Antony and Cleopatra
by William Shakespeare [Collins edition]
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by William Shakespeare


M.ANTONY, Triumvir OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS, Triumvir SEXTUS POMPEIUS Triumvir DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, friend to Antony VENTIDIUS, friend to Antony EROS, friend to Antony SCARUS, friend to Antony DERCETAS, friend to Antony DEMETRIUS, friend to Antony PHILO, friend to Antony MAECENAS, friend to Caesar AGRIPPA, friend to Caesar DOLABELLA, friend to Caesar PROCULEIUS, friend to Caesar THYREUS, friend to Caesar GALLUS, friend to Caesar MENAS, friend to Pompey MENECRATES, friend to Pompey VARRIUS, friend to Pompey TAURUS, Lieutenant-General to Caesar CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius's army EUPHRONIUS, an Ambassador from Antony to Caesar ALEXAS, attendant on Cleopatra MARDIAN, attendant on Cleopatra SELEUCUS, attendant on Cleopatra DIOMEDES, attendant on Cleopatra A SOOTHSAYER A CLOWN

CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt OCTAVIA, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony CHARMIAN, Attendant on Cleopatra IRAS, Attendant on Cleopatra

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants

SCENE: Dispersed, in several parts of the Roman Empire.


SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.


PHILO. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy's lust.

[Flourish within.]

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

[Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning her.]

CLEOPATRA. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

ANTONY. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

CLEOPATRA. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.

ANTONY. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

[Enter an Attendant.]

ATTENDANT. News, my good lord, from Rome.

ANTONY. Grates me:—the sum.

CLEOPATRA. Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent His powerful mandate to you: 'Do this or this; Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that; Perform't, or else we damn thee.'

ANTONY. How, my love!

CLEOPATRA. Perchance! Nay, and most like:— You must not stay here longer,—your dismission Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. — Where's Fulvia's process?—Caesar's I would say?—Both?— Call in the messengers.—As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.—The messengers!

ANTONY. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is to do thus [Embracing]; when such a mutual pair And such a twain can do't, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless.

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

ANTONY. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.— Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, Let's not confound the time with conference harsh: There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now:—what sport to-night?

CLEOPATRA. Hear the ambassadors.

ANTONY. Fie, wrangling queen! Whom everything becomes,—to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself in thee fair and admir'd! No messenger; but thine, and all alone To-night we'll wander through the streets and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen; Last night you did desire it:—speak not to us.

[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Train.]

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

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

DEMETRIUS. I am full sorry That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!


SCENE II. Alexandria. Another Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.

[Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.]

CHARMIAN. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must charge his horns with garlands!

ALEXAS. Soothsayer,—

SOOTHSAYER. Your will?

CHARMIAN. Is this the man?—Is't you, sir, that know things?

SOOTHSAYER. In nature's infinite book of secrecy A little I can read.

ALEXAS. Show him your hand.


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

CHARMIAN. Good, sir, give me good fortune.

SOOTHSAYER. I make not, but foresee.

CHARMIAN. Pray, then, foresee me one.

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

CHARMIAN. He means in flesh.

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

CHARMIAN. Wrinkles forbid!

ALEXAS. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.


SOOTHSAYER. You shall be more beloving than beloved.

CHARMIAN. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.

ALEXAS. Nay, hear him.

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

SOOTHSAYER. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

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

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

CHARMIAN. Then belike my children shall have no names:—pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

SOOTHSAYER. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.

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

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

CHARMIAN. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

ALEXAS. We'll know all our fortunes.

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

IRAS. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

CHARMIAN. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

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

CHARMIAN. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.—Pr'ythee, tell her but worky-day 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?

IRAS. Not in my husband's nose.

CHARMIAN. Our worser thoughts heavens mend!—Alexas,—come, his fortune! his fortune!—O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

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


ALEXAS. Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores but they'd do't!

ENOBARBUS. Hush! Here comes Antony.

CHARMIAN. Not he; the queen.


CLEOPATRA. Saw you my lord?

ENOBARBUS. No, lady.

CLEOPATRA. Was he not here?

CHARMIAN. No, madam.

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


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

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

CLEOPATRA. We will not look upon him: go with us.

[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHAR., IRAS, ALEX., and Soothsayer.]

[Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and Attendants.]

MESSENGER. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

ANTONY. Against my brother Lucius.

MESSENGER. Ay: But soon that war had end, and the time's state Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Caesar; Whose better issue in the war, from Italy Upon the first encounter, drave them.

ANTONY. Well, what worst?

MESSENGER. The nature of bad news infects the teller.

ANTONY. When it concerns the fool or coward.—On:— Things that are past are done with me.—'Tis thus; Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, I hear him as he flatter'd.

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

ANTONY. Antony, thou wouldst say,—

MESSENGER. O, my lord!

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

MESSENGER. At your noble pleasure.


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

FIRST ATTENDANT. The man from Sicyon—is there such an one?

SECOND ATTENDANT. He stays upon your will.

ANTONY. Let him appear.— These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, Or lose myself in dotage.—

[Enter another MESSENGER.]

What are you?

SECOND MESSENGER. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

ANTONY. Where died she?

SECOND MESSENGER. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter.]

ANTONY. Forbear me.


There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts doth often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone; The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off: Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch—ho, Enobarbus!

[Re-enter ENOBARBUS.]

ENOBARBUS. What's your pleasure, sir?

ANTONY. I must with haste from hence.

ENOBARBUS. Why, then we kill all our women: we see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

ANTONY. I must be gone.

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

ANTONY. She is cunning past man's thought.

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

ANTONY. Would I had never seen her!

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

ANTONY. Fulvia is dead.


ANTONY. Fulvia is 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 crown'd with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:—and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.

ANTONY. The business she 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.

ANTONY. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, And get her leave to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands The empire of the sea; our slippery people,— Whose love is never link'd to the deserver Till his deserts are past,—begin to throw Pompey the Great, and all his dignities, Upon his son; who, high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main soldier: whose quality, going on, The sides o' the world may danger: much is breeding Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure To such whose place is under us, requires Our quick remove from hence.

