Contents

 

Antony and Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

Antony and Cleopatra



Antony and Cleopatra Easiest-to-Read Edition

Table of Contents

Act 1. Scene 1. Alexandria. A room in Cleopatra’s palace. 3

Act 1. Scene 2. Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace. 9

Act 1. Scene 3. Alexandria. Yet another room in Cleopatra’s palace. 27

Act 1. Scene 4. Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house. 37

Act 1. Scene 5. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 43

Act 2. Scene 1. Messina. Pompey’s house. 51

Act 2. Scene 2. Rome. The house of Lepidus. 57

Act 2. Scene 3. Rome. The house of Octavius Caesar 78

Act 2. Scene 4. Rome. A street 82

Act 2. Scene 5. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 84

Act 2. Scene 6. Near Misenum.. 97

Act 2. Scene 7. On board Pompey’s galley off Misenum.. 111

Act 3. Scene 1. A plain in Syria. 125

Act 3. Scene 2. Rome. An ante-chamber in OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house. 128

Act 3. Scene 3. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 136

Act 3. Scene 4. Athens. A room in Mark Antony’s house. 143

Act 3. Scene 5. Athens. Another room in Mark Antony’s house. 146

Act 3. Scene 6. Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house. 149

Act 3. Scene 7. Near Actium. Mark Antony’s camp. 157

Act 3. Scene 8. A plain near Actium.. 166

Act 3. Scene 9. Another part of the plain. 167

Act 3. Scene 10. Another part of the plain. 168

Act 3. Scene 11. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 172

Act 3. Scene 12. Egypt. Octavius Caesar’s camp. 179

Act 3. Scene 13. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 183

Act 4. Scene 1. Before Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp. 201

Act 4. Scene 2. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 203

Act 4. Scene 3. Alexandria. Before the palace. 208

Act 4. Scene 4. Alexandria. A room in the palace. 212

Act 4. Scene 5. Alexandria. Antony’s camp. 217

Act 4. Scene 6. Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp. 220

Act 4. Scene 7. Alexandria. Field of battle between the camps. 224

Act 4. Scene 8. Under the walls of Alexandria. 227

Act 4. Scene 9. Octavius Caesar’s camp. 230

Act 4. Scene 10. Between the two camps. 234

Act 4. Scene 11. Another part of the same. 235

Act 4. Scene 12. Another part of the same. 236

Act 4. Scene 13. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace. 241

Act 4. Scene 14. Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace. 243

Act 4. Scene 15. Alexandria. A monument 257

Act 5. Scene 1. Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp. 265

Act 5. Scene 2. Alexandria. A room in the monument 272

 


 

 

 

Act 1. Scene 1. Alexandria. A room in Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO

 

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 ANTONYCLEOPATRA, 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.

 

CLEOPATRA

If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

 

ANTONY

There’s beggary (penny-pinching) in the love that can be reckoned.
(love that can be quantified is paltry)

 

CLEOPATRA

I’ll set a bourn (limit) how far to be beloved.

 

ANTONY

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

 

MESSENGER

News, my good lord, from Rome.

 

ANTONY

Grates (annoys) me, the sum (give me the summary).

 

CLEOPATRA

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.”

 

ANTONY

How (what’s that you say), my love?

 

CLEOPATRA

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!

 

ANTONY

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

(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).

 

ANTONY

(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?

 

CLEOPATRA

Hear the ambassadors.

 

ANTONY

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

 

DEMETRIUS

Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?

 

PHILO

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.

 

DEMETRIUS

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!

Exeunt


 

Act 1. Scene 2. Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter ENOBARBUSLAMPRIUS (a soothsayer), RANNIUSLUCILLIUS, CHARMIANIRASMARDIAN (a eunuch), and ALEXAS

 

CHARMIAN

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!

 

ALEXAS

Soothsayer!

 

SOOTHSAYER

Your will?

 

CHARMIAN

(to ALEXAS) Is this the man? (to SOOTHSAYER) Is ’t you, sir, that know things?

 

SOOTHSAYER

In nature’s infinite book of secrecy

A little I can read.

 

ALEXAS

(to CHARMIAN) Show him your hand.

 

ENOBARBUS

(to servants within) Bring in the banquet quickly. Wine enough

Cleopatra’s health to drink.

 

CHARMIAN

(giving hand to SOOTHSAYERGood sir, give me good fortune.

 

SOOTHSAYER

I make not, but [I] foresee.

 

CHARMIAN

Pray, then, foresee me [a good] one.

 

SOOTHSAYER

You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

CHARMIAN

(to the others) He means in flesh.
fair in flesh=plump

 

IRAS

No, [he means that] you shall paint [your face] when you are old.

 

CHARMIAN

Wrinkles forbid!

 

ALEXAS

Vex not “his prescience.” Be attentive.
his prescience=a mock honorific, similar to “his honor”

 

CHARMIAN

Hush!

 

SOOTHSAYER

You shall be more beloving than beloved.

 

CHARMIAN

I had rather heat my liver (arouse passion) with drinking [than with love].

 

ALEXAS

Nay, hear him.

 

CHARMIAN

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.

 

SOOTHSAYER

You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

 

CHARMIAN

Oh, excellent! I love long life better than figs.

 

SOOTHSAYER

You have seen and proved (shown to be true) a fairer former fortune

Than that which is to approach.

 

CHARMIAN

Then belike (probably) my children shall have no names (be illegitimate). Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

 

SOOTHSAYER

If every [one] of your wishes had a womb,

And fertile every wish, a million.

 

CHARMIAN

[get] Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
(you are too bad a soothsayer to be a witch)

 

ALEXAS

You think none but your sheets are (is) privy to your wishes.
(you think that nobody outside of your bedroom knows your wishes)

 

CHARMIAN

(to SOOTHSAYERNay, come, tell Iras hers.

 

ALEXAS

We’ll know all our fortunes.
(everyone will want his or her fortune told)

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

IRAS

(giving her hand to the SOOTHSAYERThere’s a palm presages (foretells) chastity, if nothing else.

 

CHARMIAN

E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus (River Nile) presageth famine.
(Iras foretells chastity, but Charmian jokes that she should foretell the opposite - promiscuity)

 

IRAS

(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.

 

SOOTHSAYER

Your fortunes are alike.

 

IRAS

But how, but how? Give me particulars.

 

SOOTHSAYER

I have said.

 

IRAS

Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

 

CHARMIAN

Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?
(where would you like the inch added?)

 

IRAS

Not in my husband’s nose.

 

CHARMIAN

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).

 

CHARMIAN

Amen.

 

ALEXAS

(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.

 

ENOBARBUS

Hush! Here comes Antony.

 

CHARMIAN

Not he. The Queen.

 

CLEOPATRA

Saw you my lord?

 

ENOBARBUS

No, lady.

 

CLEOPATRA

Was he not here?

 

CHARMIAN

No, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

He was disposed to mirth, but on the sudden

A Roman thought hath struck him.—Enobarbus!

 

ENOBARBUS

Madam?

 

CLEOPATRA

Seek him and bring him hither.—

Where’s Alexas?

 

ALEXAS

Here at your service. My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY with the FIRST MESSENGER

 

CLEOPATRA

We will not look upon him. Go with us.

Exeunt all but ANTONY and the FIRST MESSENGER

 

FIRST MESSENGER

Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the field (mustered her army first).

 

ANTONY

Against my brother Lucius?

 

FIRST MESSENGER

Ay.

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).

 

ANTONY

Well, what worst (what’s the worst of your news)?

 

FIRST MESSENGER

The nature of bad news infects the teller (makes the teller look bad).

ANTONY

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.

 

FIRST MESSENGER

Labienus—this is stiff news—hath with his Parthian force

Extended Asia: from Euphrates

His conquering banner shook, from Syria

To Lydia and to Ionia,

Whilst—

 

ANTONY

“Antony,” thou wouldst say.

 

FIRST MESSENGER

O my lord!

 

ANTONY

Speak to me home. Mince not the general tongue.

Name Cleopatra as she is called in Rome.

Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults

With such full license (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.

 

FIRST MESSENGER

At your noble pleasure.

Exit FIRST MESSENGER

 

ANTONY

From Sicyon, how, the news? Speak there.
Sicyon – the town in Greece where Antony left Fulvia

 

SECOND MESSENGER

The man from Sicyon—

ANTONY

Is there such an one (is he here)?

 

SECOND MESSENGER

He stays upon your will.

 

ANTONY

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)?

 

THIRD MESSENGER

Fulvia thy wife is dead.

 

ANTONY

Where died she?

 

THIRD MESSENGER

In Sicyon.

Her length of sickness, with what else more serious

Importeth (concerns) thee to know, this bears.

He gives ANTONY a letter

 

ANTONY

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!

Enter ENOBARBUS

 

ENOBARBUS

What’s your pleasure, sir?

 

ANTONY

I must with haste from hence.

 

ENOBARBUS

Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal (death dealing) an unkindness is to them. If they suffer our departure, death’s the word.

 

ANTONY

I must be gone.

 

ENOBARBUS

Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing, though between them and a great cause they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies (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)

 

ANTONY

She is cunning past man’s thought.
cunning=crafty and, also, sexual word play

 

ENOBARBUS

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)

 

ANTONY

Would (I wish) I had never seen her!

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

ANTONY

Fulvia is dead.

 

ENOBARBUS

Sir?

 

ANTONY

Fulvia is dead.

 

ENOBARBUS

Fulvia?

 

ANTONY

Dead.

 

ENOBARBUS

Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth, comforting therein, that, when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut and the case to be lamented. This grief is crowned with consolation. Your old smock brings forth a new petticoat, and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
(you should only cry when holding up an onion)

 

ANTONY

The business she (Fulvia) hath broached in the state

Cannot endure my absence.

 

ENOBARBUS

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

ANTONY

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.

ENOBARBUS

I shall do ’t.

Exeunt


 

Act 1. Scene 3. Alexandria. Yet another room in Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIANALEXAS, and IRAS

 

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

 

CHARMIAN

I did not see him since (lately).

 

CLEOPATRA

(to ALEXASSee where he is, who’s with him, what he does.

I did not send you. If you find him sad,

Say I am dancing. If in mirth, report

That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

Exit ALEXAS

 

CHARMIAN

Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,

You do not hold the method to enforce

The like (the same) from him.

 

CLEOPATRA

What should I do I do not?

 

CHARMIAN

In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.

 

CLEOPATRA

Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.

 

CHARMIAN

Tempt him not so too far. I wish [you would] forbear (hold back).

In time we hate that which we often fear.

Enter ANTONY

But here comes Antony.

 

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

 

ANTONY

I am sorry to give breathing (utterance) to my purpose—

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

ANTONY

Now, my dearest Queen—

 

CLEOPATRA

Pray you, stand farther from me.

 

ANTONY

What’s the matter?

 

CLEOPATRA

I know by that same eye there’s some good news.

What, says the married woman (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.

 

ANTONY

The gods best know—

 

CLEOPATRA

Oh, never was there queen

So mightily betrayed! Yet, at the first

I saw the treasons planted.

 

ANTONY

Cleopatra—

 

CLEOPATRA

Why should I think you can be mine and true

(Though you in swearing shake the thronèd gods)

Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,

To be entangled with those mouth-made (superficial) vows [of Antony’s]

Which break themselves in swearing!
(the vows were being broken even as they were sworn)

 

ANTONY

Most sweet Queen—

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

ANTONY

How now (what do you mean), lady?

