Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Randall Martin
Not Peer Reviewed

Anthony and Cleopatra (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Cæsar, Agrippa, Dollabella, Menas, with
his Counsell of Warre.
3110sar. Go to him Dollabella, bid him yeeld,
Being so frustrate, tell him,
He mockes the pawses that he makes.
Dol. sar, I shall.
Enter Decretas with the sword of Anthony.
3115s. Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar'st
Appeare thus to vs?
Dec. I am call'd Decretas,
Marke Anthony I seru'd, who best was worthie
Best to be seru'd: whil'st he stood vp, and spoke
3120He was my Master, and I wore my life
To spend vpon his haters. If thou please
To take me to thee, as I was to him,
Ile be to sar: if yu pleasest not, I yeild thee vp my life.
sar. What is't thou say'st?
3125Dec. I say (Oh Caesar) Anthony is dead.
sar. The breaking of so great a thing, should make
A greater cracke. The round World
Should haue shooke Lyons into ciuill streets,
And Cittizens to their dennes. The death of Anthony
3130Is not a single doome, in the name lay
A moity of the world.
Dec. He is dead sar,
Not by a publike minister of Iustice,
Nor by a hyred Knife, but that selfe-hand
3135Which writ his Honor in the Acts it did,
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.
3140s. Looke you sad Friends,
The Gods rebuke me, but it is Tydings
To wash the eyes of Kings.
Dol. And strange it is,
That Nature must compell vs to lament
3145Our most persisted deeds.
Mec. His taints and Honours, wag'd equal with him.
Dola. A Rarer spirit neuer
Did steere humanity: but you Gods will giue vs
Some faults to make vs men. sar is touch'd.
3150Mec. When such a spacious Mirror's set before him,
He needes must see him selfe.
sar. Oh Anthony,
I haue followed thee to this, but we do launch
Diseases in our Bodies. I must perforce
3155Haue shewne to thee such a declining day,
Or looke on thine: we could not stall together,
In the whole world. But yet let me lament
With teares as Soueraigne as the blood of hearts,
That thou my Brother, my Competitor,
3160In top of all designe; my Mate in Empire,
Friend and Companion in the front of Warre,
The Arme of mine owne Body, and the Heart
Where mine his thoughts did kindle; that our Starres
Vnreconciliable, should diuide our equalnesse to this.
3165Heare me good Friends,
But I will tell you at some meeter Season,
The businesse of this man lookes out of him,
Wee'l heare him what he sayes.
Enter an Ægyptian.
3170Whence are you?
Ægyp. A poore Egyptian yet, the Queen my mistris
Confin'd in all, she has her Monument
Of thy intents, desires, instruction,
That she preparedly may frame her selfe
3175To'th'way shee's forc'd too.
sar. Bid her haue good heart,
She soone shall know of vs, by some of ours,
How honourable, and how kindely Wee
Determine for her. For sar cannot leaue to be vngentle
3180Ægypt. So the Gods preserue thee.
s. Come hither Proculeius. Go and say
We purpose her no shame: giue her what comforts
The quality of her passion shall require;
Least in her greatnesse, by some mortall stroke
3185She do defeate vs. For her life in Rome,
Would be eternall in our Triumph: Go,
And with your speediest bring vs what she sayes,
And how you finde of her.
Pro. sar I shall.
Exit Proculeius.
3190s. Gallus, go you along: where's Dolabella, to se-
cond Proculeius?
All. Dolabella.
s. Let him alone: for I remember now
How hee's imployd: he shall in time be ready.
3195Go with me to my Tent, where you shall see
How hardly I was drawne into this Warre,
How calme and gentle I proceeded still
In all my Writings. Go with me, and see
What I can shew in this.