ENOBARBUS. I shall do't.


SCENE III. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.


CLEOPATRA. Where is he?

CHARMIAN. I did not see him since.

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

[Exit ALEXAS.]

CHARMIAN. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly, You do not hold the method to enforce The like from him.

CLEOPATRA. What should I do, I do not?

CHARMIAN. In each thing give him way; cross him in nothing.

CLEOPATRA. Thou teachest like a fool,—the way to lose him.

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

[Enter ANTONY.]

CLEOPATRA. I am sick and sullen.

ANTONY. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,—

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

ANTONY. Now, my dearest queen,—

CLEOPATRA. Pray you, stand farther from me.

ANTONY. What's the matter?

CLEOPATRA. I know by that same eye there's some good news. What says the married woman?—You may go. Would she had never given you leave to come! Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here,— I have no power upon you; hers you are.

ANTONY. The gods best know,—

CLEOPATRA. O, never was there queen So mightily betray'd! 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 throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing!

ANTONY. Most sweet queen,—

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

ANTONY. How now, lady!

CLEOPATRA. I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know There were a heart in Egypt.

ANTONY. Hear me, queen: The strong necessity of time commands Our services awhile; but my full heart Remains in use with you. Our Italy Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius Makes his approaches to the port of Rome; Equality of two domestic powers Breed scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength, Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey, Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten; And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge By any desperate change. My more particular, And that which most with you should safe my going, Is Fulvia's death.

CLEOPATRA. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness:—can Fulvia die?

ANTONY. She's dead, my queen. Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read The garboils she awak'd;at the last, best. See when and where she died.

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

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

CLEOPATRA. Cut my lace, Charmian, come;— But let it be: I am quickly ill and well, So Antony loves.

ANTONY. My precious queen, forbear; And give true evidence to his love, which stands An honourable trial.

CLEOPATRA. So Fulvia told me. I pr'ythee, turn aside and weep for her; Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene Of excellent dissembling; and let it look Like perfect honour.

ANTONY. You'll heat my blood: no more.

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

ANTONY. Now, by my sword,—

CLEOPATRA. And target.—Still he mends; But this is not the best:—look, pr'ythee, Charmian, How this Herculean Roman does become The carriage of his chafe.

ANTONY. I'll leave you, lady.

CLEOPATRA. Courteous lord, one word. Sir, you and I must part,—but that's not it; Sir, you and I have lov'd,—but there's not it; That you know well: something it is I would,— O, my oblivion is a very Antony, And I am all forgotten.

ANTONY. But that your royalty Holds idleness your subject, I should take you For idleness itself.

CLEOPATRA. 'Tis sweating labour To bear such idleness so near the heart As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me; Since my becomings kill me, when they do not Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence; Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly, And all the gods go with you! upon your sword Sit laurel victory! and smooth success Be strew'd before your feet!

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!


SCENE IV. Rome. An Apartment in CAESAR'S House.

[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.]

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

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

CAESAR. You are too indulgent. Let's grant it is not Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy; To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit And keep the turn of tippling with a slave; To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat: say this becomes him,— As his composure must be rare indeed Whom these things cannot blemish,—yet must Antony No way excuse his foils when we do bear So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd His vacancy with his voluptuousness, Full surfeits and the dryness of his bones Call on him for't: but to confound such time That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud As his own state and ours,—'tis to be chid As we rate boys, who, being mature in knowledge, Pawn their experience to their present pleasure, And so rebel to judgment.

[Enter a Messenger.]

LEPIDUS. Here's more news.

MESSENGER. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour, Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea; And it appears he is belov'd of those That only have fear'd Caesar: to the ports The discontents repair, and men's reports Give him much wrong'd.

CAESAR. I should have known no less: It hath been taught us from the primal state That he which is was wish'd until he were; And the ebb'd man, ne'er lov'd till ne'er worth love, Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This common body, Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream, Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide, To rot itself with motion.

MESSENGER. Caesar, I bring thee word Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates, Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound With keels of every kind: many hot inroads They make in Italy; the borders maritime Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt: No vessel can peep forth but 'tis as soon Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more Than could his war resisted.

CAESAR. Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against, Though daintily brought up, with patience more Than savages could suffer: thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge; Yea, like the stag when snow the pasture sheets, The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh, Which some did die to look on: and all this,— It wounds thine honour that I speak it now,— Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek So much as lank'd not.

LEPIDUS. 'Tis pity of him.

CAESAR. Let his shames quickly Drive him to Rome; 'tis time we twain Did show ourselves i' thefield; and to that end Assemble we immediate council: Pompey Thrives in our idleness.

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

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 for my bond.


SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.


CLEOPATRA. Charmian,—


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

CHARMIAN. Why, madam?

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

CHARMIAN. You think of him too much.

CLEOPATRA. O, 'tis treason!

CHARMIAN. Madam, I trust, not so.

CLEOPATRA. Thou, eunuch Mardian!

MARDIAN. What's your highness' pleasure?

CLEOPATRA. Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure In aught an eunuch has; 'tis well for thee That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?

MARDIAN. Yes, gracious madam.


MARDIAN. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing But what indeed is honest to be done: Yet have I fierce affections, and think What Venus did with Mars.

CLEOPATRA. O Charmian, Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he? Or does he walk? or is he on his horse? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony! Do bravely, horse! for wott'st thou whom thou mov'st? The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm And burgonet of men.—He's speaking now, Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?' For so he calls me.—Now I feed myself With most delicious poison:—think on me, That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black, And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar, When thou wast here above the ground I was A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow; There would he anchor his aspect and die With looking on his life.

[Enter ALEXAS.]

ALEXAS. Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

CLEOPATRA. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony! Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee.— How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

ALEXAS. Last thing he did, dear queen, He kiss'd,—the last of many doubled kisses,— This orient pearl: his speech sticks in my heart.

CLEOPATRA. Mine ear must pluck it thence.

