Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Anthony and Cleopatra (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Randall Martin
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-433-2

    Copyright Randall Martin. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Randall Martin
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Anthony and Cleopatra (Folio 1, 1623)

    Anthony and Cleopatra.
    he shall haue euery day a seuerall greeting, or Ile vnpeo-
    ple Egypt.
    Enter Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, in
    615warlike manner.
    Pom. If the great Gods be iust, they shall assist
    The deeds of iustest men.
    Mene. Know worthy Pompey, that what they do de-
    lay, they not deny.
    620Pom. Whiles we are sutors to their Throne, decayes
    the thing we sue for.
    Mene. We ignorant of our selues,
    Begge often our owne harmes, which the wise Powres
    Deny vs for our good: so finde we profit
    625By loosing of our Prayers.
    Pom. I shall do well:
    The people loue me, and the Sea is mine;
    My powers are Cressent, and my Auguring hope
    Sayes it will come to'th'full. Marke Anthony
    630In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
    No warres without doores. sar gets money where
    He looses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,
    Of both is flatter'd: but he neither loues,
    Nor either cares for him.
    635Mene. sar and Lepidus are in the field,
    A mighty strength they carry.
    Pom. Where haue you this? 'Tis false.
    Mene. From Siluius, Sir.
    Pom He dreames: I know they are in Rome together
    640Looking for Anthony: but all the charmes of Loue,
    Salt Cleopatra soften thy wand lip,
    Let Witchcraft ioyne with Beauty, Lust with both,
    Tye vp the Libertine in a field of Feasts,
    Keepe his Braine fuming. Epicurean Cookes,
    645Sharpen with cloylesse sawce his Appetite,
    That sleepe and feeding may prorogue his Honour,
    Euen till a Lethied dulnesse---
    Enter Varrius.
    How now Varrius?
    650Var. This is most certaine, that I shall deliuer:
    Marke Anthony is euery houre in Rome
    Expected. Since he went from Egypt, 'tis
    A space for farther Trauaile.
    Pom. I could haue giuen lesse matter
    655A better eare. Menas, I did not thinke
    This amorous Surfetter would haue donn'd his Helme
    For such a petty Warre: His Souldiership
    Is twice the other twaine: But let vs reare
    The higher our Opinion, that our stirring
    660Can from the lap of Egypts Widdow, plucke
    The neere Lust-wearied Anthony.
    Mene. I cannot hope,
    sar and Anthony shall well greet together;
    His Wife that's dead, did trespasses to sar,
    665His Brother wan'd vpon him, although I thinke
    Not mou'd by Anthony.
    Pom. I know not Menas,
    How lesser Enmities may giue way to greater,
    Were't not that we stand vp against them all:
    670'Twer pregnant they should square between themselues,
    For they haue entertained cause enough
    To draw their swords: but how the feare of vs
    May Ciment their diuisions, and binde vp
    The petty difference, we yet not know:
    675Bee't as our Gods will haue't; it onely stands
    Our liues vpon, to vse our strongest hands
    Come Menas.
    Enter Enobarbus and Lepidus.
    Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
    680And shall become you well, to intreat your Captaine
    To soft and gentle speech.
    Enob. I shall intreat him
    To answer like himselfe: if sar moue him,
    Let Anthony looke ouer sars head,
    685And speake as lowd as Mars. By Iupiter,
    Were I the wearer of Anthonio's Beard,
    I would not shaue't to day.
    Lep. 'Tis not a time for priuate stomacking.
    Eno. Euery time serues for the matter that is then
    690borne in't.
    Lep. But small to greater matters must giue way.
    Eno. Not if the fmall come first.
    Lep. Your speech is passion: but pray you stirre
    No Embers vp. Heere comes the Noble Anthony.
    Enter Anthony and Ventidius.
    Eno. And yonder sar.
    Enter Cæsar, Mecenas, and Agrippa.
    Ant. If we compose well heere, to Parthia:
    Hearke Ventidius.
    700sar. I do not know Mecenas, aske Agrippa.
    Lep. Noble Friends:
    That which combin'd vs was most great, and let not
    A leaner action rend vs. What's amisse,
    May it be gently heard. When we debate
    705Our triuiall difference loud, we do commit
    Murther in healing wounds. Then Noble Partners,
    The rather for I earnestly beseech,
    Touch you the sowrest points with sweetest tearmes,
    Nor curstnesse grow to'th'matter.
    710Ant. 'Tis spoken well:
    Were we before our Armies, and to fight,
    I should do thus.
    s. Welcome to Rome.
    Ant. Thanke you.
    715s. Sit.
    Ant, Sit sir.
    s. Nay then.
    Ant. I learne, you take things ill, which are not so:
    Or being, concerne you not.
    720s. I must be laught at, if or for nothing, or a little, I
    Should say my selfe offended, and with you
    Chiefely i'th'world. More laught at, that I should
    Once name you derogately: when to sound your name
    It not concern'd me.
    725Ant. My being in Egypt Caesar, what was't to you?
    s. No more then my reciding heere at Rome
    Might be to you in Egypt: yet if you there
    Did practise on my State, your being in Egypt
    Might be my question.
    730Ant. How intend you, practis'd?
    s. You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent,
    By what did heere befall me. Your Wife and Brother
    Made warres vpon me, and their contestation
    Was Theame for you, you were the word of warre.
    735Ant. You do mistake your busines, my Brother neuer
    Did vrge me in his Act: I did inquire it,
    And haue my Learning from some true reports
    That drew their swords with you, did he not rather
    Discredit my authority with yours,
    740And make the warres alike against my stomacke,
    Hauing alike your cause. Of this, my Letters
    Before did satisfie you. If you'l patch a quarrell,
    As matter whole you haue to make it with,