Open Source Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra

(complete text)

Act I

1. Alexandria. A room in CLEOPATRA’s palace.

2. The same. Another room.

3. The same. Another room.

4. Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.

5. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

Act II

1. Messina. POMPEY’s house.

2. Rome. The house of LEPIDUS.

3. The same. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.

4. The same. A street.

5. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

6. Near Misenum.

7. On board POMPEY’s galley, off Misenum.


1. A plain in Syria.

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

3. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

4. Athens. A room in MARK ANTONY’s house.

5. The same. Another room.

6. Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.

7. Near Actium. MARK ANTONY’s camp.

8. A plain near Actium.

9. Another part of the plain.

10. Another part of the plain.

11. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

12. Egypt. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

13. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

Act IV

1. Before Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

2. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

3. The same. Before the palace.

4. The same. A room in the palace.

5. Alexandria. MARK ANTONY’s camp.

6. Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

7. Field of battle between the camps.

8. Under the walls of Alexandria.


10. Between the two camps.

11. Another part of the same.

12. Another part of the same.

13. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.

14. The same. Another room.

15. The same. A monument.

Act V

1. Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

2. Alexandria. A room in the monument.

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Act I, Scene 1

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, 5
    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 10
    To cool a gipsy's lust.
    [Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her Ladies,]
    the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her]
    Look, where they come:
    Take but good note, and you shall see in him. 15
    The triple pillar of the world transform'd
    Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.
  • Cleopatra. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
  • Antony. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
  • Cleopatra. I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved. 20
  • 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: 25
    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.' 30
  • 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? 35
    Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen,
    Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
    Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
    When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
  • Antony. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch 40
    Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space.
    Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
    Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
    Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair
    [Embracing] 45
    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? 50
    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: 55
    There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
    Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?
  • Cleopatra. Hear the ambassadors.
  • Antony. Fie, wrangling queen!
    Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, 60
    To weep; whose every passion fully strives
    To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!
    No messenger, but thine; and all alone
    To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
    The qualities of people. Come, my queen; 65
    Last night you did desire it: speak not to us.
    [Exeunt MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with]
    their train]
  • Demetrius. Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
  • Philo. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, 70
    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 75
    Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!



Act I, Scene 2

The same. Another room.


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

  • Charmian. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas,
    almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer 80
    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? 85
  • 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.


  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 95
  • 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. 100
  • Charmian. Hush!
  • 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 105
    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. 110
  • Charmian. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
  • Soothsayer. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
    Than that which is to approach.
  • Charmian. Then belike my children shall have no names:
    prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have? 115
  • 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. 120
  • Alexas. We'll know all our fortunes.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 125
  • Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
  • Charmian. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful
    prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee,
    tell her but a worky-day fortune.
  • Soothsayer. Your fortunes are alike. 130
  • 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? 135
  • 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 worst 140
    follow worse, till the worst of all follow him
    laughing to his grave, fifty-fold 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! 145
    for, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man
    loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a
    foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep
    decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
  • Charmian. Amen. 150
  • Alexas. Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me a
    cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but
    they'ld do't!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Hush! here comes Antony.
  • Charmian. Not he; the queen. 155


  • Cleopatra. Saw you my lord?
  • Domitius Enobarus. No, lady.
  • Cleopatra. Was he not here?
  • Charmian. No, madam. 160
  • Cleopatra. He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden
    A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Madam?
  • Cleopatra. Seek him, and bring him hither.
    Where's Alexas? 165
  • Alexas. Here, at your service. My lord approaches.
  • Cleopatra. We will not look upon him: go with us.


[Enter MARK ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants]

  • Messenger. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. 170
  • Antony. Against my brother Lucius?
  • Messenger. Ay:
    But soon that war had end, and the time's state
    Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst Caesar;
    Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, 175
    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: 180
    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; 185
    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: 190
    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 195
    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? 200
  • 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] 205
    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 210
    Importeth thee to know, this bears.

[Gives a letter]

  • Antony. Forbear me.
    [Exit Second Messenger]
    There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: 215
    What our contempt doth often hurl from us,
    We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
    By revolution lowering, does become
    The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
    The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on. 220
    I must from this enchanting queen break off:
    Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
    My idleness doth hatch. How now! Enobarbus!


  • Domitius Enobarus. What's your pleasure, sir? 225
  • Antony. I must with haste from hence.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 230
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 235
    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.


  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 245
    shower of rain as well as Jove.
  • Antony. Would I had never seen her.
  • Domitius Enobarus. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece
    of work; which not to have been blest withal would
    have discredited your travel. 250
  • Antony. Fulvia is dead.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Sir?
  • Antony. Fulvia is dead.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Fulvia!
  • Antony. Dead. 255
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 260
    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. 265
  • Antony. The business she hath broached in the state
    Cannot endure my absence.
  • Domitius Enobarus. And the business you have broached here cannot be
    without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which
    wholly depends on your abode. 270
  • 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, 275
    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, 280
    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 285
    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 290
    Our quick remove from hence.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I shall do't.



Act I, Scene 3

The same. Another room.



  • Cleopatra. Where is he? 295
  • 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. 300


  • 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? 305
  • Charmian. In each thing give him way, cross him 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. 310


  • 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 315
    Will not sustain it.
  • Antony. Now, my dearest queen,—
  • Cleopatra. Pray you, stand further from me.
  • Antony. What's the matter?
  • Cleopatra. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news. 320
    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,— 325
  • 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, 330
    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,— 335
  • Cleopatra. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
    But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
    Then was the time for words: no going then;
    Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
    Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor, 340
    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 345
    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 350
    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, 355
    Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace,
    Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
    Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
    And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
    By any desperate change: my more particular, 360
    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: 365
    Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
    The garboils she awaked; at the last, best:
    See when and where she died.
  • Cleopatra. O most false love!
    Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill 370
    With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
    In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.
  • Antony. Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
    The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
    As you shall give the advice. By the fire 375
    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, 380
    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. 385
    I prithee, turn aside and weep for her,
    Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
    Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
    Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
    Life perfect honour. 390
  • Antony. You'll heat my blood: no more.
  • Cleopatra. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
  • Antony. Now, by my sword,—
  • Cleopatra. And target. Still he mends;
    But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian, 395
    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: 400
    Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;
    That you know well: something it is I would,
    O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
    And I am all forgotten.
  • Antony. But that your royalty 405
    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; 410
    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 415
    Be strew'd before your feet!
  • Antony. Let us go. Come;
    Our separation so abides, and flies,
    That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
    And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee. Away! 420



Act I, Scene 4

Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.


[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter, LEPIDUS,] [p]and their Train]

  • Octavius. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
    It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate 425
    Our great competitor: from Alexandria
    This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
    The lamps of night in revel; is not more man-like
    Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
    More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or 430
    Vouchsafed 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: 435
    His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven,
    More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
    Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
    Than what he chooses.
  • Octavius. You are too indulgent. Let us grant, it is not 440
    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 445
    becomes him,—
    As his composure must be rare indeed
    Whom these things cannot blemish,—yet must Antony
    No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
    So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd 450
    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 455
    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. 460
  • Messenger. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,
    Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report
    How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea;
    And it appears he is beloved of those
    That only have fear'd Caesar: to the ports 465
    The discontents repair, and men's reports
    Give him much wrong'd.
  • Octavius. 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; 470
    And the ebb'd man, ne'er loved 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. 475
  • 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 480
    Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt:
    No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
    Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more
    Than could his war resisted.
  • Octavius. Antony, 485
    Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
    Wast 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 490
    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, 495
    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 500
    So much as lank'd not.
  • Lepidus. 'Tis pity of him.
  • Octavius. Let his shames quickly
    Drive him to Rome: 'tis time we twain
    Did show ourselves i' the field; and to that end 505
    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 510
    To front this present time.
  • Octavius. 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, 515
    To let me be partaker.
  • Octavius. Doubt not, sir;
    I knew it for my bond.



Act I, Scene 5

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • Cleopatra. Charmian!
  • Charmian. Madam?
  • Cleopatra. Ha, ha!
    Give me to drink mandragora.
  • Charmian. Why, madam? 525
  • 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. 530
  • 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 535
    May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
  • Mardian. Yes, gracious madam.
  • Cleopatra. Indeed!
  • Mardian. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
    But what indeed is honest to be done: 540
    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? 545
    O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
    Do bravely, horse! for wot'st thou whom thou movest?
    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?' 550
    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 555
    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.


  • 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? 565
  • 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, 570
    '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, 575
    And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt 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 580
    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, 585
    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. Met'st thou my posts? 590
  • 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. 595
    Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
    Ever love Caesar so?
  • Charmian. O that brave Caesar!
  • Cleopatra. Be choked with such another emphasis!
    Say, the brave Antony. 600
  • 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, 605
    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: 610
    He shall have every day a several greeting,
    Or I'll unpeople Egypt.



Act II, Scene 1

Messina. POMPEY’s house.


[Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in] [p]warlike manner]

  • 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 620
    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. 625
  • 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 630
    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 635
    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, 640
    Salt Cleopatra, soften thy waned 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; 645
    That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
    Even till a Lethe'd dulness!
    [Enter VARRIUS]
    How now, Varrius!
  • Varrius. This is most certain that I shall deliver: 650
    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 655
    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 660
    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, 665
    Not moved 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 670
    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. 675
    Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands
    Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
    Come, Menas.



Act II, Scene 2

Rome. 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.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I shall entreat him
    To answer like himself: if Caesar move him, 685
    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 690
    For private stomaching.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Every time
    Serves for the matter that is then born in't.
  • Lepidus. But small to greater matters must give way.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Not if the small come first. 695
  • Lepidus. Your speech is passion:
    But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
    The noble Antony.


  • Domitius Enobarus. And yonder, Caesar. 700


  • Antony. If we compose well here, to Parthia:
    Hark, Ventidius.
  • Octavius. I do not know,
    Mecaenas; ask Agrippa. 705
  • Lepidus. Noble friends,
    That which combined us was most great, and let not
    A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
    May it be gently heard: when we debate
    Our trivial difference loud, we do commit 710
    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. 715
    Were we before our armies, and to fight.
    I should do thus.