ALEXAS. 'Good friend,' quoth he 'Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot, To mend the petty present, I will piece Her opulent throne with kingdoms; all the east, Say thou, shall call her mistress.' So he nodded, And soberly did mount an arm-girt steed, Who neigh'd so high that what I would have spoke Was beastly dumb'd by him.

CLEOPATRA. What, was he sad or merry?

ALEXAS. Like to the time o' the 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; but note him: He was not sad,—for he would shine on those That make their looks by his; he was not merry,— Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay In Egypt with his joy; but between both: O heavenly mingle!—Be'st thou sad or merry, The violence of either thee becomes, So does it no man else.—Mett'st thou my posts?

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

CLEOPATRA. Who's born that day When I forget to send to Antony Shall die a beggar.—Ink and paper, Charmian.— Welcome, my good Alexas.—Did I, Charmian, Ever love Caesar so?

CHARMIAN. O that brave Caesar!

CLEOPATRA. Be chok'd with such another emphasis! Say 'the brave Antony.'

CHARMIAN. The valiant Caesar!

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

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

CLEOPATRA. My salad days, When I was green in judgment:—cold in blood, To say as I said then!—But come, away; Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day A several greeting, Or I'll unpeople Egypt.



SCENE I. Messina. A Room in POMPEY'S house.


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

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

POMPEY. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays The thing we sue for.

MENECRATES. We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers Deny us for our good; so find we profit By losing of our prayers.

POMPEY. I shall do well; The people love me, and the sea is mine; My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope Says it will come to the full. Mark Antony In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make No wars without doors: Caesar gets money where He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both, Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves Nor either cares for him.

MENAS. Caesar and Lepidus Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.

POMPEY. 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, Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip! Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both! Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts, Keep his brain fuming; Epicurean cooks Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite; That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour Even till a Lethe'd dullness.

[Enter VARRIUS.]

How now, Varrius!

VARRIUS. This is most certain that I shall deliver:— Mark Antony is every hour in Rome Expected: since he went from Egypt 'tis A space for further travel.

POMPEY. I could have given less matter A better ear.—Menas, I did not think This amorous surfeiter would have donn'd his helm For such a petty war; his soldiership Is twice the other twain: but let us rear The higher our opinion, that our stirring Can from the lap of Egypt's widow pluck The ne'er lust-wearied Antony.

MENAS. I cannot hope Caesar and Antony shall well greet together: His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar; His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think, Not mov'd by Antony.

POMPEY. I know not, Menas, How lesser enmities may give way to greater. Were't not that we stand up against them all, 'Twere pregnant they should square between themselves; For they have entertained cause enough To draw their swords: but how the fear of us May cement their divisions, and bind up The petty difference, we yet not know. Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands Our lives upon to use our strongest hands. Come, Menas.


SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of LEPIDUS.


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

ENOBARBUS. I shall entreat him To answer like himself: if Caesar move him, Let Antony look over Caesar's head, And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter, Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard, I would not shave't to-day.

LEPIDUS. 'Tis not a time For private stomaching.

ENOBARBUS. Every time Serves for the matter that is then born in't.

LEPIDUS. But small to greater matters must give way.

ENOBARBUS. Not if the small come first.

LEPIDUS. Your speech is passion: But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes The noble Antony.


ENOBARBUS. And yonder, Caesar.


ANTONY. If we compose well here, to Parthia; Hark, Ventidius.

CAESAR. I do not know, Maecenas; ask Agrippa.

LEPIDUS. Noble friends, That which combin'd us was most great, and let not A leaner action rend us. What's amiss, May it be gently heard: when we debate Our trivial difference loud, we do commit Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners,— The rather for I earnestly beseech,— Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms, Nor curstness grow to the matter.

ANTONY. 'Tis spoken well. Were we before our armies, and to fight, I should do thus.

CAESAR. Welcome to Rome.

ANTONY. Thank you.


ANTONY. Sit, sir.

CAESAR. Nay, then.

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

CAESAR. I must be laugh'd at If, or for nothing or a little, I Should say myself offended, and with you Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at that I should Once name you derogately, when to sound your name It not concern'd me.

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 practise on my state, your being in Egypt Might be my question.

ANTONY. How intend you practis'd?

CAESAR. You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother Made wars upon me; and their contestation Was theme for you, you were the word of war.

ANTONY. You do mistake your business; my brother never Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it; And have my learning from some true reports That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather Discredit my authority with yours; And make the wars alike against my stomach, Having alike your cause? Of this my letters Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel As matter whole you have not to make it with, It must not be with this.

CAESAR. You praise yourself By laying defects of judgment to me; but You patch'd up your excuses.

ANTONY. Not so, not so; I know you could not lack, I am certain on't, Very necessity of this thought, that I, Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought, Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars Which 'fronted mine own peace. As for my wife, I would you had her spirit in such another: The third o' theworld is yours; which with a snaffle You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

ENOBARBUS. Would we had all such wives, that the men Might go to wars with the women.

ANTONY. So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar, Made out of her impatience,—which not wanted Shrewdness of policy too,—I grieving grant Did you too much disquiet: for that you must But say I could not help it.

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

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

CAESAR. You have broken The article of your oath; which you shall never Have tongue to charge me with.

LEPIDUS. Soft, Caesar!

ANTONY. No; Lepidus, let him speak. The honour is sacred which he talks on now, Supposing that I lack'd it.—But on, Caesar; The article of my oath.

CAESAR. To lend me arms and aid when I requir'd them; The which you both denied.

ANTONY. Neglected, rather; And then when poison'd hours had bound me up From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may, I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia, To have me out of Egypt, made wars here; For which myself, the ignorant motive, do So far ask pardon as befits mine honour To stoop in such a case.

LEPIDUS. 'Tis noble spoken.

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

LEPIDUS. Worthily spoken, Maecenas.

ENOBARBUS. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant, you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.

ANTONY. Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.

ENOBARBUS. That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.

ANTONY. You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.

ENOBARBUS. Go to, then; your considerate stone!

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 differing in their acts. Yet if I knew What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge O' the world, I would pursue it.

AGRIPPA. Give me leave, Caesar,—

CAESAR. Speak, Agrippa.

AGRIPPA. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side, Admir'd Octavia: great Mark Antony Is now a widower.

CAESAR. Say not so, Agrippa: If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof Were well deserv'd of rashness.

ANTONY. I am not married, Caesar: let me hear Agrippa further speak.

AGRIPPA. To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts With an unslipping knot, take Antony Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims No worse a husband than the best of men; Whose virtue and whose general graces speak That which none else can utter. By this marriage All little jealousies, which now seem great, And all great fears, which now import their dangers, Would then be nothing: truths would be tales, Where now half tales be truths: her love to both Would each to other, and all loves to both, Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke; For 'tis a studied, not a present thought, By duty ruminated.

ANTONY. Will Caesar speak?

CAESAR. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd 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 Octavia.

ANTONY. May I never To this good purpose, that so fairly shows, Dream of impediment!—Let me have thy hand: Further this act of grace; and from this hour The heart of brothers govern in our loves And sway our great designs!

CAESAR. There is my hand. A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother Did ever love so dearly: let her live To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never Fly off our loves again!

LEPIDUS. Happily, amen!

ANTONY. I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey; For he hath laid strange courtesies and great Of late upon me. I must thank him only, Lest my remembrance suffer ill report; At heel of that, defy him.

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

ANTONY. Where lies he?

CAESAR. About the Mount Misenum.

ANTONY. What is his strength By land?

CAESAR. Great and increasing; but by sea He is an absolute master.

ANTONY. So is the fame. Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it: Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, despatch we The business we have talk'd of.

CAESAR. With most gladness; And do invite you to my sister's view, Whither straight I'll lead you.

ANTONY. Let us, Lepidus, Not lack your company.

LEPIDUS. Noble Antony, Not sickness should detain me.

[Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS.]

MAECENAS. Welcome from Egypt, sir.

ENOBARBUS. Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas!—my honourable friend, Agrippa!—

AGRIPPA. Good Enobarbus!

MAECENAS. We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested. You stay'd well by it in Egypt.

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

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

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

MAECENAS. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

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

AGRIPPA. There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised well for her.

ENOBARBUS. I will tell you. The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made The water which they beat to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggar'd all description: she did lie In her pavilion,—cloth-of-gold of tissue,— O'er-picturing that Venus where we see The fancy out-work nature: on each side her Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, And what they undid did.

AGRIPPA. O, rare for Antony!

ENOBARBUS. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids, So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, And made their bends adornings: at the helm A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands That yarely frame the office. From the barge A strange invisible perfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthron'd i' the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature.

AGRIPPA. Rare Egyptian!

ENOBARBUS. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her, Invited her to supper: she replied It should be better he became her guest; Which she entreated: our courteous Antony, Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak, Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast, And, for his ordinary, pays his heart For what his eyes eat only.

AGRIPPA. Royal wench! She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed: He ploughed her, and she cropp'd.

ENOBARBUS. I saw her once Hop forty paces through the public street; And, having lost her breath, she spoke and panted, That she did make defect perfection, And, breathless, power breathe forth.

MAECENAS. Now Antony must leave her utterly.

ENOBARBUS. Never; he will not: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety: other women cloy The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies: for vilest things Become themselves in her; that the holy priests Bless her when she is riggish.

MAECENAS. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle The heart of Antony, Octavia is A blessed lottery to him.

AGRIPPA. Let us go.— Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest Whilst you abide here.

ENOBARBUS. Humbly, sir, I thank you.


SCENE III. Rome. A Room in CAESAR'S House.

[Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them, and Attendants.]

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

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

ANTONY. Good night, sir.—My Octavia, Read not my blemishes in the world's report: I have not kept my square; but that to come Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.—

OCTAVIA. Good night, sir.

CAESAR. Good night.

[Exeunt CAESAR and OCTAVIA.]


ANTONY. Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?

SOOTHSAYER. Would I had never come from thence, nor you Thither!

ANTONY. If you can, your reason.

SOOTHSAYER. I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue; but yet Hie you to Egypt again.

ANTONY. Say to me, Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?

SOOTHSAYER. Caesar's. Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side: Thy demon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, Where Caesar's is not; but near him thy angel Becomes a fear, as being o'erpower'd: therefore Make space enough between you.

ANTONY. Speak this no more.

SOOTHSAYER. To none but thee; no more but when to thee. If thou dost play with him at any game, Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre thickens When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit Is all afraid to govern thee near him; But, he away, 'tis noble.

ANTONY. Get thee gone: Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:—


He shall to Parthia.—Be it art or hap, He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him;— And in our sports my better cunning faints Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds; His cocks do win the battle still of mine, When it is all to nought; and his quails ever Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt: And though I make this marriage for my peace, I' the East my pleasure lies.


O, come, Ventidius, You must to Parthia: your commission's ready; Follow me and receive it.


SCENE IV. Rome. A street.


LEPIDUS. Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten Your generals after.

AGRIPPA. Sir, Mark Antony Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.

LEPIDUS. Till I shall see you in your 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.

BOTH. Sir, good success!

LEPIDUS. Farewell.


SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and Attendants.]

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

ALL. The music, ho!

[Enter MARDIAN.]

CLEOPATRA. Let it alone; let's to billiards: Come, Charmian.

CHARMIAN. My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.

CLEOPATRA. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd As with a woman.—Come, you'll play with me, sir?

MARDIAN. As well as I can, madam.

CLEOPATRA. And when good will is show'd, though't come too short, The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:— Give me mine angle,—we'll to the river. There, My music playing far off, I will betray Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up I'll think them every one an Antony, And say 'Ah ha! You're caught.'

CHARMIAN. 'Twas merry when You wager'd on your angling; when your diver Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he With fervency drew up.

CLEOPATRA. That time?—O times!— I laughed him out of patience; and that night I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn, Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed; Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst I wore his sword Philippan.

