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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Octauius reading a Letter, Lepidus,
    and their Traine.
    430s. You may see Lepidus, and henceforth know,
    It is not sars Naturall vice, to hate
    One great Competitor. From Alexandria
    This is the newes: He fishes, drinkes, and wastes
    The Lampes of night in reuell: Is not more manlike
    435Then Cleopatra: nor the Queene of Ptolomy
    More Womanly then he. Hardly gaue audience
    Or vouchsafe to thinke he had Partners. You
    Shall finde there a man, who is th' abstracts of all faults,
    That all men follow.
    440Lep. I must not thinke
    There are, euils enow to darken all his goodnesse:
    His faults in him, seeme as the Spots of Heauen,
    More fierie by nights Blacknesse; Hereditarie,
    Rather then purchaste: what he cannot change,
    445Then what he chooses.
    s. You are too indulgent. Let's graunt it is not
    Amisse to tumble on the bed of Ptolomy,
    To giue a Kingdome for a Mirth, to sit
    And keepe the turne of Tipling with a Slaue,
    450To reele the streets at noone, and stand the Buffet
    With knaues that smels of sweate: Say this becoms him
    (As his composure must be rare indeed,
    Whom these things cannot blemish) yet must Anthony
    No way excuse his foyles, when we do beare
    455So great waight in his lightnesse. If he fill'd
    His vacancie with his Voluptuousnesse,
    Full surfets, and the drinesse of his bones,
    Call on him for't. But to confound such time,
    That drummes him from his sport, and speakes as lowd
    460As his owne State, and ours, 'tis to be chid:
    As we rate Boyes, who being mature in knowledge,
    Pawne their experience to their present pleasure,
    And so rebell to iudgement.
    Enter a Messenger.
    465Lep. Heere's more newes.
    Mes. Thy biddings haue beene done, & euerie houre
    Most Noble sar, shalt thou haue report
    How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at Sea,
    And it appeares, he is belou'd of those
    470That only haue feard sar: to the Ports
    The discontents repaire, and mens reports
    Giue him much wrong'd.
    s. I should haue knowne no lesse,
    It hath bin taught vs from the primall state
    475That he which is was wisht, vntill he were:
    And the ebb'd man,
    Ne're lou'd, till ne're worth loue,
    Comes fear'd, by being lack'd. This common bodie,
    Like to a Vagabond Flagge vpon the Streame,
    480Goes too, and backe, lacking the varrying tyde
    To rot it selfe with motion.
    Mes. sar I bring thee word,
    Menacrates and Menas famous Pyrates
    Makes the Sea serue them, which they eare and wound
    485With keeles of euery kinde. Many hot inrodes
    They make in Italy, the Borders Maritime
    Lacke blood to thinke on't, and flush youth reuolt,
    No Vessell can peepe forth: but 'tis as soone
    Taken as seene: for Pompeyes name strikes more
    490Then could his Warre resisted
    sar. Anthony,
    Leaue thy lasciuious Vassailes. When thou once
    Was beaten from Medena, where thou slew'st
    Hirsius, and Pausa Consuls, at thy heele
    495Did Famine follow, whom thou fought'st against,
    (Though daintily brought vp) with patience more
    Then Sauages could suffer. Thou did'st drinke
    The stale of Horses, and the gilded Puddle
    Which Beasts would cough at. Thy pallat thẽ did daine
    500The roughest Berry, on the rudest Hedge.
    Yea, like the Stagge, when Snow the Pasture sheets,
    The barkes of Trees thou brows'd. On the Alpes,
    It is reported thou did'st eate strange flesh,
    Which some did dye to looke on: And all this
    505(It wounds thine Honor that I speake it now)
    Was borne so like a Soldiour, that thy cheeke
    So much as lank'd not.
    Lep. 'Tis pitty of him.
    s. Let his shames quickely
    510Driue him to Rome, 'tis time we twaine
    Did shew our selues i'th' Field, and to that end
    Assemble me immediate counsell, Pompey
    Thriues in our Idlenesse.
    Lep. To morrow sar,
    515I shall be furnisht to informe you rightly
    Both what by Sea and Land I can be able
    To front this present time.
    s. Til which encounter, it is my busines too. Farwell.
    Lep. Farwell my Lord, what you shal know mean time
    520Of stirres abroad, I shall beseech you Sir
    To let me be partaker.
    sar. Doubt not sir, I knew it for my Bond.