twould appear By external swelling; but she looks like sleep, As she would catch another Antony In her strong toil of grace.

Dolabella:Here on her breast There is a vent of blood, and something blown. The like is on her arm.

First Guard:This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves Upon the caves of Nile.

Octavius Caesar:Most probable That so she died, for her physician tells me She hath pursued conclusions infinite Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed, And bear her women from the monument. She shall be buried by her Antony. No grave upon the earth shall clip in it A pair so famous. High events as these Strike those that make them; and their story is No less in pity than his glory which Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall In solemn show attend this funeral, And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see High order in this great solemnity.

They all exit, the Guards bearing the dead bodies.