[Enter a MESSENGER.]

O! from Italy!— Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears, That long time have been barren.

MESSENGER. Madam, madam,—

CLEOPATRA. Antony's dead!— If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress; But well and free, If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here My bluest veins to kiss,—a hand that kings Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

MESSENGER. First, madam, he's well.

CLEOPATRA. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah, mark, we use To say the dead are well: bring it to that, The gold I give thee will I melt and pour Down thy ill-uttering throat.

MESSENGER. Good madam, hear me.

CLEOPATRA. Well, go to, I will; But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony Be free and healthful,—why so tart a favour To trumpet such good tidings! If not well, Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes, Not like a formal man.

MESSENGER. Will't please you hear me?

CLEOPATRA. I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st: Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well, Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him, I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail Rich pearls upon thee.

MESSENGER. Madam, he's well.

CLEOPATRA. Well said.

MESSENGER. And friends with Caesar.

CLEOPATRA. Th'art an honest man.

MESSENGER. Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.

CLEOPATRA. Make thee a fortune from me.

MESSENGER. But yet, madam,—

CLEOPATRA. I do not like 'but yet', it does allay The good precedence; fie upon 'but yet'! 'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend, Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear, The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar; In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.

MESSENGER. Free, madam! no; I made no such report: He's bound unto Octavia.

CLEOPATRA. For what good turn?

MESSENGER. For the best turn i' the 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?—Hence,

[Strikes him again.]

Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:

[She hales him up and down.]

Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine, Smarting in ling'ring pickle.

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 liv'd too long.

[Draws a dagger.]

MESSENGER. Nay, then I'll run.— What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.


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 afear'd 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.

[Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger.]

Come hither, sir. Though it be honest, it is never good To bring bad news: give to a gracious message An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell Themselves when they be felt.

MESSENGER. I have done my duty.

CLEOPATRA. Is he married? I cannot hate thee worser than I do If thou again say 'Yes.'

MESSENGER. He's married, madam.

CLEOPATRA. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still!

MESSENGER. Should I lie, madam?

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

MESSENGER. I crave your highness' pardon.

CLEOPATRA. He is married?

MESSENGER. Take no offence that I would not offend you: To punish me for what you make me do Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.

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

[Exit Messenger.]

CHARMIAN. Good your highness, patience.

CLEOPATRA. In praising Antony I have disprais'd 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 colour of her hair:—bring me word quickly.

[Exit ALEXAS.]

Let him for ever go:—let him not, Charmian— Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon, T'other way he's a Mars.—[To MARDIAN] Bid you Alexas Bring me word how tall she is.—Pity me, Charmian, But do not speak to me.—Lead me to my chamber.


SCENE VI. Near Misenum.

[Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one side, with drum and trumpet; at the other, CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, ENOBARBUS, MAECENAS, with Soldiers marching.]

POMPEY. Your hostages I have, so have you mine; And we shall talk before we fight.

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

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

CAESAR. Take your time.

ANTONY. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails; We'll speak with thee at sea: at land thou know'st How much we do o'er-count thee.

POMPEY. At land, indeed, Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house: But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself, Remain in't as thou mayst.

LEPIDUS. Be pleas'd to tell us,— For this is from the present,—how you take The offers we have sent you.

CAESAR. There's the point.

ANTONY. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh What it is worth embrac'd.

CAESAR. And what may follow, To try a larger fortune.

POMPEY. You have made me offer Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon, To part with unhack'd edges and bear back Our targes undinted.

CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS. That's our offer.

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

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

POMPEY. Let me have your hand: I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

ANTONY. The beds i' the East are soft; and, thanks to you, That call'd me, timelier than my purpose, hither; For I have gained by it.

CAESAR. Since I saw you last There is a change upon you.

POMPEY. Well, I know not What counts harsh fortune casts upon my face; But in my bosom shall she never come To make my heart her vassal.

LEPIDUS. Well met here.

POMPEY. I hope so, Lepidus.—Thus we are agreed: I crave our composition may be written, And seal'd 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.

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 meanings, sir.

ANTONY. And fair words to them.

POMPEY. Then so much have I heard; And I have heard Apollodorus carried,—

ENOBARBUS. No 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.

POMPEY. Let me shake thy hand; I never hated thee: I have seen thee fight, When I have envied thy behaviour.

ENOBARBUS. Sir, I never lov'd you much; but I ha' prais'd ye When you have well deserv'd 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, and LEPIDUS. Show's the way, sir.


[Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS and MENAS.]

MENAS. [Aside.] Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have made this treaty.— You and I have known, sir.

ENOBARBUS. At sea, I think.

MENAS. We have, sir.

ENOBARBUS. You have done well by water.

MENAS. And you by land.

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

MENAS. Nor what I have done by water.

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

MENAS. And you by land.

ENOBARBUS. There I deny my land service. But give me your hand, Menas: if our eyes had authority, here they might take two thieves kissing.

MENAS. All men's faces are true, whatsome'er their hands are.

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

MENAS. No slander; they steal hearts.

ENOBARBUS. We came hither to fight with you.

MENAS. For my part, I am sorry it is turn'd to a drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.

ENOBARBUS. If he do, sure he cannot weep it back again.

MENAS. You have said, sir. We look'd not for Mark Antony here: pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?

ENOBARBUS. Caesar's sister is called Octavia.

MENAS. True, sir; she was the wife of Caius Marcellus.

ENOBARBUS. But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.

MENAS. Pray you, sir?

ENOBARBUS. 'Tis true.

MENAS. Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.

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

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

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

MENAS. Who would not have his wife so?

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

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

ENOBARBUS. I shall take it, sir: we have used our throats in Egypt.

MENAS. Come, let's away.


SCENE VII. On board POMPEY'S Galley, lying near Misenum.

[Music. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet.]

FIRST SERVANT. Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are ill-rooted already; the least wind i' the world will blow them down.

SECOND SERVANT. Lepidus is high-coloured.

FIRST SERVANT. They have made him drink alms-drink.

SECOND SERVANT. As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out 'no more'; reconciles them to his entreaty and himself to the drink.

FIRST SERVANT. But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.

SECOND SERVANT. Why, this it is to have a name in great men's fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service as a partizan I could not heave.

FIRST SERVANT. To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.

[A sennet sounded. Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POMPEY, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, ENOBARBUS, MENAS, with other Captains.]

ANTONY. [To CAESAR.] Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o' the Nile By certain scales i' the pyramid; they know By the height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth Or foison follow: the higher Nilus swells The more it promises; as it ebbs, the seedsman Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain, And shortly comes to harvest.

LEPIDUS. You've strange serpents there.

ANTONY. Ay, Lepidus.

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

ANTONY. They are so.

POMPEY. Sit —and some wine!—A health to Lepidus!

LEPIDUS. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.

ENOBARBUS. Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be in till then.

LEPIDUS. Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction I have heard that.

MENAS. [Aside to POMPEY.] Pompey, a word.

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 me till ano.n— This wine for Lepidus!

LEPIDUS. What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

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

LEPIDUS. What colour is it of?

ANTONY. Of its own colour too.

LEPIDUS. 'Tis a strange serpent.

ANTONY. 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

CAESAR. Will this description satisfy him?

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

POMPEY. [Aside to MENAS.] Go, hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that! away! Do as I bid you.—Where's this cup I call'd for?

MENAS. [Aside to POMPEY.] If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me, Rise from thy stool.

POMPEY. [Aside to MENAS.] I think thou'rt mad.

[Rises and walks aside.]

The matter?

MENAS. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.

POMPEY. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith. What's else to say?— Be jolly, lords.

ANTONY. These quicksands, Lepidus, Keep off them, for you sink.

MENAS. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

POMPEY. What say'st thou?

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

POMPEY. How should that be?

MENAS. But entertain it, And though you 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: Whate'er the ocean pales or sky inclips Is thine, if thou wilt have'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 then 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 honour: Mine honour it. Repent that e'er thy tongue Hath so betray'd thine act: being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done; But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.

MENAS. [Aside.] For this, I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes more. Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd, Shall never find it more.

POMPEY. This health to Lepidus!

ANTONY. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.

ENOBARBUS. Here's to thee, Menas!

MENAS. Enobarbus, welcome!

POMPEY. Fill till the cup be hid.

ENOBARBUS. There's a strong fellow, Menas.

[Pointing to the servant who carries off LEPIDUS.]


ENOBARBUS. 'A bears the third part of the world, man; see'st not?

MENAS. The third part, then, is drunk; would it were all, That it might go on wheels!

ENOBARBUS. Drink thou; increase the reels.

MENAS. Come.

POMPEY. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.

ANTONY. It ripens towards it.—Strike the vessels, ho!— Here is to Caesar!

CAESAR. I could well forbear't. It's monstrous labour when I wash my brain And it grows fouler.

ANTONY. Be a child o' the time.

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

ENOBARBUS. [To ANTONY.] Ha, my brave emperor! Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals And celebrate our drink?

POMPEY. Let's ha't, good soldier.

ANTONY. Come, let's all take hands, Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense In soft and delicate Lethe.

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

[Music plays. ENOBARBUS places them hand in hand.]

SONG. Come, thou monarch of the vine, Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne! In thy fats our cares be drown'd, With thy grapes our hairs be crown'd: Cup us, till the world go round, Cup us, till the world go round!

CAESAR. What would you more?—Pompey, good night. Good brother, Let me request you off: our graver business Frowns at this levity.—Gentle lords, let's part; You see we have burnt our cheeks: strong Enobarb Is weaker than the wine; and mine own tongue Splits what it speaks: the wild disguise hath almost Antick'd us all. What needs more words. Good night.— Good Antony, your hand.

POMPEY. I'll try you on the shore.

ANTONY. And 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 POMPEY, CAESAR, ANTONY, and Attendants.]

Menas, I'll not on shore.

MENAS. No, to my cabin.— These drums!—these trumpets, flutes! what!— Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell To these great fellows: sound and be hang'd, sound out!

[A flourish of trumpets, with drums.]

ENOBARBUS. Hoo! says 'a.—There's my cap.

MENAS. Hoo!—noble captain, come.



SCENE I. A plain in Syria.

[Enter VENTIDIUS, in triumph, with SILIUS and other Romans, Officers and Soldiers; the dead body of PACORUS borne in front.]

VENTIDIUS. Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck; and now Pleas'd fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death Make me revenger.—Bear the king's son's body Before our army.—Thy Pacorus, Orodes, Pays this for Marcus Crassus.

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

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

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

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

SILIUS. Where is he now?

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


SCENE II. Rome. An Ante-chamber in CAESAR'S house.

[Enter AGRIPPA and ENOBARBUS, meeting.]

AGRIPPA. What, are the brothers parted?

ENOBARBUS. They have despatch'd with Pompey; he is gone; The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps To part from Rome: Caesar is sad; and Lepidus, Since Pompey's feast, as Menas says, is troubled With the green sickness.

AGRIPPA. 'Tis a noble Lepidus.

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

AGRIPPA. Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!

ENOBARBUS. Caesar? Why he's the Jupiter of men.

AGRIPPA. What's Antony? The god of Jupiter.

ENOBARBUS. Spake you of Caesar? How! the nonpareil!

AGRIPPA. O, Antony! O thou Arabian bird!

ENOBARBUS. Would you praise Caesar, say 'Caesar'—go no further.

AGRIPPA. Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.

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

AGRIPPA. Both he loves.

ENOBARBUS. They are his shards, and he their beetle.

[Trumpets within.]

So,— This is to horse.—Adieu, noble Agrippa.

AGRIPPA. Good fortune, worthy soldier; and farewell.


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 furthest band Shall pass on thy approof.—Most noble Antony, Let not the piece of virtue which is set Betwixt us as the cement of our love, To keep it builded, be the ram to batter The fortress of it; for better might we Have lov'd without this mean if on both parts This be not cherish'd.