  • Octavius. Welcome to Rome.
  • Antony. Thank you. 720
  • Octavius. Sit.
  • Antony. Sit, sir.
  • Octavius. Nay, then.
  • Antony. I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
    Or being, concern you not. 725
  • Octavius. 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 730
    It not concern'd me.
  • Antony. My being in Egypt, Caesar,
    What was't to you?
  • Octavius. No more than my residing here at Rome
    Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there 735
    Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
    Might be my question.
  • Antony. How intend you, practised?
  • Octavius. You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
    By what did here befal me. Your wife and brother 740
    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, 745
    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, 750
    As matter whole you have not to make it with,
    It must not be with this.
  • Octavius. You praise yourself
    By laying defects of judgment to me; but
    You patch'd up your excuses. 755
  • 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 760
    Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
    I would you had her spirit in such another:
    The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle
    You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Would we had all such wives, that the men might go 765
    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 770
    But say, I could not help it.
  • Octavius. I wrote to you
    When rioting in Alexandria; you
    Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
    Did gibe my missive out of audience. 775
  • 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 780
    As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
    Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
    Out of our question wipe him.
  • Octavius. You have broken
    The article of your oath; which you shall never 785
    Have tongue to charge me with.
  • Lepidus. Soft, Caesar!
  • Antony. No,
    Lepidus, let him speak:
    The honour is sacred which he talks on now, 790
    Supposing that I lack'd it. But, on, Caesar;
    The article of my oath.
  • Octavius. To lend me arms and aid when I required them;
    The which you both denied.
  • Antony. Neglected, rather; 795
    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, 800
    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. 805
  • Mecaenas. 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, Mecaenas. 810
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 815
  • Domitius Enobarus. That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
  • Antony. You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Go to, then; your considerate stone.
  • Octavius. I do not much dislike the matter, but
    The manner of his speech; for't cannot be 820
    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,— 825
  • Octavius. Speak, Agrippa.
  • Agrippa. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
    Admired Octavia: great Mark Antony
    Is now a widower.
  • Octavius. Say not so, Agrippa: 830
    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, 835
    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 840
    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 845
    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? 850
  • Octavius. 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? 855
  • Octavius. 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: 860
    Further this act of grace: and from this hour
    The heart of brothers govern in our loves
    And sway our great designs!
  • Octavius. There is my hand.
    A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother 865
    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; 870
    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: 875
    Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
    Or else he seeks out us.
  • Antony. Where lies he?
  • Octavius. About the mount Misenum.
  • Antony. What is his strength by land? 880
  • Octavius. Great and increasing: but by sea
    He is an absolute master.
  • Antony. So is the fame.
    Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
    Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we 885
    The business we have talk'd of.
  • Octavius. With most gladness:
    And do invite you to my sister's view,
    Whither straight I'll lead you.
  • Antony. Let us, Lepidus, 890
    Not lack your company.
  • Lepidus. Noble Antony,
    Not sickness should detain me.
    [Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK ANTONY,]
    and LEPIDUS] 895
  • Mecaenas. Welcome from Egypt, sir.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Mecaenas! My
    honourable friend, Agrippa!
  • Agrippa. Good Enobarbus!
  • Mecaenas. We have cause to be glad that matters are so well 900
    digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and
    made the night light with drinking.
  • Mecaenas. Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and
    but twelve persons there; is this true? 905
  • Domitius Enobarus. This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more
    monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
  • Mecaenas. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to
  • Domitius Enobarus. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up 910
    his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
  • Agrippa. There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised
    well for her.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I will tell you.
    The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, 915
    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, 920
    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 outwork nature: on each side her 925
    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! 930
  • Domitius Enobarus. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
    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, 935
    That yarely frame the office. From the barge
    A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
    Her people out upon her; and Antony,
    Enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone, 940
    Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
    Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
    And made a gap in nature.
  • Agrippa. Rare Egyptian!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her, 945
    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, 950
    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 plough'd her, and she cropp'd. 955
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 960
  • Mecaenas. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 965
    Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
    Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
    Bless her when she is riggish.
  • Mecaenas. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
    The heart of Antony, Octavia is 970
    A blessed lottery to him.
  • Agrippa. Let us go.
    Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
    Whilst you abide here.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Humbly, sir, I thank you. 975



Act II, Scene 3

The same. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.


[Enter MARK ANTONY, OCTAVIUS CAESAR, OCTAVIA between] [p]them, and Attendants]

  • Antony. The world and my great office will sometimes
    Divide me from your bosom. 980
  • 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: 985
    I have not kept my square; but that to come
    Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.
    Good night, sir.
  • Octavius. Good night.


[Enter Soothsayer]

  • 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 995
    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. 1000
    Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
    Thy demon, that's 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 1005
    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, 1010
    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: 1015
    Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:
    [Exit Soothsayer]
    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 1020
    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, 1025
    I' the east my pleasure lies.
    [Enter VENTIDIUS]
    O, come, Ventidius,
    You must to Parthia: your commission's ready;
    Follow me, and receive't. 1030



Act II, Scene 4

The same. A street.



  • Lepidus. Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten
    Your generals after.
  • Agrippa. Sir, Mark Antony 1035
    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.
  • Mecaenas. We shall,
    As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount 1040
    Before you, Lepidus.
  • Lepidus. Your way is shorter;
    My purposes do draw me much about:
    You'll win two days upon me.
  • Mecaenas. [with Agrippa] Sir, good success! 1045
  • Lepidus. Farewell.



Act II, Scene 5

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • Cleopatra. Give me some music; music, moody food
    Of us that trade in love. 1050
  • Attendants. The music, ho!


  • 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 1055
    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: 1060
    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, 1065
    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. 1070
  • Cleopatra. That time,—O times!—
    I laugh'd 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 1075
    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. 1080
  • Messenger. Madam, madam,—
  • Cleopatra. Antonius 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 1085
    Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
  • Messenger. First, madam, he is well.
  • Cleopatra. Why, there's more gold.
    But, sirrah, mark, we use
    To say the dead are well: bring it to that, 1090
    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 1095
    Be free and healthful,—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? 1100
  • 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. 1105
  • Messenger. Madam, he's well.
  • Cleopatra. Well said.
  • Messenger. And friends with Caesar.
  • Cleopatra. Thou'rt an honest man.
  • Messenger. Caesar and he are greater friends than ever. 1110
  • 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 1115
    Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
    Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
    The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar:
    In state of health thou say'st; and thou say'st free.
  • Messenger. Free, madam! no; I made no such report: 1120
    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. 1125
  • Cleopatra. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

[Strikes him down]

  • Messenger. Good madam, patience.
  • Cleopatra. What say you? Hence,
    [Strikes him again] 1130
    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 lingering pickle. 1135
  • 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; 1140
    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.


  • Charmian. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
    The man is innocent. 1150
  • 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. 1155
  • Cleopatra. I will not hurt him.
    [Exit CHARMIAN]
    These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
    A meaner than myself; since I myself
    Have given myself the cause. 1160
    [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 1165
    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.' 1170
  • Messenger. He's married, madam.
  • Cleopatra. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still?
  • Messenger. Should I lie, madam?
  • Cleopatra. O, I would thou didst,
    So half my Egypt were submerged and made 1175
    A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence:
    Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
    Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
  • Messenger. I crave your highness' pardon.
  • Cleopatra. He is married? 1180
  • 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 thou'rt sure of! Get thee hence: 1185
    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. 1190
  • 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. 1195
    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] 1200
    Let him for ever go:—let him not—Charmian,
    Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
    The other way's a Mars. Bid you Alexas
    [To MARDIAN]
    Bring me word how tall she is. Pity me, Charmian, 1205
    But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.



Act II, Scene 6

Near Misenum.


[Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one door,] [p]with drum and trumpet: at another, OCTAVIUS CAESAR, [p]MARK ANTONY, LEPIDUS, DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, MECAENAS, [p]with Soldiers marching]

  • Pompey. Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
    And we shall talk before we fight.
  • Octavius. Most meet
    That first we come to words; and therefore have we 1215
    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. 1220
  • 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, 1225
    Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
    There saw you labouring for him. What was't
    That moved pale Cassius to conspire; and what
    Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus,
    With the arm'd rest, courtiers and beauteous freedom, 1230
    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 burthen
    The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
    To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome 1235
    Cast on my noble father.
  • Octavius. 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. 1240
  • 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 pleased to tell us— 1245
    For this is from the present—how you take
    The offers we have sent you.
  • Octavius. There's the point.
  • Antony. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
    What it is worth embraced. 1250
  • Octavius. 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 1255
    Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon
    To part with unhack'd edges, and bear back
    Our targes undinted.
  • Octavius. [with Antony and Lepidus] That's our offer.
  • Pompey. Know, then, 1260
    I came before you here a man prepared
    To take this offer: but Mark Antony
    Put me to some impatience: though I lose
    The praise of it by telling, you must know,
    When Caesar and your brother were at blows, 1265
    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. 1270
  • 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 gain'd by 't. 1275
  • Octavius. 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, 1280
    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. 1285
  • Octavius. 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 1290
    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. 1295
  • Antony. And fair words to them.
  • Pompey. Then so much have I heard:
    And I have heard, Apollodorus carried—
  • Domitius Enobarus. No more of that: he did so.
  • Pompey. What, I pray you? 1300
  • Domitius Enobarus. A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
  • Pompey. I know thee now: how farest thou, soldier?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Well;
    And well am like to do; for, I perceive,
    Four feasts are toward. 1305
  • Pompey. Let me shake thy hand;
    I never hated thee: I have seen thee fight,
    When I have envied thy behavior.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Sir,
    I never loved you much; but I ha' praised ye, 1310
    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: 1315
    Will you lead, lords?
  • Octavius. [with Antony and Lepidus]
  • Pompey. Come.

[Exeunt all but MENAS and ENOBARBUS]

  • Menas. [Aside] Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have 1320
    made this treaty.—You and I have known, sir.
  • Domitius Enobarus. At sea, I think.
  • Menas. We have, sir.
  • Domitius Enobarus. You have done well by water.
  • Menas. And you by land. 1325
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Yes, something you can deny for your own
    safety: you have been a great thief by sea. 1330
  • Menas. And you by land.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 1335
  • Domitius Enobarus. But there is never a fair woman has a true face.
  • Menas. No slander; they steal hearts.
  • Domitius Enobarus. We came hither to fight with you.
  • Menas. For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking.
    Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune. 1340
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Caesar's sister is called Octavia.
  • Menas. True, sir; she was the wife of Caius Marcellus. 1345
  • Domitius Enobarus. But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.
  • Menas. Pray ye, sir?
  • Domitius Enobarus. 'Tis true.
  • Menas. Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.
  • Domitius Enobarus. If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would 1350
    not prophesy so.
  • Menas. I think the policy of that purpose made more in the
    marriage than the love of the parties.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I think so too. But you shall find, the band that
    seems to tie their friendship together will be the 1355
    very strangler of their amity: Octavia is of a
    holy, cold, and still conversation.
  • Menas. Who would not have his wife so?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Not he that himself is not so; which is Mark Antony.
    He will to his Egyptian dish again: then shall the 1360
    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. 1365
  • Menas. And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard?
    I have a health for you.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I shall take it, sir: we have used our throats in Egypt.
  • Menas. Come, let's away.



Act II, Scene 7

On board POMPEY’s galley, off Misenum.


[Music plays. Enter two or three Servants with] [p]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. 1375
  • 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. 1380
  • First Servant. But it raises the greater war between him and
    his discretion.
  • Second Servant. Why, this is to have a name in great men's
    fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do
    me no service as a partisan I could not heave. 1385
  • 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 OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK]
    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, MENAS, with other captains]
  • Antony. [To OCTAVIUS 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 1395
    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. 1400
  • 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! 1405
  • Lepidus. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 1410
  • 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, 1415
    And hear me speak a word.
  • Pompey. [Aside to MENAS] Forbear me till anon.
    This wine for Lepidus!
  • Lepidus. What manner o' thing is your crocodile?
  • Antony. It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad 1420
    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 once out of
    it, it transmigrates.
  • Lepidus. What colour is it of? 1425
  • Antony. Of it own colour too.
  • Lepidus. 'Tis a strange serpent.
  • Antony. 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
  • Octavius. Will this description satisfy him?
  • Antony. With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a 1430
    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 1435
    wilt hear me,
    Rise from thy stool.
  • Pompey. [Aside to MENAS] I think thou'rt mad.
    The matter?

