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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Whether straight Ile lead you.
    Anth. Let vs Lepidus not lacke your companie.
    Lep. Noble Anthony, not sickenesse should detaine
    Flourish. Exit omnes.
    Manet Enobarbus, Agrippa, Mecenas.
    Mec. Welcome from Ægypt Sir.
    Eno. Halfe the heart of sar, worthy Mecenas. My
    honourable Friend Agrippa.
    885Agri. Good Enobarbus.
    Mece. We haue cause to be glad, that matters are so
    well disgested: you staid well by't in Egypt.
    Enob. I Sir, we did sleepe day out of countenaunce:
    and made the night light with drinking.
    890Mece. Eight Wilde-Boares rosted whole at a break-
    fast: and but twelue persons there. Is this true?
    Eno. This was but as a Flye by an Eagle: we had much
    more monstrous matter of Feast, which worthily deser-
    ued noting.
    895Mecenas. She's a most triumphant Lady, if report be
    square to her.
    Enob. When she first met Marke Anthony, she purst
    vp his heart vpon the Riuer of Sidnis.
    Agri. There she appear'd indeed: or my reporter de-
    900uis'd well for her.
    Eno. I will tell you,
    The Barge she sat in, like a burnisht Throne
    Burnt on the water: the Poope was beaten Gold,
    Purple the Sailes: and so perfumed that
    905The Windes were Loue-sicke.
    With them the Owers were Siluer,
    Which to the tune of Flutes kept stroke, and made
    The water which they beate, to follow faster;
    As amorous of their strokes. For her owne person,
    910It beggerd all discription, she did lye
    In her Pauillion, cloth of Gold, of Tissue,
    O're-picturing that Venns, where we see
    The fancie out-worke Nature. On each side her,
    Stood pretty Dimpled Boyes, like smiling Cupids,
    915With diuers coulour'd Fannes whose winde did seeme,
    To gloue the delicate cheekes which they did coole,
    And what they vndid did.
    Agrip. Oh rare for Anthony.
    Eno. Her Gentlewoman, like the Nereides,
    920So many Mer-maides tended her i'th'eyes,
    And made their bends adornings. At the Helme.
    A seeming Mer-maide steeres: The Silken Tackle,
    Swell with the touches of those Flower-soft hands,
    That yarely frame the office. From the Barge
    925A strange inuisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adiacent Wharfes. The Citty cast
    Her people out vpon her: and Anthony
    Enthron'd i'th'Market-place, did sit alone,
    Whisling to'th'ayre: which but for vacancie,
    930Had gone to gaze on Cleopater too,
    And made a gap in Nature.
    Agri. Rare Egiptian.
    Eno. Vpon her landing, Anthony sent to her,
    Inuited her to Supper: she replyed,
    935It should be better, he became her guest:
    Which she entreated, our Courteous Anthony,
    Whom nere the word of no woman hard speake,
    Being barber'd ten times o're, goes to the Feast;
    And for his ordinary, paies his heart,
    940For what his eyes eate onely.
    Agri. Royall Wench:

    She made great sar lay his Sword to bed,
    He ploughed her, and she cropt.
    Eno. I saw her once
    945Hop forty Paces through the publicke streete,
    And hauing lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
    That she did make defect, perfection,
    And breathlesse powre breath forth.
    Mece. Now Anthony, must leaue her vtterly.
    950Eno. Neuer he will not:
    Age cannot wither her, nor custome stale
    Her infinite variety: other women cloy
    The appetites they feede, but she makes hungry,
    Where most she satisfies. For vildest things
    955Become themselues in her, that the holy Priests
    Blesse her, when she is Riggish.
    Mece If Beauty, Wisedome, Modesty, can settle
    The heart of Anthony: Octauia is
    A blessed Lottery to him.
    960Agrip. Let vs go. Good Enobarbus, make your selfe
    my guest, whilst you abide heere.
    Eno. Humbly Sir I thanke you.

    Enter Anthony, Cæsar, Octauia betw eene them.

    Anth. The world, and my great office, will
    965Sometimes deuide me from your bosome.
    Octa. All which time, before the Gods my knee shall
    bowe my ptayers to them for you.
    Anth. Goodnight Sir. My Octauia
    Read not my blemishes in the worlds report:
    970I haue not kept my square, but that to come
    Shall all be done byth'Rule: good night deere Lady:
    Good night Sir.
    sar. Goodnight.
    Enter Soothsaier.
    975Anth. Now sirrah: you do wish your selfe in Egypt?
    Sooth. Would I had neuer come from thence, nor you
    Ant. If you can, your reason?
    Sooth. I see it in my motion: haue it not in my tongue,
    980But yet hie you to Egypt againe.
    Antho. Say to me, whose Fortunes shall rise higher
    sars or mine?
    Soot. sars. Therefore (oh Anthony) stay not by his side
    Thy Dæmon that thy spirit which keepes thee, is
    985Noble, Couragious, high vnmatchable,
    Where sars is not. But neere him, thy Angell
    Becomes a feare: as being o're-powr'd, therefore
    Make space enough betweene you.
    Anth. Speake this no more.
    990Sooth. To none but thee no more but: when to thee,
    If thou dost play with him at any game,
    Thou art sure to loose: And of that Naturall lucke,
    He beats thee 'gainst the oddes. Thy Luster thickens,
    When he shines by: I say againe, thy spirit
    995Is all affraid to gouerne thee neere him:
    But he alway 'tis Noble.
    Anth. Get thee gone:
    Say to Ventigius I would speake with him.
    He shall to Parthia, be it Art or hap,
    1000He hath spoken true. The very Dice obey him,
    And in our sports my better cunning faints,
    Vnder his chance, if we draw lots he speeds,
    His Cocks do winne the Battaile, still of mine,
    When it is all to naught: and his Quailes euer
    1005Beate mine (in hoopt) at odd's. I will to Egypte: