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Antony and Cleopatra

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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.


[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.
  • 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