[Rises, and walks aside]

  • Menas. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.
  • Pompey. Thou hast served me with much faith. What's else to say?
    Be jolly, lords.
  • Antony. These quick-sands, Lepidus,
    Keep off them, for you sink. 1445
  • 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, 1450
    And, though thou think me poor, I am the man
    Will give thee all the world.
  • Pompey. Hast thou drunk well?
  • Menas. Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
    Thou art, if thou darest be, the earthly Jove: 1455
    Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
    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; 1460
    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 villany;
    In thee't had been good service. Thou must know, 1465
    '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. 1470
  • 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! 1475
  • Antony. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Here's to thee, Menas!
  • Menas. Enobarbus, welcome!
  • Pompey. Fill till the cup be hid.
  • Domitius Enobarus. There's a strong fellow, Menas. 1480

[Pointing to the Attendant who carries off LEPIDUS]

  • Menas. Why?
  • Domitius Enobarus. A' bears the third part of the world, man; see'st
  • Menas. The third part, then, is drunk: would it were all, 1485
    That it might go on wheels!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Drink thou; increase the reels.
  • Menas. Come.
  • Pompey. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
  • Antony. It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho? 1490
    Here is to Caesar!
  • Octavius. 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. 1495
  • Octavius. Possess it, I'll make answer:
    But I had rather fast from all four days
    Than drink so much in one.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Ha, my brave emperor!
    [To MARK ANTONY] 1500
    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 1505
    In soft and delicate Lethe.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 1510
    As his strong sides can volley.
    [Music plays. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS places them]
    hand in hand]
    Come, thou monarch of the vine, 1515
    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! 1520
  • Octavius. 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 1525
    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. 1530
  • Pompey. O Antony,
    You have my father's house,—But, what? we are friends.
    Come, down into the boat.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Take heed you fall not.
    [Exeunt all but DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and MENAS] 1535
    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! 1540

[Sound a flourish, with drums]

  • Domitius Enobarus. Ho! says a' There's my cap.
  • Menas. Ho! Noble captain, come.



Act III, Scene 1

A plain in Syria.


[Enter VENTIDIUS as it were in triumph, with SILIUS,] [p]and other Romans, Officers, and Soldiers; the dead [p]body of PACORUS borne before him]

  • Ventidius. Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck; and now
    Pleased fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
    Make me revenger. Bear the king's son's body 1550
    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, 1555
    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, 1560
    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 1565
    More in their officer than person: Sossius,
    One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant,
    For quick accumulation of renown,
    Which he achieved by the minute, lost his favour.
    Who does i' the wars more than his captain can 1570
    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 1575
    Should my performance perish.
  • Silius. Thou hast, Ventidius,
    Without the which a soldier, and his sword,
    Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony! 1580
  • 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. 1585
  • 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!



Act III, Scene 2

Rome. An ante-chamber in OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.


[Enter AGRIPPA at one door, DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] [p]at another]

  • Agrippa. What, are the brothers parted?
  • Domitius Enobarus. They have dispatch'd with Pompey, he is gone;
    The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps 1595
    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.
  • Domitius Enobarus. A very fine one: O, how he loves Caesar! 1600
  • Agrippa. Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Caesar? Why, he's the Jupiter of men.
  • Agrippa. What's Antony? The god of Jupiter.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Spake you of Caesar? How! the non-pareil!
  • Agrippa. O Antony! O thou Arabian bird! 1605
  • Domitius Enobarus. Would you praise Caesar, say 'Caesar:' go no further.
  • Agrippa. Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.
  • Domitius Enobarus. But he loves Caesar best; yet he loves Antony:
    Ho! hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards,
    poets, cannot 1610
    Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number, ho!
    His love to Antony. But as for Caesar,
    Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.
  • Agrippa. Both he loves.
  • Domitius Enobarus. They are his shards, and he their beetle. 1615
    [Trumpets within]
    This is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.
  • Agrippa. Good fortune, worthy soldier; and farewell.


  • Antony. No further, sir.
  • Octavius. 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 band
    Shall pass on thy approof. Most noble Antony, 1625
    Let not the piece of virtue, which is set
    Betwixt us as the cement of our love,
    To keep it builded, be the ram to batter
    The fortress of it; for better might we
    Have loved without this mean, if on both parts 1630
    This be not cherish'd.
  • Antony. Make me not offended
    In your distrust.
  • Octavius. I have said.
  • Antony. You shall not find, 1635
    Though you be therein curious, the least cause
    For what you seem to fear: so, the gods keep you,
    And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends!
    We will here part.
  • Octavius. Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well: 1640
    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. 1645
  • Octavia. Sir, look well to my husband's house; and—
  • Octavius. 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 1650
    That stands upon the swell at full of tide,
    And neither way inclines.
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside to AGRIPPA] Will Caesar weep?
  • Agrippa. [Aside to DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] He has a cloud in 's face. 1655
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside to AGRIPPA] He were the worse for that,
    were he a horse;
    So is he, being a man.
  • Agrippa. [Aside to DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] Why, Enobarbus,
    When Antony found Julius Caesar dead, 1660
    He cried almost to roaring; and he wept
    When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside to AGRIPPA] That year, indeed, he was
    troubled with a rheum;
    What willingly he did confound he wail'd, 1665
    Believe't, till I wept too.
  • Octavius. No, sweet Octavia,
    You shall hear from me still; the time shall not
    Out-go my thinking on you.
  • Antony. Come, sir, come; 1670
    I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love:
    Look, here I have you; thus I let you go,
    And give you to the gods.
  • Octavius. Adieu; be happy!
  • Lepidus. Let all the number of the stars give light 1675
    To thy fair way!
  • Octavius. Farewell, farewell!

[Kisses OCTAVIA]

  • Antony. Farewell!

[Trumpets sound. Exeunt]


Act III, Scene 3

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • Cleopatra. Where is the fellow?
  • Alexas. Half afeard to come.
  • Cleopatra. Go to, go to.
    [Enter the Messenger as before] 1685
    Come hither, sir.
  • Alexas. Good majesty,
    Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you
    But when you are well pleased.
  • Cleopatra. That Herod's head 1690
    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. 1695
  • Cleopatra. Where?
  • 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? 1700
  • Messenger. She is not, madam.
  • Cleopatra. Didst hear her speak? is she shrill-tongued or low?
  • Messenger. Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voiced.
  • Cleopatra. That's not so good: he cannot like her long.
  • Charmian. Like her! O Isis! 'tis impossible. 1705
  • 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; 1710
    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 1715
    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. 1720
  • Cleopatra. Guess at her years, I prithee.
  • Messenger. Madam,
    She was a widow,—
  • Cleopatra. Widow! Charmian, hark.
  • Messenger. And I do think she's thirty. 1725
  • 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 1730
    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; 1735
    Our letters are prepared.

[Exit Messenger]

  • Charmian. A proper man.
  • Cleopatra. Indeed, he is so: I repent me much
    That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him, 1740
    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! 1745
  • 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.



Act III, Scene 4

Athens. A room in MARK ANTONY’s house.



  • Antony. Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that,—
    That were excusable, that, and thousands more
    Of semblable import,—but he hath waged
    New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and read it 1755
    To public ear:
    Spoke scantly 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, 1760
    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, 1765
    Praying for both parts:
    The good gods 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, 1770
    Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway
    'Twixt these extremes at all.
  • Antony. Gentle Octavia,
    Let your best love draw to that point, which seeks
    Best to preserve it: if I lose mine honour, 1775
    I lose myself: better I were not yours
    Than yours so branchless. But, as you requested,
    Yourself shall go between 's: the mean time, lady,
    I'll raise the preparation of a war
    Shall stain your brother: make your soonest haste; 1780
    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 1785
    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; 1790
    Choose your own company, and command what cost
    Your heart has mind to.



Act III, Scene 5

The same. Another room.


[Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting]

  • Domitius Enobarus. How now, friend Eros! 1795
  • Eros. There's strange news come, sir.
  • Domitius Enobarus. What, man?
  • Eros. Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
  • Domitius Enobarus. This is old: what is the success?
  • Eros. Caesar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst 1800
    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. 1805
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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!' 1810
    And threats the throat of that his officer
    That murder'd Pompey.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Our great navy's rigg'd.
  • Eros. For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius;
    My lord desires you presently: my news 1815
    I might have told hereafter.
  • Domitius Enobarus. 'Twill be naught:
    But let it be. Bring me to Antony.
  • Eros. Come, sir.



Act III, Scene 6

Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.



  • Octavius. 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 1825
    Were publicly enthroned: at the feet sat
    Caesarion, whom they call my father's son,
    And all the unlawful issue that their lust
    Since then hath made between them. Unto her
    He gave the stablishment of Egypt; made her 1830
    Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
    Absolute queen.
  • Mecaenas. This in the public eye?
  • Octavius. I' the common show-place, where they exercise.
    His sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings: 1835
    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, 1840
    As 'tis reported, so.
  • Mecaenas. Let Rome be thus Inform'd.
  • Agrippa. Who, queasy with his insolence
    Already, will their good thoughts call from him.
  • Octavius. The people know it; and have now received 1845
    His accusations.
  • Agrippa. Who does he accuse?
  • Octavius. 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 1850
    Some shipping unrestored: lastly, he frets
    That Lepidus of the triumvirate
    Should be deposed; and, being, that we detain
    All his revenue.
  • Agrippa. Sir, this should be answer'd. 1855
  • Octavius. 'Tis done already, and the messenger gone.
    I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel;
    That he his high authority abused,
    And did deserve his change: for what I have conquer'd,
    I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia, 1860
    And other of his conquer'd kingdoms, I
    Demand the like.
  • Mecaenas. He'll never yield to that.
  • Octavius. Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

[Enter OCTAVIA with her train]

  • Octavia. Hail, Caesar, and my lord! hail, most dear Caesar!
  • Octavius. That ever I should call thee castaway!
  • Octavia. You have not call'd me so, nor have you cause.
  • Octavius. Why have you stol'n upon us thus! You come not
    Like Caesar's sister: the wife of Antony 1870
    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 1875
    Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
    Raised by your populous troops: but you are come
    A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented
    The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown,
    Is often left unloved; we should have met you 1880
    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
    On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony, 1885
    Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted
    My grieved ear withal; whereon, I begg'd
    His pardon for return.
  • Octavius. Which soon he granted,
    Being an obstruct 'tween his lust and him. 1890
  • Octavia. Do not say so, my lord.
  • Octavius. I have eyes upon him,
    And his affairs come to me on the wind.
    Where is he now?
  • Octavia. My lord, in Athens. 1895
  • Octavius. 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' the earth for war; he hath assembled
    Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus, 1900
    Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king
    Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;
    King Malchus of Arabia; King of Pont;
    Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king
    Of Comagene; Polemon and Amyntas, 1905
    The kings of Mede and Lycaonia,
    With a more larger list of sceptres.
  • Octavia. Ay me, most wretched,
    That have my heart parted betwixt two friends
    That do afflict each other! 1910
  • Octavius. Welcome hither:
    Your letters did withhold our breaking forth;
    Till we perceived, both how you were wrong led,
    And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;
    Be you not troubled with the time, which drives 1915
    O'er your content these strong necessities;
    But let determined things to destiny
    Hold unbewail'd their way. Welcome to Rome;
    Nothing more dear to me. You are abused
    Beyond the mark of thought: and the high gods, 1920
    To do you justice, make them ministers
    Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort;
    And ever welcome to us.
  • Agrippa. Welcome, lady.
  • Mecaenas. Welcome, dear madam. 1925
    Each heart in Rome does love and pity you:
    Only the adulterous Antony, most large
    In his abominations, turns you off;
    And gives his potent regiment to a trull,
    That noises it against us. 1930
  • Octavia. Is it so, sir?
  • Octavius. Most certain. Sister, welcome: pray you,
    Be ever known to patience: my dear'st sister!



Act III, Scene 7

Near Actium. MARK ANTONY’s camp.



