Antony and Cleopatra
by William Shakespeare
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Antony and Cleopatra Easiest-to-Read Edition
Act 1. Scene 1. Alexandria. A room in Cleopatra’s palace
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO
Nay, but this dotage (foolish affection) of our general’s
O’erflows the measure (exceeds any estimation). Those his goodly eyes,
That o’er the files (orderly formations) and musters (enrollments) of the war
Have glowed like plated (in armor) Mars (god of war), now bend, now turn
The office (function) and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front (face). His captain’s heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper (renounces all self-restraint)
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gypsy’s lust.
(gypsy is a shortened form of Egyptian)
Flourish (trumpets announcing arrival). Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her ladies, the train (retinue), with eunuchs fanning her
Look where they come.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar (one of three Roman rulers) of the world transformed
Into a strumpet’s fool. Behold and see.
If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
There’s beggary (penny-pinching) in the love that can be reckoned.
(love that can be quantified is paltry)
I’ll set a bourn (limit) how far to be beloved.
Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
(only in some new universe could you find a limit to my love)
Enter a MESSENGER
News, my good lord, from Rome.
Grates (annoys) me, the sum (give me the summary).
Nay, hear them (the news), Antony.
Fulvia (Antony’s wife) perchance is angry. Or who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesar (Octavius Caesar, later Augustus, not Julius) have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, “Do this or this.
Take in that kingdom and enfranchise (set free) that.
Perform ’t, or else we damn thee.”
How (what’s that you say), my love?
Perchance? Nay, and most like (likely).
You must not stay here longer. Your dismission
Is come from Caesar. Therefore, hear it, Antony.
Where’s Fulvia’s process (summons)? 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 homage (does homage to Caesar). Else so (or else) thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
Let Rome in Tiber (river running through Rome) melt and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.
wide arch=imaginary gigantic arch over Roman empire
Kingdoms are clay. Our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
Is to do thus (live in this way), when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do ’t, in which I bind,
mutual pair . . . twain=Antony and Cleopatra
On pain of punishment, the world to weet (know)
We stand up peerless (without equal).
(speaking aside) Excellent (all excelling) falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia and not (if he did not) love her?
I’ll seem (pretend to be) the fool I am not. Antony
Will be himself (will never change).
(overhearing the last sentence) But (except when) stirred by Cleopatra.
Now, for the love of Love (Venus, the Roman goddess of love) and her soft hours,
(the Hours were Venus’ handmaidens)
Let’s not confound (waste) the time with conference harsh.
There’s not a minute of our lives should stretch (lengthen)
Without some pleasure. Now, what sport tonight?
Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling Queen!
Whom everything becomes (is becoming)—to chide, to laugh,
To weep, whose every passion (mood) fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!
[I will receive] 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.
Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with the train
Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
Sir, sometimes, when he is not [the old] Antony
He comes too short of that great property (distinctive quality)
Which still (always) should go with Antony.
I am full sorry
That he approves (confirms) the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome, but I will hope
Of better deeds tomorrow. Rest you happy!
Enter ENOBARBUS, LAMPRIUS (a soothsayer), RANNIUS, LUCILLIUS, CHARMIAN, IRAS, MARDIAN (a eunuch), and ALEXAS
Lord Alexas (one of Antony’s officers), sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute (perfect) Alexas, where’s the soothsayer that you praised so to th’ Queen? Oh, that I knew [the name of] this [cheated upon] husband, which, you say, must charge (load) his horns (sign of being cheated upon) with garlands!
(to ALEXAS) Is this the man? (to SOOTHSAYER) Is ’t you, sir, that know things?
In nature’s infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.
(to CHARMIAN) Show him your hand.
(to servants within) Bring in the banquet quickly. Wine enough
Cleopatra’s health to drink.
(giving hand to SOOTHSAYER) Good sir, give me good fortune.
I make not, but [I] foresee.
Pray, then, foresee me [a good] one.
You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
(to the others) He means in flesh.
fair in flesh=plump
No, [he means that] you shall paint [your face] when you are old.
Vex not “his prescience.” Be attentive.
his prescience=a mock honorific, similar to “his honor”
You shall be more beloving than beloved.
I had rather heat my liver (arouse passion) with drinking [than with love].
Nay, hear him.
Good now (come on, 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 [even] Herod of Jewry (a raging tyrant) may do homage. Find [as you look at my hand] me to marry me with Octavius Caesar [who later became Augustus Caesar], and companion me (make me equal) with my mistress.
You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Oh, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
You have seen and proved (shown to be true) a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
Then belike (probably) my children shall have no names (be illegitimate). Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
If every [one] of your wishes had a womb,
And fertile every wish, a million.
[get] Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
(you are too bad a soothsayer to be a witch)
You think none but your sheets are (is) privy to your wishes.
(you think that nobody outside of your bedroom knows your wishes)
(to SOOTHSAYER) Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
We’ll know all our fortunes.
(everyone will want his or her fortune told)
Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight, shall be—drunk to bed.
(giving her hand to the SOOTHSAYER) There’s a palm presages (foretells) chastity, if nothing else.
E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus (River Nile) presageth famine.
(Iras foretells chastity, but Charmian jokes that she should foretell the opposite - promiscuity)
(to Charmian) Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
CHARMIAN [defending herself – she can foretell fertility]
Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.—Prithee, tell her but a workaday fortune.
Your fortunes are alike.
But how, but how? Give me particulars.
I have said.
Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?
(where would you like the inch added?)
Not in my husband’s nose.
Our worser (indecent) thoughts heavens mend. Alexas! (to SOOTHSAYER) Come, his fortune, his fortune! Oh, let him marry a woman that cannot go (be satisfied), sweet Isis (Egyptian goddess), I beseech thee, and let her die, too, and give him a worse [wife], and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold (husband of an unfaithful wife)! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight, good Isis, I beseech thee!
IRAS [pretending to be a priestess]
Amen, dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! For, as it is a heartbreaking (a heartbreak) to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded (with a faithful wife). Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly (make him a cuckold).
(to himself) Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores but they’d do ’t.
Hush! Here comes Antony.
Not he. The Queen.
Saw you my lord?
Was he not here?
He was disposed to mirth, but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him.—Enobarbus!
Seek him and bring him hither.—
Here at your service. My lord approaches.
Enter ANTONY with the FIRST MESSENGER
We will not look upon him. Go with us.
Exeunt all but ANTONY and the FIRST MESSENGER
Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the field (mustered her army first).
Against my brother Lucius?
But soon that war had end, and the time’s state (circumstances at the time)
Made friends of them, joining their force ’gainst Caesar,
Whose better issue (success) in the war from Italy
Upon the first encounter drave them (drove them from Italy).
Well, what worst (what’s the worst of your news)?
The nature of bad news infects the teller (makes the teller look bad).
When it concerns the fool or coward. On (go 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 [if] he flattered.
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,
“Antony,” thou wouldst say.
O my lord!
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 (total freedom) as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. Oh, then we bring forth weeds
When our quick minds lie still, and our ills told us (faults reported to us)
Is as our earing (is like land being plowed).
Enter SECOND MESSENGER
Fare thee well awhile.
At your noble pleasure.
Exit FIRST MESSENGER
From Sicyon, how, the news? Speak there.
Sicyon – the town in Greece where Antony left Fulvia
The man from Sicyon—
Is there such an one (is he here)?
He stays upon your will.
Let him appear.
Exit SECOND MESSENGER
(to himself) These strong Egyptian fetters I must break
Or lose myself in dotage (foolish infatuation).
Enter THIRD MESSENGER, with a letter
What are you (what is your message)?
Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she?
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth (concerns) thee to know, this bears.
He gives ANTONY a letter
Forbear me (leave me).
Exit THIRD MESSENGER
(to himself) There’s a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it.
What our contempts (actions showing contempt) doth often hurl from us
We wish it ours again. The present pleasure,
By revolution lowering (brought downward as if on a wheel), does become
The opposite of itself. She’s good, being gone.
The hand could (would now gladly) 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!
What’s your pleasure, sir?
I must with haste from hence.
Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal (death dealing) an unkindness is to them. If they suffer our departure, death’s the word.
I must be gone.
Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing, though between them and a great cause they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies (swoons) instantly. I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do think there is mettle (ardor) in Death which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity (alacrity) in dying.
(upset her and she swoons)
(when she swoons, she seems – to herself - to be dying)
She is cunning past man’s thought.
cunning=crafty and, also, sexual word play
Alack, sir, no, her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters [mere] 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 (god of rain).
(if all her passions were within her control, she would be a goddess)
Would (I wish) I had never seen her!
O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work which not to have been blessed withal (with) would have discredited your travel.
Fulvia is dead.
Fulvia is dead.
Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth, comforting therein, that, when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut and the case to be lamented. This grief is crowned with consolation. Your old smock brings forth a new petticoat, and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
(you should only cry when holding up an onion)
The business she (Fulvia) hath broached in the state
Cannot endure my absence.
And the business you have broached here cannot be without you, especially that of Cleopatra’s, which wholly depends on your abode (staying here).
No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose (intend). 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
(son of Pompey the Great. He controlled seaways)
Hath given the dare to Caesar and commands
The empire of the sea. Our slippery (fickle) 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 (war experience) and life—stands up
For (rises up to be) the main (chief) soldier, whose quality, going on (if not stopped),
The sides (framework) o’ th’ world may [en]danger. Much is breeding,
Which, like the courser’s hair, hath yet but life
(it was thought that a horsehair could come to life as a serpent)
And not a serpent’s poison. Say (tell our underlings) our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.
I shall do ’t.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, ALEXAS, and IRAS
Where is he?
I did not see him since (lately).
(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.
Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like (the same) from him.
What should I do I do not?
In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.
Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.
Tempt him not so too far. I wish [you would] forbear (hold back).
In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick and sullen.
I am sorry to give breathing (utterance) to my purpose—
Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.
It cannot be thus long (I cannot last long this way). The sides of nature (human frame)
Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest Queen—
Pray you, stand farther from me.
What’s the matter?
I know by that same eye there’s some good news.
What, says the married woman (Fulvia) you may go?
Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say ’tis I that keep you here.
I have no power upon you. Hers you are.
The gods best know—
Oh, never was there queen
So mightily betrayed! Yet, at the first
I saw the treasons planted.
Why should I think you can be mine and true
(Though you in swearing shake the thronèd gods)
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made (superficial) vows [of Antony’s]
Which break themselves in swearing!
(the vows were being broken even as they were sworn)
Most sweet Queen—
Nay, pray you, seek no color (excuse) for your going
But bid farewell and go. When you sued staying (begged to stay),
Then was the time for words. No going then!
Eternity was in our (my) lips and eyes,
our=“my” spoken by royalty
Bliss in our (my) brows’ bent, none our (my) parts so poor
(bliss in the arch of my eyebrows)
But [it] was a race of heaven. They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turned the greatest liar.
How now (what do you mean), lady?
I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
(with your stature I would speak up more forcefully)
Hear me, Queen.
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
in use=in trust
Shines o’er (glitters) with civil swords (weapons of civil war). Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.
Equality of two domestic powers (Octavius Caesar’s and Antony’s)
Breed scrupulous (picky) faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love. The condemned Pompey,
grown to love=risen up to be loved
(Shakespeare thought that Sextus Pompey had been condemned by the Roman Senate)
Rich in his father’s honor, creeps apace (worms his way rapidly)
Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten,
numbers=followers of Pompey
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
purge=cause blood to flow
By any desperate change. My more particular (personal reason),
And that which most with you should safe (sanction) my going,
Is Fulvia’s death.
Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die (have died)?
She’s dead, my Queen.
He offers letters
Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils (disturbances) she awaked. At the last, best,
See when and where she died.
O, most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful waters (tears)? Now I see, I see,
In Fulvia’s death how mine received shall be.
Quarrel no more but be prepared to know
The purposes I bear, which are or cease (move forward or not)
As you shall give th’ advice. By the fire (sun)
That quickens (brings to life) Nilus’ (the River Nile) slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war
As thou affects (desires).
Cut my lace, Charmian, come!
(lace for a corset, which restricts breathing)
But let it be. I am quickly ill and well,
So Antony loves.
My precious Queen, forbear (cease),
And give true evidence (bear true witness) to his love which (who) [with]stands
An honorable trial.
So Fulvia told me.
(I have learned from Fulvia how fickle your love is)
I prithee, turn aside and weep for her.
Then, bid adieu to me, and say the tears [actually shed for Fulvia]
Belong to Egypt (were shed for Cleopatra). Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling (pretending), and let it look
Like perfect honor.
You’ll heat my blood (anger me). No more [of this].
You can do (play a part) better yet, but this is meetly.
Now, by my sword—
And target (and your shield, as well). Still he mends (plays a part better).
(to CHARMIAN) But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become (is the right part for)
The carriage of his chafe (the way he carries his anger).
I’ll leave you, lady.
Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part, but that’s not it (not what I wanted to say).
Sir, you and I have loved, but there’s not it (not what I wanted to say),
That you know well. Something it is I would—
Oh, my oblivion (forgetfulness) is a very Antony [who leaves me],
And I am all forgotten (forgetful and left).
But that your royalty
Holds idleness (frivolity) your subject (is subject to you as queen), I should take you
For idleness itself.
’Tis sweating labor
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this [departure]. But, sir, forgive me,
Since my becomings kill me when they do not
Eye (appear) well to you. Your honor calls you hence.
Therefore, be deaf to my unpitied (disregarded) folly,
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel victory, and smooth success
(laurel victory – winners were honored with laurel cuttings)
Be strewed before your feet.
Let us go. Come.
