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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Southsayer, Rannius, Lucilli-
    us, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch,
    and Alexas.
    80Char. L. Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas,
    almost most absolute Alexas, where's the Soothsayer
    that you prais'd so to'th'Queene? Oh that I knewe this
    Husband, which you say, must change his Hornes with
    85Alex. Soothsayer.
    Sooth. Your will?
    Char. Is this the Man? Is't you sir that know things?
    Sooth. In Natures infinite booke of Secrecie, a little I
    can read.
    90Alex. Shew him your hand.
    Enob. Bring in the Banket quickly: Wine enough,
    Cleopatra's health to drinke.
    Char. Good sir, giue me good Fortune.
    Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
    95Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
    Sooth. You shall be yet farre fairer then you are.
    Char. He meanes in flesh.
    Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
    Char. Wrinkles forbid.
    100Alex. Vex not his prescience, be attentiue.
    Char. Hush.
    Sooth. You shall be more belouing, then beloued.
    Char. I had rather heate my Liuer with drinking.
    Alex. Nay, heare him.
    105Char. Good now some excellent Fortune: Let mee
    be married to three Kings in a forenoone, and Widdow
    them all: Let me haue a Childe at fifty, to whom Herode
    of Iewry may do Homage. Finde me to marrie me with
    Octauius Cæsar, and companion me with my Mistris.
    110Sooth. You shall out-liue the Lady whom you serue.
    Char. Oh excellent, I loue long life better then Figs.
    Sooth. You haue seene and proued a fairer former for-
    tune, then that which is to approach.
    Char. Then belike my Children shall haue no names:
    115Prythee how many Boyes and Wenches must I haue.
    Sooth. If euery of your wishes had a wombe, & fore-
    tell euery wish, a Million.
    Char. Out Foole, I forgiue thee for a Witch.
    Alex. You thinke none but your sheets are priuie to
    120your wishes.
    Char. Nay come, tell Iras hers.
    Alex. Wee'l know all our Fortunes.
    Enob. Mine, and most of our Fortunes to night, shall
    be drunke to bed.
    125Iras. There's a Palme presages Chastity, if nothing els.
    Char. E'ne as the o're-flowing Nylus presageth Fa-
    Iras. Go you wilde Bedfellow, you cannot Soothsay.
    Char. Nay, if an oyly Palme bee not a fruitfull Prog-
    130nostication, I cannot scratch mine eare. Prythee tel her
    but a worky day Fortune.
    Sooth. Your Fortunes are alike.
    Iras. But how, but how, giue me particulars.
    Sooth. I haue said.
    135Iras. Am I not an inch of Fortune better then she?
    Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better
    then I: where would you choose it.
    Iras. Not in my Husbands nose.
    Char. Our worser thoughts Heauens mend.
    140Alexas. Come, his Fortune, his Fortune. Oh let him
    mary a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee,
    and let her dye too, and giue him a worse, and let worse
    follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to
    his graue, fifty-fold a Cuckold. Good Isis heare me this
    145Prayer, though thou denie me a matter of more waight:
    good Isis I beseech thee.
    Iras. Amen, deere Goddesse, heare that prayer of the
    people. For, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome
    man loose-Wiu'd, so it is a deadly sorrow, to beholde a
    150foule Knaue vncuckolded: Therefore deere Isis keep de-
    corum, and Fortune him accordingly.
    Char. Amen.
    Alex. Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make mee a
    Cuckold, they would make themselues Whores, but
    155they'ld doo't.
    Enter Cleopatra.
    Enob. Hush, heere comes Anthony.
    Char. Not he, the Queene.
    Cleo. Saue you, my Lord.
    160Enob. No Lady.
    Cleo. Was he not heere?
    Char. No Madam.
    Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sodaine
    A Romane thought hath strooke him.
    Enob. Madam.
    Cleo. Seeke him, and bring him hither: wher's Alexias?
    Alex. Heere at your seruice.
    My Lord approaches.
    Enter Anthony, with a Messenger.
    Cleo. We will not looke vpon him:
    Go with vs.
    Messen. Fuluia thy Wife,
    First came into the Field.
    175Ant. Against my Brother Lucius?
    Messen. I: but soone that Warre had end,
    And the times state
    Made friends of them, ioynting their force 'gainst sar,
    Whose better issue in the warre from Italy,
    180Vpon the first encounter draue them.
    Ant. Well, what worst.
    Mess. The Nature of bad newes infects the Teller.
    Ant. When it concernes the Foole or Coward: On.
    Things that are past, are done, with me. 'Tis thus,
    185Who tels me true, though in his Tale lye death,
    I heare him as he flatter'd.