 

CLEOPATRA

I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know

There were a heart in Egypt.
(with your stature I would speak up more forcefully)

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Though age from folly could not give me freedom,

It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die (have died)?

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

ANTONY

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

ANTONY

My precious Queen, forbear (cease),

And give true evidence (bear true witness) to his love which (who) [with]stands

An honorable trial.

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

ANTONY

You’ll heat my blood (anger me). No more [of this].

 

CLEOPATRA

You can do (play a part) better yet, but this is meetly.

 

ANTONY

Now, by my sword—

 

CLEOPATRA

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).

 

ANTONY

I’ll leave you, lady.

 

CLEOPATRA

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).

 

ANTONY

But that your royalty

Holds idleness (frivolity) your subject (is subject to you as queen), I should take you

For idleness itself.

 

CLEOPATRA

’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.

 

ANTONY

Let us go. Come.

Our separation so abides and flies

That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,

And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.

Away!

Exeunt


 

Act 1. Scene 4. Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house

 

Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter, LEPIDUS, and their train

 

CAESAR

You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,

It is not Caesar’s natural vice to hate

Our great competitor. From Alexandria

This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes

The lamps of night in revel, is not more manlike

Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy
(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).

 

LEPIDUS

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.

 

CAESAR

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

 

LEPIDUS

Here’s more news.

 

FIRST MESSENGER

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.

 

CAESAR

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

 

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].

Exit

 

CAESAR (responding to letter and messengers)

Antony,

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.

 

LEPIDUS

’Tis pity of him (what a pity).

 

CAESAR

Let his shames quickly

Drive him to Rome. ’Tis time we twain

Did show ourselves ith’ [battle]field, and to that end

Assemble we immediate council. Pompey

Thrives in our idleness.

 

LEPIDUS

Tomorrow, Caesar,

I shall be furnished to inform you rightly

Both what by sea and land I can be able

To [con]front this present time.

 

CAESAR

Till which encounter

It is my business, too. Farewell.

 

LEPIDUS

Farewell, my lord. What you shall know meantime

Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,

To let me be partaker.

 

CAESAR

Doubt not, sir. I knew it [already] for my bond (obligation).

Exeunt


 

Act 1. Scene 5. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIANIRAS, and MARDIAN

 

CLEOPATRA

Charmian!

 

CHARMIAN

Madam?

 

CLEOPATRA

Ha, ha! Give me to drink mandragora (narcotic syrup).

 

CHARMIAN

Why, madam?

 

CLEOPATRA

That I might sleep out this great gap of time

My Antony is away.

 

CHARMIAN

You think of him too much.

 

CLEOPATRA

Oh, ’tis treason!

 

CHARMIAN

Madam, I trust, not so.

 

CLEOPATRA

Thou, eunuch Mardian!

 

MARDIAN

What’s your highness’ pleasure?

 

CLEOPATRA

Not now to hear thee sing. I take no pleasure
(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?

 

MARDIAN

Yes, gracious madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

Indeed?

 

MARDIAN

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

O Charmian,

Where think’st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he?

Or does he walk? Or is he on his horse?

O, happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!

Do bravely (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).

Enter ALEXAS

 

ALEXAS

Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

 

CLEOPATRA

How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!

Yet, coming from him, that great med’cine hath

With his tinct gilded thee.

How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

 

ALEXAS

Last thing he did, dear Queen,

He kissed—the last of many doubled kisses—

This orient pearl.

He gives a pearl.

 His speech sticks in my heart.

 

CLEOPATRA

Mine ear must pluck it thence.

 

ALEXAS

“Good friend,” quoth he,

“Say the firm Roman to great Egypt (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.

 

CLEOPATRA

What was he, sad or merry?

 

ALEXAS

Like to the time o’ th’ year between the extremes

Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.

 

CLEOPATRA

O well-divided disposition! Note him,

Note him, good Charmian, ’tis the man [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)?

 

ALEXAS

Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.

Why do you send so thick?

 

CLEOPATRA

Who’s born that day

When I forget to send to Antony

Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.

Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,

Ever love Caesar so?

 

CHARMIAN

Oh, that brave Caesar!

 

CLEOPATRA

Be choked with such another emphasis!

Say, “the brave Antony.”

 

CHARMIAN

The valiant Caesar!

 

CLEOPATRA

By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth

If thou with Caesar paragon (match) again

My man of men.

 

CHARMIAN

By your most gracious pardon,

I sing but after you.

 

CLEOPATRA

My salad days,

When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,

To say as I said then. (to everyone) But, come, away.

(to CHARMIANGet me ink and paper.

He shall have every day a several greeting,

Or I’ll unpeople Egypt.

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 1. Messina. Pompey’s house

 

Enter POMPEYMENECRATES, and MENAS, in warlike manner

 

POMPEY

If the great gods be just, they shall assist

The deeds of justest men.

 

MENAS

Know, worthy Pompey,

That what they do delay, they not [necessarily] deny.

 

POMPEY

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)

 

MENAS

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.

 

POMPEY

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.

MENAS

Caesar and Lepidus

Are in the [battle]field. A mighty [armed] strength they carry.

 

POMPEY

[from] Where have you this? ’Tis false.

 

MENAS

From Silvius, sir.

 

POMPEY

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)

Enter VARRIUS

How now, Varrius?

 

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).

 

POMPEY

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.

 

MENAS

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.

 

POMPEY

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)

Come, Menas.

Exeunt


 


 

Act 2. Scene 2. Rome. The house of Lepidus

 

Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS

 

LEPIDUS

Good Enobarbus, ’tis a worthy deed,

And shall become you well, to entreat your captain (Antony)

To soft and gentle speech.

 

ENOBARBUS

I shall entreat him

To answer like himself. If Caesar move him,

Let Antony look over Caesar’s head

And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,

Were I the wearer of Antonio’s beard,

I would not shave ’t today.

 

LEPIDUS

’Tis not a time for private stomaching (resentment).

 

ENOBARBUS

Every time serves for the matter that is then born in ’t.
(it is always appropriate to deal with matters as they arise)

 

LEPIDUS

But small to greater matters must give way.

 

ENOBARBUS

Not if the small come first.

 

LEPIDUS

Your speech is passion (emotion without reason). But pray you stir

No embers up. Here comes the noble Antony.

Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS

 

ENOBARBUS

And, yonder, Caesar.

Enter OCTAVIUS CAESARMECAENAS, and AGRIPPA

 

ANTONY

(to VENTIDIUSIf we compose (agree) well here, [on] to Parthia.

Hark (listen), Ventidius.

They talk aside

 

CAESAR

(to MECAENASI do not know, Maecenas. Ask Agrippa.

 

LEPIDUS

(to CAESAR and ANTONY) Noble friends,

That which combined us was most great, and let not

A leaner (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.

 

ANTONY

’Tis spoken well.

Were we before our armies and [about] to fight,

I should do thus.

Flourish

 

CAESAR

Welcome to Rome.

 

ANTONY

Thank you.

 

CAESAR

Sit.

 

ANTONY

Sit, sir.

 

CAESAR

Nay, then.

They sit

 

ANTONY

I learn, you take things ill which are not so,

Or, being, concern you not.

 

CAESAR

I must be laughed at (ridiculed)

If, or (either) for nothing or a little, I

Should say myself offended, and with you

Chiefly ith’ 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).

 

ANTONY

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

 

CAESAR

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).

 

ANTONY

How intend you, “practice”?
(what do you mean “practice”)

 

CAESAR

You may be pleased to catch at mine intent

By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother

Made wars upon me, and their contestation

Was theme for you (was waged on your behalf). You were the word of war.

&nbsnbsp;

ANTONY

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.

 

CAESAR

You praise yourself

By laying defects of judgment to me, but

You patched up (fabricated) your excuses.

 

ANTONY

Not so, not so.

I know you could not lack, I am certain on ’t,

Very necessity of this thought, that I,
(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.

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CAESAR

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).

 

ANTONY

Sir,

He fell (burst in) upon me ere admitted, then.

Three kings I had newly feasted and did want (fell short)

Of what I was ith’ 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.

 

CAESAR

You have broken

The article of your oath, which you shall never

Have tongue to charge me with.

 

LEPIDUS

Soft (go easy), Caesar.

 

ANTONY

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?

 

CAESAR

To lend me arms and aid when I required them,

The which you both [of them] denied.

 

ANTONY

Neglected, rather,

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.

 

LEPIDUS

’Tis noble (nobly) spoken.

 

MAECENAS

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.

 

LEPIDUS

Worthily spoken, Maecenas.

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

ANTONY

Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.

 

ENOBARBUS

That “truth should be silent” I had almost forgot.

 

ANTONY

You wrong this presence (dignified company). Therefore, speak no more.

 

ENOBARBUS

Go to, then. Your considerate stone.

 

CAESAR

I do not much dislike the matter but

The manner of his speech, for ’t cannot be

We shall remain in friendship, our conditions

So diff’ring in their acts. Yet, if I knew

What hoop (barrel hoop) should hold us stanch (firm), from edge to edge

O’ th’ world I would pursue it.

 

AGRIPPA

Give me leave, Caesar.

 

CAESAR

Speak, Agrippa.

 

AGRIPPA

Thou hast a sister by the mother’s side (half sister),

Admired Octavia. Great Mark Antony

Is now a widower.

 

CAESAR

Say not so, Agrippa.

If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof

Were well deserved of rashness.

 

ANTONY

I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear

Agrippa further speak.

 

AGRIPPA

To hold you in perpetual amity,

To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts

With an unslipping knot, take Antony

Octavia to his wife, whose beauty claims

No worse a husband than the best of men,

Whose virtue and whose general graces speak

That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
(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.

 

ANTONY

Will Caesar speak?

 

CAESAR

Not till he hears how Antony is touched

With what is spoke already.

 

ANTONY

What power is in Agrippa

If I would say, “Agrippa, be it so,”

To make this good?

 

CAESAR

The power of Caesar and

His power unto (over) Octavia.

 

ANTONY

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!

 

CAESAR

There’s my hand.

They clasp hands

A sister I bequeath you whom no brother

Did ever love so dearly. Let her live

To join our kingdoms and our hearts, and never

Fly off (depart) our loves (our friendship) again!

 

LEPIDUS

Happily, amen!

 

ANTONY

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.

 

LEPIDUS

Time calls upon ’s.

Of (by) us must Pompey presently (at once) be sought,

Or else he seeks out us.

 

ANTONY

Where lies he?

 

CAESAR

About the Mount Misena.

 

ANTONY

What is his strength by land?

 

CAESAR

Great and increasing,

But by sea he is an absolute master.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CAESAR

With most gladness,

And [I] do invite you to my sister’s view,
(view my sister)

Whither straight I’ll lead you.

 

ANTONY

Let us, Lepidus, not lack your company.

 

LEPIDUS

Noble Antony, not [even] sickness should detain me.

Flourish. Exeunt all but ENOBARBUSAGRIPPA, and MAECENAS

 

MAECENAS

(to ENOBARBUSWelcome from Egypt, sir.

 

ENOBARBUS

Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas! My honorable friend, Agrippa.

 

AGRIPPA

Good Enobarbus!

 

MAECENAS

We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested.

You stayed well by ’t in Egypt (showed great stamina).

 

ENOBARBUS

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)

 

MAECENAS

Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast—and but twelve persons there! Is this true?