  • Cleopatra. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
  • Domitius Enobarus. But why, why, why?
  • Cleopatra. Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
    And say'st it is not fit.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Well, is it, is it? 1940
  • Cleopatra. If not denounced against us, why should not we
    Be there in person?
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside] Well, I could reply:
    If we should serve with horse and mares together,
    The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear 1945
    A soldier and his horse.
  • Cleopatra. What is't you say?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Your presence needs must puzzle Antony;
    Take from his heart, take from his brain,
    from's time, 1950
    What should not then be spared. He is already
    Traduced for levity; and 'tis said in Rome
    That Photinus an eunuch and your maids
    Manage this war.
  • Cleopatra. Sink Rome, and their tongues rot 1955
    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.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Nay, I have done. 1960
    Here comes the emperor.


  • Antony. Is it not strange, Canidius,
    That from Tarentum and Brundusium
    He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea, 1965
    And take in Toryne? You have heard on't, sweet?
  • Cleopatra. Celerity is never more admired
    Than by the negligent.
  • Antony. A good rebuke,
    Which might have well becomed the best of men, 1970
    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. 1975
  • Domitius Enobarus. So hath my lord dared him to single fight.
  • Canidius. Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia.
    Where Caesar fought with Pompey: but these offers,
    Which serve not for his vantage, be shakes off;
    And so should you. 1980
  • Domitius Enobarus. Your ships are not well mann'd;
    Your mariners are muleters, 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 1985
    Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,
    Being prepared for land.
  • Antony. By sea, by sea.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Most worthy sir, you therein throw away
    The absolute soldiership you have by land; 1990
    Distract your army, which doth most consist
    Of war-mark'd footmen; leave unexecuted
    Your own renowned knowledge; quite forego
    The way which promises assurance; and
    Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard, 1995
    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 2000
    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; 2005
    Caesar has taken Toryne.
  • Antony. Can he be there in person? 'tis impossible;
    Strange that power should be. Canidius,
    Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land,
    And our twelve thousand horse. We'll to our ship: 2010
    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 2015
    This sword and these my wounds? Let the Egyptians
    And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we
    Have used to conquer, standing on the earth,
    And fighting foot to foot.
  • Antony. Well, well: away! 2020


  • 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. 2025
  • 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 2030
    Carries beyond belief.
  • Soldier. While he was yet in Rome,
    His power went out in such distractions as
    Beguiled all spies.
  • Canidius. Who's his lieutenant, hear you? 2035
  • 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, 2040
    Each minute, some.



Act III, Scene 8

A plain near Actium.


[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, and TAURUS, with his army, marching]

  • Octavius. Taurus!
  • Taurus. My lord? 2045
  • Octavius. 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.



Act III, Scene 9

Another part of the plain.



  • Antony. Set we our squadrons on yond 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. 2055



Act III, Scene 10

Another part of the plain.


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


  • Domitius Enobarus. 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. 2065

[Enter SCARUS]

  • Scarus. Gods and goddesses,
    All the whole synod of them!
  • Domitius Enobarus. What's thy passion!
  • Scarus. The greater cantle of the world is lost 2070
    With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away
    Kingdoms and provinces.
  • Domitius Enobarus. How appears the fight?
  • Scarus. On our side like the token'd pestilence,
    Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt,— 2075
    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. 2080
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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, 2085
    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. 2090
  • Domitius Enobarus. 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: 2095
    O, he has given example for our flight,
    Most grossly, by his own!
  • Domitius Enobarus. Ay, are you thereabouts?
    Why, then, good night indeed.
  • Canidius. Toward Peloponnesus are they fled. 2100
  • 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. 2105
  • Domitius Enobarus. I'll yet follow
    The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason
    Sits in the wind against me.



Act III, Scene 11

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.


[Enter MARK ANTONY with Attendants]

  • Antony. Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon't;
    It is ashamed to bear me! Friends, come hither:
    I am so lated in the world, that I
    Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
    Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly, 2115
    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 resolved upon a course 2120
    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 2125
    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 2130
    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. 2135
    [Sits down]
    [Enter CLEOPATRA led by CHARMIAN and IRAS; EROS]
  • Eros. Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.
  • Iras. Do, most dear queen. 2140
  • 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! 2145
  • Charmian. Madam!
  • Iras. Madam, O good empress!
  • Eros. Sir, sir,—
  • Antony. Yes, my lord, yes; he at Philippi kept
    His sword e'en like a dancer; while I struck 2150
    The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and 'twas I
    That the mad Brutus ended: he alone
    Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practise had
    In the brave squares of war: yet now—No matter.
  • Cleopatra. Ah, stand by. 2155
  • 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 him: O!
  • Eros. Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches: 2160
    Her head's declined, and death will seize her, but
    Your comfort makes the rescue.
  • Antony. I have offended reputation,
    A most unnoble swerving.
  • Eros. Sir, the queen. 2165
  • 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, 2170
    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 2175
    Thy full supremacy thou knew'st, and that
    Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
    Command me.
  • Cleopatra. O, my pardon!
  • Antony. Now I must 2180
    To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
    And palter in the shifts of lowness; who
    With half the bulk o' the world play'd as I pleased,
    Making and marring fortunes. You did know
    How much you were my conqueror; and that 2185
    My sword, made weak by my affection, would
    Obey it on all cause.
  • Cleopatra. Pardon, pardon!
  • Antony. Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
    All that is won and lost: give me a kiss; 2190
    Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster;
    Is he come back? Love, I am full of lead.
    Some wine, within there, and our viands! Fortune knows
    We scorn her most when most she offers blows.



Act III, Scene 12

Egypt. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.



  • Octavius. Let him appear that's come from Antony.
    Know you him?
  • Dolabella. Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster:
    An argument that he is pluck'd, when hither 2200
    He sends so poor a pinion off his wing,
    Which had superfluous kings for messengers
    Not many moons gone by.

[Enter EUPHRONIUS, ambassador from MARK ANTONY]

  • Octavius. Approach, and speak. 2205
  • Euphronius. Such as I am, I come from Antony:
    I was of late as petty to his ends
    As is the morn-dew on the myrtle-leaf
    To his grand sea.
  • Octavius. Be't so: declare thine office. 2210
  • Euphronius. Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
    Requires to live in Egypt: which not granted,
    He lessens his requests; and to thee sues
    To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,
    A private man in Athens: this for him. 2215
    Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness;
    Submits her to thy might; and of thee craves
    The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
    Now hazarded to thy grace.
  • Octavius. For Antony, 2220
    I have no ears to his request. The queen
    Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
    From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend,
    Or take his life there: this if she perform,
    She shall not sue unheard. So to them both. 2225
  • Euphronius. Fortune pursue thee!
  • Octavius. Bring him through the bands.
    [To THYREUS] To try eloquence, now 'tis time: dispatch;]
    From Antony win Cleopatra: promise, 2230
    And in our name, what she requires; add more,
    From thine invention, offers: women are not
    In their best fortunes strong; but want will perjure
    The ne'er touch'd vestal: try thy cunning, Thyreus;
    Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we 2235
    Will answer as a law.
  • Thyreus. Caesar, I go.
  • Octavius. Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
    And what thou think'st his very action speaks
    In every power that moves. 2240
  • Thyreus. Caesar, I shall.



Act III, Scene 13

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • Cleopatra. What shall we do, Enobarbus?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Think, and die. 2245
  • Cleopatra. Is Antony or we in fault for this?
  • Domitius Enobarus. Antony only, that would make his will
    Lord of his reason. What though you fled
    From that great face of war, whose several ranges
    Frighted each other? why should he follow? 2250
    The itch of his affection should not then
    Have nick'd his captainship; at such a point,
    When half to half the world opposed, he being
    The meered question: 'twas a shame no less
    Than was his loss, to course your flying flags, 2255
    And leave his navy gazing.
  • Cleopatra. Prithee, peace.

[Enter MARK ANTONY with EUPHRONIUS, the Ambassador]

  • Antony. Is that his answer?
  • Euphronius. Ay, my lord. 2260
  • Antony. The queen shall then have courtesy, so she
    Will yield us up.
  • Euphronius. He says so.
  • Antony. Let her know't.
    To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head, 2265
    And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
    With principalities.
  • Cleopatra. That head, my lord?
  • Antony. To him again: tell him he wears the rose
    Of youth upon him; from which the world should note 2270
    Something particular: his coin, ships, legions,
    May be a coward's; whose ministers would prevail
    Under the service of a child as soon
    As i' the command of Caesar: I dare him therefore
    To lay his gay comparisons apart, 2275
    And answer me declined, sword against sword,
    Ourselves alone. I'll write it: follow me.


  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside] Yes, like enough, high-battled Caesar will
    Unstate his happiness, and be staged to the show, 2280
    Against a sworder! I see men's judgments are
    A parcel of their fortunes; and things outward
    Do draw the inward quality after them,
    To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
    Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will 2285
    Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued
    His judgment too.

[Enter an Attendant]

  • Attendant. A messenger from CAESAR.
  • Cleopatra. What, no more ceremony? See, my women! 2290
    Against the blown rose may they stop their nose
    That kneel'd unto the buds. Admit him, sir.

[Exit Attendant]

  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square.
    The loyalty well held to fools does make 2295
    Our faith mere folly: yet he that can endure
    To follow with allegiance a fall'n lord
    Does conquer him that did his master conquer
    And earns a place i' the story.


  • Cleopatra. Caesar's will?
  • Thyreus. Hear it apart.
  • Cleopatra. None but friends: say boldly.
  • Thyreus. So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
  • Domitius Enobarus. He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has; 2305
    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.
  • Thyreus. So.
    Thus then, thou most renown'd: Caesar entreats, 2310
    Not to consider in what case thou stand'st,
    Further than he is Caesar.
  • Cleopatra. Go on: right royal.
  • Thyreus. He knows that you embrace not Antony
    As you did love, but as you fear'd him. 2315
  • Cleopatra. O!
  • Thyreus. The scars upon your honour, therefore, he
    Does pity, as constrained blemishes,
    Not as deserved.
  • Cleopatra. He is a god, and knows 2320
    What is most right: mine honour was not yielded,
    But conquer'd merely.
  • Domitius Enobarus. [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 2325
    Thy dearest quit thee.


  • Thyreus. Shall I say to Caesar
    What you require of him? for he partly begs
    To be desired to give. It much would please him, 2330
    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 shrowd,
    The universal landlord. 2335
  • Cleopatra. What's your name?
  • Thyreus. My name is Thyreus.
  • Cleopatra. Most kind messenger,
    Say to great Caesar this: in deputation
    I kiss his conquering hand: tell him, I am prompt 2340
    To lay my crown at 's feet, and there to kneel:
    Tell him from his all-obeying breath I hear
    The doom of Egypt.
  • Thyreus. 'Tis your noblest course.
    Wisdom and fortune combating together, 2345
    If that the former dare but what it can,
    No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay
    My duty on your hand.
  • Cleopatra. Your Caesar's father oft,
    When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in, 2350
    Bestow'd his lips on that unworthy place,
    As it rain'd kisses.


  • Antony. Favours, by Jove that thunders!
    What art thou, fellow? 2355
  • Thyreus. One that but performs
    The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest
    To have command obey'd.
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside] You will be whipp'd.
  • Antony. Approach, there! Ah, you kite! Now, gods 2360
    and devils!
    Authority melts from me: of late, when I cried 'Ho!'
    Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
    And cry 'Your will?' Have you no ears? I am
    Antony yet. 2365
    [Enter Attendants]
    Take hence this Jack, and whip him.
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside] 'Tis better playing with a lion's whelp
    Than with an old one dying.
  • Antony. Moon and stars! 2370
    Whip him. Were't twenty of the greatest tributaries
    That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them
    So saucy with the hand of she here,—what's her name,
    Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows,
    Till, like a boy, you see him cringe his face, 2375
    And whine aloud for mercy: take him hence.
  • Thyreus. Mark Antony!
  • Antony. Tug him away: being whipp'd,
    Bring him again: this Jack of Caesar's shall
    Bear us an errand to him. 2380
    [Exeunt Attendants with THYREUS]
    You were half blasted ere I knew you: ha!
    Have I my pillow left unpress'd in Rome,
    Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
    And by a gem of women, to be abused 2385
    By one that looks on feeders?
  • Cleopatra. Good my lord,—
  • Antony. You have been a boggler ever:
    But when we in our viciousness grow hard—
    O misery on't!—the wise gods seel our eyes; 2390
    In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
    Adore our errors; laugh at's, while we strut
    To our confusion.
  • Cleopatra. O, is't come to this?
  • Antony. I found you as a morsel cold upon 2395
    Dead Caesar's trencher; nay, you were a fragment
    Of Cneius Pompey's; besides what hotter hours,
    Unregister'd in vulgar fame, you have
    Luxuriously pick'd out: for, I am sure,
    Though you can guess what temperance should be, 2400
    You know not what it is.
  • Cleopatra. Wherefore is this?
  • Antony. To let a fellow that will take rewards
    And say 'God quit you!' be familiar with
    My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal 2405
    And plighter of high hearts! O, that I were
    Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar
    The horned herd! for I have savage cause;
    And to proclaim it civilly, were like
    A halter'd neck which does the hangman thank 2410
    For being yare about him.
    [Re-enter Attendants with THYREUS]
    Is he whipp'd?
  • First Attendant. Soundly, my lord.
  • Antony. Cried he? and begg'd a' pardon? 2415
  • First Attendant. He did ask favour.
  • Antony. 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 whipp'd for following him: henceforth 2420
    The white hand of a lady fever thee,
    Shake thou to look on 't. Get thee back to Caesar,
    Tell him thy entertainment: look, thou say
    He makes me angry with him; for he seems
    Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am, 2425
    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 the abysm of hell. If he mislike 2430
    My speech and what is done, tell him he has
    Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom
    He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,
    As he shall like, to quit me: urge it thou:
    Hence with thy stripes, begone! 2435


  • Cleopatra. Have you done yet?
  • Antony. Alack, our terrene moon
    Is now eclipsed; and it portends alone
    The fall of Antony! 2440
  • Cleopatra. I must stay his time.
  • Antony. To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes
    With one that ties his points?
  • Cleopatra. Not know me yet?
  • Antony. Cold-hearted toward me? 2445
  • Cleopatra. Ah, dear, if I be so,
    From my cold heart let heaven engender hail,
    And poison it in the source; and the first stone
    Drop in my neck: as it determines, so
    Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite! 2450
    Till by degrees the memory of my womb,
    Together with my brave Egyptians all,
    By the discandying of this pelleted storm,
    Lie graveless, till the flies and gnats of Nile
    Have buried them for prey! 2455
  • Antony. I am satisfied.
    Caesar sits down in Alexandria; where
    I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
    Hath nobly held; our sever'd navy too
    Have knit again, and fleet, threatening most sea-like. 2460
    Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady?
    If from the field I shall return once more
    To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood;
    I and my sword will earn our chronicle:
    There's hope in't yet. 2465
  • Cleopatra. That's my brave lord!
  • Antony. I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breathed,
    And fight maliciously: for when mine hours
    Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
    Of me for jests; but now I'll set my teeth, 2470
    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 birth-day: 2475
    I had thought to have held it poor: but, since my lord
    Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
  • Antony. We will yet do well.
  • Cleopatra. Call all his noble captains to my lord.
  • Antony. Do so, we'll speak to them; and to-night I'll force 2480
    The wine peep through their scars. Come on, my queen;
    There's sap in't yet. The next time I do fight,
    I'll make death love me; for I will contend
    Even with his pestilent scythe.


  • Domitius Enobarus. Now he'll outstare the lightning. To be furious,
    Is to be frighted out of fear; and in that mood
    The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,
    A diminution in our captain's brain
    Restores his heart: when valour preys on reason, 2490
    It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
    Some way to leave him.



Act IV, Scene 1

Before Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.


[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MECAENAS, with] [p]his Army; OCTAVIUS CAESAR reading a letter]

  • Octavius. He calls me boy; and chides, as he had power
    To beat me out of Egypt; my messenger
    He hath whipp'd with rods; dares me to personal combat,
    Caesar to Antony: let the old ruffian know
    I have many other ways to die; meantime 2500
    Laugh at his challenge.
  • Mecaenas. Caesar must think,
    When one so great begins to rage, he's hunted
    Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
    Make boot of his distraction: never anger 2505
    Made good guard for itself.
  • Octavius. Let our best heads
    Know, that to-morrow the last of many battles
    We mean to fight: within our files there are,
    Of those that served Mark Antony but late, 2510
    Enough to fetch him in. See it done:
    And feast the army; we have store to do't,
    And they have earn'd the waste. Poor Antony!



Act IV, Scene 2

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • Antony. He will not fight with me, Domitius.
  • Domitius Enobarus. No.
  • Antony. Why should he not?
  • Domitius Enobarus. He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune, 2520
    He is twenty men to one.
  • Antony. To-morrow, soldier,
    By sea and land I'll fight: or I will live,
    Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
    Shall make it live again. Woo't thou fight well? 2525
  • Domitius Enobarus. I'll strike, and cry 'Take all.'
  • Antony. Well said; come on.
    Call forth my household servants: let's to-night
    Be bounteous at our meal.
    [Enter three or four Servitors] 2530
    Give me thy hand,
    Thou hast been rightly honest;—so hast thou;—
    Thou,—and thou,—and thou:—you have served me well,
    And kings have been your fellows.
  • Cleopatra. [Aside to DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] What means this? 2535
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside to CLEOPATRA] 'Tis one of those odd
    tricks which sorrow shoots
    Out of the mind.
  • Antony. And thou art honest too.
    I wish I could be made so many men, 2540
    And all of you clapp'd up together in
    An Antony, that I might do you service
    So good as you have done.
  • All. The gods forbid!
  • Antony. Well, my good fellows, wait on me to-night: 2545
    Scant not my cups; and make as much of me
    As when mine empire was your fellow too,
    And suffer'd my command.
  • Cleopatra. [Aside to DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] What does he mean?
  • Domitius Enobarus. [Aside to CLEOPATRA] To make his followers weep. 2550
  • Antony. Tend me to-night;
    May be it is the period of your duty:
    Haply you shall not see me more; or if,
    A mangled shadow: perchance to-morrow
    You'll serve another master. I look on you 2555
    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 to-night two hours, I ask no more,
    And the gods yield you for't! 2560
  • Domitius Enobarus. What mean you, sir,
    To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;
    And I, an ass, am onion-eyed: for shame,
    Transform us not to women.
  • Antony. Ho, ho, ho! 2565
    Now the witch take me, if I meant it thus!
    Grace grow where those drops fall!
    My hearty friends,
    You take me in too dolorous a sense;
    For I spake to you for your comfort; did desire you 2570
    To burn this night with torches: know, my hearts,
    I hope well of to-morrow; and will lead you
    Where rather I'll expect victorious life
    Than death and honour. Let's to supper, come,
    And drown consideration. 2575



Act IV, Scene 3

The same. Before the palace.


[Enter two Soldiers to their guard]

  • First Soldier. Brother, good night: to-morrow is the day.
  • Second Soldier. It will determine one way: fare you well.
    Heard you of nothing strange about the streets? 2580
  • First Soldier. Nothing. What news?
  • Second Soldier. Belike 'tis but a rumour. Good night to you.
  • First Soldier. Well, sir, good night.

[Enter two other Soldiers]

  • Second Soldier. Soldiers, have careful watch. 2585
  • Third Soldier. And you. Good night, good night.

[They place themselves in every corner of the stage]

  • Fourth Soldier. Here we: and if to-morrow
    Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope
    Our landmen will stand up. 2590
  • Third Soldier. 'Tis a brave army,
    And full of purpose.

[Music of the hautboys as under the stage]

  • Fourth Soldier. Peace! what noise?
  • First Soldier. List, list! 2595
  • Second Soldier. Hark!
  • First Soldier. Music i' the air.
  • Third Soldier. Under the earth.
  • Fourth Soldier. It signs well, does it not?
  • Third Soldier. No. 2600
  • 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 2605
    Do hear what we do?

[They advance to another post]

  • Second Soldier. How now, masters!
  • All. [Speaking together] How now!
    How now! do you hear this? 2610
  • First Soldier. Ay; is't not strange?
  • Third Soldier. Do you hear, masters? do you hear?
  • First Soldier. Follow the noise so far as we have quarter;
    Let's see how it will give off.
  • All. Content. 'Tis strange. 2615



Act IV, Scene 4

The same. A room in the palace.


[Enter MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and] [p]others attending]

  • Antony. Eros! mine armour, Eros!
  • Cleopatra. Sleep a little. 2620
  • Antony. No, my chuck. Eros, come; mine armour, Eros!
    [Enter EROS with armour]
    Come good fellow, put mine iron on:
    If fortune be not ours to-day, it is
    Because we brave her: come. 2625
  • Cleopatra. Nay, I'll help too.
    What's this for?
  • Antony. Ah, let be, let be! thou art
    The armourer of my heart: false, false; this, this.
  • Cleopatra. Sooth, la, I'll help: thus it must be. 2630
  • Antony. Well, well;
    We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?
    Go put on thy defences.
  • Eros. Briefly, sir.
  • Cleopatra. Is not this buckled well? 2635
  • Antony. Rarely, rarely:
    He that unbuckles this, till we do please
    To daff't for our repose, shall hear a storm.
    Thou fumblest, Eros; and my queen's a squire
    More tight at this than thou: dispatch. O love, 2640
    That thou couldst see my wars to-day, and knew'st
    The royal occupation! thou shouldst see
    A workman in't.
    [Enter an armed Soldier]
    Good morrow to thee; welcome: 2645
    Thou look'st like him that knows a warlike charge:
    To business that we love we rise betime,
    And go to't with delight.
  • Soldier. A thousand, sir,
    Early though't be, have on their riveted trim, 2650
    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. 2655
  • Antony. 'Tis well blown, lads:
    This morning, like the spirit of a youth
    That means to be of note, begins betimes.
    So, so; come, give me that: this way; well said.
    Fare thee well, dame, whate'er becomes of me: 2660
    This is a soldier's kiss: rebukeable
    [Kisses her]
    And worthy shameful cheque it were, to stand
    On more mechanic compliment; I'll leave thee
    Now, like a man of steel. You that will fight, 2665
    Follow me close; I'll bring you to't. Adieu.

[Exeunt MARK ANTONY, EROS, Captains, and Soldiers]

  • Charmian. Please you, retire to your chamber.
  • Cleopatra. Lead me.
    He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might 2670
    Determine this great war in single fight!
    Then Antony,—but now—Well, on.



Act IV, Scene 5

Alexandria. MARK ANTONY’s camp.


[Trumpets sound. Enter MARK ANTONY and EROS; a] [p]Soldier meeting them]

  • Soldier. The gods make this a happy day to Antony!
  • Antony. Would thou and those thy scars had once prevail'd
    To make me fight at land!
  • Soldier. Hadst thou done so,
    The kings that have revolted, and the soldier 2680
    That has this morning left thee, would have still
    Follow'd thy heels.
  • Antony. Who's gone this morning?
  • Soldier. Who!
    One ever near thee: call for Enobarbus, 2685
    He shall not hear thee; or from Caesar's camp
    Say 'I am none of thine.'
  • Antony. What say'st thou?
  • Soldier. Sir,
    He is with Caesar. 2690
  • 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; 2695
    Detain no jot, I charge thee: write to him—
    I will subscribe—gentle adieus and greetings;
    Say that I wish he never find more cause
    To change a master. O, my fortunes have
    Corrupted honest men! Dispatch.—Enobarbus! 2700



Act IV, Scene 6

Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.