Our separation so abides and flies
That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter, LEPIDUS, and their train
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
(Cleopatra had, at one time, been married to Ptolemy)
More womanly than he, hardly gave audience or
hardly gave audience=was indifferent to our messengers
Vouchsafed (granted) to think he had partners. You shall find there (in the letter)
A man who is th’ abstract of all faults
That all men follow (of men).
I must not think there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness.
His faults in him seem as the spots (stars) of heaven,
More fiery by (contrasted with) night’s blackness, hereditary
Rather than purchased (chosen), what he cannot change
Than what he chooses.
You are too indulgent. Let’s grant, it is not
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy,
Ptolemy=Cleopatra’s former husband
To give a kingdom for a mirth (frolic), to sit
And keep the turns (take turns) of tippling with a slave,
To reel (stagger) the streets at noon, and stand the buffet (fight)
With knaves that smell of sweat. Say this becomes him—
As his composure (make-up) must be rare indeed
Whom these things cannot blemish—yet must Antony
No way excuse his foils (flaws) when we do bear
So great weight (responsibility) in his lightness. If he filled
His vacancy (free time) with his voluptuousness,
Full surfeits and the dryness of his bones
Call on him (call him to account) for ’t. But to confound (waste) such time
That drums him from his sport and speaks as loud
As his own state and ours, ’tis to be chid (reprimanded)
As we rate (scold) boys who, being mature in knowledge (old enough to know better),
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure
And so rebel (are rebellious) to [good] judgment.
Enter FIRST MESSENGER
Here’s more news.
Thy biddings have been done (followed), 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 (have obeyed only because they) feared Caesar. To the ports
The discontents repair, and men’s reports
Give him (represent him as) much wronged.
I should have known no less.
It hath been taught us from the primal state (very first government)
That he which is [in power] was wished until he were [in power],
And the ebbed (deposed) man, ne’er loved till ne’er worth love,
Comes deared (becomes endeared) by being lacked. This common body (populace),
Like to a vagabond flag (a kind of water plant) upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying (moving aimlessly about in) the varying tide
To rot itself with motion.
Enter SECOND MESSENGER
Caesar, I bring thee word
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Make the sea serve them, which they ear (plough) and wound
With keels of every kind. Many hot inroads
They make in Italy—the borders maritime (coastal territories)
Lack blood to think on ’t—and flush (ruddy) youth revolt [to join Pompey].
No vessel can peep forth but ’tis as soon
Taken as seen, for Pompey’s name strikes more [fear]
Than could his war resisted [in a battle].
CAESAR (responding to letter and messengers)
Leave thy lascivious wassails (carousings). When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena (where thou slew’st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls) at thy heel
Did famine follow, whom (which) thou fought’st against,
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink
The stale (urine) of horses and the gilded (covered with yellow slime) puddle
Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did deign [to eat]
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.
Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets (covers),
The barks of trees thou browsed (ate). 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 [when your condition is weak]—
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
So much as lanked (shrank) not.
’Tis pity of him (what a pity).
Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome. ’Tis time we twain
Did show ourselves i’ th’ [battle]field, and to that end
Assemble we immediate council. Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.
I shall be furnished to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able
To [con]front this present time.
Till which encounter
It is my business, too. Farewell.
Farewell, my lord. What you shall know meantime
Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
To let me be partaker.
Doubt not, sir. I knew it [already] for my bond (obligation).
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN
Ha, ha! Give me to drink mandragora (narcotic syrup).
That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away.
You think of him too much.
Oh, ’tis treason!
Madam, I trust, not so.
Thou, eunuch Mardian!
What’s your highness’ pleasure?
Not now to hear thee sing. I take no pleasure
(castrati were employed as singers)
In aught (anything) an eunuch has. ’Tis well for thee
That, being unseminared, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt (depart, as Antony has done). Hast thou affections?
Yes, gracious madam.
Not in deed, madam, for I can do nothing
But what indeed is honest (virtuous) to be done.
Yet, have I fierce affections and think
What Venus did with Mars.
Where think’st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he?
Or does he walk? Or is he on his horse?
O, happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely (make a splendid show), horse, for wott’st (know) thou whom thou mov’st (carry)?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm [holding up the earth]
And burgonet (type of helmet=protector) 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’ (the sun’s) amorous pinches black
And wrinkled deep in time. Broad-fronted Caesar (Julius Caesar),
When thou wast here above the ground, I was
A morsel for a monarch, and great Pompey (son of Pompey the Great)
Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow.
There would he anchor his aspect and die [figuratively]
With looking on his life (Cleopatra).
Sovereign of Egypt, hail!
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?
Last thing he did, dear Queen,
He kissed—the last of many doubled kisses—
This orient pearl.
He gives a pearl.
His speech sticks in my heart.
Mine ear must pluck it thence.
“Good friend,” quoth he,
“Say the firm Roman to great Egypt (Cleopatra) sends
This treasure of an oyster, at whose foot,
To mend the petty present, I will piece (enlarge)
Her opulent throne with kingdoms. All the East,
Say thou, shall call her mistress.” So he nodded
And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt (armored and lean) steed,
Who neighed so high that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumbed by him.
What was he, sad or merry?
Like to the time o’ th’ year between the extremes
Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.
O well-divided disposition! Note him,
Note him, good Charmian, ’tis the man [described to a T], 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 (intensity) of either thee becomes,
thee becomes=becomes thee
So does it no man else.—Mett’st thou my posts (messengers)?
Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
Why do you send so thick?
Who’s born that day
When I forget to send to Antony
Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.
Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Caesar so?
Oh, that brave Caesar!
Be choked with such another emphasis!
Say, “the brave Antony.”
The valiant Caesar!
By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth
If thou with Caesar paragon (match) again
My man of men.
By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then. (to everyone) But, come, away.
(to CHARMIAN) Get me ink and paper.
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I’ll unpeople Egypt.
Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in warlike manner
If the great gods be just, they shall assist
The deeds of justest men.
Know, worthy Pompey,
That what they do delay, they not [necessarily] deny.
Whiles we are suitors (petitioners) to their (the gods’) throne, decays
The thing we sue (beg) for.
(the thing we beg for decays – is being destroyed)
We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often [for] our own harms (beg for what would harm us), which the wise powers (gods)
Deny us for our [own] good, so find we profit
By losing of (being denied) our prayers.
I shall do well.
The people love me, and the sea is mine.
My powers (armed forces) are crescent (growing), and my auguring (prophesying) hope
Says it will come to th’ full (full moon). Mark Antony
In Egypt sits at dinner and will make
No wars without doors (outdoors=military wars). Caesar gets money where
He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both (Antony and Caesar),
Of both is flattered, but he neither loves
(he loves neither of them)
Nor either [one] cares for him.
Caesar and Lepidus
Are in the [battle]field. A mighty [armed] strength they carry.
[from] Where have you this? ’Tis false.
From Silvius, sir.
He dreams. I know they are in Rome together
Looking for Antony, but all the charms of love,
[thanks to] Salt (lascivious) Cleopatra, soften thy wan’d lip!
soften thy wan’d lip=corrupt your lip, pale and thin, like the old moon
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both.
Tie up the libertine (Antony) in a field of feasts,
Keep his brain fuming (affected by wine). Epicurean cooks,
Sharpen with cloyless (never satisfying) sauce his appetite,
[so] That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honor
prorogue his honor=suspend his military intelligence
Even till a Lethe’d dullness.
(a person who drinks from the River Lethe in the underworld will forget his or her past)
How now, Varrius?
This is most certain that I shall deliver (report):
Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
Expected. Since he went from Egypt ’tis
A space (interval) for farther travel (he could have traveled even farther).
I could have given less matter
A better ear.—Menas, I did not think
This amorous surfeiter (glutton) would have donned his helm (helmet)
For such a petty war. His soldiership
Is twice the other twain (Octavius and Lepidus), but let us rear (raise)
The higher our [self-]opinion [so] that our stirring
Can from the lap of Egypt’s widow pluck
The ne’er lust-wearied Antony.
I cannot hope (expect)
Caesar and Antony shall well greet together.
well greet=greet one another kindly
His wife that’s dead did trespasses (wrongs) to Caesar.
His brother (Lucius Antonius) warred upon him, although, I think,
Not moved (instigated) by Antony.
I know not, Menas,
How (to what extent) lesser enmities may give way to greater.
Were ’t not that we stand up against them all,
’Twere pregnant (very probable) they should square (have quarreled) 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.
(our lives endure only if we use our strongest forces possible)
Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS
Good Enobarbus, ’tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain (Antony)
To soft and gentle speech.
I shall entreat him
To answer like himself. If Caesar move him,
Let Antony look over Caesar’s head
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonio’s beard,
I would not shave ’t today.
’Tis not a time for private stomaching (resentment).
Every time serves for the matter that is then born in ’t.
(it is always appropriate to deal with matters as they arise)
But small to greater matters must give way.
Not if the small come first.
Your speech is passion (emotion without reason). But pray you stir
No embers up. Here comes the noble Antony.
Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS
And, yonder, Caesar.
Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA
(to VENTIDIUS) If we compose (agree) well here, [on] to Parthia.
Hark (listen), Ventidius.
They talk aside
(to MECAENAS) I do not know, Maecenas. Ask Agrippa.
(to CAESAR and ANTONY) Noble friends,
That which combined us was most great, and let not
A leaner (lesser) action rend us (break us apart). What’s amiss,
May it be gently heard. When we debate
Our trivial difference [too] loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds. Then, noble partners,
The rather for (instead), I earnestly beseech,
Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor [let] curstness (bad temper) grow (be added) to th’ matter.
’Tis spoken well.
Were we before our armies and [about] to fight,
I should do thus.
Welcome to Rome.
I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
Or, being, concern you not.
I must be laughed at (ridiculed)
If, or (either) for nothing or a little, I
Should say myself offended, and with you
Chiefly i’ th’ world (of all people) [even] more laughed at, that I should
Once (under any circumstances) name you derogately (disparagingly), when to sound your name
It not concerned me (was none of my business).
My being in Egypt, Caesar, what was ’t to you?
No more than my residing here at Rome
Might be to you in Egypt. Yet, if you there
Did practice on my state (plot against my power), your being in Egypt
Might be my question (my business).
How intend you, “practice”?
(what do you mean “practice”)
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 (was waged on your behalf). You were the word of war.
You do mistake your business. My brother never
Did urge me in his act (claim he was fighting on my behalf). I did inquire [into] it
And have my learning (information) from some true reports (informants)
That drew their swords with you (fought in your army). Did he not rather
Discredit (reject) my authority [along] with yours
And make the wars alike against my stomach (desire),
[I] Having alike (sharing) your cause? Of this my letters
Before did satisfy you. If you’ll patch (invent) a quarrel,
As matter whole you have to make (patch) it with;
It must not be with this.
You praise yourself
By laying defects of judgment to me, but
You patched up (fabricated) your excuses.
Not so, not so.
I know you could not lack, I am certain on ’t,
Very necessity of this thought, that I,
(you must have known)
Your partner in the cause ’gainst which he (Lucius) fought,
Could not with graceful (approving) eyes attend those wars
Which fronted (opposed) mine own peace. As for my wife,
I would you had her spirit in such another (a wife such as she was).
The third o’ th’ world is yours, which with a snaffle
snaffle=bridle suitable for use with gentle horses
You may pace (train) easy, but not such a wife.
Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
So much uncurbable (unmanageable, even with a curb rein), her garboils (disturbances), Caesar,
Made out of (resulting from) her impatience—which not wanted (did not lack)
Shrewdness of policy, too—I grieving grant
Did you too much disquiet. For that you must
But say I could not help it.
I wrote to you
When [you were] rioting (carousing) in Alexandria. You
Did pocket up my letters and with taunts
Did gibe (taunt) my missive (messenger) out of audience (your presence).
He fell (burst in) upon me ere admitted, then.
Three kings I had newly feasted and did want (fell short)
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 (business) wipe him.
You have broken
The article of your oath, which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.
Soft (go easy), Caesar.
No, Lepidus, let him speak.
The honor is sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing (implying) that I lacked it. But, on, Caesar.
The article of my oath?
To lend me arms and aid when I required them,
The which you both [of them] denied.
And then when poisoned (drunken) 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 (back from) Egypt, made wars here,
For which myself, the ignorant motive (cause), do
So far ask pardon as befits mine honor
To stoop in such a case.
’Tis noble (nobly) spoken.
If it might please you to enforce (urge) no further
The griefs (grievances) between ye. To forget them quite (altogether)
Were to remember that the present need
Speaks to atone (reconcile) you.
Worthily spoken, Maecenas.
Or, if you borrow one another’s love for the instant (make up for now), you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it (to your quarrel) again. You shall have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.
Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.
That “truth should be silent” I had almost forgot.
You wrong this presence (dignified company). Therefore, speak no more.
Go to, then. Your considerate stone.
I do not much dislike the matter but
The manner of his speech, for ’t cannot be
We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
So diff’ring in their acts. Yet, if I knew
What hoop (barrel hoop) should hold us stanch (firm), from edge to edge
O’ th’ world I would pursue it.
Give me leave, Caesar.
Thou hast a sister by the mother’s side (half sister),
Admired Octavia. Great Mark Antony
Is now a widower.
Say not so, Agrippa.
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
Were well deserved of rashness.
I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear
Agrippa further speak.
To hold you in perpetual amity,
To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
With an unslipping knot, take Antony
Octavia to his wife, whose beauty claims
No worse a husband than the best of men,
Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
(no one else can praise her enough)
All little jealousies (suspicions), which now seem great,
And all great fears, which now import (carry with them) their dangers,
Would then be nothing. Truths would be tales (common talk),
Where now half-tales (gossip) be truths. Her love to both
Would each to other and all loves to both
Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke,
For ’tis a studied, not a present, thought,
By duty ruminated.
Will Caesar speak?