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MAECENAS

She’s a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her (accurate).

 

ENOBARBUS

When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up (pocketed) his heart upon the river of Cydnus (in her barge on the River Cydnus).

 

AGRIPPA

There she appeared, indeed, or my reporter devised (invented) well for her.

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

AGRIPPA

Oh, rare for Antony!

 

ENOBARBUS

Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,

So many [fully human] mermaids, tended her ith’ 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 ith’ 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.

 

AGRIPPA

Rare Egyptian!

 

ENOBARBUS

Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,

Invited her to supper. She replied

It should be better he became her guest,

Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,

Whom ne’er the word of “No” woman heard [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.

 

AGRIPPA

Royal wench!

She made great Caesar (Julius Caesar) lay his sword to bed.

He plowed her, and she cropped (bore a son).

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

MAECENAS

Now Antony must leave her utterly (completely).

 

ENOBARBUS

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).

 

MAECENAS

If beauty, wisdom, modesty can settle

The heart of Antony, Octavia is

A blessèd lottery (prize) to him.

 

AGRIPPA

Let us go.

Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest

Whilst you abide here.

 

ENOBARBUS

Humbly, sir, I thank you.

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 3. Rome. The house of Octavius Caesar

 

Enter ANTONYCAESAR, OCTAVIA (between them), and attendants

 

ANTONY

(to OCTAVIAThe world and my great office will sometimes

Divide me from your bosom.

 

OCTAVIA

All which time

Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers

To them for you.

 

ANTONY

(to CAESARGood 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 CAESARGood night, sir.

 

CAESAR

Good night.

He exits with OCTAVIA

Enter SOOTHSAYER

 

ANTONY

Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?

 

SOOTHSAYER

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)

 

ANTONY

If you can, your reason?

 

SOOTHSAYER

I see it in my motion (thoughts), have it not in my tongue. But yet hie (hasten) you to Egypt again.

 

ANTONY

Say to me whose fortunes shall rise higher,

Caesar’s or mine?

 

SOOTHSAYER

Caesar’s.

Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side.

Thy dæmon—that, thy spirit, which keeps thee—is

Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,

Where Caesar’s is not, but near him thy angel

Becomes afeard, as being o’erpowered. Therefore,

Make space enough between you.

 

ANTONY

Speak this no more.

 

SOOTHSAYER

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.

 

ANTONY

Get thee gone.

Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.

Exit SOOTHSAYER

(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.

Enter VENTIDIUS

O come, Ventidius.

You must to Parthia. Your commission’s ready.

Follow me and receive ’t.

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 4. Rome. A street

 

Enter LEPIDUSMECAENAS, and AGRIPPA

 

LEPIDUS

Trouble yourselves no further (you may leave now). Pray you, hasten

Your generals after.
(after your generals)

 

AGRIPPA

Sir, Mark Antony

Will e’en but (only) kiss Octavia, and we’ll follow.

 

LEPIDUS

Till I shall see you in your soldier’s dress,

Which will become you both, farewell.

 

MAECENAS

We shall,

As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount

Before you, Lepidus.

 

LEPIDUS

Your way is shorter.

My purposes do draw me much about.

You’ll win two days upon me.

 

MAECENAS, AGRIPPA

Sir, good success.

 

LEPIDUS

Farewell.

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 5. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIANIRAS, and ALEXAS

 

CLEOPATRA

Give me some music. Music, moody food

Of us that trade in love.

 

ALL

The music, ho!

Enter MARDIAN, the eunuch

 

CLEOPATRA

Let it alone (forget it). Let’s to billiards. Come, Charmian.

 

CHARMIAN

My arm is sore. Best play with Mardian.

 

CLEOPATRA

As well a woman with an eunuch played

As with a woman.—Come, you’ll play with me, sir?

 

MARDIAN

As well as I can, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

And when good will is showed, though ’t come too short,

The actor may plead pardon. I’ll none now (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.”

 

CHARMIAN

’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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

MESSENGER

Madam, madam—

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

MESSENGER

First, madam, he is well.

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

MESSENGER

Good madam, hear me.

 

CLEOPATRA

Well, go to, I will.

But there’s no goodness in thy face—if Antony

Be free and healthful, [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).

 

MESSENGER

Will ’t please you hear me?

 

CLEOPATRA

I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak’st.

Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,

Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,

I’ll set thee in a shower of gold and hail (shower)

Rich pearls upon thee.

 

MESSENGER

Madam, he’s well.

 

CLEOPATRA

Well said.

 

MESSENGER

And friends with Caesar.

 

CLEOPATRA

Th’ art an honest man.

 

MESSENGER

Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.

 

CLEOPATRA

Make thee a fortune from me.

 

MESSENGER

But yet, madam—

 

CLEOPATRA

I do not like “But yet.” It does allay

The good precedence. Fie upon “But yet.”

“But yet” is as a jailer to bring forth

Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,

Pour out the pack of matter (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.

 

MESSENGER

Free, madam, no. I made no such report.

He’s bound unto Octavia.

 

CLEOPATRA

For what good turn (in return for what)?

 

MESSENGER

For the best turn ith’ bed.

 

CLEOPATRA

I am pale, Charmian.

 

MESSENGER

Madam, he’s married to Octavia.

 

CLEOPATRA

The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

Strikes him down

 

MESSENGER

Good madam, patience.

 

CLEOPATRA

What say you?

Strikes him

Hence, horrible villain, or I’ll spurn (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!

 

MESSENGER

Gracious madam,

I that do bring the news made not the match.

 

CLEOPATRA

Say ’tis not so, a province I will give thee

And make thy fortunes proud. The blow thou hadst

Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage,

And I will boot thee with what gift beside

Thy modesty can beg.

 

MESSENGER

He’s married, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

Rogue, thou hast lived too long.

Draws a knife

 

MESSENGER

Nay then, I’ll run.

What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.

Exit

 

CHARMIAN

Good madam, keep yourself within yourself.

The man is innocent.

 

CLEOPATRA

Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt.

Melt Egypt into Nile, and kindly creatures

Turn all to serpents. Call the slave again.

Though I am mad, I will not bite him. Call!

 

CHARMIAN

He is afeard to come.

 

CLEOPATRA

I will not hurt him.

These hands do lack nobility that they strike

A meaner than myself, since I myself

Have given myself the cause.

Enter the MESSENGER again

Come hither, sir.

Though it be honest, it is never good

To bring bad news. Give to a gracious message

An host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell

Themselves when they be felt.

 

MESSENGER

I have done my duty.

 

CLEOPATRA

Is he married?

I cannot hate thee worser than I do

If thou again say, “yes.”

 

MESSENGER

He’s married, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

The gods confound (destroy) thee! Dost thou hold there still (to the same story)?

 

MESSENGER

Should I lie, madam?

 

CLEOPATRA

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?

 

MESSENGER

I crave your highness’ pardon.

 

CLEOPATRA

He is married?

 

MESSENGER

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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!

Exit MESSENGER

 

CHARMIAN

Good your highness, patience.

 

CLEOPATRA

In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.

 

CHARMIAN

Many times, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

I am paid for ’t now. Lead me from hence.

I faint. O, Iras, Charmian! ’Tis no matter.—

Go to the fellow, good Alexas. Bid him

Report the feature of Octavia: her years,

Her inclination. Let him not leave out

The color of her hair. Bring me word quickly.

Exit ALEXAS

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 MARDIANBid you Alexas

Bring me word how tall she is. Pity me, Charmian,

But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.

 

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 6. Near Misenum

 

Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one door with drum and trumpet, at another OCTAVIUS CAESAR, LEPIDUSANTONYENOBARBUSMAECENAS, and AGRIPPA, with soldiers marching

 

POMPEY

Your hostages (pledges) I have, so have you mine,

And we shall talk before we fight.

 

CAESAR

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.

 

POMPEY

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.

 

CAESAR

Take your time.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

POMPEY

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)

 

LEPIDUS

Be pleased to tell us—

For this is [aside] from the present [business]—how you take

The offers we have sent you.

 

CAESAR

There’s the point.

 

ANTONY

Which do not be entreated to, but weigh [using your own judgment]

What it is worth embraced.

 

CAESAR

And what may follow

To try [for] a larger fortune (winning on your own in opposition to us).

 

POMPEY

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.

 

POMPEY

Know then

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.

 

ANTONY

(to POMPEY) I have heard it, Pompey,

And am well studied (fully prepared) for (to give) a liberal thanks

Which I do owe you.

POMPEY

Let me have your hand.

They clasp hands

I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

 

ANTONY

The beds ith’ 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).

 

CAESAR

(to POMPEYSince I saw you last

There’s a change upon you.

 

POMPEY

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.

 

LEPIDUS

Well met here (we have done well to meet).

 

POMPEY

I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.

I crave our composition may be written

And sealed between us.

 

CAESAR

That’s the next to do.

 

POMPEY

We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s

Draw lots who shall begin (to be host).

 

ANTONY

That will I, Pompey.

 

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.

 

ANTONY

You have heard much.

 

POMPEY

I have fair (honorable) meanings, sir.

 

ANTONY

And fair words to them.

 

POMPEY

Then so much have I heard.

And I have heard Apollodorus carried—

 

ENOBARBUS

(interrupting POMPEYNo more of that. He did so.

 

POMPEY

What, I pray you?

 

ENOBARBUS

A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.

 

POMPEY

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

 

ENOBARBUS

Well

And well am like to do, for, I perceive,

Four feasts are toward (upcoming).

 

POMPEY

Let me shake thy hand.

I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight

When I have envied thy behavior.

 

ENOBARBUS

Sir,

I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised ye

When you have well deserved ten times as much

As I have said you did.

 

POMPEY

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.

 

POMPEY

Come.

Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS and MENAS

 

MENAS

(to himself) Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have made this

treaty. (to ENOBARBUSYou and I have known (met), sir.

 

ENOBARBUS

At sea, I think.

 

MENAS

We have, sir.

 

ENOBARBUS

You have done well by water (on the sea).

 

MENAS

And you by land.

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

Nor what I have done by water.

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

And you by land.

 

ENOBARBUS

There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas.

They clasp hands

If our eyes had authority, here they might take [into custody] two thieves kissing.

 

MENAS

All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er (whatever) their hands are (do).

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

No slander. They steal hearts.

 

ENOBARBUS

We came hither to fight with you.

 

MENAS

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

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

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

 

ENOBARBUS

Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.

 

MENAS

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

 

ENOBARBUS

But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.

 

MENAS

Pray ye, sir?

 

ENOBARBUS

’Tis true.

 

MENAS

Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.

 

ENOBARBUS

If I were bound to divine (prophesy) of this unity, I would not prophesy so.

 

MENAS

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

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

Who would not have his wife so?

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a health (drink to your health) for you.

 

ENOBARBUS

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

 

MENAS

Come, let’s away.

Exeunt


 

Act 2. Scene 7. On board Pompey’s galley off Misenum

 

Music plays. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet

 

FIRST SERVANT

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

 

SECOND SERVANT

Lepidus is high-colored (red in the face).

 

FIRST SERVANT

They have made him drink alms-drink (left-over wine usually given to the poor).

 

SECOND SERVANT

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.

 

FIRST SERVANT

But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion (good judgment).

 

SECOND SERVANT

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).