[Flourish. Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, AGRIPPA, with] [p]DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, and others]

  • Octavius. Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight:
    Our will is Antony be took alive; 2705
    Make it so known.
  • Agrippa. Caesar, I shall.


  • Octavius. The time of universal peace is near:
    Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nook'd world 2710
    Shall bear the olive freely.

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. Antony
    Is come into the field.
  • Octavius. Go charge Agrippa 2715
    Plant those that have revolted in the van,
    That Antony may seem to spend his fury
    Upon himself.


  • Domitius Enobarus. Alexas did revolt; and went to Jewry on 2720
    Affairs of Antony; there did persuade
    Great Herod to incline himself to Caesar,
    And leave his master Antony: for this pains
    Caesar hath hang'd him. Canidius and the rest
    That fell away have entertainment, but 2725
    No honourable trust. I have done ill;
    Of which I do accuse myself so sorely,
    That I will joy no more.

[Enter a Soldier of CAESAR's]

  • Soldier. Enobarbus, Antony 2730
    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.
  • Domitius Enobarus. I give it you. 2735
  • Soldier. Mock not, Enobarbus.
    I tell you true: best you safed the bringer
    Out of the host; I must attend mine office,
    Or would have done't myself. Your emperor
    Continues still a Jove. 2740


  • Domitius Enobarus. 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 2745
    Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart:
    If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
    Shall outstrike thought: but thought will do't, I feel.
    I fight against thee! No: I will go seek
    Some ditch wherein to die; the foul'st best fits 2750
    My latter part of life.



Act IV, Scene 7

Field of battle between the camps.


[Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA] [p]and others]

  • Agrippa. Retire, we have engaged ourselves too far: 2755
    Caesar himself has work, and our oppression
    Exceeds what we expected.


[Alarums. Enter MARK ANTONY and SCARUS wounded]

  • Scarus. O my brave emperor, this is fought indeed! 2760
    Had we done so at first, we had droven them home
    With clouts about their heads.
  • Antony. Thou bleed'st apace.
  • Scarus. I had a wound here that was like a T,
    But now 'tis made an H. 2765
  • Antony. They do retire.
  • Scarus. We'll beat 'em into bench-holes: I have yet
    Room for six scotches more.

[Enter EROS]

  • Eros. They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves 2770
    For a fair victory.
  • Scarus. Let us score their backs,
    And snatch 'em up, as we take hares, behind:
    'Tis sport to maul a runner.
  • Antony. I will reward thee 2775
    Once for thy spritely comfort, and ten-fold
    For thy good valour. Come thee on.
  • Scarus. I'll halt after.



Act IV, Scene 8

Under the walls of Alexandria.


[Alarum. Enter MARK ANTONY, in a march; SCARUS,] [p]with others]

  • Antony. We have beat him to his camp: run one before,
    And let the queen know of our gests. To-morrow,
    Before the sun shall see 's, we'll spill the blood
    That has to-day escaped. I thank you all; 2785
    For doughty-handed are you, and have fought
    Not as you served the cause, but as 't had been
    Each man's like mine; you have shown all Hectors.
    Enter the city, clip your wives, your friends,
    Tell them your feats; whilst they with joyful tears 2790
    Wash the congealment from your wounds, and kiss
    The honour'd gashes whole.
    [To SCARUS]
    Give me thy hand
    [Enter CLEOPATRA, attended] 2795
    To this great fairy I'll commend thy acts,
    Make her thanks bless thee.
    O thou day o' the world,
    Chain mine arm'd neck; leap thou, attire and all, 2800
    Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
    Ride on the pants triumphing!
  • Cleopatra. Lord of lords!
    O infinite virtue, comest thou smiling from
    The world's great snare uncaught? 2805
  • Antony. My nightingale,
    We have beat them to their beds. What, girl!
    though grey
    Do something mingle with our younger brown, yet ha' we
    A brain that nourishes our nerves, and can 2810
    Get goal for goal of youth. Behold this man;
    Commend unto his lips thy favouring hand:
    Kiss it, my warrior: he hath fought to-day
    As if a god, in hate of mankind, had
    Destroy'd in such a shape. 2815
  • Cleopatra. I'll give thee, friend,
    An armour all of gold; it was a king's.
  • Antony. He has deserved it, were it carbuncled
    Like holy Phoebus' car. Give me thy hand:
    Through Alexandria make a jolly march; 2820
    Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them:
    Had our great palace the capacity
    To camp this host, we all would sup together,
    And drink carouses to the next day's fate,
    Which promises royal peril. Trumpeters, 2825
    With brazen din blast you the city's ear;
    Make mingle with rattling tabourines;
    That heaven and earth may strike their sounds together,
    Applauding our approach.



Act IV, Scene 9



[Sentinels at their post]

  • First Soldier. If we be not relieved within this hour,
    We must return to the court of guard: the night
    Is shiny; and they say we shall embattle
    By the second hour i' the morn. 2835
  • Second Soldier. This last day was
    A shrewd one to's.


  • Domitius Enobarus. O, bear me witness, night,—
  • Third Soldier. What man is this? 2840
  • Second Soldier. Stand close, and list him.
  • Domitius Enobarus. Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon,
    When men revolted shall upon record
    Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
    Before thy face repent! 2845
  • First Soldier. Enobarbus!
  • Third Soldier. Peace!
    Hark further.
  • Domitius Enobarus. O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
    The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me, 2850
    That life, a very rebel to my will,
    May hang no longer on me: throw my heart
    Against the flint and hardness of my fault:
    Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
    And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony, 2855
    Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
    Forgive me in thine own particular;
    But let the world rank me in register
    A master-leaver and a fugitive:
    O Antony! O Antony! 2860


  • Second Soldier. Let's speak To him.
  • First Soldier. Let's hear him, for the things he speaks
    May concern Caesar.
  • Third Soldier. Let's do so. But he sleeps. 2865
  • First Soldier. Swoons rather; for so bad a prayer as his
    Was never yet for sleep.
  • Second Soldier. Go we to him.
  • Third Soldier. Awake, sir, awake; speak to us.
  • Second Soldier. Hear you, sir? 2870
  • First Soldier. The hand of death hath raught him.
    [Drums afar off]
    Hark! the drums
    Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him
    To the court of guard; he is of note: our hour 2875
    Is fully out.
  • Third Soldier. Come on, then;
    He may recover yet.

[Exeunt with the body]


Act IV, Scene 10

Between the two camps.


[Enter MARK ANTONY and SCARUS, with their Army]

  • Antony. Their preparation is to-day by sea;
    We please them not by land.
  • Scarus. For both, my lord.
  • Antony. I would they'ld fight i' the fire or i' the air;
    We'ld fight there too. But this it is; our foot 2885
    Upon the hills adjoining to the city
    Shall stay with us: order for sea is given;
    They have put forth the haven [—]
    Where their appointment we may best discover,
    And look on their endeavour. 2890



Act IV, Scene 11

Another part of the same.


[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, and his Army]

  • Octavius. But being charged, we will be still by land,
    Which, as I take't, we shall; for his best force
    Is forth to man his galleys. To the vales, 2895
    And hold our best advantage.



Act IV, Scene 12

Another part of the same.



  • Antony. Yet they are not join'd: where yond pine
    does stand, 2900
    I shall discover all: I'll bring thee word
    Straight, how 'tis like to go.


  • Scarus. Swallows have built
    In Cleopatra's sails their nests: the augurers 2905
    Say they know not, they cannot tell; look grimly,
    And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony
    Is valiant, and dejected; and, by starts,
    His fretted fortunes give him hope, and fear,
    Of what he has, and has not. 2910

[Alarum afar off, as at a sea-fight]

[Re-enter MARK ANTONY]

  • Antony. All is lost;
    This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me:
    My fleet hath yielded to the foe; and yonder 2915
    They cast their caps up and carouse together
    Like friends long lost. Triple-turn'd whore!
    'tis thou
    Hast sold me to this novice; and my heart
    Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly; 2920
    For when I am revenged upon my charm,
    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 2925
    Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
    That spaniel'd me at heels, to whom I gave
    Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
    On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is bark'd,
    That overtopp'd them all. Betray'd I am: 2930
    O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm,—
    Whose eye beck'd forth my wars, and call'd them home;
    Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,—
    Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose,
    Beguiled me to the very heart of loss. 2935
    What, Eros, Eros!
    [Enter CLEOPATRA]
    Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!
  • Cleopatra. Why is my lord enraged against his love?
  • Antony. Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving, 2940
    And blemish Caesar's triumph. Let him take thee,
    And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians:
    Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
    Of all thy sex; most monster-like, be shown
    For poor'st diminutives, for doits; and let 2945
    Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
    With her prepared nails.
    [Exit CLEOPATRA]
    'Tis well thou'rt gone,
    If it be well to live; but better 'twere 2950
    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' the moon; 2955
    And with those hands, that grasp'd 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!



Act IV, Scene 13

Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.



  • Cleopatra. Help me, my women! O, he is more mad
    Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly
    Was never so emboss'd.
  • Charmian. To the monument! 2965
    There lock yourself, and send him word you are dead.
    The soul and body rive not more in parting
    Than greatness going off.
  • Cleopatra. To the monument!
    Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself; 2970
    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 monument!



Act IV, Scene 14

The same. Another room.



  • Antony. Eros, thou yet behold'st me?
  • Eros. Ay, noble lord.
  • Antony. Sometimes we see a cloud that's dragonish;
    A vapour sometime like a bear or lion, 2980
    A tower'd citadel, a pendent rock,
    A forked mountain, or blue promontory
    With trees upon't, that nod unto the world,
    And mock our eyes with air: thou hast seen
    these signs; 2985
    They are black vesper's pageants.
  • Eros. Ay, my lord,
  • Antony. That which is now a horse, even with a thought
    The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
    As water is in water. 2990
  • 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,— 2995
    Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine;
    Which whilst it was mine had annex'd unto't
    A million more, now lost,—she, Eros, has
    Pack'd cards with Caesar, and false-play'd my glory
    Unto an enemy's triumph. 3000
    Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
    Ourselves to end ourselves.
    [Enter MARDIAN]
    O! thy vile lady!
    She has robb'd me of my sword. 3005
  • Mardian. No, Antony;
    My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled
    With thine entirely.
  • Antony. Hence, saucy eunuch; peace!
    She hath betray'd me and shall die the death. 3010
  • Mardian. Death of one person can be paid but once,
    And that she has discharged: what thou wouldst do
    Is done unto thy hand: the last she spake
    Was 'Antony! most noble Antony!'
    Then in the midst a tearing groan did break 3015
    The name of Antony; it was divided
    Between her heart and lips: she render'd life,
    Thy name so buried in her.
  • Antony. Dead, then?
  • Mardian. Dead. 3020
  • Antony. Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done,
    And we must sleep.
    [To MARDIAN]
    That thou depart'st hence safe,
    Does pay thy labour richly; go. 3025
    [Exit MARDIAN]
    Off, pluck off:
    The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep
    The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides!
    Heart, once be stronger than thy continent, 3030
    Crack thy frail case! Apace, Eros, apace.
    No more a soldier: bruised pieces, go;
    You have been nobly borne. From me awhile.
    [Exit EROS]
    I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and 3035
    Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
    All length is torture: since the torch is out,
    Lie down, and stray no farther: now all labour
    Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles
    Itself with strength: seal then, and all is done. 3040
    Eros!—I come, my queen:—Eros!—Stay for me:
    Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
    And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:
    Dido and her AEneas shall want troops,
    And all the haunt be ours. Come, Eros, Eros! 3045

[Re-enter EROS]

  • Eros. What would my lord?
  • Antony. Since Cleopatra died,
    I have lived in such dishonour, that the gods
    Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword 3050
    Quarter'd the world, and o'er green Neptune's back
    With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
    The courage of a woman; less noble mind
    Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
    'I am conqueror of myself.' Thou art sworn, Eros, 3055
    That, when the exigent should come, which now
    Is come indeed, when I should see behind me
    The inevitable prosecution of
    Disgrace and horror, that, on my command,
    Thou then wouldst kill me: do't; the time is come: 3060
    Thou strikest not me, 'tis Caesar thou defeat'st.
    Put colour in thy cheek.
  • Eros. The gods withhold me!
    Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
    Though enemy, lost aim, and could not? 3065
  • Antony. Eros,
    Wouldst thou be window'd in great Rome and see
    Thy master thus with pleach'd arms, bending down
    His corrigible neck, his face subdued
    To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel'd seat 3070
    Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
    His baseness that ensued?
  • Eros. I would not see't.
  • Antony. Come, then; for with a wound I must be cured.
    Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn 3075
    Most useful for thy country.
  • Eros. O, sir, pardon me!
  • Antony. When I did make thee free, sworest thou not then
    To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once;
    Or thy precedent services are all 3080
    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!