Not till he hears how Antony is touched
With what is spoke already.
What power is in Agrippa
If I would say, “Agrippa, be it so,”
To make this good?
The power of Caesar and
His power unto (over) Octavia.
May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows (looks so promising),
Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand
[to] Further this act of grace, and from this hour
[may] The heart of brothers govern in our loves
And sway our great designs!
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 (depart) our loves (our friendship) again!
I did not think (expect) to draw my sword ’gainst Pompey,
For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
(strange and great courtesies)
Of late upon me. I must thank him only,
Lest my remembrance (his calling me to mind) suffer ill report.
At heel of that, defy him.
Time calls upon ’s.
Of (by) us must Pompey presently (at once) be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.
Where lies he?
About the Mount Misena.
What is his strength by land?
Great and increasing,
But by sea he is an absolute master.
So is the fame (what I have heard).
Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it.
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
The business we have talked of.
With most gladness,
And [I] do invite you to my sister’s view,
(view my sister)
Whither straight I’ll lead you.
Let us, Lepidus, not lack your company.
Noble Antony, not [even] sickness should detain me.
Flourish. Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS, AGRIPPA, and MAECENAS
(to ENOBARBUS) Welcome from Egypt, sir.
Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas! My honorable friend, Agrippa.
We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested.
You stayed well by ’t in Egypt (showed great stamina).
Ay, sir, we did sleep day out of countenance and made the night light with drinking.
(we made daytime put on a bad face by sleeping through it)
Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast—and but twelve persons there! Is this true?
This was but as a fly by an eagle. We had much more monstrous (prodigious) matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
She’s a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her (accurate).
When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up (pocketed) his heart upon the river of Cydnus (in her barge on the River Cydnus).
There she appeared, indeed, or my reporter devised (invented) well for her.
I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnished (lustrous with reflected sunshine) throne,
Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold,
poop=short deck built over the main deck at the stern
Purple the sails, and so perfumèd that
The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke (kept in time) and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As [if] amorous of their strokes. [as] For her own person,
It beggared (impoverished) all description. She did lie
In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue (fabric interwoven with gold threads so fine as to seem to be tissue)—
O’erpicturing (outdoing) that Venus where we see
The fancy (the painter’s art) outwork nature. On each side [of] her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem
To [make] glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool
And what they undid did.
Oh, rare for Antony!
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many [fully human] mermaids, tended her i’ th’ eyes (within her view)
And made their bends (graceful bows) adornings. At the helm
A seeming (costumed) mermaid steers. The silken tackle (sails, ropes, cables)
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office (quickly perform their duties). From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs (banks). The city cast
Her people out upon her, and Antony,
Enthroned i’ th’ marketplace, did sit alone,
Whistling to th’ air, which, but for vacancy (but for leaving a vacuum behind),
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra, too,
And [would have] made a gap in nature.
Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest,
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne’er the word of “No” woman heard [him] speak,
Being barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary (meal) pays his heart
For what his eyes eat (ate) only.
She made great Caesar (Julius Caesar) lay his sword to bed.
He plowed her, and she cropped (bore a son).
I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street,
And, having lost her breath, she spoke and panted,
[so] That she did make defect perfection
And, breathless, pour breath forth.
Now Antony must leave her utterly (completely).
Never. He will not.
Age cannot wither her nor custom (being accustomed) 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 (they become her), [so] that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish (imprudently carefree).
If beauty, wisdom, modesty can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessèd lottery (prize) to him.
Let us go.
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
Whilst you abide here.
Humbly, sir, I thank you.
Enter ANTONY, CAESAR, OCTAVIA (between them), and attendants
(to OCTAVIA) The world and my great office will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.
All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
(to CAESAR) Good night, sir.—My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world’s report.
I have not kept my square (kept to a straight course), but that to come
Shall all be done by th’ rule. Good night, dear lady.
(to CAESAR) Good night, sir.
He exits with OCTAVIA
Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?
Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither.
(I wish that I had never come from Egypt and that you had never gone to Egypt)
If you can, your reason?
I see it in my motion (thoughts), have it not in my tongue. But yet hie (hasten) you to Egypt again.
Say to me whose fortunes shall rise higher,
Caesar’s or mine?
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side.
Thy 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.
Speak this no more.
To none but thee, no more but when (only 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 (grows dim)
When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him,
But, he away, ’tis noble.
Get thee gone.
Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.
(to himself) He (Ventidius) shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap (luck),
He (Soothsayer) hath spoken true. The very dice obey him (Caesar),
And in our sports my better cunning faints
Under his chance. If we draw lots, he speeds (wins).
His cocks do win the battle still (always) of mine
When it is all to naught (high odds in my favor), and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhooped (in an enclosure), at odds (odds being in my favor). I will to Egypt,
And, though I make this marriage for my peace,
I’ th’ East my pleasure lies.
O come, Ventidius.
You must to Parthia. Your commission’s ready.
Follow me and receive ’t.
Enter LEPIDUS, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA
Trouble yourselves no further (you may leave now). Pray you, hasten
Your generals after.
(after your generals)
Sir, Mark Antony
Will e’en but (only) kiss Octavia, and we’ll follow.
Till I shall see you in your soldier’s dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.
As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount
Before you, Lepidus.
Your way is shorter.
My purposes do draw me much about.
You’ll win two days upon me.
Sir, good success.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS
Give me some music. Music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
The music, ho!
Enter MARDIAN, the eunuch
Let it alone (forget it). Let’s to billiards. Come, Charmian.
My arm is sore. Best play with Mardian.
As well a woman with an eunuch played
As with a woman.—Come, you’ll play with me, sir?
As well as I can, madam.
And when good will is showed, though ’t come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I’ll none now (I’ve changed my mind).
Give me mine angle (fishing gear). We’ll to th’ river. There,
My music playing far off, I will betray (trick)
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.”
’Twas merry when
You wagered on your angling, when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his (Antony’s) hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
That time—Oh, times!—
I laughed him out of patience, and that night
I laughed him into patience, and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk (drank) him to his bed,
Then put my [at]tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan (Antony’s name for his sword).
Enter a MESSENGER
Oh, from Italy!
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears
That long time have been barren.
Antonio’s dead! If thou say so, villain,
Thou kill’st thy mistress. But well and free (not a captive of Caesar),
If thou so yield (report on) him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss—a hand that kings
Have lipped and trembled kissing.
First, madam, he is well.
Why, there’s more gold. But, sirrah, mark, we use (are used to saying)
To say the dead are well (well out of it). Bring it to that (if that is your meaning),
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will.
But there’s no goodness in thy face—if Antony
Be free and healthful, [you have] so tart a favor (so sour a face)
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a Fury crowned with snakes,
Fury=mythological being who punished those who broke natural or moral laws
Not like a formal man (man in normal human form).
Will ’t please you hear me?
I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak’st.
Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
I’ll set thee in a shower of gold and hail (shower)
Rich pearls upon thee.
Madam, he’s well.
And friends with Caesar.
Th’ art an honest man.
Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam—
I do not like “But yet.” It does allay
The good precedence. Fie upon “But yet.”
“But yet” is as a jailer to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter (entire contents) to mine ear,
The good and bad together. He’s friends with Caesar,
In state of health, thou say’st, and, thou say’st, free.
Free, madam, no. I made no such report.
He’s bound unto Octavia.
For what good turn (in return for what)?
For the best turn i’ th’ bed.
I am pale, Charmian.
Madam, he’s married to Octavia.
The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
Strikes him down
Good madam, patience.
What say you?
Hence, horrible villain, or I’ll spurn (kick) thine eyes
Like balls before me! I’ll unhair thy head!
She hales (drags) him up and down
Thou shalt be whipped with wire and stewed in brine,
Smarting in ling’ring pickle!
I that do bring the news made not the match.
Say ’tis not so, a province I will give thee
And make thy fortunes proud. The blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage,
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.
He’s married, madam.
Rogue, thou hast lived too long.
Draws a knife
Nay then, I’ll run.
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
Good madam, keep yourself within yourself.
The man is innocent.
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!
He is afeard to come.
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.
I have done my duty.
Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do
If thou again say, “yes.”
He’s married, madam.
The gods confound (destroy) thee! Dost thou hold there still (to the same story)?
Should I lie, madam?
Oh, 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
Narcissus=boy so beautiful that he drowned himself trying to embrace his own reflection
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
I crave your highness’ pardon.
He is married?
Take no offense that I would not offend you (don’t want to offend you any more).
To punish me for what you make me do
Seems much unequal. He’s married to Octavia.
Oh, that his (Antony’s) fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not (not the same as) 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 (let them remain in your possession)
And be undone (ruined) by ’em!
Good your highness, patience.
In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.
Many times, madam.
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.
Let him (Antony) 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.
Act 2. Scene 6. Near Misenum
Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one door with drum and trumpet, at another OCTAVIUS CAESAR, LEPIDUS, ANTONY, ENOBARBUS, MAECENAS, and AGRIPPA, with soldiers marching
Your hostages (pledges) I have, so have you mine,
And we shall talk before we fight.
Most meet (fitting)
That first we come to words, and, therefore, have we
Our written purposes (offers) before us sent,
Which, if thou hast considered, let us know
If ’twill (our offers will) tie up thy discontented sword
And carry back to Sicily much tall (courageous) youth
That else must perish here.
To you all three (Antony, Caesar Octavius, and Lepidus),
The senators alone (sole rulers of the empire) of this great world,
Chief factors (agents) for the gods: I do not know
Wherefore (why) my father should revengers want (lack),
father=Pompey the Great, driven out of Rome by Julius Caesar
(Pompey excuses his attacks by recalling the assassination of Julius Caesar)
Having a son and friends [to be revengers], since Julius Caesar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted (appeared as a ghost to Brutus),
There saw you laboring for him. What was ’t
That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what
Made the all-honored, honest (honorable) Roman Brutus,
With the armed rest (the rest of those who were armed), courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench [in blood] the Capitol, but that they would
Have one man (Julius Caesar) but (merely) a man (a man and not a king demi-god)? 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.
Take your time.
Thou canst not fear us (put fear into us), Pompey, with thy sails.
We’ll speak with (confront) thee at sea. At land, thou know’st
How much we do o’ercount (outnumber) thee.
At land indeed
Thou dost o’ercount me of (by owning) my father’s house,
But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
(cuckoo’s lay their eggs in other birds’ nests)
Remain in ’t as [long as] thou mayst (can).
(Antony had bought Pompey the Great’s house)
Be pleased to tell us—
For this is [aside] from the present [business]—how you take
The offers we have sent you.
There’s the point.
Which do not be entreated to, but weigh [using your own judgment]
What it is worth embraced.
And what may follow
To try [for] a larger fortune (winning on your own in opposition to us).
You have made me [an] offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia, and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates. Then, [I am] to send
Measures (bushels) of wheat to Rome. This ’greed upon
[we are] To [de]part with unhacked [sword] edges and bear back
Our targes (shields) undented.
CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS
That’s our offer.
I came before you here a man prepared
To take this offer, but Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience. (to ANTONY) Though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know,
When Caesar and your brother (Lucius) were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily and did find
Her welcome [from me] friendly.
(to POMPEY) I have heard it, Pompey,
And am well studied (fully prepared) for (to give) a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.
Let me have your hand.
They clasp hands
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
The beds i’ th’ East are soft, and, thanks to you (I thank you)
That called me timelier than my purpose hither (earlier than I intended),
For I have gained by ’t (a new wife and a new responsibility).
(to POMPEY) Since I saw you last
There’s a change upon you.
Well, I know not
What [ac]counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face,
But in my bosom shall she never come
To make my heart her vassal.
Well met here (we have done well to meet).
I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.
I crave our composition may be written
And sealed between us.
That’s the next to do.
We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s
Draw lots who shall begin (to be host).
That will I, Pompey.
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.
You have heard much.
I have fair (honorable) meanings, sir.
And fair words to them.
Then so much have I heard.
And I have heard Apollodorus carried—
(interrupting POMPEY) No more of that. He did so.
What, I pray you?
A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
I know thee now. How far’st thou, soldier?
And well am like to do, for, I perceive,
Four feasts are toward (upcoming).
Let me shake thy hand.
I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight
When I have envied thy behavior.
I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised ye
When you have well deserved ten times as much
As I have said you did.
Enjoy thy plainness.
It nothing ill becomes thee.—
Aboard my galley I invite you all.
Will you lead, lords?
CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS
Show ’s the way, sir.
Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS and MENAS
(to himself) Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have made this
treaty. (to ENOBARBUS) You and I have known (met), sir.
At sea, I think.
We have, sir.
You have done well by water (on the sea).
And you by land.
I will praise any man that will praise me, though it cannot be denied what I have done by land.
Nor what I have done by water.
Yes, something you can deny for your own safety: you have been a great thief by sea.
And you by land.
There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas.
They clasp hands
If our eyes had authority, here they might take [into custody] two thieves kissing.
All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er (whatever) their hands are (do).
But there is never a fair woman has a true face.
No slander. They steal hearts.
We came hither to fight with you.
For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking. Pompey doth this day (today) laugh away his fortune.
If he do, sure he cannot weep ’t back again.
You’ve said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?
Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.
True, sir. She was the wife of Caius Marcellus.
But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.
Pray ye, sir?
Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.
If I were bound to divine (prophesy) of this unity, I would not prophesy so.
I think the policy of that purpose made more in the marriage than the love of the parties.
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 (meek) conversation.
Who would not have his wife so?
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 (in what place) it is. He married but his occasion here (in Italy).
And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a health (drink to your health) for you.
I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats in Egypt.
Come, let’s away.
Music plays. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet
Here they’ll be, man. Some o’ their plants are ill-rooted already. The least wind i’ th’ world will blow them down.