 

FIRST SERVANT

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 CAESARANTONY, POMPEYLEPIDUSAGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS,
and MENAS with other captains and a BOY

 

ANTONY

Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o’ th’ Nile

By certain scales ith’ 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.

 

LEPIDUS

You’ve strange serpents there?

 

ANTONY

Ay, Lepidus.

 

LEPIDUS

Your serpent (snake) of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun. So is your crocodile.

 

ANTONY

They are so.

 

POMPEY

(to LEPIDUSSit, and some wine. A health to Lepidus!

They sit and drink

 

LEPIDUS

I am not so well as I should be, but I’ll ne’er [get] out [from this company].

 

ENOBARBUS

Not till you have slept. I fear me you’ll be in till then.

 

LEPIDUS

Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemiespyramises (pyramids) are very goodly things. Without contradiction I have heard that.

 

MENAS

(aside to POMPEYPompey, a word.

 

POMPEY

(aside to MENAS) Say in mine ear. What is ’t?

 

MENAS

(aside to POMPEY) Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,

And hear me speak a word.

 

POMPEY

(aside to MENAS) Forbear (put up with) me till anon (a little later).—This wine for Lepidus!

 

LEPIDUS

What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?

 

ANTONY

It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is and moves with 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).

 

LEPIDUS

What color is it of?

 

ANTONY

Of its own color, too.

 

LEPIDUS

’Tis a strange serpent.

 

ANTONY

’Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
(alluding to the ancient belief that crocodiles weep before devouring their victims)

 

CAESAR

(aside to ANTONYWill this description satisfy him?

 

ANTONY

(aside to CAESARWith the health (toast) that Pompey gives him, else he is a very Epicure (glutton).
(the Epicureans lived for the senses)

MENAS whispers again

 

POMPEY

(aside to MENASGo hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away!

Do as I bid you.—Where’s this cup I called for?

 

MENAS

(aside to POMPEY) If for the sake of merit (my merits) thou wilt hear me,

Rise from thy stool.

 

POMPEY

(aside to MENAS) I think th’ art mad.

He rises, and they walk aside

The matter?

 

MENAS

I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes (had respect for your destiny).

 

POMPEY

Thou hast served me with much faith. What’s else to say?—

(to the others) Be jolly, lords.

 

ANTONY

These quicksands, Lepidus,

Keep off them, for you sink.

 

MENAS

(aside to POMPEY) Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

 

POMPEY

What sayst thou?

 

MENAS

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

 

POMPEY

How should that be?

 

MENAS

But entertain it,

And, though thou think me poor, I am the man

Will give thee all the world.

 

POMPEY

Hast thou drunk well?

 

MENAS

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.

 

POMPEY

Show me which way.

 

MENAS

These three world-sharers, these competitors,

Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable,

And, when we are put off, fall to their throats.

All there is thine.

 

POMPEY

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

 

MENAS

(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.

 

POMPEY

This health to Lepidus!

 

ANTONY

(to a servant) Bear him ashore.—I’ll pledge it for him (drink on his behalf), Pompey.

 

ENOBARBUS

Here’s to thee, Menas!

They drink

 

MENAS

Enobarbus, welcome.

 

POMPEY

Fill till the cup be hid.

 

ENOBARBUS (pointing to the servant who carries off nbsp;LEPIDUS)

There’s a strong fellow, Menas.

 

MENAS

Why?

 

ENOBARBUS

He bears the third part of the world (shared with Caesar and Antony), man. Seest not?

 

MENAS

The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all (all three parts drunk),

[so] That it might go on wheels (downhill more smoothly)!

 

ENOBARBUS

Drink thou. Increase the reels (merrymaking).

 

MENAS

Come.

 

POMPEY

This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

 

ANTONY

It ripens towards it. Strike (clink) the vessels (or, maybe, fill the cups), ho!

Here’s to Caesar.

 

CAESAR

I could well forbear ’t.

It’s monstrous (unnatural) labor when I wash my brain

And it grows fouler.

 

ANTONY

Be a child o’ th’ time (conform to the spirit of the occasion).

 

CAESAR

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.

 

ENOBARBUS

(to ANTONY) Ha! My brave emperor,

Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals (dances honoring Bacchus, Roman god of wine)

And celebrate our drink?

 

POMPEY

Let’s ha ’t, good soldier.

 

ANTONY

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).

 

ENOBARBUS

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

The Song.

BOY

(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.

 

ALL

(Singing) Cup us till the world go round,

             Cup us till the world go round!

 

CAESAR

What would you more?—Pompey, good night. 

(to ANTONYGood 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.

 

POMPEY

I’ll try you (test you in drinking) on the shore.

 

ANTONY

And [you] shall, sir. Give ’s your hand.

 

POMPEY

O, Antony, you have my father’s house.

But what? We are friends. Come, down into the boat.

 

ENOBARBUS

Take heed you fall not.

Exeunt all but MENAS and ENOBARBUS

Menas, I’ll not [go] on shore.

 

MENAS

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

 

ENOBARBUS

Hoo! says ’a (he). There’s my cap.

He flings it in the air

 

MENAS

Hoo! Noble captain, come.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 1. A plain in Syria

 

Enter VENTIDIUS as it were in triumph, the dead body of Pacorus borne before him, with SILIUS and other Romans, officers, and soldiers

 

VENTIDIUS

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.

 

SILIUS

Noble Ventidius,

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.

 

VENTIDIUS

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 ith’ 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.

 

SILIUS

Thou hast, Ventidius, that

Without the which a soldier and his sword

Grants (achieves) scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?

 

VENTIDIUS

I’ll humbly signify what in his name

That magical word of war we have effected,

How with his (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.

 

SILIUS

Where is he now?

 

VENTIDIUS

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 solidersOn, there. Pass along!

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 2. Rome. An ante-chamber in OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house

 

Enter AGRIPPA at one door, ENOBARBUS at another

 

AGRIPPA

What, are the brothers [de]parted?

 

ENOBARBUS

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).

 

AGRIPPA

’Tis a noble lepidus.
(lepidus means elegant in Latin)

 

ENOBARBUS

A very fine one. Oh, how he loves Caesar!

 

AGRIPPA

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.

 

AGRIPPA

What’s Antony? The god of Jupiter.

 

ENOBARBUS

Spake you of Caesar? How, the nonpareil!

 

AGRIPPA

O, Antony, O, thou Arabian bird (phoenix, symbol of immortality)!

 

ENOBARBUS

Would you praise Caesar, say “Caesar.” Go no further.

 

AGRIPPA

Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.

 

ENOBARBUS

But he loves Caesar best. Yet, he loves Antony.

Hoo! Hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets cannot

Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number—hoo!—

His love to Antony, but, as for Caesar,

Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.

 

AGRIPPA

Both he loves.

 

ENOBARBUS

They are his shards (patches of dung), and he their beetle (shard-beetle).

Trumpets within

So, this is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.

 

AGRIPPA

Good fortune, worthy soldier, and farewell.

Enter CAESARANTONYLEPIDUS, and OCTAVIA

 

ANTONY

No further, sir.

 

CAESAR

You take from me a great part of myself.

Use me well in ’t.—Sister, prove such a wife

As my thoughts make thee, and as my farthest bond (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.

 

ANTONY

Make me not offended

In your distrust.

 

CAESAR

I have said.

 

ANTONY

You shall not find,

Though you be therein curious, the least cause

For what you seem to fear. So the gods keep you

And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends.

We will here part.

 

CAESAR

Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well.

The elements (weather) be kind to thee and make

Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.

 

OCTAVIA

My noble brother!

She weeps

 

ANTONY

The April’s in her eyes. It is love’s spring

And these the showers to bring it on. (to OCTAVIABe cheerful.

 

OCTAVIA

(to CAESARSir, look well to my [former] husband’s house, and—

 

CAESAR

What, Octavia?

 

OCTAVIA

I’ll tell you in your ear.

She and CAESAR walk aside

 

ANTONY

Her tongue will not obey her heart nor can

Her heart inform her tongue—the swan’s-down feather

That stands upon the swell at the full of tide (just before ebbing)

And neither way (rising or ebbing) inclines.

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside to AGRIPPAWill Caesar weep?

 

AGRIPPA

(aside to ENOBARBUS) He has a cloud in ’s face.

 

ENOBARBUS

(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.

 

AGRIPPA

(aside to ENOBARBUSWhy, Enobarbus,

When Antony found Julius Caesar dead,

He cried almost to roaring, and he wept

When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside to AGRIPPAThat year, indeed, he was troubled with a rheum.

What willingly he did confound (destroy) he wailed (cried for),

Believe ’t, till I wept, too.

 

CAESAR

(coming forward with OCTAVIANo, sweet Octavia,

You shall hear from me still (always). The time shall not

Outgo my thinking on (of) you.

 

ANTONY

Come, sir, come,

I’ll wrestle with you in my strength of love.

Look, here I have (embrace) you.

Embraces him

Thus I let you go

And give you to the gods.

 

CAESAR

Adieu. Be happy.

 

LEPIDUS

(to ANTONYLet all the number of the stars give light

To thy fair way.

 

CAESAR

Farewell, farewell.

Kisses OCTAVIA

 

ANTONY

Farewell.

Trumpets sound. Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 3. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIANIRAS, and ALEXAS

 

CLEOPATRA

Where is the fellow (messenger)?

 

ALEXAS

Half afeard to come.

 

CLEOPATRA

Go to, go to.—Come hither, sir.

Enter the MESSENGER as before

 

ALEXAS

Good majesty,

[even] Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you

But when you are well pleased.

 

CLEOPATRA

That Herod’s head

I’ll have! But how, when Antony is gone,

Through whom I might command it? (to MESSENGERCome thou near.

 

MESSENGER

Most gracious majesty!

 

CLEOPATRA

Didst thou behold Octavia?

 

MESSENGER

Ay, dread Queen.

 

CLEOPATRA

Where?

 

MESSENGER

Madam, in Rome.

I looked her in the face and saw her led

Between her brother and Mark Antony.

 

CLEOPATRA

Is she as tall as me?

 

MESSENGER

She is not, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

MESSENGER

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

 

CLEOPATRA

That’s not so good. He cannot like her long.
not so good=not so favorable for Octavia

 

CHARMIAN

Like her? O, Isis, ’tis impossible.

 

CLEOPATRA

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)

 

MESSENGER

She creeps.

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

Is this certain?

 

MESSENGER

Or I have no observance.

 

CHARMIAN

Three in Egypt

Cannot make better note.
(there are not three people in Egypt who can observe better)

 

CLEOPATRA

He’s very knowing,

I do perceive ’t. There’s nothing in her yet.

The fellow has good judgment.

 

CHARMIAN

Excellent.

 

CLEOPATRA

(to MESSENGERGuess at her years, I prithee.

 

MESSENGER

Madam, she was a widow—

 

CLEOPATRA

Widow? Charmian, hark.

 

MESSENGER

And I do think she’s thirty.
(Cleopatra ignores this, since she is thirty-eight)

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

MESSENGER

Round, even to faultiness.

 

CLEOPATRA

For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.

Her hair, what color?

 

MESSENGER

Brown, madam, and her forehead

As low as she would wish it.
(she wouldn’t want her forehead to be any lower)

 

CLEOPATRA

(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.

 

CHARMIAN

A proper man.

 

CLEOPATRA

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).

 

CHARMIAN

Nothing, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

The man hath seen some majesty and should know.

 

CHARMIAN

Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend (forbid that it could possibly be otherwise),

And serving (he having served) you so long!