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 be kind to thee, and make Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.

OCTAVIA. My noble brother!—

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

OCTAVIA. Sir, look well to my husband's house; and—

CAESAR. What, Octavia?

OCTAVIA. I'll tell you in your ear.

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

ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA.] Will Caesar weep?

AGRIPPA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS.] He has a cloud in's face.

ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA.] He were the worse for that, were he a horse; So is he, being a man.

AGRIPPA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS.] Why, Enobarbus, When Antony found Julius Caesar dead, He cried almost to roaring; and he wept When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.

ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA.] That year, indeed, he was troubled with a rheum; What willingly he did confound he wail'd: Believe't till I weep too.

CAESAR. No, sweet Octavia, You shall hear from me still; the time shall not Out-go my thinking on you.

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

CAESAR. Adieu; be happy!

LEPIDUS. Let all the number of the stars give light To thy fair way!

CAESAR. Farewell, farewell!

[Kisses OCTAVIA.]

ANTONY. Farewell!

[Trumpets sound within. Exeunt.]

SCENE III. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.


CLEOPATRA. Where is the fellow?

ALEXAS. Half afear'd to come.

CLEOPATRA. Go to, go to.

[Enter a Messenger.]

Come hither, sir.

ALEXAS. Good majesty, Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you But when you are well pleas'd.

CLEOPATRA. That Herod's head I'll have: but how? when Antony is gone, Through whom I might command it?—Come thou near.

MESSENGER. Most gracious majesty,—

CLEOPATRA. Didst thou behold Octavia?

MESSENGER. Ay, dread queen.


MESSENGER. Madam, in Rome I look'd 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-tongu'd or low?

MESSENGER. Madam, I heard her speak: she is low-voic'd.

CLEOPATRA. That's not so good:—he cannot like her long.

CHARMIAN. Like her! O Isis! 'tis impossible.

CLEOPATRA. I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue and dwarfish!— What majesty is in her gait? Remember, If e'er thou look'dst on majesty.

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

CLEOPATRA. Is this certain?

MESSENGER. Or I have no observance.

CHARMIAN. Three in Egypt Cannot make better note.

CLEOPATRA. He's very knowing; I do perceive't:—there's nothing in her yet:— The fellow has good judgment.

CHARMIAN. Excellent.

CLEOPATRA. Guess at her years, I pr'ythee.

MESSENGER. Madam, She was a widow.

CLEOPATRA. Widow!—Charmian, hark!

MESSENGER. And I do think she's thirty.

CLEOPATRA. Bear'st thou her face in mind? is't long or round?

MESSENGER. Round even to faultiness.

CLEOPATRA. For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.— Her hair, what colour?

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

CLEOPATRA. There's gold for thee. Thou must not take my former sharpness ill:— I will employ thee back again; I find thee Most fit for business:—go make thee ready; Our letters are prepar'd.

[Exit Messenger.]

CHARMIAN. A proper man.

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

CHARMIAN. Nothing, madam.

CLEOPATRA. The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.

CHARMIAN. Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend, And serving you so long!

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

CHARMIAN. I warrant you, madam.


SCENE IV. Athens. A Room in ANTONY'S House.


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

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

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

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

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


SCENE V. Athens. Another Room in ANTONY'S House.

[Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting.]

ENOBARBUS. How now, friend Eros!

EROS. There's strange news come, sir.

ENOBARBUS. What, man?

EROS. Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.

ENOBARBUS. This is old: what is the success?

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

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

EROS. He's walking in the garden—thus; and spurns The rush that lies before him; cries 'Fool Lepidus!' And threats the throat of that his officer That murder'd Pompey.

ENOBARBUS. Our great navy's rigg'd.

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

ENOBARBUS. 'Twill be naught; But let it be.—Bring me to Antony.

EROS. Come, sir.


SCENE VI. Rome. A Room in CAESAR'S House.


CAESAR. Contemning Rome, he has done all this, and more, In Alexandria. Here's the manner of't:— I' the market-place, on a tribunal silver'd, Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold Were publicly enthron'd: at the feet sat Caesarion, whom they call my father's son, And all the unlawful issue that their lust Since then hath made between them. Unto her He gave the 'stablishment of Egypt; made her Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia, Absolute queen.

MAECENAS. This in the public eye?

CAESAR. I' the common show-place, where they exercise. His sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings: Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia, He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia: she In the habiliments of the goddess Isis That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience, As 'tis reported, so.

MAECENAS. Let Rome be thus Inform'd.

AGRIPPA. Who, queasy with his insolence Already, will their good thoughts call from him.

CAESAR. The people knows it: and have now receiv'd His accusations.

AGRIPPA. Who does he accuse?

CAESAR. Caesar: and that, having in Sicily Sextus Pompeius spoil'd, we had not rated him His part o' the isle: then does he say he lent me Some shipping, unrestor'd: lastly, he frets That Lepidus of the triumvirate Should be depos'd; and, being, that we detain All his revenue.

AGRIPPA. Sir, this should be answer'd.

CAESAR. 'Tis done already, and messenger gone. I have told him Lepidus was grown too cruel; That he his high authority abus'd, And did deserve his change: for what I have conquer'd I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia And other of his conquer'd 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 call'd 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 the way Should have borne men; and expectation fainted, Longing for what it had not; nay, the dust Should have ascended to the roof of heaven, Rais'd by your populous troops: but you are come A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented The ostentation of our love, which left unshown Is often left unlov'd; we should have met you By sea and land; supplying every stage With an augmented greeting.

OCTAVIA. Good my lord, To come thus was I not constrain'd, but did it On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony, Hearing that you prepar'd for war, acquainted My grieved ear withal: whereon I begg'd His pardon for return.

CAESAR. Which soon he granted, Being an obstruct 'tween his lust and him.

OCTAVIA. Do not say so, my lord.

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

OCTAVIA. My lord, in Athens.

CAESAR. No, my most wronged sister; Cleopatra Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire Up to a whore; who now are levying The kings o' theearth 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 Comagene; Polemon and Amyntas, The kings of Mede and Lycaonia, with More larger list of sceptres.