    Mes. Labienus (this is stiffe-newes)
    Hath with his Parthian Force
    Extended Asia: from Euphrates his conquering
    190Banner shooke, from Syria to Lydia,
    And to Ionia, whil'st---
    Ant. Anthony thou would'st say.
    Mes. Oh my Lord.
    Ant. Speake to me home,
    195Mince not the generall tongue, name
    Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome:
    Raile thou in Fuluia's phrase, and taunt my faults
    With such full License, as both Truth and Malice
    Haue power to vtter. Oh then we bring forth weeds,
    200When our quicke windes lye still, and our illes told vs
    Is as our earing: fare thee well awhile.
    Mes. At your Noble pleasure.
    Exit Messenger.
    Enter another Messenger.
    Ant. From Scicion how the newes? Speake there.
    2051. Mes. The man from Scicion,
    Is there such an one?
    2. Mes. He stayes vpon your will.
    Ant. Let him appeare:
    These strong Egyptian Fetters I must breake,
    210Or loose my selfe in dotage.
    Enter another Messenger with a Letter.
    What are you?
    3. Mes. Fuluia thy wife is dead.
    Ant. Where dyed she.
    215Mes. In Scicion, her length of sicknesse,
    With what else more serious,
    Importeth thee to know, this beares.
    Antho. Forbeare me
    There's a great Spirit gone, thus did I desire it:
    220What our contempts doth often hurle from vs,
    We wish it ours againe. The present pleasure,
    By reuolution lowring, does become
    The opposite of it selfe: she's good being gon,
    The hand could plucke her backe, that shou'd her on.
    225I must from this enchanting Queene breake off,
    Ten thousand harmes, more then the illes I know
    My idlenesse doth hatch.
    Enter Enobarbus.
    How now Enobarbus.
    230Eno. What's your pleasure, Sir?
    Anth. I must with haste from hence.
    Eno. Why then we kill all our Women. We see how
    mortall an vnkindnesse is to them, if they suffer our de-
    parture death's the word.
    235Ant. I must be gone.
    Eno. Vnder a compelling an occasion, let women die.
    It were pitty to cast them away for nothing, though be-
    tweene them and a great cause, they should be esteemed
    nothing. Cleopatra catching but the least noyse of this,
    240dies instantly: I haue seene her dye twenty times vppon
    farre poorer moment: I do think there is mettle in death,
    which commits some louing acte vpon her, she hath such
    a celerity in dying.
    Ant. She is cunning past mans thought.
    245Eno. Alacke Sir no, her passions are made of nothing
    but the finest part of pure Loue. We cannot cal her winds
    and waters, sighes and teares: They are greater stormes
    and Tempests then Almanackes can report. This cannot
    be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a showre of Raine
    250as well as Ioue.
    Ant. Would I had neuer seene her.
    Eno. Oh sir, you had then left vnseene a wonderfull
    peece of worke, which not to haue beene blest withall,
    would haue discredited your Trauaile.
    255Ant. Fuluia is dead.
    Eno. Sir.
    Ant. Fuluia is dead.
    Eno. Fuluia?
    Ant. Dead.
    260Eno. Why sir, giue the Gods a thankefull Sacrifice:
    when it pleaseth their Deities to take the wife of a man
    from him, it shewes to man the Tailors of the earth: com-
    forting therein, that when olde Robes are worne out,
    there are members to make new. If there were no more
    265Women but Fuluia, then had you indeede a cut, and the
    case to be lamented: This greefe is crown'd with Conso-
    lation, your old Smocke brings foorth a new Petticoate,
    aud indeed the teares liue in an Onion, that should water
    this sorrow.
    270Ant. The businesse she hath broached in the State,
    Cannot endure my absence.
    Eno. And the businesse you haue broach'd heere can-
    not be without you, especially that of Cleopatra's, which
    wholly depends on your abode.
    275Ant. No more light Answeres:
    Let our Officers
    Haue notice what we purpose. I shall breake
    The cause of our Expedience to the Queene,
    And get her loue to part. For not alone
    280The death of Fuluia, with more vrgent touches
    Do strongly speake to vs: but the Letters too
    Of many our contriuing Friends in Rome,
    Petition vs at home. Sextus Pompeius
    Haue giuen the dare to sar, and commands
    285The Empire of the Sea. Our slippery people,
    Whose Loue is neuer link'd to the deseruer,
    Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
    Pompey the great, and all his Dignities
    Vpon his Sonne, who high in Name and Power,
    290Higher then both in Blood and Life, stands vp
    For the maine Souldier. Whose quality going on,
    The sides o'th'world may danger. Much is breeding,
    Which like the Coursers heire, hath yet but life,
    And not a Serpents poyson. Say our pleasure,
    295To such whose places vnder vs, require
    Our quicke remoue from hence.
    Enob. I shall doo't.