 

CLEOPATRA

I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian,

But ’tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me

Where I will write. All may be well enough.

 

CHARMIAN

I warrant (reassure) you, madam.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 4. Athens. A room in Mark Antony’s house

 

Enter ANTONY and OCTAVIA

 

ANTONY

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).

 

OCTAVIA

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.

 

ANTONY

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).

 

OCTAVIA

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.

 

ANTONY

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.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 5. Athens. Another room in Mark Antony’s house

 

Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS

 

ENOBARBUS

How now, friend Eros!

 

EROS

There’s strange news come, sir.

 

ENOBARBUS

What, man?

 

EROS

Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.

 

ENOBARBUS

This is old [news]. What is the success (who is winning)?

 

EROS

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.

 

­­ ENOBARBUS

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?

 

EROS

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)

 

ENOBARBUS

Our great navy’s rigged (outfitted).

 

EROS

For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius (Enobarbus’ first name):

My lord desires you presently (right away). My news

I might have told hereafter (later).

 

ENOBARBUS

’Twill be naught (nothing much),

But let it be. Bring me to Antony.

 

EROS

Come, sir.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 6. Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house

 

Enter AGRIPPAMECAENAS, and CAESAR

 

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,

Absolute queen.

 

MAECENAS

This in the public eye?

 

CAESAR

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).

 

MAECENAS

Let Rome be thus informed.

 

AGRIPPA

[the Roman people] Who, queasy (fed up) with his insolence already,

Will their good thoughts call from him (take away their approval).

 

CAESAR

The people know it and have now received (been told of)

His (Antony’s) accusations.

 

AGRIPPA

Who does he accuse?

 

CAESAR

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.

 

AGRIPPA

Sir, this should be answered.

 

CAESAR

’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.

 

MAECENAS

He’ll never yield to that.

 

CAESAR

Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

Enter OCTAVIA with her train

 

OCTAVIA

Hail, Caesar, and my lord! Hail, most dear Caesar!

 

CAESAR

That ever I should call thee castaway!

 

OCTAVIA

You have not called me so nor have you cause.

 

CAESAR

Why have you stol’n upon us thus? You come not

Like Caesar’s sister. The wife of Antony

Should have an army for an usher and

The neighs of horse to tell of her approach

Long ere she did appear. The trees by th’ way

Should have borne men (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.

 

OCTAVIA

Good my lord,

To come thus was I not constrained but did it

On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony,

Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted

My grievèd ear withal (with the news), whereon I begged

His pardon for return[ing].

 

CAESAR

Which soon he granted,

[your] Being an obstruct (obstruction) ’tween his lust (Cleopatra) and him.

 

OCTAVIA

Do not say so, my lord.

 

CAESAR

I have eyes (spies) upon him,

And his affairs come to me on the wind.

Where is he now?

 

OCTAVIA

My lord, in Athens.

 

CAESAR

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.

 

OCTAVIA

Ay me, most wretched,

That have my heart parted betwixt two friends

That does (do) afflict each other!

 

CAESAR

Welcome hither.

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.

 

AGRIPPA

Welcome, lady.

 

MAECENAS

Welcome, dear madam.

Each heart in Rome does love and pity you.

Only th’ adulterous Antony, most large

In his abominations, turns you off (rejects you)

And gives his potent regiment (authority) to a trull (whore)

That noises it (is clamorous) against us.

 

OCTAVIA

(to CAESAR) Is it so, sir?

 

CAESAR

Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray you

Be ever known to patience. My dear’st sister!

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 7. Near Actium. Mark Antony’s camp

 

Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS

 

CLEOPATRA

I will be even with thee, doubt it not.

 

ENOBARBUS

But why, why, why?

 

CLEOPATRA

Thou hast forspoke (spoken against) my being in these wars

And sayst it is not fit.

 

ENOBARBUS

Well, is it, is it?

 

CLEOPATRA

Is ’t not denounced against us? Why should not we

Be there in person?

 

ENOBARBUS (aside)

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

What is ’t you say?

 

ENOBARBUS

Your presence needs must puzzle Antony,

Take from his heart, take from his brain, from ’s time

What should not then be spared. He is already

Traduced (criticized) for levity, and ’tis said in Rome

That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids

Manage this war.

 

CLEOPATRA

Sink Rome! And their tongues rot

That speak against us! A charge (expense) we bear ith’ 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

 

ENOBARBUS

Nay, I have done.

Here comes the Emperor.

 

ANTONY

Is it not strange, Canidius,

That from Tarentum and Brundusium

He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea

And take in Toryne?—You have heard on ’t, sweet?

 

CLEOPATRA

Celerity (speed) is never more admired

Than by the negligent.

 

ANTONY

A good rebuke,

Which might have well becomed the best of men,

To taunt at slackness.—Canidius, we will fight

With him by sea.

 

CLEOPATRA

By sea, what else?

 

CANIDIUS

Why will

My lord do so?

 

ANTONY

For that he dares us to ’t.

 

ENOBARBUS

So hath my lord dared him to single fight.

 

CANIDIUS

Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia,

Where Caesar (Julius Caesar) fought with Pompey (Pompey the Great). But these offers,

Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off,

And so should you.

 

ENOBARBUS

Your ships are not well manned,

Your mariners are muleteers (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.

 

ANTONY

By sea, by sea.

 

ENOBARBUS

Most worthy sir, you therein throw away

The absolute soldiership you have by land,

Distract your army, which doth most consist

Of war-marked footmen, leave unexecuted

Your own renownèd knowledge, quite forego

The way which promises assurance, and

Give up yourself merely (entirely) to chance and hazard

From firm security.

 

ANTONY

I’ll fight at sea.

 

CLEOPATRA

I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

 

ANTONY

Our overplus of shipping will we burn [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

 Thy business?

 

MESSENGER

The news is true, my lord. He is descried.

Caesar has taken Toryne.

Exit

 

ANTONY

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?

 

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.

 

ANTONY

Well, well, away.

Exeunt ANTONYCLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS

 

SOLDIER

By Hercules, I think I am ith’ right.

 

CANIDIUS

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.

 

SOLDIER

You keep by land

The legions and the horse whole (held in reserve), do you not?

 

CANIDIUS

Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,

Publicola, and Caelius are for sea,

But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar’s

Carries beyond (defies) belief.

 

SOLDIER

While he was yet in Rome

His power (forces) went out in such distractions (divided forms) as

Beguiled (deceived) all spies.

 

CANIDIUS

Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?

 

SOLDIER

They say, one Taurus.

 

CANIDIUS

Well I know the man.

Enter a MESSENGER

 

MESSENGER

The Emperor calls Canidius.

 

CANIDIUS

With news the time’s with labor and throws forth

Each minute some.
(more news is born each minute)

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 8. A plain near Actium

 

Enter CAESAR, with his army, and TAURUS, marching

 

CAESAR

Taurus!

 

TAURUS

My lord?

 

CAESAR

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


 

 

 

Act 3. Scene 9. Another part of the plain

 

 

Enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS

 

ANTONY

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.

Exit


 

Act 3. Scene 10. Another part of the plain

 

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

Alarum. Enter ENOBARBUS

 

ENOBARBUS

Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.

Th’ Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral (flagship),

With all their sixty [Egyptian ships], fly and turn the rudder.

To see ’t mine eyes are blasted (stricken).

Enter SCARUS

 

SCARUS

Gods and goddesses,

All the whole synod (assembly) of them!

 

ENOBARBUS

What’s thy passion (what’s your affliction)?

 

SCARUS

The greater cantle (portion) of the world is lost

With very ignorance. We have kissed away

Kingdoms and provinces.

 

ENOBARBUS

How appears the fight?

 

SCARUS

On our side: like the tokened pestilence (spotted plague),

Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred (obscene) nag of Egypt—

Whom leprosy o’ertake!—ith’ 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.

 

ENOBARBUS

That I beheld.

Mine eyes did sicken at the sight and could not

Endure a further view.

 

SCARUS

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.

 

ENOBARBUS

Alack, alack!

Enter CANIDIUS

 

CANIDIUS

Our fortune on the sea is out of breath

And sinks most lamentably. Had our general

Been what he knew himself [to be], it had gone well.

Oh, he has given example for our flight (for us to flee)

Most grossly by his own!

 

ENOBARBUS

Ay, are you thereabouts (of a mind to flee)? Why, then, good night, indeed.

 

CANIDIUS

Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.

 

SCARUS

’Tis easy to ’t (to get there), and there I will attend

What further comes.

He exits

 

CANIDIUS

To Caesar will I [sur]render

My legions and my horse (cavalry). Six kings already

Show me the way of yielding.

He exits

 

ENOBARBUS

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).

He exits


 

Act 3. Scene 11. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter ANTONY with attendants

 

ANTONY

Hark. The land bids me tread no more upon ’t.

It is ashamed to bear me. Friends, come hither.

I am so lated (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.

 

ALL

Fly? Not we.

 

ANTONY

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 CHARMIANIRAS, and EROS

 

EROS

Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.

 

IRAS

Do, most dear Queen.

 

CHARMIAN

Do. Why, what else?

 

CLEOPATRA

Let me sit down. O, Juno (queen of the gods)!

She sits

 

ANTONY

(seeing CLEOPATRANo, no, no, no, no.

 

EROS

See you here, sir?

 

ANTONY

Oh, fie, fie, fie!

 

CHARMIAN

Madam!

 

IRAS

Madam, O, good Empress!

 

EROS

Sir, sir—

 

ANTONY

(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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Ah, stand by.

 

EROS

The Queen, my lord, the Queen.

 

IRAS

Go to him, madam, speak to him.

He is unqualitied (not himself) with very shame.

 

CLEOPATRA

Well, then, sustain me. Oh!

She rises

 

EROS

Most noble sir, arise. The Queen approaches.

Her head’s declined, and death will seize her but (unless)

Your comfort makes the rescue.

 

ANTONY

I have offended reputation (honor),

A most unnoble swerving (lapse).

 

EROS

Sir, the Queen.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

O, my lord, my lord,

Forgive my fearful (frightened) sails! I little thought

You would have followed.

 

ANTONY

Egypt, thou knew’st too well

My heart was to thy rudder tied by th’ strings

And thou shouldst tow me after. O’er my spirit

Thy full supremacy thou knew’st and that

Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
(your summons might command me even in the face of orders from the gods)

Command me.

 

CLEOPATRA

 Oh, my pardon!

 

ANTONY

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

Pardon, pardon!

 

ANTONY

Fall not a tear, I say. One of them rates (equals)

All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss.

They 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.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 12. Egypt. Octavius Caesar’s camp

 

Enter CAESARAGRIPPA, THIDIAS, and DOLABELLA, with others

 

CAESAR

Let him appear that’s come from Antony.

Know you him?

 

DOLABELLA

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

 

CAESAR

Approach and speak.

 

AMBASSADOR

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.

 

CAESAR

Be ’t so. Declare thine office.

 

AMBASSADOR

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.

 

CAESAR

For Antony,

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.

 

AMBASSADOR

Fortune (good luck) pursue thee!

 

CAESAR

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.

 

THIDIAS

Caesar, I go.

 

CAESAR

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).

 

THIDIAS

Caesar, I shall.

Exeunt


 

Act 3. Scene 13. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRAENOBARBUSCHARMIAN, and IRAS

 

CLEOPATRA

What shall we do, Enobarbus?