OCTAVIA. Ay me, most wretched, That have my heart parted betwixt two friends, That do afflict each other!

CAESAR. Welcome hither: Your letters did withhold our breaking forth, Till we perceiv'd both how you were wrong led And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart: Be you not troubled with the time, which drives O'er your content these strong necessities; But let determin'd things to destiny Hold unbewail'd their way. Welcome to Rome; Nothing more dear to me. You are abus'd Beyond the mark of thought: and the high gods, To do you justice, make their 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 theadulterous Antony, most large In his abominations, turns you off, And gives his potent regiment to a trull That noises it against us.

OCTAVIA. Is it so, sir?

CAESAR. Most certain. Sister, welcome: pray you Be ever known to patience: my dear'st sister!


SCENE VII. ANTONY'S Camp near the Promontory of Actium.


CLEOPATRA. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.

ENOBARBUS. But why, why, why?

CLEOPATRA. Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars, And say'st it is not fit.

ENOBARBUS. Well, is it, is it?

CLEOPATRA. If not denounc'd 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 lost; the mares would bear A soldier and his horse.

CLEOPATRA. What is't you say?

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

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

ENOBARBUS. Nay, I have done. Here comes the emperor.


ANTONY. Is it not strange, Canidius, That from Tarentum and Brundusium He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea, And take in Toryne?—You have heard on't, sweet?

CLEOPATRA. Celerity is never more admir'd Than by the negligent.

ANTONY. A good rebuke, Which might have well becom'd 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 dar'd him to single fight.

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

ENOBARBUS. Your ships are not well mann'd: Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people Ingross'd by swift impress; in Caesar's fleet Are those that often have 'gainst Pompey fought: Their ships are yare; yours heavy: no disgrace Shall fall you for refusing him at sea, Being prepar'd 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-mark'd footmen; leave unexecuted Your own renowned knowledge; quite forgo The way which promises assurance; and Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard From firm security.

ANTONY. I'll fight at sea.

CLEOPATRA. I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

ANTONY. Our overplus of shipping will we burn; And, with the rest full-mann'd, from the head of Actium Beat the 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.

ANTONY. Can he be there in person? 'tis impossible— Strange that his power should be.—Canidius, Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land, And our twelve thousand horse.—We'll to our ship: Away, my Thetis!

[Enter a SOLDIER.]

How now, worthy soldier?

SOLDIER. O noble emperor, do not fight by sea; Trust not to rotten planks: do you misdoubt This sword and these my wounds? Let the Egyptians And the Phoenicians go a-ducking: we Have us'd to conquer standing on the earth And fighting foot to foot.

ANTONY. Well, well:—away.


SOLDIER. By Hercules, I think I am i' the right.

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

SOLDIER. You keep by land The legions and the horse whole, do you not?

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

SOLDIER. While he was yet in Rome His power went out in such distractions as Beguil'd 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 labour; and throes forth Each minute some.


SCENE VIII. A plain near Actium.

[Enter CAESAR, TAURUS, Officers, and others.]

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 of this scroll: our fortune lies Upon this jump.


SCENE IX. Another part of the Plain.


ANTONY. Set we our squadrons on yon side o' the hill, In eye of Caesar's battle; from which place We may the number of the ships behold, And so proceed accordingly.


SCENE X. Another part of the Plain.

[Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his land Army one way; and TAURUS, the Lieutenant of CAESAR, with his Army, 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: The Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral, With all their sixty, fly and turn the rudder: To see't mine eyes are blasted.

[Enter SCARUS.]

SCARUS. Gods and goddesses, All the whole synod of them!

ENOBARBUS. What's thy passion?

SCARUS. The greater cantle of the world is lost With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away Kingdoms and provinces.

ENOBARBUS. How appears the fight?

SCARUS. On our side like the token'd pestilence, Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt,— Whom leprosy o'ertake!—i' the midst o' the fight, When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd, Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,— The breese 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 loof'd, The noble ruin of her magic, Antony, Claps on his sea-wing, and, like a doting mallard, Leaving the fight in height, flies after her: I never saw an action of such shame; Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before Did violate so itself.

ENOBARBUS. Alack, alack!


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

ENOBARBUS. Ay, are you thereabouts? Why, then, good night indeed.

CANIDIUS. Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.

SCARUS. 'Tis easy to't; and there I will attend What further comes.

CANIDIUS. To Caesar will I render My legions and my horse; six kings already Show me the way of yielding.

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


SCENE XI. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

[Enter ANTONY and attendants.]

ANTONY. Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon't;— It is asham'd to bear me.—Friends, come hither: I am so lated in the world that I Have lost my way for ever:—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.—Friends, be gone; I have myself resolv'd upon a course Which has no need of you; be gone; My treasure's in the harbour, take it.—O, I follow'd that I blush to look upon: My very hairs do mutiny; for the white Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them For fear and doting.—Friends, be gone: you shall Have letters from me to some friends that will Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad, Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint Which my despair proclaims; let that be left Which leaves itself: to the sea-side 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.

[Sits down.]

[Enter CLEOPATRA, led by CHARMIAN and IRAS, EROS following.]

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!

ANTONY. No, no, no, no, no.

EROS. See you here, sir?

ANTONY. O, fie, fie, fie!


IRAS. Madam, O good empress,—

EROS. Sir, sir,—

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

CLEOPATRA. Ah, stand by.

EROS. The queen, my lord, the queen!

IRAS. Go to him, madam, speak to him: He is unqualitied with very shame.

CLEOPATRA. Well then,—sustain me.—O!

EROS. Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches: Her head's declin'd, and death will seize her, but Your comfort makes the rescue.

ANTONY. I have offended reputation,— A most unnoble swerving.

EROS. Sir, the queen.

ANTONY. O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See How I convey my shame out of thine eyes By looking back, what I have left behind 'Stroy'd in dishonour.

CLEOPATRA. O my lord, my lord, Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought You would have follow'd.

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

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