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    Not Peer Reviewed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. 341
    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 Caesar, 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.

    170Enter Anthony, with a Messenger.
    Cleo. We will not looke vpon him:
    Go with vs. Exeunt.
    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 Caesar,
    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,
    x We