 

ENOBARBUS

Think and (reflect and then) die.

 

CLEOPATRA

[which of us] Is Antony or we in fault for this?

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Prithee, peace.

Enter AMBASSADOR with ANTONY

 

ANTONY

Is that his answer?

 

AMBASSADOR

Ay, my lord.

 

ANTONY

The Queen shall then have courtesy, so (provided) she

Will yield us up?

 

AMBASSADOR

He says so.

 

ANTONY

Let her know ’t.—

(to CLEOPATRATo the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,

And he will fill thy wishes to the brim

With principalities (territories).

 

CLEOPATRA

That head, my lord?

 

ANTONY

(to the AMBASSADORTo 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 ith’ 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

 

ENOBARBUS

(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

 

SERVANT

A messenger from Caesar.

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

Exit SERVANT

 

ENOBARBUS

(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 ith’ story.

Enter THIDIAS

 

CLEOPATRA

Caesar’s will?

 

THIDIAS

Hear it apart.

 

CLEOPATRA

None but friends. Say boldly.

 

THIDIAS

So haply (perhaps) are they friends to Antony.

 

ENOBARBUS

He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has

Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master

Will leap to be his friend. For us, you know

Whose he is we are, and that is Caesar’s.

 

THIDIAS

So.—(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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Go on. [you are] Right royal.

 

THIDIAS

He knows that you embrace not Antony

As you did love but as you feared him.

 

CLEOPATRA

Oh!

 

THIDIAS

The scars upon your honor, therefore, he

Does pity as constrained (forced upon you) blemishes,

Not as deserved.

 

CLEOPATRA

He is a god and knows

What is most right. Mine honor was not yielded

But conquered merely.

ENOBARBUS

(aside) To be sure of that

I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky

That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for

Thy dearest quit thee.

Exit ENOBARBUS

 

THIDIAS

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

What’s your name?

 

THIDIAS

My name is Thidias.

 

CLEOPATRA

Most kind messenger,

Say to great Caesar this in deputation:

I kiss his conqu’ring hand. Tell him I am prompt

To lay my crown at ’s feet and there to kneel.

Tell him, from his all-obeying (obeyed by all) breath I hear

The doom (fate) of [the Queen of] Egypt.

 

THIDIAS

’Tis your noblest course.

Wisdom and fortune combating together,

If that the former dare but what it can,

No chance may shake it. Give me grace (permission) to lay

My duty on (kiss) your hand.

He kisses her hand

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

ANTONY

Favors? By Jove, that thunders!

What art thou, fellow?

 

THIDIAS

One that but performs

The bidding of the fullest man and worthiest

To have command obeyed.

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside) You will be whipped.

 

ANTONY

(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

Antony yet.

Enter a SERVANT, followed by others

 Take hence this jack and whip him.

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside) ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp (cub)

Than with an old one dying.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

THIDIAS

Mark Antony—

 

ANTONY

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 CLEOPATRAYou 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)?

 

CLEOPATRA

Good my lord—

 

ANTONY

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

Oh, is ’t come to this?

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Wherefore (why) is this?

 

ANTONY

[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?

 

SERVANT

Soundly, my lord.

 

ANTONY

Cried he? And begged he pardon?

 

SERVANT

He did ask favor.

 

ANTONY

(to THIDIAS) If that thy father live, let him repent

Thou wast not made his daughter, and be thou sorry

To follow Caesar in his triumph, since

Thou hast been whipped for following him. Henceforth,

The white hand of a lady fever (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!

Exit THIDIAS

 

CLEOPATRA

Have you done yet?

 

ANTONY

Alack, our terrene (earthly) moon is now eclipsed,

And it portends alone (foreshadows nothing but) the fall of Antony.

 

CLEOPATRA

(aside) I must stay his time (wait for him to quiet down).

 

ANTONY

To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes (exchange glances)

With one that ties his points (ties Caesar’s shoelaces)?

 

CLEOPATRA

Not know me yet?

 

ANTONY

Coldhearted toward me?

 

CLEOPATRA

Ah, dear, if I be so,

From my cold heart let heaven engender hail

And poison it in the source and the first [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!

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

That’s my brave lord!

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

It is my birthday.

I had thought t’ have held it poor, but, since my lord

Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.

 

ANTONY

We will yet do well.

 

CLEOPATRA

(to ENOBARBUSCall all his noble captains to my lord.

 

ANTONY

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

 

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.

Exit


 

Act 4. Scene 1. Before Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp

 

Enter CAESARAGRIPPA, and MAECENAS, with their army, CAESAR reading a letter

 

CAESAR

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.

 

MAECENAS

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.

 

CAESAR

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!

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 2. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter ANTONYCLEOPATRADOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS, with others

 

ANTONY

He will not fight with me, Domitius?

 

ENOBARBUS

No.

 

ANTONY

Why should he not?

 

ENOBARBUS

He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,

He is twenty men to one.

 

ANTONY

Tomorrow, soldier,

By sea and land I’ll fight, or (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?

 

ENOBARBUS

I’ll strike and cry, “[winner] Take all.”

 

ANTONY

Well said. Come on!

Call forth my household servants.

Enter three or four SERVITORS

Let’s tonight

Be bounteous at our meal.

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

(aside to ENOBARBUS) What means this?

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside to CLEOPATRA) ’Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow shoots

Out of the mind.

 

ANTONY

(to another SERVITORAnd 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!

 

ANTONY

Well, my good fellows, wait on me tonight.

Scant not my cups, and make as much of me

As when mine empire was your fellow, too,

And suffered (submitted to) my command.

 

CLEOPATRA

(aside to ENOBARBUS) What does he mean?

 

ENOBARBUS

(aside to CLEOPATRA) To make his followers weep.

 

ANTONY

(to the SERVITORSTend 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!

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

ANTONY

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).

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 3. Alexandria. Before the palace

 

Enter a company of SOLDIERS

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Brother, good night. Tomorrow is the day.

 

SECOND SOLDIER

It will determine one way (be decided one way or another). Fare you well.

Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Nothing. What news?

 

SECOND SOLDIER

Belike (probably) ’tis but a rumor. Good night to you.

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Well, sir, good night.

They meet other SOLDIERS

 

SECOND SOLDIER

Soldiers, have careful watch.

 

THIRD SOLDIER

And you. Good night, good night.

The four SOLDIERS place themselves in every corner of the stage

 

SECOND SOLDIER

Here we. And if tomorrow

Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope

Our landmen will stand up.

 

FIRST SOLDIER

’Tis a brave army and full of purpose.

Music of the hautboys (oboes) is under the stage

 

SECOND SOLDIER

Peace! What noise?

 

FIRST SOLDIER

List, list!

 

SECOND SOLDIER

Hark!

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Music ith’ air.

 

THIRD SOLDIER

Under the earth.

 

FOURTH SOLDIER

It signs (bodes) well, does it not?

 

THIRD SOLDIER

No.

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Peace, I say! What should this mean?

 

SECOND SOLDIER

’Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony loved,

Now leaves him.

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Walk. Let’s see if other watchmen

Do hear what we do.

They advance toward the other SOLDIERS

 

SECOND SOLDIER

How now, masters?

 

ALL

(speak together) How now? How now? Do you hear this?

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Ay. Is ’t not strange?

 

THIRD SOLDIER

Do you hear, masters? Do you hear?

 

FIRST SOLDIER

Follow the noise so far as we have quarter (assigned territory).

Let’s see how it will give off (end).

 

ALL

Content (good idea). ’Tis strange.

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 4. Alexandria. A room in the palace

 

Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with CHARMIAN and others attending

 

ANTONY

(calling) Eros! Mine armor, Eros!

 

CLEOPATRA

Sleep a little.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Nay, I’ll help, too.

What’s this for?

She helps to arm him

 

ANTONY

Ah, let be, let be! Thou art

The armorer of my heart. False, false (you’re putting it on wrong). This, this.

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

ANTONY

Well, well,

We shall thrive now.—Seest thou, my good fellow?

Go put on thy defenses.

 

EROS

Briefly (in a minute), sir.

 

CLEOPATRA

Is not this buckled well?

 

ANTONY

Rarely, rarely.

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
royal occupation=warfare

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.

 

SOLDIER

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

 

CAPTAIN

The morn is fair. Good morrow, General.

 

ALL

Good morrow, General.

 

ANTONY

’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 CLEOPATRACome, 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 ANTONYEROSCAPTAINS, and SOLDIERS

 

CHARMIAN

Please you retire to your chamber?

 

CLEOPATRA

Lead me.

He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might

Determine this great war in single fight (one-to-one combat)!

Then Antony—but now—. Well, on.

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 5. Alexandria. Antony’s camp

 

Trumpets sound. Enter ANTONY and EROS and a SOLDIER meeting them

 

SOLDIER

The gods make this a happy day to Antony!

 

ANTONY

Would (if only) thou and those thy scars had once prevailed

To make me fight at land!

 

SOLDIER

Hadst thou done so,

The kings that have revolted and the soldier

That has this morning left thee would have still

Followed thy heels.

 

ANTONY

Who’s gone this morning?

 

SOLDIER

Who?

One ever near thee. Call for Enobarbus.

He shall not hear thee or from Caesar’s camp

[will] Say “I am none of thine.”

 

ANTONY

What sayest thou?

 

SOLDIER

Sir,

He is with Caesar.

 

EROS

Sir, his chests and treasure

He has not with him.

 

ANTONY

Is he gone?

 

SOLDIER

Most certain.

 

ANTONY

Go, Eros, send his treasure after. Do it.

Detain no jot, I charge thee. Write to him—

I will subscribe (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!

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 6. Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp

 

Flourish. Enter AGRIPPA and CAESAR with ENOBARBUS and DOLABELLA

 

CAESAR

Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight.

Our will is Antony be took alive.

Make it so known.

 

AGRIPPA

Caesar, I shall.

Exit

 

CAESAR

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

 

MESSENGER

Antony

Is come into the [battle]field.

CAESAR

Go charge Agrippa

Plant those that have revolted in the vant (front line),

[so] That Antony may seem to spend his fury

Upon himself.

Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS

 

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

 

SOLDIER

Enobarbus, Antony

Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with

His bounty overplus. The messenger

Came on my guard and at thy tent is now

Unloading of his mules.

 

ENOBARBUS

I give it [to] you.

 

SOLDIER

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).

Exit

 

ENOBARBUS

I am alone the villain of the earth

And feel I am so most. O, Antony,

Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid

My better service, when my turpitude (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.

Exit


 

Act 4. Scene 7. Alexandria. Field of battle between the camps

 

Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA and others

 

AGRIPPA

Retire! We have engaged ourselves too far.

Caesar himself has work (is hard pressed), and our oppression

Exceeds what we expected.

Exeunt

Alarums. Enter ANTONY and SCARUS, wounded

 

SCARUS

O my brave Emperor, this is fought, indeed!

Had we done so at first, we had droven them home

With clouts (blows and knocks) about their heads.

 

ANTONY

Thou bleed’st apace (rapidly).

 

SCARUS

I had a wound here that was like a “T,”

But now ’tis made an “H” (ache is pronounced aitch).

Sound retreat far off

 

ANTONY

They do retire.

 

SCARUS

We’ll beat ’em into bench-holes (holes of privies). I have yet

Room for six scotches (cuts) more.