Lepidus is high-colored (red in the face).
They have made him drink alms-drink (left-over wine usually given to the poor).
As they pinch (annoy) one another by the disposition (according to the disposition of each), he cries out, “No more [arguing],” reconciles them to his entreaty and himself to th’ drink.
But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion (good judgment).
Why, this it is to have a name in great men’s fellowship. I had as lief (soon) have a reed that will do me no service as a partisan (spear) I could not heave (lift).
To be called into a huge [social] sphere and not to be seen to move in ’t are the holes (eyesockets) where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster (ruin the appearance of) the cheeks.
A sennet (trumpet call) sounded. Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, POMPEY, LEPIDUS, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS,
and MENAS with other captains and a BOY
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 (plenty) 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.
You’ve strange serpents there?
Your serpent (snake) of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun. So is your crocodile.
They are so.
(to LEPIDUS) Sit, and some wine. A health to Lepidus!
They sit and drink
I am not so well as I should be, but I’ll ne’er [get] out [from this company].
Not till you have slept. I fear me you’ll be in till then.
Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies’ pyramises (pyramids) are very goodly things. Without contradiction I have heard that.
(aside to POMPEY) Pompey, a word.
(aside to MENAS) Say in mine ear. What is ’t?
(aside to POMPEY) Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,
And hear me speak a word.
(aside to MENAS) Forbear (put up with) me till anon (a little later).—This wine for Lepidus!
What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?
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 its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and, the elements (the building blocks of life) once out of it, it transmigrates (moves into a different body).
What color is it of?
Of its own color, too.
’Tis a strange serpent.
’Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
(alluding to the ancient belief that crocodiles weep before devouring their victims)
(aside to ANTONY) Will this description satisfy him?
(aside to CAESAR) With the health (toast) that Pompey gives him, else he is a very Epicure (glutton).
(the Epicureans lived for the senses)
MENAS whispers again
(aside to MENAS) Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away!
Do as I bid you.—Where’s this cup I called for?
(aside to POMPEY) If for the sake of merit (my merits) thou wilt hear me,
Rise from thy stool.
(aside to MENAS) I think th’ art mad.
He rises, and they walk aside
I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes (had respect for your destiny).
Thou hast served me with much faith. What’s else to say?—
(to the others) Be jolly, lords.
These quicksands, Lepidus,
Keep off them, for you sink.
(aside to POMPEY) Wilt thou be lord of all the world?
What sayst thou?
Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That’s twice.
How should that be?
But entertain it,
And, though thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.
Hast thou drunk well?
No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
Thou art, if thou dar’st be, the earthly Jove (ruler of the gods).
Whate’er the ocean pales (fences in) or sky inclips (embraces)
Is thine, if thou wilt ha ’t.
Show me which way.
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.
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.
He returns to the feast
(aside) For this,
I’ll never follow thy palled (waned) fortunes more.
Who seeks and will not take when once ’tis offered
Shall never find it more.
This health to Lepidus!
(to a servant) Bear him ashore.—I’ll pledge it for him (drink on his behalf), Pompey.
Here’s to thee, Menas!
Fill till the cup be hid.
ENOBARBUS (pointing to the servant who carries off nbsp;LEPIDUS)
There’s a strong fellow, Menas.
He bears the third part of the world (shared with Caesar and Antony), man. Seest not?
The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all (all three parts drunk),
[so] That it might go on wheels (downhill more smoothly)!
Drink thou. Increase the reels (merrymaking).
This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
It ripens towards it. Strike (clink) the vessels (or, maybe, fill the cups), ho!
Here’s to Caesar.
I could well forbear ’t.
It’s monstrous (unnatural) labor when I wash my brain
And it grows fouler.
Be a child o’ th’ time (conform to the spirit of the occasion).
Possess it, I’ll make answer (drink your toast, and I’ll drink in return),
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.
(to ANTONY) Ha! My brave emperor,
Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals (dances honoring Bacchus, Roman god of wine)
And celebrate our drink?
Let’s ha ’t, good soldier.
Come, let’s all take hands
Till that the conquering wine hath steeped (soaked) our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe (the river in Hades of forgetfulness).
All take hands.
Make battery to (assault) our ears with the loud music,
The while I’ll place you (put you in line for the dance). Then, the boy shall sing.
The holding (refrain) every man shall bear (sing) as loud
As his strong sides can volley (express).
Music plays. ENOBARBUS places them hand in hand
(Sings) Come, thou monarch of the vine,
Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne (eyes)!
In thy vats our cares be drowned,
With thy grapes our hairs (also, heirs) be crowned.
(Singing) Cup us till the world go round,
Cup us till the world go round!
What would you more?—Pompey, good night.
(to ANTONY) Good brother (brother-in-law),
Let me request you off. Our graver business
Frowns at this levity.—Gentle lords, let’s part.
You see we have burnt our cheeks (our cheeks are flushed). Strong Enobarb
Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue
Splits what it speaks. The wild disguise (masque) hath almost
Anticked (made buffoons of) us all. What needs more words? Good night.
Good Antony, your hand.
I’ll try you (test you in drinking) on the shore.
And [you] shall, sir. Give ’s your hand.
O, Antony, you have my father’s house.
But what? We are friends. Come, down into the boat.
Take heed you fall not.
Exeunt all but MENAS and ENOBARBUS
Menas, I’ll not [go] on shore.
No, [come] 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
Hoo! says ’a (he). There’s my cap.
He flings it in the air
Hoo! Noble captain, come.
Enter VENTIDIUS as it were in triumph, the dead body of Pacorus borne before him, with SILIUS and other Romans, officers, and soldiers
Now, darting (arrow-shooting) Parthia (king of Parthia), art thou struck, and now
Pleased fortune does of Marcus Crassus’ death
Crassus was a high government official, killed by Parthians
Make me revenger. Bear the King’s son’s body
Before our army. Thy Pacorus, Orodes,
(Pacorus was King Orodes’ son)
Pays this for Marcus Crassus.
Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm,
The fugitive Parthians follow. Spur [your horses] through Media,
fugitive Parthians follow=follow (imperative) the fugitive Parthians
Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither (to which)
Media, Mesopotamia=regions bordering Parthia
The routed fly. So thy grand captain, Antony,
routed=disorderly fleeing Parthians
Shall set thee on triumphant chariots and
Put garlands on thy head.
O Silius, Silius,
I have done enough. A lower (subordinate) place, note well,
May make too great an act (exceed his authority). 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 (subordinates) than person[ally]. Sossius,
One of my place (equal rank to me) in Syria, his lieutenant,
For quick accumulation of renown,
Which he achieved by th’ minute, lost his favor (approval).
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 (causes him to lose favor).
(sometimes ambition chooses loss over gain)
I could do more to do Antonius good,
But ’twould offend him, and in his [taking] offense
Should my performance perish.
Thou hast, Ventidius, that
Without the which a soldier and his sword
Grants (achieves) scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?
I’ll humbly signify what in his name
That magical word of war we have effected,
How with his (Antony’s) banners and his well-paid ranks (soldiers)
The ne’er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
We have jaded (worn them out) out o’ th’ [battle]field.
Where is he now?
He purposeth (intends to go) to Athens, whither, with what haste
The weight we must convey (carry along) with ’s will permit,
We shall appear before (ahead of) him. (to the soliders) On, there. Pass along!
Enter AGRIPPA at one door, ENOBARBUS at another
What, are the brothers [de]parted?
They have dispatched (concluded the business) with Pompey; he is gone.
The other three are sealing (sealing their agreement). Octavia weeps
To part from Rome. Caesar is sad (serious), and Lepidus,
Since Pompey’s feast, as Menas says, is troubled
With the greensickness (hangover).
’Tis a noble lepidus.
(lepidus means elegant in Latin)
A very fine one. Oh, how he loves Caesar!
Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!
ENOBARBUS (making fun of LEPIDUS’ excessive flattery)
Caesar? Why, he’s the Jupiter (supreme god of the Romans) of men.
What’s Antony? The god of Jupiter.
Spake you of Caesar? How, the nonpareil!
O, Antony, O, thou Arabian bird (phoenix, symbol of immortality)!
Would you praise Caesar, say “Caesar.” Go no further.
Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.
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.
Both he loves.
They are his shards (patches of dung), and he their beetle (shard-beetle).
So, this is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.
Good fortune, worthy soldier, and farewell.
Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, and OCTAVIA
No further, sir.
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 (utmost pledge)
Shall pass on thy approof (shall prove you will be).—Most noble Antony,
Let not the [master]piece of virtue which is set
Betwixt us as the cement of our love,
To keep it builded (hold it firmly together), be the [battering]ram to batter
The fortress of it. For better might we
Have loved without this mean if on both parts
This (Octavia) be not [equally] cherished.
Make me not offended
In your distrust.
I have said.
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.
Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well.
The elements (weather) be kind to thee and make
Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.
My noble brother!
The April’s in her eyes. It is love’s spring
And these the showers to bring it on. (to OCTAVIA) Be cheerful.
(to CAESAR) Sir, look well to my [former] husband’s house, and—
I’ll tell you in your ear.
She and CAESAR walk aside
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 (just before ebbing)
And neither way (rising or ebbing) inclines.
(aside to AGRIPPA) Will Caesar weep?
(aside to ENOBARBUS) He has a cloud in ’s face.
(aside to AGRIPPA) He were the worse for that were he a horse.
(a horse with watery eyes is less valued)
So is he, being a man.
(aside to ENOBARBUS) Why, Enobarbus,
When Antony found Julius Caesar dead,
He cried almost to roaring, and he wept
When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.
(aside to AGRIPPA) That year, indeed, he was troubled with a rheum.
What willingly he did confound (destroy) he wailed (cried for),
Believe ’t, till I wept, too.
(coming forward with OCTAVIA) No, sweet Octavia,
You shall hear from me still (always). The time shall not
Outgo my thinking on (of) you.
Come, sir, come,
I’ll wrestle with you in my strength of love.
Look, here I have (embrace) you.
Thus I let you go
And give you to the gods.
Adieu. Be happy.
(to ANTONY) Let all the number of the stars give light
To thy fair way.
Trumpets sound. Exeunt
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS
Where is the fellow (messenger)?
Half afeard to come.
Go to, go to.—Come hither, sir.
Enter the MESSENGER as before
[even] Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you
But when you are well pleased.
That Herod’s head
I’ll have! But how, when Antony is gone,
Through whom I might command it? (to MESSENGER) Come thou near.
Most gracious majesty!
Didst thou behold Octavia?
Ay, dread Queen.
Madam, in Rome.
I looked her in the face and saw her led
Between her brother and Mark Antony.
Is she as tall as me?
She is not, madam.
Didst hear her speak? Is she shrill-tongued or low?
Madam, I heard her speak. She is low-voiced.
That’s not so good. He cannot like her long.
not so good=not so favorable for Octavia
Like her? O, Isis, ’tis impossible.
I think so (I agree with you), Charmian. Dull of tongue, and dwarfish.
What majesty is in her gait? Remember,
If e’er thou looked’st on majesty.
(compare her to any memory you might have of majesty)
Her motion and her station (standing still) are as one.
She shows a body rather than a life,
A statue than a breather (living and breathing human being).
Is this certain?
Or I have no observance.
Three in Egypt
Cannot make better note.
(there are not three people in Egypt who can observe better)
He’s very knowing,
I do perceive ’t. There’s nothing in her yet.
The fellow has good judgment.
(to MESSENGER) Guess at her years, I prithee.
Madam, she was a widow—
Widow? Charmian, hark.
And I do think she’s thirty.
(Cleopatra ignores this, since she is thirty-eight)
Bear’st thou her face in mind? Is ’t long or round?
Round, even to faultiness.
For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.
Her hair, what color?
Brown, madam, and her forehead
As low as she would wish it.
(she wouldn’t want her forehead to be any lower)
(giving money) There’s gold for thee.
Thou must not take my former sharpness ill.
I will employ thee [to go] back again. I find thee
Most fit for business. Go make thee ready.
Our letters are prepared.
The MESSENGER exits.
A proper man.
Indeed, he is so. I repent me much
That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by (according to) him,
This creature’s no such thing (nothing much).
The man hath seen some majesty and should know.
Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend (forbid that it could possibly be otherwise),
And serving (he having served) you so long!
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.
I warrant (reassure) you, madam.
Enter ANTONY and OCTAVIA
Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that—
That were excusable, that and thousands more
Of semblable (similar) import—but he (Caesar) hath waged
New wars ’gainst Pompey, made his will [with bequests to the public] and read it
To public ear,
Spoke scantly of me. When perforce (by necessity) he could not
But pay me terms of honor, cold and sickly
He vented (gave vent to) them, most narrow measure lent me (gave me small credit).
When the best hint (occasion to praise Antony) was given him, he not took ’t
Or did it from his teeth (grudgingly).
O my good lord,
Believe not all, or, if you must believe,
Stomach (resent) not all. A more unhappy lady,
If this division chance (occur), ne’er stood between,
Praying for both parts.
The good gods will mock me presently (at once),
When I shall pray, “O bless my lord and husband!”
[and I] 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.
Gentle (gentile) Octavia,
Let your best love draw (be given) to that point which (one person who) seeks
Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honor,
I lose myself. Better I were not yours
Than yours so branchless (pruned of honor), but, as you requested,
Yourself shall go between ’s. The meantime, lady,
I’ll raise the preparation of a war
Shall stain (dull the shine of) your brother. Make your soonest haste.
So your desires are yours (you get what you want).
Thanks to my lord.
The Jove of power make me [who is] most weak, most weak,
Your reconciler! Wars ’twixt you twain (two) would be
As if the world should cleave (split) and that slain men
Should solder up (mend by joining together) the rift.