[Turning from him]

  • 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, 3090
    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: thus I do escape the sorrow 3095
    Of Antony's death.

[Kills himself]

  • Antony. Thrice-nobler than myself!
    Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
    I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros 3100
    Have by their brave instruction got upon me
    A nobleness in record: but I will be
    A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
    As to a lover's bed. Come, then; and, Eros,
    Thy master dies thy scholar: to do thus 3105
    [Falling on his sword]
    I learn'd of thee. How! not dead? not dead?
    The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

[Enter DERCETAS and Guard]

  • First Guard. What's the noise? 3110
  • Antony. I have done my work in, friends: O, make an end
    Of what I have begun.
  • Second Guard. The star is fall'n.
  • First Guard. And time is at his period.
  • All. Alas, and woe! 3115
  • Antony. Let him that loves me strike me dead.
  • First Guard. Not I.
  • Second Guard. Nor I.
  • Third Guard. Nor any one.

[Exeunt Guard]

  • Dercetas. Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
    This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,
    Shall enter me with him.


  • Diomedes. Where's Antony? 3125
  • Dercetas. There, Diomed there.
  • Diomedes. Lives he?
    Wilt thou not answer, man?


  • Antony. Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me 3130
    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. 3135
  • Antony. Where is she?
  • Diomedes. Lock'd in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
    Of what hath come to pass: for when she saw—
    Which never shall be found—you did suspect
    She had disposed with Caesar, and that your rage 3140
    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. 3145
  • Diomedes. What, ho, the emperor's guard! The guard, what, ho!
    Come, your lord calls!

[Enter four or five of the Guard of MARK ANTONY]

  • Antony. Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
    'Tis the last service that I shall command you. 3150
  • First Guard. Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
    All your true followers out.
  • All. Most heavy day!
  • Antony. Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
    To grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome 3155
    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 MARK ANTONY]


Act IV, Scene 15

The same. A monument.


[Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft, with] [p]CHARMIAN and IRAS]

  • Cleopatra. O Charmian, I will never go from hence.
  • Charmian. Be comforted, dear madam.
  • Cleopatra. No, I will not: 3165
    All strange and terrible events are welcome,
    But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
    Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
    As that which makes it.
    [Enter, below, DIOMEDES] 3170
    How now! is he dead?
  • Diomedes. His death's upon him, but not dead.
    Look out o' the other side your monument;
    His guard have brought him thither.

[Enter, below, MARK ANTONY, borne by the Guard]

  • Cleopatra. O sun,
    Burn the great sphere thou movest in!
    darkling stand
    The varying shore o' the world. O Antony,
    Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help; 3180
    Help, friends below; let's draw him hither.
  • Antony. Peace!
    Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
    But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.
  • Cleopatra. So it should be, that none but Antony 3185
    Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!
  • Antony. I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
    I here importune death awhile, until
    Of many thousand kisses the poor last
    I lay up thy lips. 3190
  • Cleopatra. I dare not, dear,—
    Dear my lord, pardon,—I dare not,
    Lest I be taken: not the imperious show
    Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall
    Be brooch'd with me; if knife, drugs, 3195
    serpents, have
    Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:
    Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
    And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
    Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony,— 3200
    Help me, my women,—we must draw thee up:
    Assist, good friends.
  • Antony. O, quick, or I am gone.
  • Cleopatra. Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
    Our strength is all gone into heaviness, 3205
    That makes the weight: had I great Juno's power,
    The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up,
    And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little,—
    Wishes were ever fools,—O, come, come, come;
    [They heave MARK ANTONY aloft to CLEOPATRA] 3210
    And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast lived:
    Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power,
    Thus would I wear them out.
  • All. A heavy sight!
  • Antony. I am dying, Egypt, dying: 3215
    Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
  • Cleopatra. No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,
    That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,
    Provoked by my offence.
  • Antony. One word, sweet queen: 3220
    Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!
  • Cleopatra. They do not go together.
  • Antony. Gentle, hear me:
    None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.
  • Cleopatra. My resolution and my hands I'll trust; 3225
    None about Caesar.
  • Antony. The miserable change now at my end
    Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts
    In feeding them with those my former fortunes
    Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o' the world, 3230
    The noblest; and do now not basely die,
    Not cowardly put off my helmet to
    My countryman,—a Roman by a Roman
    Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going;
    I can no more. 3235
  • 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,
    [MARK ANTONY dies] 3240
    The crown o' the earth doth melt. My lord!
    O, wither'd is the garland of the war,
    The soldier's pole is fall'n: young boys and girls
    Are level now with men; the odds is gone,
    And there is nothing left remarkable 3245
    Beneath the visiting moon.


  • Charmian. O, quietness, lady!
  • Iras. She is dead too, our sovereign.
  • Charmian. Lady! 3250
  • Iras. Madam!
  • Charmian. O madam, madam, madam!
  • Iras. Royal Egypt, Empress!
  • Charmian. Peace, peace, Iras!
  • Cleopatra. No more, but e'en a woman, and commanded 3255
    By such poor passion as the maid that milks
    And does the meanest chares. It were for me
    To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
    To tell them that this world did equal theirs
    Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but naught; 3260
    Patience is scottish, and impatience does
    Become a dog that's mad: then is it sin
    To rush into the secret house of death,
    Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
    What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian! 3265
    My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look,
    Our lamp is spent, it's out! Good sirs, take heart:
    We'll bury him; and then, what's brave,
    what's noble,
    Let's do it after the high Roman fashion, 3270
    And make death proud to take us. Come, away:
    This case of that huge spirit now is cold:
    Ah, women, women! come; we have no friend
    But resolution, and the briefest end.

[Exeunt; those above bearing off MARK ANTONY's body]


Act V, Scene 1

Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.



  • Octavius. Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield;
    Being so frustrate, tell him he mocks
    The pauses that he makes. 3280
  • Dolabella. Caesar, I shall.


[Enter DERCETAS, with the sword of MARK ANTONY]

  • Octavius. Wherefore is that? and what art thou that darest
    Appear thus to us? 3285
  • Dercetas. I am call'd Dercetas;
    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 3290
    To take me to thee, as I was to him
    I'll be to Caesar; if thou pleasest not,
    I yield thee up my life.
  • Octavius. What is't thou say'st?
  • Dercetas. I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead. 3295
  • Octavius. The breaking of so great a thing should make
    A greater crack: the round world
    Should have shook lions into civil streets,
    And citizens to their dens: the death of Antony
    Is not a single doom; in the name lay 3300
    A moiety of the world.
  • Dercetas. He is dead, Caesar:
    Not by a public minister of justice,
    Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand,
    Which writ his honour in the acts it did, 3305
    Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it,
    Splitted the heart. This is his sword;
    I robb'd his wound of it; behold it stain'd
    With his most noble blood.
  • Octavius. Look you sad, friends? 3310
    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. 3315
  • Mecaenas. His taints and honours
    Waged equal with him.
  • Agrippa. A rarer spirit never
    Did steer humanity: but you, gods, will give us
    Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touch'd. 3320
  • Mecaenas. When such a spacious mirror's set before him,
    He needs must see himself.
  • Octavius. O Antony!
    I have follow'd thee to this; but we do lance
    Diseases in our bodies: I must perforce 3325
    Have shown to thee such a declining day,
    Or look on thine; we could not stall together
    In the whole world: but yet let me lament,
    With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
    That thou, my brother, my competitor 3330
    In top of all design, my mate in empire,
    Friend and companion in the front of war,
    The arm of mine own body, and the heart
    Where mine his thoughts did kindle,—that our stars,
    Unreconciliable, should divide 3335
    Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends—
    But I will tell you at some meeter season:
    [Enter an Egyptian]
    The business of this man looks out of him;
    We'll hear him what he says. Whence are you? 3340
  • Egyptian. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my mistress,
    Confined in all she has, her monument,
    Of thy intents desires instruction,
    That she preparedly may frame herself
    To the way she's forced to. 3345
  • Octavius. Bid her have good heart:
    She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
    How honourable and how kindly we
    Determine for her; for Caesar cannot live
    To be ungentle. 3350
  • Egyptian. So the gods preserve thee!


  • Octavius. Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say,
    We purpose her no shame: give her what comforts
    The quality of her passion shall require, 3355
    Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
    She do defeat us; for her life in Rome
    Would be eternal in our triumph: go,
    And with your speediest bring us what she says,
    And how you find of her. 3360
  • Proculeius. Caesar, I shall.


  • Octavius. Gallus, go you along.
    [Exit GALLUS]
    Where's Dolabella, 3365
    To second Proculeius?
  • All. Dolabella!
  • Octavius. Let him alone, for I remember now
    How he's employ'd: he shall in time be ready.
    Go with me to my tent; where you shall see 3370
    How hardly I was drawn into this war;
    How calm and gentle I proceeded still
    In all my writings: go with me, and see
    What I can show in this.



Act V, Scene 2

Alexandria. A room in the monument.



  • Cleopatra. My desolation does begin to make
    A better life. 'Tis paltry to be Caesar;
    Not being Fortune, he's but Fortune's knave,
    A minister of her will: and it is great 3380
    To do that thing that ends all other deeds;
    Which shackles accidents and bolts up change;
    Which sleeps, and never palates more the dug,
    The beggar's nurse and Caesar's.
    [Enter, to the gates of the monument, PROCULEIUS,] 3385
    GALLUS and Soldiers]
  • 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? 3390
  • 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 3395
    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 conquer'd Egypt for my son,
    He gives me so much of mine own, as I 3400
    Will kneel to him with thanks.
  • Proculeius. Be of good cheer;
    You're fall'n into a princely hand, fear nothing:
    Make your full reference freely to my lord,
    Who is so full of grace, that it flows over 3405
    On all that need: let me report to him
    Your sweet dependency; and you shall find
    A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness,
    Where he for grace is kneel'd to.
  • Cleopatra. Pray you, tell him 3410
    I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
    The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
    A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
    Look him i' the face.
  • Proculeius. This I'll report, dear lady. 3415
    Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
    Of him that caused it.
  • Gallus. You see how easily she may be surprised:
    [Here PROCULEIUS and two of the Guard ascend the]
    monument by a ladder placed against a window, and, 3420
    having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of
    the Guard unbar and open the gates]
    [To PROCULEIUS and the Guard]
    Guard her till Caesar come.