Enter EROS

 

EROS

They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves

For a fair (promising) victory.

 

SCARUS

Let us score (whip) their backs

And snatch ’em up, as we take hares, behind!

’Tis sport to maul a runner.

 

ANTONY

I will reward thee

Once for thy sprightly comfort (encouragement) and tenfold

For thy good valor. Come thee on.

 

SCARUS

I’ll halt (limp) after.

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 8. Under the walls of Alexandria

 

Alarum. Enter ANTONY again in a march and SCARUS, with others

 

ANTONY

We have beat (driven) him to his camp. Run one before

And let the Queen know of our gests (deeds).

Exit a soldier

 Tomorrow,

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.

Enter CLEOPATRA

(to SCARUS) Give me thy hand.

To this great fairy I’ll commend thy acts,

Make her thanks bless thee. O thou day o’ the world,

(to CLEOPATRAChain 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!

 

CLEOPATRA

Lord of lords!

O infinite virtue, com’st thou smiling from

The world’s great snare uncaught?

 

ANTONY

Mine nightingale,

We have beat them to their beds. What, girl, though gray

Do something mingle with our younger brown, yet ha’ we

A brain that nourishes our nerves and can

Get goal for goal of youth. Behold this man (Scarus).

Commend unto his lips thy favoring hand.

(to SCARUSKiss 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.

 

ANTONY

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.

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 9. Octavius Caesar’s camp

 

Enter a SENTRY and his company. ENOBARBUS follows

 

SENTRY

If we be not relieved within this hour,

We must return to th’ court of guard (guard room). The night

Is shiny, and they say we shall embattle

By th’ second hour ith’ morn.

 

FIRST WATCH

This last day was a shrewd (cursed) one to ’s.

 

ENOBARBUS

O bear me witness, night—

 

SECOND WATCH

What man is this?

 

FIRST WATCH

Stand close (in concealment) and list him.

 

ENOBARBUS

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.

 

SENTRY

Enobarbus?

 

SECOND WATCH

Peace! Hark further.

 

ENOBARBUS

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!

He dies

 

FIRST WATCH

Let’s speak to him.

 

SENTRY

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

 

SECOND WATCH

Let’s do so. But he sleeps.

 

SENTRY

Swoons rather, for so bad a prayer as his

Was never yet for sleep.

 

FIRST WATCH

Go we to him.

 

SECOND WATCH

Awake, sir, awake. Speak to us.

 

FIRST WATCH

Hear you, sir?

 

SENTRY

The hand of death hath raught (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).

 

SECOND WATCH

Come on, then. He may recover yet.

Exeunt with the body


 

Act 4. Scene 10. Between the two camps

 

Enter ANTONY and SCARUS with their army

 

ANTONY

Their preparation is today by sea.

We please them not by land.

 

SCARUS

For both, my lord.

 

ANTONY

I would they’d fight ith’ fire or ith’ 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.

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 11. Another part of the same

 

Enter CAESAR and his army

 

CAESAR

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.

Exeunt


 

 

Act 4. Scene 12. Another part of the same

 

Enter ANTONY and SCARUS

 

ANTONY

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.

Exit

Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight

 

SCARUS

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.

Enter ANTONY

 

ANTONY

All is lost!

This foul Egyptian hath betrayèd me.

My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder

They cast their caps up and carouse together

Like friends long lost. Triple-turned whore! ’Tis thou
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!

Exit SCARUS

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!

Enter CLEOPATRA

Ah, thou spell (sorceress)! Avaunt (begone)!

 

CLEOPATRA

Why is my lord enraged against his love?

 

ANTONY

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!

Exit CLEOPATRA

’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!

Exit


 

Act 4. Scene 13. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIANIRAS, and MARDIAN

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

CHARMIAN

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).

 

CLEOPATRA

To th’ monument!—

Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself.

Say that the last I spoke was, “Antony,”

And word it, prithee, piteously. Hence, Mardian,

And bring me how he takes my death. (to the others) To th’ monument!

Exeunt


 

Act 4. Scene 14. Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace

 

Enter ANTONY and EROS

 

ANTONY

Eros, thou yet behold’st me?
(I am still visible to you?)

 

EROS

Ay, noble lord.

 

ANTONY

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).

 

EROS

Ay, my lord.

 

ANTONY

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).

 

EROS

It does, my lord.

 

ANTONY

My good knave Eros, now thy captain is

Even such a body. Here I am Antony

Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.

I made these wars for Egypt and the Queen,

Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine—

Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto ’t

A million more, now lost—she, Eros, has

Packed cards (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.

Enter MARDIAN

 Oh, thy vile lady!

She has robbed me of my sword.

 

MARDIAN

No, Antony,

My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled

With thine entirely.

 

ANTONY

Hence, saucy eunuch! Peace!

She hath betrayed me and shall die the death.
(die the death – term used in courts)

 

MARDIAN

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).

 

ANTONY

Dead, then?

 

MARDIAN

Dead.

 

ANTONY

Unarm (remove your armor), Eros. The long day’s task is done,

And we must sleep. (to MARDIANThat thou depart’st hence safe

Does pay thy labor richly. Go.

Exit MARDIAN

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.

Exit EROS

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!

Enter EROS

 

EROS

What would my lord?

 

ANTONY

Since Cleopatra died

I have lived in such dishonor that the gods

Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword

Quartered (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).

 

EROS

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?

 

ANTONY

Eros,

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)
penetrative=piercing deeply

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]

 

EROS

I would not see ’t.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

EROS

O sir, pardon me!

 

ANTONY

When I did make thee free, swor’st thou not then

To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once,

Or thy precedent (former) services are all

But accidents unpurposed. Draw and come.

 

EROS

Turn from me then that noble countenance

Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.

 

ANTONY

Lo thee!

He turns away

 

EROS

My sword is drawn.

 

ANTONY

Then let it do at once

The thing why thou hast drawn it.

 

EROS

My dear master,

My captain and my emperor, let me say,

Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

 

ANTONY

’Tis said, man, and farewell.

 

EROS

Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

 

ANTONY

Now, Eros.

 

EROS

Why, there then!

Stabs himself

 Thus I do escape the sorrow

Of Antony’s death.

He dies

 

ANTONY

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

 

FIRST GUARD

What’s the noise?

 

ANTONY

I have done my work ill, friends. Oh, make an end

Of what I have begun!

 

SECOND GUARD

The star is fall’n.

 

FIRST GUARD

And time is at his period (at its end).

 

ALL

Alas, and woe!

 

ANTONY

Let him that loves me strike me dead.

 

FIRST GUARD

Not I.

 

SECOND GUARD

Nor I.

 

THIRD GUARD

Nor anyone.

Exeunt GUARD

 

DERCETUS

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).

Enter DIOMEDES

 

DIOMEDES

Where’s Antony?

 

DERCETUS

There, Diomed, there.

 

DIOMEDES

Lives he? Wilt thou not answer, man

Exit DERCETUS

 

ANTONY

Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword and give me

Sufficing strokes for death.

 

DIOMEDES

Most absolute lord,

My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.

 

ANTONY

When did she send thee?

 

DIOMEDES

Now, my lord.

 

ANTONY

Where is she?

 

DIOMEDES

Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear

Of what hath come to pass, for when she saw—

Which [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.

 

ANTONY

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

 

DIOMEDES

What ho, the Emperor’s guard! The guard, what ho!

Come, your lord calls!

Enter four or five of the GUARD of Antony

 

ANTONY

Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides.

’Tis the last service that I shall command you.

 

FIRST GUARD

Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear

All your true followers out [with your commands].

 

ALL

Most heavy day!

 

ANTONY

Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate

To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome

Which comes to punish us, and we punish it,

Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up.

I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends,

And have my thanks for all.

Exeunt bearing ANTONY and the body of EROS


 

Act 4. Scene 15. Alexandria. A monument

 

Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft (on the second story), with CHARMIAN and IRAS

 

CLEOPATRA

O Charmian, I will never go from hence.

 

CHARMIAN

Be comforted, dear madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

No, I will not.

All strange and terrible events are welcome,

But comforts we despise. Our size of sorrow,

Proportioned to our cause, must be as great

As that which makes it.

Enter below DIOMEDES

 How now? Is he dead?

 

DIOMEDES

His death’s upon him, but not dead.

Look out o’ th’ other side your monument.

His guard have brought him thither.

Enter below ANTONY and the guard bearing him

 

CLEOPATRA

O sun,

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)

 

ANTONY

Peace!

Not Caesar’s valor hath o’erthrown Antony,

But Antony’s hath triumphed on itself.

 

CLEOPATRA

So it should be, that none but Antony

Should conquer Antony, but woe [that] ’tis so!

 

ANTONY

I am dying, Egypt, dying. Only

I here importune death awhile, until,

Of many thousand kisses, the poor last

I lay upon thy lips.

 

CLEOPATRA

I dare not, dear,

Dear my lord, pardon, I dare not,

Lest I be taken. Not th’ imperious show

Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall

Be brooched (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

 

ANTONY

Oh, quick, or I am gone.

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

ALL

A heavy sight!

 

ANTONY

I am dying, Egypt, dying.

Give me some wine and let me speak a little.

 

CLEOPATRA

No, let me speak, and let me rail so high (loudly)

That the false huswife (treacherous hussy) Fortune break her wheel,

Provoked by my offense.

 

ANTONY

One word, sweet Queen:

Of Caesar seek your honor, with your safety—Oh!

 

CLEOPATRA

They (honor and safety) do not go together.

 

ANTONY

Gentle[woman], hear me.

None about (surrounding) Caesar trust but Proculeius.

 

CLEOPATRA

My resolution and my hands I’ll trust,

None about Caesar.

 

ANTONY

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

Noblest of men, woo’t die?

Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide

In this dull world, which in thy absence is

No better than a sty? O, see, my women,

The crown o’ th’ earth doth melt. My lord!

ANTONY dies

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.

 

CHARMIAN

Oh, quietness, lady!

CLEOPATRA swoons

 

IRAS

She’s dead too, our sovereign.

 

CHARMIAN

Lady!

 

IRAS

Madam!

 

CHARMIAN

O madam, madam, madam!

 

IRAS

Royal Egypt, Empress!

CLEOPATRA stirs

 

CHARMIAN

Peace, peace, Iras.

 

CLEOPATRA

No more [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


 

Act 5. Scene 1. Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp

 

Enter CAESAR (with AGRIPPADOLABELLA, MAECENASGALLUS, and PROCULEIUS) and his council of war

 

CAESAR

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).

 

DOLABELLA

Caesar, I shall.

Exit

Enter DERCETUS with the sword of ANTONY

 

CAESAR

Wherefore (for what purpose) is that? And what (who) art thou that dar’st

Appear thus (with a drawn sword) to us?

 

DERCETUS

I am called Dercetus.

Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy

Best to be served. Whilst he stood up and spoke,

He was my master, and I wore my life

To spend upon his haters. If thou please

To take me to thee, as I was to him

I’ll be to Caesar. If thou pleasest not,

I yield thee up my life.

 

CAESAR

What is ’t thou say’st?

 

DERCETUS

I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.

 

CAESAR

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.

 

DERCETUS

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.

 

CAESAR

Look you, sad friends,

The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings

To wash the eyes of kings.

 

AGRIPPA

And strange it is

That nature must compel us to lament

Our most persisted deeds (what we worked for most persistently).

 

MAECENAS

His taints and honors

Waged equal with him.