When it appears to you where this begins (whether the blame is Caesar’s or Antony’s),
Turn your displeasure that way, for our fault
our faults=Caesar’s and Antony’s faults
Can never be so equal that your love
Can equally move with (choose between) them. Provide [for] your going.
Choose your own company and command what cost
Your heart has mind to.
Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS
How now, friend Eros!
There’s strange news come, sir.
Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
This is old [news]. What is the success (who is winning)?
Caesar, having made use of him (Lepidus) in the wars ’gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality (equal rights), 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 [and] upon his own appeal (Caesar’s own accusation) seizes him. So the poor third is [shut] up, till death enlarge his confine.
Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps (jaws), no more,
And, throw between them all the food thou hast,
They’ll grind the one the other (against each other). Where’s Antony?
He’s walking in the garden—(imitating anger) thus and spurns (kicks at)
The rush (rushes strewn on the pathway) that lies before him, cries, “Fool Lepidus!”
And threats the throat of that his officer
That murdered Pompey.
(Pompey was murdered by one of Antony’s officers)
Our great navy’s rigged (outfitted).
For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius (Enobarbus’ first name):
My lord desires you presently (right away). My news
I might have told hereafter (later).
’Twill be naught (nothing much),
But let it be. Bring me to Antony.
Enter AGRIPPA, MECAENAS, and CAESAR
Contemning (disdaining) Rome, he has done all this and more
In Alexandria. Here’s the manner of ’t:
I’ th’ marketplace, on a tribunal silvered (silver platform),
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publicly enthroned. At the feet sat
Caesarion, whom they call my father’s (Julius Caesar’s) son,
(Octavius Caesar was Julius Caesar’s adopted son)
And all the unlawful issue that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the stablishment (possession) of Egypt, made her
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
This in the public eye?
I’ th’ common showplace (place for public events), 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 (Cleopatra)
In th’ habiliments (attire) of the goddess Isis
That day appeared, and, oft before gave audience,
As ’tis reported, so (attired in that manner).
Let Rome be thus informed.
[the Roman people] Who, queasy (fed up) with his insolence already,
Will their good thoughts call from him (take away their approval).
The people know it and have now received (been told of)
His (Antony’s) accusations.
Who does he accuse?
Caesar, and that, having in Sicily
Sextus Pompeius spoiled (plundered), we had not rated him (assigned to him)
His part o’ th’ isle. Then, does he say he lent me
Some shipping, unrestored (not returned). Lastly, he frets
That Lepidus of the triumvirate
Should be deposed, and, being [deposed], that we detain (retain)
All his revenue.
Sir, this should be answered.
’Tis done already and the messenger gone.
I have told him [that] Lepidus was grown too cruel,
That he his high authority abused
And did deserve his change (downfall). For what I have conquered,
I grant him part, but then, in his Armenia
And other of his conquered kingdoms, I
Demand the like.
He’ll never yield to that.
Nor must not then be yielded to in this.
Enter OCTAVIA with her train
Hail, Caesar, and my lord! Hail, most dear Caesar!
That ever I should call thee castaway!
You have not called me so nor have you cause.
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 (onlookers), and expectation fainted,
(expectant onlookers should have fainted from excitement)
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 (forestalled)
The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown,
Is often left unloved (fallen into neglect). We should have met you
By sea and land, supplying every stage
With an augmented (extravagant) greeting.
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 (with the news), whereon I begged
His pardon for return[ing].
Which soon he granted,
[your] Being an obstruct (obstruction) ’tween his lust (Cleopatra) and him.
Do not say so, my lord.
I have eyes (spies) upon him,
And his affairs come to me on the wind.
Where is he now?
My lord, in Athens.
No, my most wrongèd sister. Cleopatra
Hath nodded (beckoned) him to her. He hath given his empire
Up to a whore, who (Antony and Cleopatra) now are levying (enlisting)
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.
Ay me, most wretched,
That have my heart parted betwixt two friends
That does (do) afflict each other!
Your letters (my letters to you) did withhold our breaking forth (attacking)
Till we perceived both how you were wrong led [by Antony]
And we in negligent danger (danger through our negligence). Cheer your heart.
Be you not troubled with the time (present state of affairs), which drives
O’er your content (contentment) these strong necessities,
But let (imperative) determined things to destiny
Hold unbewailed their way. Welcome to Rome,
Nothing more dear to me. You are abused
Beyond the mark (scope) 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.
Welcome, dear madam.
Each heart in Rome does love and pity you.
Only th’ adulterous Antony, most large
In his abominations, turns you off (rejects you)
And gives his potent regiment (authority) to a trull (whore)
That noises it (is clamorous) against us.
(to CAESAR) Is it so, sir?
Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray you
Be ever known to patience. My dear’st sister!
Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS
I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
But why, why, why?
Thou hast forspoke (spoken against) my being in these wars
And sayst it is not fit.
Well, is it, is it?
Is ’t not denounced against us? Why should not we
Be there in person?
Well, I could reply,
If we should serve with horse and mares together,
The horse were merely (utterly) lost. The mares would bear (carry)
A soldier and his horse.
What is ’t you say?
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 (criticized) for levity, and ’tis said in Rome
That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids
Manage this war.
Sink Rome! And their tongues rot
That speak against us! A charge (expense) we bear i’ th’ war,
And, as the president of my kingdom, [I] will
Appear there for (in the capacity of) a man. Speak not against it.
I will not stay behind.
Enter ANTONY and CANIDIUS
Nay, I have done.
Here comes the Emperor.
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?
Celerity (speed) is never more admired
Than by the negligent.
A good rebuke,
Which might have well becomed the best of men,
To taunt at slackness.—Canidius, we will fight
With him by sea.
By sea, what else?
My lord do so?
For that he dares us to ’t.
So hath my lord dared him to single fight.
Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia,
Where Caesar (Julius Caesar) fought with Pompey (Pompey the Great). But these offers,
Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off,
And so should you.
Your ships are not well manned,
Your mariners are muleteers (mule drivers), reapers, people
Engrossed (gathered up wholesale) by swift impress (conscription). In Caesar’s fleet
Are those that often have ’gainst Pompey fought.
Their ships are yare (nimble), yours, heavy. No disgrace
Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,
[you] Being prepared for land.
By sea, by sea.
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 forego
The way which promises assurance, and
Give up yourself merely (entirely) to chance and hazard
From firm security.
I’ll fight at sea.
I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.
Our overplus of shipping will we burn [to avoid having them taken over],
And, with the rest full-manned, from th’ head (promontory) of Actium
Beat th’ approaching Caesar, but, if we fail,
We then can do ’t at land.
Enter a MESSENGER
The news is true, my lord. He is descried.
Caesar has taken Toryne.
Can he be there in person? ’Tis impossible,
Strange that his power (his army, let alone himself) should be. Canidius,
Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land
And our twelve thousand horse. We’ll to our ship.
Away, my Thetis (a sea goddess)!
Enter a SOLDIER
How now, worthy soldier?
O noble Emperor, do not fight by sea!
Trust not to rotten planks (old ships). Do you misdoubt (not trust)
This sword and these my wounds? Let th’ Egyptians
And the Phoenicians go a-ducking (swimming). We
Have used (are accustomed) to conquer standing on the earth
And fighting foot to foot.
Well, well, away.
Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS
By Hercules, I think I am i’ th’ right.
Soldier, thou art, but his whole action grows
Not in the power on ’t (in his real strength). So our leader’s led,
And we are women’s men.
You keep by land
The legions and the horse whole (held in reserve), do you not?
Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
Publicola, and Caelius are for sea,
But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar’s
Carries beyond (defies) belief.
While he was yet in Rome
His power (forces) went out in such distractions (divided forms) as
Beguiled (deceived) all spies.
Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?
They say, one Taurus.
Well I know the man.
Enter a MESSENGER
The Emperor calls Canidius.
With news the time’s with labor and throws forth
Each minute some.
(more news is born each minute)
Enter CAESAR, with his army, and TAURUS, marching
Strike not by land; keep whole. Provoke not battle
Till we have done at sea. Do not exceed
The prescript (orders) of this scroll.
He gives a scroll
Our fortune lies upon this jump (risk).
Exit with army
Enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS
Set we our squadrons (troops) on yond side o’ th’ hill,
In eye (sight) of Caesar’s battle (main naval force), from which place
We may the number of the ships behold
And so proceed accordingly.
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
Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.
Th’ Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral (flagship),
With all their sixty [Egyptian ships], fly and turn the rudder.
To see ’t mine eyes are blasted (stricken).
Gods and goddesses,
All the whole synod (assembly) of them!
What’s thy passion (what’s your affliction)?
The greater cantle (portion) of the world is lost
With very ignorance. We have kissed away
Kingdoms and provinces.
How appears the fight?
On our side: like the tokened pestilence (spotted plague),
Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred (obscene) 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 (equally), or rather ours the elder,
The breeze upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails and flies.
That I beheld.
Mine eyes did sicken at the sight and could not
Endure a further view.
She once being loofed (ready to sail away),
The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,
Claps on his sea-wing (a type of sail) 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.
Our fortune on the sea is out of breath
And sinks most lamentably. Had our general
Been what he knew himself [to be], it had gone well.
Oh, he has given example for our flight (for us to flee)
Most grossly by his own!
Ay, are you thereabouts (of a mind to flee)? Why, then, good night, indeed.
Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.
’Tis easy to ’t (to get there), and there I will attend
What further comes.
To Caesar will I [sur]render
My legions and my horse (cavalry). Six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.
I’ll yet follow
The wounded chance (broken fortunes) of Antony, though my reason
Sits in the wind against me (advises me to a different course).
Enter ANTONY with attendants
Hark. The land bids me tread no more upon ’t.
It is ashamed to bear me. Friends, come hither.
I am so lated (belated=overtaken by the night) 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.
Fly? Not we.
I have fled myself and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders (backs). Friends, begone.
I have myself resolved upon a course
Which has no need of you. Begone.
My treasure’s in the harbor. Take it. Oh,
I followed that [which] 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 (clear) 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 (namely, Antony)
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.
Exeunt attendants. ANTONY sits down
Enter CLEOPATRA, led by CHARMIAN, IRAS, and EROS
Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.
Do, most dear Queen.
Do. Why, what else?
Let me sit down. O, Juno (queen of the gods)!
(seeing CLEOPATRA) No, no, no, no, no.
See you here, sir?
Oh, fie, fie, fie!
Madam, O, good Empress!
(aside) Yes, my lord, yes. He (Caesar) at Philippi kept
His sword [sheathed] e’en like a dancer, while I struck
The lean and wrinkled Cassius, and ’twas I
That the mad Brutus ended (defeated). He (Caesar) alone
(ended the mad Brutus)
Dealt on lieutenantry (did his fighting by proxy) and no practice had
In the brave squares (splendid squadrons in square formation) of war, yet now—no matter.
Ah, stand by.
The Queen, my lord, the Queen.
Go to him, madam, speak to him.
He is unqualitied (not himself) with very shame.
Well, then, sustain me. Oh!
Most noble sir, arise. The Queen approaches.
Her head’s declined, and death will seize her but (unless)
Your comfort makes the rescue.
I have offended reputation (honor),
A most unnoble swerving (lapse).
Sir, the Queen.
Oh, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See
How I convey (hide) my shame out of [the sight of] thine eyes
By looking back [at] what I have left behind,
’Stroyed in dishonor.
O, my lord, my lord,
Forgive my fearful (frightened) sails! I little thought
You would have followed.
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
(your summons might command me even in the face of orders from the gods)
Oh, my pardon!
Now I must
To the young man (Octavius Caesar) send humble [en]treaties, dodge
And palter (cringe and shuffle) in the shifts of lowness, who
shifts of lowness=tricks used by powerless people
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 (whatever the occasion).
Fall not a tear, I say. One of them rates (equals)
All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss.
Even this (this by itself) repays me.—
We sent our schoolmaster (children’s tutor). Is he come back?—
Love, I am full of lead (despondent).—(calling) Some wine
Within there and our viands (food)! Fortune knows
We scorn her most when most she offers blows.
Enter CAESAR, AGRIPPA, THIDIAS, and DOLABELLA, with others
Let him appear that’s come from Antony.
Know you him?
Caesar, ’tis his schoolmaster—
An argument (evidence) that he is plucked, when hither
He sends so poor a pinion (outer feather) of his wing,
Which (who) had superfluous kings for messengers
Not many moons gone by.
Enter AMBASSADOR from Antony
Approach and speak.
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.
Be ’t so. Declare thine office.
Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee and
Requires (requests) 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 (crown of Egypt) for her heirs,
Now hazarded (dependent) to thy grace.
I have no ears to his request. The Queen
Of [neither] audience nor desire shall fail, so [long as] she
From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend
Or take his life there. This, if she perform,
She shall not sue unheard. So (with these terms go) to them both.
Fortune (good luck) pursue thee!
Bring him through the bands (lines).
Exit AMBASSADOR, attended
(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 (in the best of times) strong, but want (need) will perjure (cause her to break her vow of chastity)
The ne’er-touched vestal (virgin). Try thy cunning, Thidias.
Make thine own edict (name your reward) for thy pains, which we
Will answer as [if it were] a law.
Caesar, I go.
Observe how Antony becomes his flaw (bears his reverse),
And what thou think’st his very action speaks (signifies)
In every power that moves (in every motion he makes).
Caesar, I shall.
Enter CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS
What shall we do, Enobarbus?
Think and (reflect and then) die.
[which of us] Is Antony or we in fault for this?
Antony only, that (who) would make his will (desire)
Lord of his reason. What though you fled
From that great face of war, whose several ranges (rows of ships)
Frighted each other? Why should he follow?
