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Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence.

      — Hamlet, Act I Scene 3


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Antony and Cleopatra


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Scene 1. A plain in Syria.

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

Scene 3. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

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

Scene 5. The same. Another room.

Scene 6. Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.

Scene 7. Near Actium. MARK ANTONY’s camp.

Scene 8. A plain near Actium.

Scene 9. Another part of the plain.

Scene 10. Another part of the plain.

Scene 11. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

Scene 12. Egypt. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

Scene 13. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.


Act III, Scene 1

A plain in Syria.

      next scene .

[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
  • 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!


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

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

      next scene .

[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. Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!
  • Agrippa. What's Antony? The god of Jupiter.
  • Agrippa. O Antony! O thou Arabian bird! 1605
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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—
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lepidus. Let all the number of the stars give light 1675
    To thy fair way!

[Kisses OCTAVIA]

[Trumpets sound. Exeunt]

. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 3

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

      next scene .


  • 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. Madam, in Rome;
    I look'd her in the face, and saw her led
    Between her brother and Mark Antony.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cleopatra. Bear'st thou her face in mind? is't long or round?
  • 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]

  • 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.
  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 4

Athens. A room in MARK ANTONY’s house.

      next scene .


  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 5

The same. Another room.

      next scene .

[Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting]

  • Eros. There's strange news come, sir.
  • Eros. Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
  • 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.
  • Eros. For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius;
    My lord desires you presently: my news 1815
    I might have told hereafter.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 6

Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s house.

      next scene .


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Octavius. I have eyes upon him,
    And his affairs come to me on the wind.
    Where is he now?
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Octavius. Most certain. Sister, welcome: pray you,
    Be ever known to patience: my dear'st sister!


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 7

Near Actium. MARK ANTONY’s camp.

      next scene .


  • Cleopatra. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
  • Cleopatra. Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
    And say'st it is not fit.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Antony. For that he dares us to't. 1975
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Canidius. With news the time's with labour, and throes forth, 2040
    Each minute, some.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 8

A plain near Actium.

      next scene .

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

  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 9

Another part of the plain.

      next scene .


  • 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


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 10

Another part of the plain.

      next scene .

[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!
  • Scarus. The greater cantle of the world is lost 2070
    With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away
    Kingdoms and provinces.
  • 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


  • 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!
  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 11

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.

      next scene .

[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
  • Eros. See you here, sir?
  • Iras. Madam, O good empress!
  • 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.
  • Eros. The queen, my lord, the queen.
  • Iras. Go to him, madam, speak to him:
    He is unqualitied with very shame.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 12

Egypt. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.

      next scene .


  • 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]

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Octavius. Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
    And what thou think'st his very action speaks
    In every power that moves. 2240


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 13

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.



  • 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.

[Enter MARK ANTONY with EUPHRONIUS, the Ambassador]

  • Antony. The queen shall then have courtesy, so she
    Will yield us up.
  • 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.
  • 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]

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Thyreus. He knows that you embrace not Antony
    As you did love, but as you fear'd him. 2315
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Antony. Cried he? and begg'd a' pardon? 2415
  • 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


  • Antony. Alack, our terrene moon
    Is now eclipsed; and it portends alone
    The fall of Antony! 2440
  • Antony. To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes
    With one that ties his points?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.