 

AGRIPPA

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.

 

MAECENAS

When such a spacious mirror’s set before him,

He needs must see himself.

 

CAESAR

O, Antony,

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?

 

EGYPTIAN

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.

 

CAESAR

Bid her have good heart.

She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,

How honorable and how kindly we

Determine for her, for Caesar cannot live

To be ungentle.

 

EGYPTIAN

So the gods preserve thee!

Exit

 

CAESAR

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.

 

PROCULEIUS

Caesar, I shall.

Exit PROCULEIUS

 

CAESAR

Gallus, go you along.

Exit GALLUS

Where’s Dolabella,

To second Proculeius?

 

ALL

Dolabella!

 

CAESAR

Let him alone, for I remember now

How he’s employed. He shall in time be ready.

Go with me to my tent, where you shall see

How hardly (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.

Exeunt


 

Act 5. Scene 2. Alexandria. A room in the monument

 

Enter CLEOPATRACHARMIAN, and IRAS

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

Enter PROCULEIUS

 

PROCULEIUS

Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt

And bids thee study on what fair demands

Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.

 

CLEOPATRA

What’s thy name?

 

PROCULEIUS

My name is Proculeius.

 

CLEOPATRA

Antony

Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but

I do not greatly care to be deceived,

That have no use for trusting. If your master

Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him

That majesty, to keep decorum, must

No less beg than a kingdom. If he please

To give me conquered Egypt for my son,

He gives me so much of mine own as (that) I

Will kneel to him with thanks.

 

PROCULEIUS

Be of good cheer.

You’re fall’n into a princely hand. Fear nothing.

Make your full reference freely to my lord,

Who is so full of grace (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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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 ith’ face.

 

PROCULEIUS

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

 

GALLUS

You see how easily she may be surprised.

(to the soldiers) Guard her till Caesar come.

 

IRAS

Royal Queen!

 

CHARMIAN

O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, Queen.

CLEOPATRA draws a dagger

 

CLEOPATRA

Quick, quick, good hands.

PROCULEIUS seizes the dagger

 

PROCULEIUS

Hold, worthy lady, hold!

Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this

Relieved (saved from yourself) but not betrayed.

 

CLEOPATRA

What, of death, too,

That rids our dogs of languish (lingering misery)?

 

PROCULEIUS

Cleopatra,

Do not abuse my master’s bounty by

Th’ undoing of yourself. Let the world see

His nobleness well acted, which your death

Will never let come forth.

 

CLEOPATRA

Where art thou, Death?

Come hither, come! Come, come and take a queen

Worth many babes and beggars!

 

PROCULEIUS

Oh, temperance, lady!

 

CLEOPATRA

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!

 

PROCULEIUS

You do extend

These thoughts of horror further than you shall

Find cause in Caesar.

Enter DOLABELLA

 

DOLABELLA

Proculeius,

What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,

And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,

I’ll take her to my guard.

 

PROCULEIUS

So, Dolabella,

It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.

(to CLEOPATRATo Caesar I will speak what you shall please,

If you’ll employ me to [speak to] him.

 

CLEOPATRA

Say I would die.

Exit PROCULEIUS

 

DOLABELLA

Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?

 

CLEOPATRA

I cannot tell.

 

DOLABELLA

Assuredly you know me.

 

CLEOPATRA

No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.

You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams.

Is ’t not your trick?

 

DOLABELLA

I understand not, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

I dreamt there was an emperor Antony.

Oh, [I desire] such another sleep, that I might see

But such another man!

 

DOLABELLA

If it might please ye—

 

CLEOPATRA

His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck

A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted

The little “O,” the earth.

 

DOLABELLA

Most sovereign creature—

 

CLEOPATRA

His legs bestrid the ocean (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.

 

DOLABELLA

Cleopatra—

 

CLEOPATRA

Think you there was or might be such a man

As this I dreamt of?

 

DOLABELLA

Gentle madam, no.

 

CLEOPATRA

You lie up to the hearing of the gods,

But, if there be nor ever were one such,
(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).

 

DOLABELLA

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

I thank you, sir.

Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

 

DOLABELLA

I am loath to tell you what I would (wish) you knew.

 

CLEOPATRA

Nay, pray you, sir.

 

DOLABELLA

Though he be honorable—

 

CLEOPATRA

He’ll lead me, then, in triumph.

 

DOLABELLA

Madam, he will. I know ’t.

Flourish. Enter CAESARPROCULEIUSGALLUS, MAECENAS, and other ATTENDANTS

 

ATTENDANTS

Make way there! Caesar!

 

CAESAR

Which is the Queen of Egypt?

 

DOLABELLA

(to CLEOPATRAIt is the Emperor, madam.

CLEOPATRA kneels

 

CAESAR

Arise, you shall not kneel.

I pray you, rise. Rise, Egypt.

 

CLEOPATRA

Sir, the gods

Will have it thus. My master and my lord

I must obey.

CLEOPATRA stands

 

CAESAR

Take to you no hard thoughts.

The record of what injuries you did us,

Though written in our flesh, we shall remember

As things but done by chance.

 

CLEOPATRA

Sole sir o’ th’ world,

I cannot project mine own cause so well

To make it clear (blameless) but do confess I have

Been laden with like frailties which, before,

Have often shamed our sex.

 

CAESAR

Cleopatra, know

We will extenuate rather than enforce.

If you apply yourself to our intents,

Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find

A benefit in this change, but, if you seek

To lay on me a cruelty by taking

Antony’s course (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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

CAESAR

You shall advise me in all for (affecting) Cleopatra.

 

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?

Enter SELEUCUS

 

SELEUCUS

Here, madam.

 

CLEOPATRA

This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,

Upon his peril, that I have reserved

To myself nothing.Speak the truth, Seleucus.

 

SELEUCUS

Madam, I had rather seel (sew up) my lips

Than, to my peril, speak that which is not.

 

CLEOPATRA

What have I kept back?

 

SELEUCUS

Enough to purchase what you have made known.

 

CAESAR

Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve

Your wisdom in the deed.

 

CLEOPATRA

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 SELEUCUSO 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!

 

CAESAR

Good Queen, let us entreat you—

 

CLEOPATRA

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 SELEUCUSPrithee, 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.

 

CAESAR

Forbear (withdraw), Seleucus.

Exit SELEUCUS

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

CAESAR

Cleopatra,

Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged

Put we ith’ 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.

 

CLEOPATRA

My master and my lord!

 

CAESAR

Not so. Adieu.

Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR and his train

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

IRAS

Finish, good lady. The bright day is done,

And we are for (ready to embrace) the dark.

 

CLEOPATRA (to CHARMIANHie thee again.

I have spoke already, and it is provided.

Go put it to the haste.

 

CHARMIAN

Madam, I will.

Enter DOLABELLA

 

DOLABELLA

Where’s the Queen?

 

CHARMIAN

Behold, sir.

Exit

 

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella!

 

DOLABELLA

Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,

Which my love makes religion to obey,

I tell you this: Caesar through Syria

Intends his journey, and within three days

You with your children will he send before.

Make your best use of this. I have performed

Your pleasure and my promise.

 

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella,

I shall remain your debtor.

 

DOLABELLA

I your servant.

Adieu, good Queen. I must attend on Caesar.

 

CLEOPATRA

Farewell, and thanks.

Exit DOLABELLA

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.

 

IRAS

The gods forbid!

 

CLEOPATRA

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.

 

IRAS

Oh, the good gods!

 

CLEOPATRA

Nay, that’s certain.

 

IRAS

I’ll never see ’t! For I am sure mine nails (fingernails)

Are stronger than mine eyes.

 

CLEOPATRA

Why, that’s the way

To fool their preparation and to conquer

Their most absurd intents.

Enter CHARMIAN

Now, Charmian!

Show me, my women, like a queen. Go fetch

My best attires. I am again for Cydnus

To meet Mark Antony.—Sirrah Iras, go.—

Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch (finish), indeed,

And, when thou hast done this chore, I’ll give thee leave

To play till doomsday. (to IRASBring our crown and all.

Exit IRAS. A noise within

Wherefore’s this noise?

Enter a GUARDSMAN

 

GUARDSMAN

Here is a rural fellow

That will not be denied your Highness’ presence.

He brings you figs.

 

CLEOPATRA

Let him come in.

Exit GUARDSMAN

 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

 

GUARDSMAN

This is the man.

 

CLEOPATRA

Avoid (depart), and leave him.

Exit GUARDSMAN

Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there

That kills and pains not?

 

COUNTRYMAN

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.

 

CLEOPATRA

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

 

COUNTRYMAN

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

 

CLEOPATRA

Get thee hence, farewell.

 

COUNTRYMAN

I wish you all joy of the worm.

He sets down his basket

 

CLEOPATRA

Farewell.

 

COUNTRYMAN

You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind (his nature).

 

CLEOPATRA

Ay, ay. Farewell.

 

COUNTRYMAN

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

 

CLEOPATRA

Take thou no care. It shall be heeded.

 

COUNTRYMAN

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

 

CLEOPATRA

Will it eat me?

 

COUNTRYMAN

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

 

CLEOPATRA

Well, get thee gone. Farewell.

 

COUNTRYMAN

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

Exit

Enter IRAS with royal attire

 

CLEOPATRA

Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I have

Immortal longings in me. Now no more

The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.

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)

 

CHARMIAN

Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say

The gods themselves do weep!

 

CLEOPATRA

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)!

 

CHARMIAN

O eastern star (the morning star, Venus)!

 

CLEOPATRA

Peace, peace!

Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,

That sucks the nurse asleep?

 

CHARMIAN

Oh, break! Oh, break [my heart]!

 

CLEOPATRA

[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—

Dies

 

CHARMIAN

In this wild world? So, fare thee well.

Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies

A lass unparalleled. Downy windows, close,

She closes CLEOPATRA’s eyes

And golden Phoebus (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

 

FIRST GUARD

Where’s the Queen?

 

CHARMIAN

Speak softly. Wake her not.

 

FIRST GUARD

Caesar hath sent—

 

CHARMIAN

Too slow a messenger.

She applies an asp to herself.

Oh, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.

 

FIRST GUARD

(calling) Approach, ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s beguiled.

 

SECOND GUARD

There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.

Exit SECOND GUARD

 

FIRST GUARD

What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

 

CHARMIAN

It is well done and fitting for a princess

Descended of so many royal kings.

Ah, soldier (she sees Dolabella enter)!

CHARMIAN dies

Enter DOLABELLA

 

DOLABELLA

How goes it here?

 

SECOND GUARD

All dead.

 

DOLABELLA

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

 

ALL

A way there, a way for Caesar!

 

DOLABELLA

O sir, you are too sure an augurer (prophet).

That you did fear is done.

 

CAESAR

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.

 

DOLABELLA

Who was last with them?

 

FIRST GUARD

A simple countryman that brought her figs.

This was his basket.

 

CAESAR

Poisoned, then.

 

FIRST GUARD

Oh, Caesar,

This Charmian lived but now. She stood and spake.

I found her trimming up the diadem

On her dead mistress. Tremblingly, she stood

And on the sudden dropped.

 

CAESAR

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).

 

DOLABELLA

Here on her breast

There is a vent of blood and something blown (swollen).

The like is on her arm.

 

FIRST GUARD

This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves

Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves

Upon the caves of Nile.

 

CAESAR

Most probable

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