The itch of his affection should not then
Have nicked (impaired) his captainship at such a point
When half to half (one half the other half of) the world opposed, he being
The merèd question (the sole point at issue). ’Twas a shame no less
Than was his loss, to course (pursue) your flying flags
And leave his navy gazing.
Enter AMBASSADOR with ANTONY
Is that his answer?
Ay, my lord.
The Queen shall then have courtesy, so (provided) she
Will yield us up?
He says so.
Let her know ’t.—
(to CLEOPATRA) To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
With principalities (territories).
That head, my lord?
(to the AMBASSADOR) To him again. Tell him he wears the rose
Of youth upon him, from which the world should note
Something particular (special about him). His coin, ships, legions,
May [as well] 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 (trappings=wealth) apart
And answer me declined (fallen in fortune), sword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I’ll write it. Follow me.
Exeunt ANTONY and AMBASSADOR
(aside) Yes, like enough, high-battled Caesar will
Unstate his happiness and be staged (exhibited publicly) 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 (fortune and judgment to deteriorate together). That he should dream (dream on!),
Knowing all measures the full Caesar will
Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued
His judgment, too.
Enter a SERVANT
A messenger from Caesar.
What, no more ceremony? See, my women,
Against the blown (past its prime) rose may they stop their nose,
[they] That [at one time] kneeled unto the buds. — Admit him, sir.
(aside) Mine honesty (honor) and I begin to square (quarrel).
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.
Hear it apart.
None but friends. Say boldly.
So haply (perhaps) are they friends to Antony.
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.
So.—(so be it)
Thus, then, thou most renowned [Queen]. Caesar entreats
[you] Not to consider in what case (situation) thou stand’st,
Further than he is [generous] Caesar.
Go on. [you are] Right royal.
He knows that you embrace not Antony
As you did love but as you feared him.
The scars upon your honor, therefore, he
Does pity as constrained (forced upon you) blemishes,
Not as deserved.
He is a god and knows
What is most right. Mine honor was not yielded
But conquered merely.
(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.
Shall I say to Caesar
What you require (request) 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 (protection),
The universal landlord.
What’s your name?
My name is Thidias.
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 (obeyed by all) breath I hear
The doom (fate) of [the Queen of] Egypt.
’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 (permission) to lay
My duty on (kiss) your hand.
He kisses her hand
Your Caesar’s father (Julius Caesar) oft,
When he hath mused of (thought about) taking kingdoms in,
Bestowed his lips on that unworthy place
As [if] it rained kisses.
Enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS
Favors? By Jove, that thunders!
What art thou, fellow?
One that but performs
The bidding of the fullest man and worthiest
To have command obeyed.
(aside) You will be whipped.
(calling for servants) Approach, there! (to THIDIAS) Ah, you kite (bird of prey)!—Now, gods and devils!
Authority melts from me. Of late, when I cried “Ho!”,
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth
muss=a game in which small objects are thrown onto the ground and then scrambled for
And cry, “Your will?” (calling to servants) Have you no ears? I am
Enter a SERVANT, followed by others
Take hence this jack and whip him.
(aside) ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp (cub)
Than with an old one dying.
Moon and stars!
Whip him. Were ’t twenty of the greatest tributaries
tributaries=rulers paying tribute
That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them
So saucy with the hand of her 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.
Tug him away! Being whipped,
Bring him again. This jack of Caesar’s shall
Bear us an errand to him.
Exeunt SERVANTS with THIDIAS
(to CLEOPATRA) You were half blasted (withered) ere I knew you. Ha!
Have I my pillow left unpressed in Rome,
Forborne (desisted from) the getting of a lawful (legitimate) race,
And, by a gem of women (Octavia), to be abused (deceived)
By one that looks on feeders (servants)?
Good my lord—
You have been a boggler (waverer) ever,
But, when we in our viciousness grow hard (fixed)—
Oh, misery on ’t!—the wise gods seel (sew up, like a hawk’s) our eyes,
In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us
Adore our errors, laugh at ’s while we strut,
To our confusion (self-destruction).
Oh, is ’t come to this?
I found you as a morsel cold upon
Dead Caesar’s (Julius Caesar’s) trencher (wooden dish). Nay, you were a fragment (leftover scrap)
Of Gneius Pompey’s, besides what [other] hotter hours,
Unregistered in vulgar fame (common gossip), you have
Luxuriously (indulgently) picked out (engaged in), for I am sure,
Though you can guess what temperance (restraint) should be,
You know not what it is.
Wherefore (why) is this?
[how dare you] To let a fellow that will take rewards (tips)
And say “God quit (reward) you!” be familiar with
My playfellow, your hand, this kingly seal (signature on a document)
And plighter (pledger) of high (noble) hearts! Oh, that I were
Upon the hill of Basan (home of herds of bulls), to outroar
The hornèd herd! For I have savage cause (reason to run wild),
And to proclaim it civilly were like
A haltered neck (neck with a noose around it) which does the hangman thank
For being yare (quick) about him.
Enter a SERVANT with THIDIAS
Is he whipped?
Soundly, my lord.
Cried he? And begged he pardon?
He did ask favor.
(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 (make you shiver) 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 (freed slave), whom
He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,
As he shall like, to quit (get even with) me. Urge it thou.
Hence with thy stripes, begone!
Have you done yet?
Alack, our terrene (earthly) moon is now eclipsed,
And it portends alone (foreshadows nothing but) the fall of Antony.
(aside) I must stay his time (wait for him to quiet down).
To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes (exchange glances)
With one that ties his points (ties Caesar’s shoelaces)?
Not know me yet?
Coldhearted toward me?
Ah, dear, if I be so,
From my cold heart let heaven engender hail
And poison it in the source and the first [hail]stone
Drop in my neck (throat). As it determines (melts), so
Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion (Cleopatra’s son) smite,
Till by degrees the memory (children) of my womb,
Together with my brave Egyptians all,
By the discandying (melting) of this pelleted storm,
Lie graveless till the flies and gnats of Nile
Have buried them for prey!
I am satisfied.
Caesar sets down in (lays siege to) Alexandria, where
I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
Hath nobly held. Our severed navy, too,
Have knit again and float, threat’ning most sealike.
Where hast thou been, my heart (courage)? Dost thou hear, lady?
If from the [battle]field I shall return once more
To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood (full vigor).
I and my sword will earn our chronicle (place in history).
There’s hope in ’t yet.
That’s my brave lord!
I will be treble-sinewed (in strength), -hearted (in bravery), -breathed (in stamina),
And fight maliciously. For when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
Of me (from me) for (in return for) jests (trinkets), 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.
It is my birthday.
I had thought t’ have held it poor, but, since my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
We will yet do well.
(to ENOBARBUS) Call all his noble captains to my lord.
Do so. We’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force
The wine [on them so much that it will] 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 (death inducing by plague) scythe [by spreading death around me].
Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious (frenzied)
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
(fury scares away fear)
The dove will peck (attack) the estridge (a large hawk), and I see still (always)
[that] A diminution in our captain’s brain (intelligence)
Restores his heart (courage). When valor preys on reason,
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
(it turns on itself)
Some way to leave him.
Enter CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MAECENAS, with their army, CAESAR reading a letter
He calls me “boy” and chides as [if] 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,
[tell him that I] Laugh at his challenge.
Caesar must think
When one so great begins to rage, he’s hunted
Even to falling (exhaustion). Give him no breath (breathing space), but now
Make boot (profit) of his distraction. Never anger
Made (anger never made) good guard for itself.
Let our best heads
Know that tomorrow the last of many battles
We mean to fight. Within our files (ranks) 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 (food stored) to do ’t,
And they (the army) have earned the waste. Poor Antony!
Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS, with others
He will not fight with me, Domitius?
Why should he not?
He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
He is twenty men to one.
By sea and land I’ll fight, or (either) I will live
Or [else] bathe my dying honor in the blood
or . . . or=either . . . or
[that] Shall make it (honor) live again. Woo’t thou (will you) fight well?
I’ll strike and cry, “[winner] Take all.”
Well said. Come on!
Call forth my household servants.
Enter three or four SERVITORS
Be bounteous at our meal.
Greeting them one by one
Give me thy hand.
Thou hast been rightly honest (honorable).—So hast thou,—
Thou,—and thou,—and thou. You have served me well,
And kings have been your fellows.
(aside to ENOBARBUS) What means this?
(aside to CLEOPATRA) ’Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow shoots
Out of the mind.
(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.
ALL THE SERVITORS
The gods forbid!
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 (submitted to) my command.
(aside to ENOBARBUS) What does he mean?
(aside to CLEOPATRA) To make his followers weep.
(to the SERVITORS) Tend me tonight.
May be it is the period (end) of your duty.
Haply (perhaps) you shall not see me more, or, if [you do],
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 (reward) you for ’t!
What mean you, sir,
To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep,
And I, an ass, am onion-eyed (tearful). For shame,
Transform us not to women.
Ho, ho, ho!
Now the witch take me (may I be bewitched) 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 (with) honor. Let’s to supper, come,
And drown consideration (melancholy).
Enter a company of SOLDIERS
Brother, good night. Tomorrow is the day.
It will determine one way (be decided one way or another). Fare you well.
Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?
Nothing. What news?
Belike (probably) ’tis but a rumor. Good night to you.
Well, sir, good night.
They meet other SOLDIERS
Soldiers, have careful watch.
And you. Good night, good night.
The four SOLDIERS place themselves in every corner of the stage
Here we. And if tomorrow
Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope
Our landmen will stand up.
’Tis a brave army and full of purpose.
Music of the hautboys (oboes) is under the stage
Peace! What noise?
Music i’ th’ air.
Under the earth.
It signs (bodes) well, does it not?
Peace, I say! What should this mean?
’Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony loved,
Now leaves him.
Walk. Let’s see if other watchmen
Do hear what we do.
They advance toward the other SOLDIERS
How now, masters?
(speak together) How now? How now? Do you hear this?
Ay. Is ’t not strange?
Do you hear, masters? Do you hear?
Follow the noise so far as we have quarter (assigned territory).
Let’s see how it will give off (end).
Content (good idea). ’Tis strange.
Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with CHARMIAN and others attending
(calling) Eros! Mine armor, Eros!
Sleep a little.
No, my chuck.—Eros, come, mine armor, Eros!
Enter EROS with armor
Come, good fellow, put thine iron (the iron you have there for me) on.
If fortune be not ours today, it is
Because we brave (defy) her. Come.
Nay, I’ll help, too.
What’s this for?
She helps to arm him
Ah, let be, let be! Thou art
The armorer of my heart. False, false (you’re putting it on wrong). This, this.
Sooth, la, I’ll help. Thus it must be.
We shall thrive now.—Seest thou, my good fellow?
Go put on thy defenses.
Briefly (in a minute), sir.
Is not this buckled well?
He that unbuckles this, till we do [ourselves] please
To doff ’t for our repose, shall hear a storm.—
Thou fumblest, Eros, and my Queen’s a squire (attendant)
More tight at this than thou. Dispatch (hurry).—O, love,
That (if only) 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 (responsibility).
To business that we love we rise betimes (early)
And go to ’t with delight.
A thousand, sir,
Early though ’t be, have on their riveted trim (armor)
And at the port expect you.
Shout. Trumpets flourish
Enter CAPTAINS and SOLDIERS
The morn is fair. Good morrow, General.
Good morrow, General.
’Tis well blown (trumpeted), lads.
This morning, like the spirit of a youth
That means to be of note, begins betimes (early).
So, so. (to CLEOPATRA) 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. (to others) You that will fight,
Follow me close. I’ll bring you to ’t. (to CLEOPATRA) Adieu.
Exeunt ANTONY, EROS, CAPTAINS, and SOLDIERS
Please you retire to your chamber?
He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might
Determine this great war in single fight (one-to-one combat)!
Then Antony—but now—. Well, on.
Trumpets sound. Enter ANTONY and EROS and a SOLDIER meeting them
The gods make this a happy day to Antony!
Would (if only) thou and those thy scars had once prevailed
To make me fight at land!
Hadst thou done so,
The kings that have revolted and the soldier
That has this morning left thee would have still
Followed thy heels.
Who’s gone this morning?
One ever near thee. Call for Enobarbus.
He shall not hear thee or from Caesar’s camp
[will] Say “I am none of thine.”
What sayest thou?
He is with Caesar.
Sir, his chests and treasure
He has not with him.
Is he gone?
Go, Eros, send his treasure after. Do it.
Detain no jot, I charge thee. Write to him—
I will subscribe (sign)—gentle adieus and greetings.
Say that I wish he never find more cause
To change a master. Oh, my fortunes have
Corrupted honest (honorable) men! Dispatch (hasten).—Enobarbus!
Flourish. Enter AGRIPPA and CAESAR with ENOBARBUS and DOLABELLA
Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight.
Our will is Antony be took alive.
Make it so known.
Caesar, I shall.
The time of universal peace is near.
Prove this a prosp’rous day, the three-nooked (three-cornered) world
three-nooked world=Europe, Asia, and Africa
Shall bear the olive (olive branch of peace) freely.
Enter a MESSENGER
Is come into the [battle]field.
Go charge Agrippa
Plant those that have revolted in the vant (front line),
[so] That Antony may seem to spend his fury
Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
Alexas did revolt and went to Jewry on [behalf of]
Affairs of Antony [and] 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 (employment) but
No honorable trust. I have done ill (a bad thing),
Of which I do accuse myself so sorely
That I will joy no more.
Enter a SOLDIER of Caesar’s
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.
I give it [to] you.
Mock not, Enobarbus.
I tell you true. Best you safed the bringer
(it would be best if you insured the bringer of safe conduct)
Out of the host (army). I must attend mine office (see to my duties)
Or would have done ’t myself. Your Emperor
Continues still a Jove (chief god).
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 (vile behavior)
Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows (swells to the bursting point) my heart.
