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Antony and Cleopatra

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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.