  • Iras. Royal queen!
  • Charmian. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen:
  • Cleopatra. Quick, quick, good hands.

[Drawing a dagger]

  • Proculeius. Hold, worthy lady, hold: 3430
    [Seizes and disarms her]
    Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
    Relieved, but not betray'd.
  • Cleopatra. What, of death too,
    That rids our dogs of languish? 3435
  • Proculeius. Cleopatra,
    Do not abuse my master's bounty by
    The undoing of yourself: let the world see
    His nobleness well acted, which your death
    Will never let come forth. 3440
  • Cleopatra. Where art thou, death?
    Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen
    Worthy many babes and beggars!
  • Proculeius. O, temperance, lady!
  • Cleopatra. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir; 3445
    If idle talk will once be necessary,
    I'll not sleep neither: this mortal house I'll ruin,
    Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
    Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;
    Nor once be chastised with the sober eye 3450
    Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up
    And show me to the shouting varletry
    Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
    Be gentle grave unto me! rather on Nilus' mud
    Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies 3455
    Blow me into abhorring! rather make
    My country's high pyramides my gibbet,
    And hang me up in chains!
  • Proculeius. You do extend
    These thoughts of horror further than you shall 3460
    Find cause in Caesar.


  • Dolabella. Proculeius,
    What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
    And he hath sent for thee: for the queen, 3465
    I'll take her to my guard.
  • Proculeius. So, Dolabella,
    It shall content me best: be gentle to her.
    To Caesar I will speak what you shall please, 3470
    If you'll employ me to him.
  • Cleopatra. Say, I would die.

[Exeunt PROCULEIUS and Soldiers]

  • Dolabella. Most noble empress, you have heard of me?
  • Cleopatra. I cannot tell. 3475
  • 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. 3480
  • Cleopatra. I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony:
    O, 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 3485
    A sun and moon, which kept their course,
    and lighted
    The little O, the earth.
  • Dolabella. Most sovereign creature,—
  • Cleopatra. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm 3490
    Crested the world: his voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas 3495
    That grew the more by reaping: his delights
    Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
    The element they lived in: in his livery
    Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropp'd from his pocket. 3500
  • Dolabella. Cleopatra!
  • Cleopatra. Think you there was, or might be, such a man
    As this I dream'd of?
  • Dolabella. Gentle madam, no.
  • Cleopatra. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods. 3505
    But, if there be, or ever were, one such,
    It's past the size of dreaming: nature wants stuff
    To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
    And Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
    Condemning shadows quite. 3510
  • Dolabella. Hear me, good madam.
    Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
    As answering to the weight: would I might never
    O'ertake pursued success, but I do feel,
    By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites 3515
    My very heart at root.
  • Cleopatra. I thank you, sir,
    Know you what Caesar means to do with me?
  • Dolabella. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
  • Cleopatra. Nay, pray you, sir,— 3520
  • Dolabella. Though he be honourable,—
  • Cleopatra. He'll lead me, then, in triumph?
  • Dolabella. Madam, he will; I know't.
    [Flourish, and shout within, 'Make way there:]
    Octavius Caesar!'] 3525
    MECAENAS, SELEUCUS, and others of his Train]
  • Octavius. Which is the Queen of Egypt?
  • Dolabella. It is the emperor, madam.

[CLEOPATRA kneels]

  • Octavius. 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. 3535
  • Octavius. 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' the world, 3540
    I cannot project mine own cause so well
    To make it clear; but do confess I have
    Been laden with like frailties which before
    Have often shamed our sex.
  • Octavius. Cleopatra, know, 3545
    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 3550
    Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
    Of my good purposes, and put your children
    To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
    If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave.
  • Cleopatra. And may, through all the world: 'tis yours; and we, 3555
    Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
    Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
  • Octavius. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
  • Cleopatra. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,
    I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued; 3560
    Not petty things admitted. Where's 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. 3565
  • Seleucus. Madam,
    I had rather seal 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. 3570
  • Octavius. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve
    Your wisdom in the deed.
  • Cleopatra. See, Caesar! O, behold,
    How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours;
    And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. 3575
    The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
    Even make me wild: O slave, of no more trust
    Than love that's hired! What, goest thou back? thou shalt
    Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes,
    Though they had wings: slave, soulless villain, dog! 3580
    O rarely base!
  • Octavius. Good queen, let us entreat you.
  • Cleopatra. O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
    That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
    Doing the honour of thy lordliness 3585
    To one so meek, that mine own servant should
    Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
    Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
    That I some lady trifles have reserved,
    Immoment toys, things of such dignity 3590
    As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
    Some nobler token I have kept apart
    For Livia and Octavia, to induce
    Their mediation; must I be unfolded
    With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me 3595
    Beneath the fall I have.
    Prithee, go hence;
    Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
    Through the ashes of my chance: wert thou a man, 3600
    Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
  • Octavius. Forbear, Seleucus.


  • Cleopatra. Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
    For things that others do; and, when we fall, 3605
    We answer others' merits in our name,
    Are therefore to be pitied.
  • Octavius. Cleopatra,
    Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,
    Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be't yours, 3610
    Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,
    Caesar's no merchant, to make prize with you
    Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd;
    Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear queen;
    For we intend so to dispose you as 3615
    Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:
    Our care and pity is so much upon you,
    That we remain your friend; and so, adieu.
  • Cleopatra. My master, and my lord!
  • Octavius. Not so. Adieu. 3620

[Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR and his train]

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

[Whispers CHARMIAN]

  • Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, 3625
    And we are for the dark.
  • Cleopatra. Hie thee again:
    I have spoke already, and it is provided;
    Go put it to the haste.
  • Charmian. Madam, I will. 3630

[Re-enter DOLABELLA]

  • Dolabella. Where is the queen?
  • Charmian. Behold, sir.


  • Cleopatra. Dolabella! 3635
  • 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: 3640
    Make your best use of this: I have perform'd
    Your pleasure and my promise.
  • Cleopatra. Dolabella,
    I shall remain your debtor.
  • Dolabella. I your servant, 3645
    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 3650
    In Rome, as well as I. mechanic slaves
    With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
    Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
    Rank of gross diet, shall be enclouded,
    And forced to drink their vapour. 3655
  • Iras. The gods forbid!
  • Cleopatra. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: saucy lictors
    Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers
    Ballad us out o' tune: the quick comedians
    Extemporally will stage us, and present 3660
    Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
    Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
    Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
    I' the posture of a whore.
  • Iras. O the good gods! 3665
  • Cleopatra. Nay, that's certain.
  • Iras. I'll never see 't; for, I am sure, my nails
    Are stronger than mine eyes.
  • Cleopatra. Why, that's the way
    To fool their preparation, and to conquer 3670
    Their most absurd intents.
    [Re-enter CHARMIAN]
    Now, Charmian!
    Show me, my women, like a queen: go fetch
    My best attires: I am again for Cydnus, 3675
    To meet Mark Antony: sirrah Iras, go.
    Now, noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed;
    And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
    To play till doomsday. Bring our crown and all.
    Wherefore's this noise? 3680

[Exit IRAS. A noise within]

[Enter a Guardsman]

  • Guard. Here is a rural fellow
    That will not be denied your highness presence:
    He brings you figs. 3685
  • 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 3690
    Of woman in me: now from head to foot
    I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
    No planet is of mine.

[Re-enter Guardsman, with Clown bringing in a basket]

  • Guard. This is the man. 3695
  • Cleopatra. Avoid, and leave him.
    [Exit Guardsman]
    Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
    That kills and pains not?
  • Clown. Truly, I have him: but I would not be the party 3700
    that should desire you to touch him, for his biting
    is immortal; those that do die of it do seldom or
    never recover.
  • Cleopatra. Rememberest thou any that have died on't?
  • Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of 3705
    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' the worm; but he that will 3710
    believe all that they say, shall never be saved by
    half that they do: but this is most fallible, the
    worm's an odd worm.
  • Cleopatra. Get thee hence; farewell.
  • Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm. 3715

[Setting down his basket]

  • Cleopatra. Farewell.
  • Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will
    do his kind.
  • Cleopatra. Ay, ay; farewell. 3720
  • Clown. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the
    keeping of wise people; for, indeed, there is no
    goodness in worm.
  • Cleopatra. Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.
  • Clown. Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is 3725
    not worth the feeding.
  • Cleopatra. Will it eat me?
  • Clown. 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 3730
    not. But, truly, these same whoreson devils do the
    gods great harm in their women; for in every ten
    that they make, the devils mar five.
  • Cleopatra. Well, get thee gone; farewell.
  • Clown. Yes, forsooth: I wish you joy o' the worm. 3735


[Re-enter IRAS with a robe, crown, &c]

  • 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: 3740
    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: 3745
    Now to that name my courage prove my title!
    I am fire and air; my other elements
    I give to baser life. So; have you done?
    Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
    Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell. 3750
    [Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies]
    Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
    If thou and nature can so gently part,
    The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
    Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still? 3755
    If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
    It is not worth leave-taking.
  • Charmian. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,
    The gods themselves do weep!
  • Cleopatra. This proves me base: 3760
    If she first meet the curled Antony,
    He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
    Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou
    mortal wretch,
    [To an asp, which she applies to her breast] 3765
    With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
    Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool
    Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,
    That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
    Unpolicied! 3770
  • Charmian. O eastern star!
  • Cleopatra. Peace, peace!
    Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
    That sucks the nurse asleep?
  • Charmian. O, break! O, break! 3775
  • Cleopatra. 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 should I stay—


  • Charmian. In this vile world? So, fare thee well.
    Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
    A lass unparallel'd. Downy windows, close;
    And golden Phoebus never be beheld
    Of eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry; 3785
    I'll mend it, and then play.

[Enter the Guard, rushing in]

  • First Guard. Where is the queen?
  • Charmian. Speak softly, wake her not.
  • First Guard. Caesar hath sent— 3790
  • Charmian. Too slow a messenger.
    [Applies an asp]
    O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
  • First Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Caesar's beguiled.
  • Second Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him. 3795
  • 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!


[Re-enter DOLABELLA]

  • Dolabella. How goes it here?
  • Second Guard. All dead.
  • Dolabella. Caesar, thy thoughts
    Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming 3805
    To see perform'd the dreaded act which thou
    So sought'st to hinder.

[Within 'A way there, a way for Caesar!']

[Re-enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR and all his train marching]

  • Dolabella. O sir, you are too sure an augurer; 3810
    That you did fear is done.
  • Octavius. Bravest at the last,
    She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal,
    Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
    I do not see them bleed. 3815
  • Dolabella. Who was last with them?
  • First Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs:
    This was his basket.
  • Octavius. Poison'd, then.
  • First Guard. O Caesar, 3820
    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 dropp'd.
  • Octavius. O noble weakness! 3825
    If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear
    By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,
    As she would catch another Antony
    In her strong toil of grace.
  • Dolabella. Here, on her breast, 3830
    There is a vent of blood and something blown:
    The like is on her arm.
  • First Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these fig-leaves
    Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves
    Upon the caves of Nile. 3835
  • Octavius. Most probable
    That so she died; for her physician tells me
    She hath pursued conclusions infinite
    Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed;
    And bear her women from the monument: 3840
    She shall be buried by her Antony:
    No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
    A pair so famous. High events as these
    Strike those that make them; and their story is
    No less in pity than his glory which 3845
    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.