If swift thought break it (break my heart) not, a swifter means (suicide)
Shall outstrike thought, but thought will do ’t (break it), I feel.
I fight against thee? No, I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die. The foul’st best (most foul) fits
My latter part of life.
Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA and others
Retire! We have engaged ourselves too far.
Caesar himself has work (is hard pressed), and our oppression
Exceeds what we expected.
Alarums. Enter ANTONY and SCARUS, wounded
O my brave Emperor, this is fought, indeed!
Had we done so at first, we had droven them home
With clouts (blows and knocks) about their heads.
Thou bleed’st apace (rapidly).
I had a wound here that was like a “T,”
But now ’tis made an “H” (ache is pronounced aitch).
Sound retreat far off
They do retire.
We’ll beat ’em into bench-holes (holes of privies). I have yet
Room for six scotches (cuts) more.
They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves
For a fair (promising) victory.
Let us score (whip) their backs
And snatch ’em up, as we take hares, behind!
’Tis sport to maul a runner.
I will reward thee
Once for thy sprightly comfort (encouragement) and tenfold
For thy good valor. Come thee on.
I’ll halt (limp) after.
Alarum. Enter ANTONY again in a march and SCARUS, with others
We have beat (driven) him to his camp. Run one before
And let the Queen know of our gests (deeds).
Exit a soldier
Before the sun shall see ’s, we’ll spill the blood
That has today escaped. I thank you all,
For doughty-handed (valiant) are you and have fought
Not as you served the cause but as ’t had been
Each man’s like mine. You have shown [yourselves to be] all Hectors.
Hector=the greatest warrior of Troy
Enter the city. Clip (embrace) your wives, your friends.
Tell them your feats, whilst they with joyful tears
Wash the congealment from your wounds and kiss
The honored gashes [to make them] whole.
(to SCARUS) Give me thy hand.
To this great fairy I’ll commend thy acts,
Make her thanks bless thee. O thou day o’ the world,
(to CLEOPATRA) Chain mine armed neck. Leap thou, attire and all,
Through proof (impenetrability) of harness (armor) to my heart, and there
Ride on the pants (panting) triumphing!
Lord of lords!
O infinite virtue, com’st thou smiling from
The world’s great snare uncaught?
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 (Scarus).
Commend unto his lips thy favoring hand.
(to SCARUS) Kiss it, my warrior.
SCARUS kisses CLEOPATRA’s hand
He hath fought today
As if a god, in hate of mankind, had
Destroyed in such a shape (visible form).
CLEOPATRA (to SCARUS)
I’ll give thee, friend,
An armor all of gold. It was a king’s.
He has deserved it, were it carbuncled (bejeweled)
Like holy Phoebus’ car (the sun god’s chariot). Give me thy hand.
Through Alexandria make a jolly march.
Bear our hacked targets (shields) like the men that own 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 (mix in) with our rattling taborins (large military drums),
[so] That heaven and earth may strike their sounds together,
Applauding our approach.
Enter a SENTRY and his company. ENOBARBUS follows
If we be not relieved within this hour,
We must return to th’ court of guard (guard room). The night
Is shiny, and they say we shall embattle
By th’ second hour i’ th’ morn.
This last day was a shrewd (cursed) one to ’s.
O bear me witness, night—
What man is this?
Stand close (in concealment) and list him.
Be witness to me, O thou blessèd moon,
When men revolted shall upon record (in the record of history)
Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
Before thy face repent.
Peace! Hark further.
O, sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
(the moon was thought to cause lunacy)
The poisonous damp of night disponge (drop) upon me,
That life, a very (true) rebel to my will,
May hang no longer on me. Throw my heart
Against the flint and hardness of my fault (deserting Antony),
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 (so far as you yourself are concerned),
But let the world rank me in register (the record of history)
A master-leaver and a fugitive.
O, Antony! O, Antony!
Let’s speak to him.
Let’s hear him, for the things he speaks may concern Caesar.
Let’s do so. But he sleeps.
Swoons rather, for so bad a prayer as his
Was never yet for sleep.
Go we to him.
Awake, sir, awake. Speak to us.
Hear you, sir?
The hand of death hath raught (seized) 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 (fully up).
Come on, then. He may recover yet.
Exeunt with the body
Enter ANTONY and SCARUS with their army
Their preparation is today by sea.
We please them not by land.
For both, my lord.
I would they’d fight i’ th’ fire or i’ th’ air,
We’d fight there, too. But this it is: our foot[soldier]
Upon the hills adjoining to the city
Shall stay with us. Order for sea (to fight at sea) is given.
They (the navy) have put forth [from] the haven,
Where their appointment (deployment of forces) we may best discover
And look on their endeavor.
Enter CAESAR and his army
But being charged (unless we are attacked), we will be still (inactive) by land—
Which, as I take ’t, we shall, for his best force
Is forth to man his galleys. To the vales (valleys)
And hold our best advantage.
Enter ANTONY and SCARUS
Yet they are not joined [in battle]. Where yond pine does stand
I shall discover all. I’ll bring thee word
Straight how ’tis like[ly] to go.
Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight
Swallows have built
In Cleopatra’s sails their nests. The auguries (fortune-tellers)
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 (shifting) fortunes give him hope and fear
Of what he has and has not.
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
triple-turned=three times faithless – to Julius Caesar, Gneius Pompey, and Antony
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 (charmer – Cleopatra),
I have done all. Bid them all fly. Begone!
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 (good fellows)
That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy (dissolve), melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar, and this pine (Antony) is barked
barked=stripped of its bark=killed
That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am.
Oh, this false soul of Egypt! This grave charm,
Whose eye becked (beckoned) forth my wars and called them home,
Whose bosom was my crownet (coronet), my chief end (aim), [who],
Like a right (veritable) gypsy hath at fast and loose,
fast and loose=a trick tying a knot in a rope and then pulling it loose
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
(calling out) What, Eros, Eros!
Ah, thou spell (sorceress)! Avaunt (begone)!
Why is my lord enraged against his love?
Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving
And blemish Caesar’s triumph [by killing you myself]. Let him take thee
And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians!
Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot (blemish)
Of all thy sex. Most monsterlike be shown (exhibited)
For poor’st diminutives (short people), for dolts, and let
Patient Octavia plow thy visage (face) up
With her prepared (sharpened) nails!
’Tis well th’art gone,
If it be well [for you] 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 (Cleopatra) shall die.
To the young Roman boy (Octavius Caesar) she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot. She dies for ’t.—Eros, ho!
’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!
’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,
shirt of Nessus=magical shirt that clung to skin causing great pain
Alcides (Hercules), thou mine ancestor, thy rage.
Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o’ th’ moon
Lichas=deliverer of the shirt. Hercules threw him onto the horns of the moon
And with those hands that grasped the heaviest club
(Hercules is often pictured with a club)
Subdue my worthiest self. The witch (Cleopatra) shall die.
To the young Roman boy (Octavius Caesar) she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot. She dies for ’t.—Eros, ho!
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN
Help me, my women! Oh, he’s more mad
Than Telamon for his shield. The boar of Thessaly
Telamon – a Trojan who went mad with resentment when Achilles’ armor was awarded to Ulysses instead of to himself
Was never so embossed (frenzied).
boar of Thessaly – wild boar sent by Diana to lay waste to Calydon
To th’ monument (tomb erected in advance)!
There lock yourself [in] and send him word you are dead.
The soul and body rive (make an explosion) not more in parting
Than greatness going off (bidding farewell to its glory).
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 the others) To th’ monument!
Enter ANTONY and EROS
Eros, thou yet behold’st me?
(I am still visible to you?)
Ay, noble lord.
Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish,
A vapor sometime like a bear or lion,
A towered citadel (fortress), a pendant (hanging) rock,
A forkèd mountain, or blue promontory (high point of land or rock)
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 (shows of coming night).
Ay, my lord.
That which is now a horse, even with [the speed of] a thought
The rack (drifting cloud) dislimns (loses shape) and makes it (becomes) indistinct
As water is in water (as water poured into water).
It does, my lord.
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 (stacked the deck) 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.
Oh, thy vile lady!
She has robbed me of my sword.
My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled
With thine entirely.
Hence, saucy eunuch! Peace!
She hath betrayed me and shall die the death.
(die the death – term used in courts)
Death of one person can be paid but once,
And that she has discharged. What thou wouldst do
Is done unto thy hand (already done for you). 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 (gave up) life,
Thy name so buried in her (being uttered as she died).
Unarm (remove your armor), Eros. The long day’s task is done,
And we must sleep. (to MARDIAN) That thou depart’st hence safe
Does pay thy labor richly. Go.
Off, pluck off (remove my armor)!
The sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep
sevenfold – Ajax’s shield consisted of brass reinforced by layers of leather
The battery (assault of sadness) from my heart. O, cleave (split), my sides!
Heart, [for] once be stronger than thy continent (that which contains you).
Crack (heart, burst out of) thy frail case!—Apace (quickly), Eros, apace.
[I am] No more a soldier. Bruisèd pieces (pieces of armor), go.
You have been nobly borne. (to EROS) [go] From me awhile.
I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length (prolongation of life) is torture. Since the torch (light=Cleopatra) is out,
Lie down and stray no farther. Now all labor
Mars what it does. Yea, very force entangles
(any effort ruins what it does)
Itself with strength. Seal [as in sealing a letter] then, and all is done.—
(one’s own strength creates a tangle)
Eros!—I come, my Queen.—Eros!—Stay (wait) for me.
Where souls do couch on flowers [in the afterlife], we’ll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port (deportment) make the ghosts gaze.
Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops (lack admirers),
And all the haunt be ours.—Come, Eros, Eros!
What would my lord?
Since Cleopatra died
I have lived in such dishonor that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quartered (cut into quarters) the world and o’er green Neptune’s back
(Neptune was the Roman god of the sea)
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack (for lacking)
(there were so many ships that they resembled a city)
The courage of a woman—[with a] less noble mind
Than she (that of her) which (who) by her death our Caesar tells (tells our Caesar)
“I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros,
That when the exigent (necessary time) should come which now
Is come, indeed, when I should see behind me
Th’ inevitable prosecution (hounding) 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 (stir up your courage).
The gods withhold me (hold me back)!
Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts (arrows),
(Parthia – kingdom near Persia)
Though enemy, lost aim and could not?
Wouldst thou be windowed (placed as in a window) in great Rome and see
Thy master thus with pleached (folded) arms, bending down
His corrigible neck [in submission], his face subdued
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheeled seat (chariot)
Of fortunate (favored by fortune) Caesar, drawn [by horses] before him, branded
His baseness that ensued?
his baseness=the baseness of him that followed [in Caesar’s victory parade]
I would not see ’t.
Come, then, for with a wound I must be cured.
Draw that thy honest (honorable) sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.
O sir, pardon me!
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 (former) services are all
But accidents unpurposed. Draw and come.
Turn from me then that noble countenance
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
He turns away
My sword is drawn.
Then let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.
My dear master,
My captain and my emperor, let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.
’Tis said, man, and farewell.
Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?
Why, there then!
Thus I do escape the sorrow
Of Antony’s death.
Thrice nobler (many times 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 (above) 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 [school]master dies thy scholar (pupil). To do thus
I learned of thee.
He falls on his sword
How! Not dead? Not dead?
The guard, ho! Oh, dispatch(finish) me!
Enter DERCETUS and others of a GUARD
What’s the noise?
I have done my work ill, friends. Oh, make an end
Of what I have begun!
The star is fall’n.
And time is at his period (at its end).
Alas, and woe!
Let him that loves me strike me dead.
Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
He takes up ANTONY’s sword
This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings (my news),
Shall enter me with him (get me into his service).
There, Diomed, there.
Lives he? Wilt thou not answer, man
Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword and give me
Sufficing strokes for death.
Most absolute lord,
My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.
When did she send thee?
Now, my lord.
Where is she?
Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
Of what hath come to pass, for when she saw—
Which [betrayal] never shall be found—[that] you did suspect
She had disposed (made terms) 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.
Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.
What ho, the Emperor’s guard! The guard, what ho!
Come, your lord calls!
Enter four or five of the GUARD of Antony
Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides.
’Tis the last service that I shall command you.
Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
All your true followers out [with your commands].
Most heavy day!
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.
Exeunt bearing ANTONY and the body of EROS
Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft (on the second story), with CHARMIAN and IRAS
O Charmian, I will never go from hence.
Be comforted, dear madam.
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 below DIOMEDES
How now? Is he dead?
His death’s upon him, but not dead.
Look out o’ th’ other side your monument.
His guard have brought him thither.
Enter below ANTONY and the guard bearing him
Burn [to blackness] the great sphere thou mov’st in. Darkling (in the dark) stand
The varying (light and dark) shore o’ th’ world! O, Antony,
Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help!
Help, friends below! Let’s draw him hither.
(Elizabethans thought that the planets, moon, and stars were contained in spheres that revolved)
Not Caesar’s valor hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony’s hath triumphed on itself.
So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony, but woe [that] ’tis so!
I am dying, Egypt, dying. Only
I here importune death awhile, until,
Of many thousand kisses, the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.
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 (adorned) with me. If knife, drugs, serpents have
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe.
(if knife has edge, drugs have operation, and serpents have sting)
Your wife, Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion (silent judgment), shall acquire no honor
Demuring (looking soberly) upon me. But come, come, Antony—
Help me, my women—we must draw thee up.
Assist, good friends.
They begin lifting him
Oh, quick, or I am gone.
Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
Our strength is all gone into heaviness (sorrow)
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. Oh, come, come, come!
They heave ANTONY aloft to CLEOPATRA
And welcome, welcome! Die where thou hast lived.
Quicken (I revive you) with kissing. Had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.
She kisses him
A heavy sight!
