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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 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 Caesar moue him,
    Let Anthony looke ouer Caesars 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.
    695Enter Anthony and Ventidius.
    Eno. And yonder Caesar.
    Enter Caesar, Mecenas, and Agrippa.
    Ant. If we compose well heere, to Parthia:
    Hearke Ventidius.
    700Caesar. 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. Flourish.
    Caes. Welcome to Rome.
    Ant. Thanke you.
    715Caes. Sit.
    Ant, Sit sir.
    Caes. Nay then.
    Ant. I learne, you take things ill, which are not so:
    Or being, concerne you not.
    720Caes. 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?
    Caes. 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?
    Caes. 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,
    x3 It
    346The Tragedie of
    It must not be with this.
    745Caes. You praise your selfe, by laying defects of iudge-
    ment to me: but you patcht vp your excuses.
    Anth. Not so, not so:
    I know you could not lacke, I am certaine on't,
    Very necessity of this thought, that I
    750Your Partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
    Could not with gracefull eyes attend those Warres
    Which fronted mine owne peace. As for my wife,
    I would you had her spirit, in such another,
    The third oth'world is yours, which with a Snaffle,
    755You may pace easie, but not such a wife.
    Enobar. Would we had all such wiues, that the men
    might go to Warres with the women.
    Anth. So much vncurbable, her Garboiles (Caesar)
    Made out of her impatience: which not wanted
    760Shrodenesse of policie to: I greeuing grant,
    Did you too much disquiet, for that you must,
    But say I could not helpe it.
    Caesar. I wrote to you, when rioting in Alexandria you
    Did pocket vp my Letters: and with taunts
    765Did gibe my Misiue out of audience.
    Ant. Sir, he fell vpon me, ere admitted, then:
    Three Kings I had newly feasted, and did want
    Of what I was i'th'morning: but next day
    I told him of my selfe, which was as much
    770As to haue askt him pardon. Let this Fellow
    Be nothing of our strife: if we contend
    Out of our question wipe him.
    Caesar. You haue broken the Article of your oath,
    which you shall neuer haue tongue to charge me with.
    775Lep. Soft Caesar.
    Ant. No Lepidus, let him speake,
    The Honour is Sacred which he talks on now,
    Supposing that I lackt it: but on Caesar,
    The Article of my oath.
    780Caesar. To lend me Armes, and aide when I requir'd
    them, the which you both denied.
    Anth. Neglected rather:
    And then when poysoned houres had bound me vp
    From mine owne knowledge, as neerely as I may,
    785Ile play the penitent to you. But mine honesty,
    Shall not make poore my greatnesse, nor my power
    Worke without it. Truth is, that Fuluia,
    To haue me out of Egypt, made Warres heere,
    For which my selfe, the ignorant motiue, do
    790So farre aske pardon, as befits mine Honour
    To stoope in such a case.
    Lep. 'Tis Noble spoken.
    Mece. If it might please you, to enforce no further
    The griefes betweene ye: to forget them quite,
    795Were to remember: that the present neede,
    Speakes to attone you.
    Lep. Worthily spoken Mecenas.
    Enobar. Or if you borrow one anothers Loue for the
    instant, you may when you heare no more words of
    800Pompey returne it againe: you shall haue time to wrangle
    in, when you haue nothing else to do.
    Anth. Thou art a Souldier, onely speake no more.
    Enob. That trueth should be silent, I had almost for-
    805Anth. You wrong this presence, therefore speake no
    Enob. Go too then: your Considerate stone.
    Caesar. I do not much dislike the matter, but
    The manner of his speech: for't cannot be,
    810We shall remaine in friendship, our conditions
    So diffring in their acts. Yet if I knew,
    What Hoope should hold vs staunch from edge to edge
    Ath'world: I would persue it.
    Agri. Giue me leaue Caesar.
    815Caesar. Speake Agrippa.
    Agri. Thou hast a Sister by the Mothers side, admir'd
    Octauia: Great Mark Anthony is now a widdower.
    Caesar. Say not, say Agrippa; if Cleopater heard you, your
    proofe were well deserued of rashnesse.
    820Anth. I am not marryed Caesar: let me heere Agrippa
    further speake.
    Agri. To hold you in perpetuall amitie,
    To make you Brothers, and to knit your hearts
    With an vn-slipping knot, take Anthony,
    825Octauia to his wife: whose beauty claimes
    No worse a husband then the best of men: whose
    Vertue, and whose generall graces, speake
    That which none else can vtter. By this marriage,
    All little Ielousies which now seeme great,
    830And all great feares, which now import their dangers,
    Would then be nothing. Truth's would be tales,
    Where now halfe tales be truth's: her loue to both,
    Would each to other, and all loues to both
    Draw after her. Pardon what I haue spoke,
    835For 'tis a studied not a present thought,
    By duty ruminated.
    Anth. Will Caesar speake?
    Caesar. Not till he heares how Anthony is toucht,
    With what is spoke already.
    840Anth. What power is in Agrippa,
    If I would say Agrippa, be it so,
    To make this good?
    Caesar. The power of Caesar,
    And his power, vnto Octauia.
    845Anth. May I neuer
    (To this good purpose, that so fairely shewes)
    Dreame of impediment: let me haue thy hand
    Further this act of Grace: and from this houre,
    The heart of Brothers gouerne in our Loues,
    850And sway our great Designes.
    Caesar. There's my hand:
    A Sister I bequeath you, whom no Brother
    Did euer loue so deerely. Let her liue
    To ioyne our kingdomes, and our hearts, and neuer
    855Flie off our Loues againe.
    Lepi. Happily, Amen.
    Ant. I did not think to draw my Sword 'gainst Pompey,
    For he hath laid strange courtesies, and great
    Of late vpon me. I must thanke him onely,
    860Least my remembrance, suffer ill report:
    At heele of that, defie him.
    Lepi. Time cals vpon's,
    Of vs must Pompey presently be sought,
    Or else he seekes out vs.
    865Anth. Where lies he?
    Caesar. About the Mount-Mesena.
    Anth. What is his strength by land?
    Caesar. Great, and encreasing:
    But by Sea he is an absolute Master.
    870Anth. So is the Fame,
    Would we had spoke together. Hast we for it.
    Yet ere we put our selues in Armes, dispatch we
    The businesse we haue talkt of.
    Caesar. With most gladnesse,
    875And do inuite you to my Sisters view,
    Anthony and Cleopatra. 347
    Whether straight Ile lead you.
    Anth. Let vs Lepidus not lacke your companie.
    Lep. Noble Anthony, not sickenesse should detaine
    880 Flourish. Exit omnes.
    Manet Enobarbus, Agrippa, Mecenas.
    Mec. Welcome from AEgypt Sir.
    Eno. Halfe the heart of Caesar, 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 Caesar 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. Exeunt