I am dying, Egypt, dying.
Give me some wine and let me speak a little.
No, let me speak, and let me rail so high (loudly)
That the false huswife (treacherous hussy) Fortune break her wheel,
Provoked by my offense.
One word, sweet Queen:
Of Caesar seek your honor, with your safety—Oh!
They (honor and safety) do not go together.
Gentle[woman], hear me.
None about (surrounding) Caesar trust but Proculeius.
My resolution and my hands I’ll trust,
None about Caesar.
The miserable change now at my end
[neither] 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—[not] a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquished. Now my spirit is going.
I can no more.
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!
Oh, withered is the garland of the war.
The soldier’s pole (banner) is fall’n! Young boys and girls
Are level now with men. The odds (distinction) is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.
Oh, quietness, lady!
She’s dead too, our sovereign.
O madam, madam, madam!
Royal Egypt, Empress!
Peace, peace, Iras.
No more [a queen] but e’en (just) a woman and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest (lowliest) chores. It were (would be fitting) 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 (Antony). All’s but naught.
Patience is sottish (appropriate for fools), and impatience does
Become (is becoming to) 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 (Antony) is spent, it’s out. Good sirs (women), 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 (body) of that huge spirit now is cold.
Ah, women, women! Come. We have no friend
But resolution and the briefest (most pressing) end.
Exeunt, those above bearing off ANTONY’s body
Enter CAESAR (with AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MAECENAS, GALLUS, and PROCULEIUS) and his council of war
Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield.
Being so frustrate (defeated), tell him, he mocks (makes a joke of)
The pauses that he makes (his delays).
Caesar, I shall.
Enter DERCETUS with the sword of ANTONY
Wherefore (for what purpose) is that? And what (who) art thou that dar’st
Appear thus (with a drawn sword) to us?
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.
What is ’t thou say’st?
I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.
The breaking (disclosure) of so great a thing should make
A greater crack. The round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets
And citizens to their (lions’) dens. The death of Antony
Is not a single doom. In the name lay
A moiety (portion) of the world.
He is dead, Caesar,
Not by a public minister of justice
Nor by a hirèd knife, but that self hand,
Which writ (wrote) 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.
Look you, sad friends,
The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings
To wash the eyes of kings.
And strange it is
That nature must compel us to lament
Our most persisted deeds (what we worked for most persistently).
His taints and honors
Waged equal with him.
A rarer spirit never
Did steer humanity, but you gods will give (insist on giving) us
Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touched.
When such a spacious mirror’s set before him,
He needs must see himself.
I have followed thee to this, but we do launch (lance)
Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce (necessarily)
Have shown (revealed) to thee such a declining day (sickness)
Or look on thine. We could not stall (be housed) 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 (confederate)
In top of all design (in the highest of all designs=waging war), 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,
Unreconcilable, should divide
Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends—
Enter an EGYPTIAN
But I will tell you at some meeter (more appropriate) season.
The business of this man looks out of him (reveals itself in his eyes).
We’ll hear him what he says. (to EGYPTIAN) Whence (from where) are you?
A poor Egyptian yet (still – not yet Roman), 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.
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.
So the gods preserve thee!
Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say
We purpose (intend) her no shame. Give her what comforts
The quality of her passion (grief) shall require,
Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
She do defeat us, for her life (presence) in Rome
Would be eternal in our triumph (triumphal procession). Go,
And with your speediest (as quickly as possible) bring us what she says
And how you find of (concerning) her.
Caesar, I shall.
Gallus, go you along.
To second Proculeius?
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 (reluctantly) I was drawn into this war,
How calm and gentle I proceeded still (always)
In all my writings (letters to Antony). Go with me and see
What I can show in this.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS
My desolation does begin to make
make=make me see what could be
A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar.
Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave (servant),
A minister of her will, and it is great
To do that thing (suicide) that ends all other deeds,
Which shackles accidents (ties up accidents in their places) and bolts (locks) up change,
Which sleeps and never palates more the dung (never tastes more the products of the earth),
[as does] The beggar’s nurse - and Caesar’s.
Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.
What’s thy name?
My name is Proculeius.
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 (that) I
Will kneel to him with thanks.
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 (forgiveness and generosity) that it flows over
On all that need. Let me report to him
Your sweet dependency (submission), and you shall find
A conqueror that will pray in aid (ask for assistance) for kindness (ways to be kind)
Where he for grace is kneeled to.
Pray you, tell him
I am his fortune’s vassal (slave), and I send him
The greatness he has got (he already possesses). I hourly learn
A doctrine (lesson) of obedience and would gladly
Look him i’ th’ face.
This I’ll report, dear lady.
Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
Of (by) him that caused it.
GALLUS and Roman soldiers enter from behind and take CLEOPATRA prisoner
You see how easily she may be surprised.
(to the soldiers) Guard her till Caesar come.
O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, Queen.
CLEOPATRA draws a dagger
Quick, quick, good hands.
PROCULEIUS seizes the dagger
Hold, worthy lady, hold!
Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
Relieved (saved from yourself) but not betrayed.
What, of death, too,
That rids our dogs of languish (lingering misery)?
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.
Where art thou, Death?
Come hither, come! Come, come and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars!
Oh, temperance, lady!
Sir, I will eat no meat (food), I’ll not drink, sir.
If idle talk will once be necessary [to keep me awake],
I’ll not sleep, neither. This mortal house (my body) I’ll ruin,
Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
Will not wait pinioned [like a bird with clipped wings] 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 (rabble)
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 (lay their eggs in my body) into abhorring (crawling with maggots). Rather, make
My country’s high pyramides my gibbet (gallows)
And hang me up in chains!
You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
Find cause in Caesar.
What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
I’ll take her to my guard.
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 [speak to] him.
Say I would die.
Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?
I cannot tell.
Assuredly you know me.
No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams.
Is ’t not your trick?
I understand not, madam.
I dreamt there was an emperor Antony.
Oh, [I desire] such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
If it might please ye—
His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck
A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted
The little “O,” the earth.
Most sovereign creature—
His legs bestrid the ocean (like the Colossus spanning the harbor at Rhodes). His reared arm
Crested the world. His voice was propertied
(sometimes coats-of-arms had crests at the top)
As all the tunèd spheres and that [when he spoke] to friends,
(the spheres holding the stars were thought to make music)
but when he meant to quail and shake the orb (world),
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 dolphinlike - they showed his back above
The element they lived in. In his livery
Walked crowns and crownets. Realms and islands were
(kings and princes wore his livery)
As plates (silver coins) dropped from his pocket.
Think you there was or might be such a man
As this I dreamt of?
Gentle madam, no.
You lie up to the hearing of the gods,
But, if there be nor ever were one such,
(whether or not there is or ever was one such)
It’s past the size of dreaming (no dream can come up to it). Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy, yet t’ imagine
(nature lacks material to equal one’s fancy)
An Antony were nature’s [master]piece ’gainst (in competition with) fancy,
Condemning shadows quite (he would put them all in the shade).
Hear me, good madam.
Your loss is as yourself, great, and you bear it
As answering to the weight (weightiness of the loss). 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.
I thank you, sir.
Know you what Caesar means to do with me?
I am loath to tell you what I would (wish) you knew.
Nay, pray you, sir.
Though he be honorable—
He’ll lead me, then, in triumph.
Madam, he will. I know ’t.
Flourish. Enter CAESAR, PROCULEIUS, GALLUS, MAECENAS, and other ATTENDANTS
Make way there! Caesar!
Which is the Queen of Egypt?
(to CLEOPATRA) It is the Emperor, madam.
Arise, you shall not kneel.
I pray you, rise. Rise, Egypt.
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus. My master and my lord
I must obey.
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.
Sole sir o’ th’ world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear (blameless) but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which, before,
Have often shamed our sex.
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 (suicide), you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes and put your children
To that destruction which I’ll guard them from
If thereon (my good purposes) you rely. I’ll take my leave.
And may, through all the world! ’Tis yours, and we,
Your scutcheons (shields hung up as trophies) and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
She gives him a scroll
You shall advise me in all for (affecting) Cleopatra.
This is the brief of money, plate (metal utensils), and jewels
I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued,
Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?
This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
To myself nothing.—Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Madam, I had rather seel (sew up) my lips
Than, to my peril, speak that which is not.
What have I kept back?
Enough to purchase what you have made known.
Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.
See, Caesar! Oh, behold
How pomp is followed (how high places attract followers)! Mine will now be yours,
(servants are deserting Cleopatra in favor of Caesar)
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild. (to SELEUCUS) 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!
Oh, rarely base!
Good Queen, let us entreat you—
O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou, vouchsafing (deigning to come) 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 (trifles of no value), 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 [therefore] be unfolded (exposed)
With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
Beneath the fall I have (even lower than the fall I’ve suffered). (to SELEUCUS) Prithee, go hence,
Or I shall show the cinders of my spirit
Through th’ ashes of my chance (bad luck). Wert thou a man,
Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
Forbear (withdraw), Seleucus.
Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought (thought ill of)
For things that others do, and, when we fall,
We answer others’ [de]merits in our name (we take the blame).
[we] Are therefore to be pitied.
Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged
Put we i’ th’ roll of conquest (inventory of spoils). Still be ’t yours.
Bestow (use) it at your pleasure, and believe
Caesar’s no merchant, to make prize (haggle) with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore, be cheered.
Make not your thoughts your prison. 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.
My master and my lord!
Not so. Adieu.
Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR and his train
He words (tries to charm) me, girls, he words me, [so] that I should not
Be noble to myself, but, hark thee, Charmian.
She whispers to CHARMIAN
Finish, good lady. The bright day is done,
And we are for (ready to embrace) the dark.
CLEOPATRA (to CHARMIAN) Hie thee again.
I have spoke already, and it is provided.
Go put it to the haste.
Madam, I will.
Where’s the Queen?
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.
I shall remain your debtor.
I your servant.
Adieu, good Queen. I must attend on Caesar.
Farewell, and thanks.
Now, Iras, what think’st thou?
Thou an Egyptian puppet shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I. Mechanic slaves
With greasy aprons, rules (rulers), and hammers shall
Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, [we] shall be enclouded
And forced to drink their vapor.
The gods forbid!
Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors (insolent officers)
Will catch at us like strumpets (streetwalkers), and scald (scabby) rhymers
Ballad us (sing ballads about us) out o’ tune. The quick comedians
Extemporally (in improvised performance) will stage us and present
Our Alexandrian revels. Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy (portray) my greatness
I’ th’ posture of a whore.
Oh, the good gods!
Nay, that’s certain.
I’ll never see ’t! For I am sure mine nails (fingernails)
Are stronger than mine eyes.
Why, that’s the way
To fool their preparation and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.
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 (finish), indeed,
And, when thou hast done this chore, I’ll give thee leave
To play till doomsday. (to IRAS) Bring our crown and all.
Exit IRAS. A noise within
Wherefore’s this noise?
Enter a GUARDSMAN
Here is a rural fellow
That will not be denied your Highness’ presence.
He brings you figs.
Let him come in.
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 (changeable) moon
No planet is of mine.
Enter GUARDSMAN, and COUNTRYMAN bringing in a basket
This is the man.
Avoid (depart), and leave him.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there
That kills and pains not?
Truly, I have him, but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is mortal. Those that do die of it do seldom or never recover.
Remember’st thou any that have died on ’t?
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 (faith) shall never be saved (Salvation) by half that they do (works), but this is most fallible, the worm’s an odd worm.
Get thee hence, farewell.
I wish you all joy of the worm.
He sets down his basket
You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind (his nature).
Ay, ay. Farewell.
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.
Take thou no care. It shall be heeded.
Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth the feeding.
Will it eat me?
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 (the gods) make, the devils mar five.
Well, get thee gone. Farewell.
Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o’ th’ worm.
Enter IRAS with royal attire
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.
The women 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!
wrath=the wrath of the gods visited on those who have been fortunate
Now to that name my courage prove my title!
(my courage justifies my being called Antony’s wife)
I am fire and air, my other elements (earth and water)
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 (asp’s poison) 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.
(does not deserve a ceremonious farewell)
Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
The gods themselves do weep!
This (Iras’ dying first) 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 (intricate)
Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool
Be angry and dispatch (quickly end it). Oh, couldst thou speak,
[so] That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
Unpolicied (outdone in craftiness by Cleopatra)!
O eastern star (the morning star, Venus)!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Oh, break! Oh, break [my heart]!
[The poison is] As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle—
O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee, too.
Applying another asp to her arm
What (why) should I stay—
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 (the sun) never be beheld
Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry.
I’ll mend it and then play—
Enter the GUARD, rustling in
Where’s the Queen?
Speak softly. Wake her not.
Caesar hath sent—
Too slow a messenger.
She applies an asp to herself.
Oh, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
(calling) Approach, ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s beguiled.
There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.
Exit SECOND GUARD
What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?
It is well done and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
Ah, soldier (she sees Dolabella enter)!
How goes it here?
Caesar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects (are realized) 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
A way there, a way for Caesar!
O sir, you are too sure an augurer (prophet).
That you did fear is done.
Bravest at the last,
She leveled (aimed) at our purposes and, being royal,
Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
I do not see them bleed.
Who was last with them?
A simple countryman that brought her figs.
This was his basket.
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.
Oh, noble weakness!
If they had swallowed poison, ’twould appear
By external swelling, but she looks like sleep,
As [if] she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil (net) of grace (beauty).
Here on her breast
There is a vent of blood and something blown (swollen).
The like is on her arm.
This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves
Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.
That so she died, for her physician tells me
She hath pursued conclusions infinite (searched)
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 (clasp) in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike (touch) those that make (caused) them, and their (Antony and Cleopatra’s) story is
No less in pity than his (Caesar’s) 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.
Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies