Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Randall Martin
Not Peer Reviewed

Anthony and Cleopatra (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Cleopater, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas.
1025Cleo. Giue me some Musicke: Musicke, moody foode
of vs that trade in Loue.
Omnes. The Musicke, hoa.
Enter Mardian the Eunuch.
Cleo. Let it alone, let's to Billards: come Charmian.
1030Char. My arme is sore, best play with Mardian.
Cleopa. As well a woman with an Eunuch plaide, as
with a woman. Come you'le play with me Sir?
Mardi. As well as I can Madam.
Cleo. And when good will is shewed,
1035Though't come to short
The Actor may pleade pardon. Ile none now,
Giue me mine Angle, weele to'th'Riuer there
My Musicke playing farre off. I will betray
Tawny fine fishes, my bended hooke shall pierce
1040Their slimy iawes: and as I draw them vp,
Ile thinke them euery one an Anthony,
And say, ah ha; y'are caught.
Char. 'Twas merry when you wager'd on your Ang-
ling, when your diuer did hang a salt fish on his hooke
1045which he with feruencie drew vp.
Cleo. That time? Oh times:
I laught him out of patience: and that night
I laught him into patience, and next morne,
Ere the ninth houre, I drunke him to his bed:
1050Then put my Tires and Mantles on him, whilst
I wore his Sword Phillippan. Oh from Italie,
Enter a Messenger.
Ramme thou thy fruitefull tidings in mine eares,
That long time haue bin barren.
1055Mes. Madam, Madam.
Cleo. Anthonyo's dead.
If thou say so Villaine, thou kil'st thy Mistris:
But well and free, if thou so yeild him.
There is Gold, and heere
1060My blewest vaines to kisse: a hand that Kings
Haue lipt, and trembled kissing.
Mes. First Madam, he is well.
Cleo. Why there's more Gold.
But sirrah marke, we vse
1065To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
The Gold I giue thee, will I melt and powr
Downe thy ill vttering throate.
Mes. Good Madam heare me.
Cleo. Well, go too I will:
1070But there's no goodnesse in thy face if Anthony
Be free and healthfull; so tart a fauour
To trumpet such good tidings. If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a Furie crown'd with Snakes,
Not like a formall man.
1075Mes. Wilt please you heare me?
Cleo. I haue a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
Yet if thou say Anthony liues, 'tis well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not Captiue to him,
Ile set thee in a shower of Gold, and haile
1080Rich Pearles vpon thee.
Mes. Madam, he's well.
Cleo. Well said.
Mes. And Friends with Caesar.
Cleo. Th'art an honest man.
1085Mes. Caesar, and he, are greater Friends then euer.
Cleo. Make thee a Fortune from me.
Mes. But yet Madam.
Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does alay
The good precedence, fie vpon but yet,
1090But yet is as a Iaylor to bring foorth
Some monstrous Malefactor. Prythee Friend,
Powre out the packe of matter to mine eare,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar,
In state of health thou saist, and thou saist, free.
1095Mes. Free Madam, no: I made no such report,
He's bound vnto Octauia.
Cleo. For what good turne?
Mes. For the best turne i'th'bed.
Cleo. I am pale Charmian.
1100Mes. Madam, he's married to Octauia.
Cleo. The most infectious Pestilence vpon thee.
Strikes him downe.
Mes. Good Madam patience.
Cleo. What say you? Strikes him.
1105Hence horrible Villaine, or Ile spurne thine eyes
Like balls before me: Ile vnhaire thy head,
She hales him vp and downe.
Thou shalt be whipt with Wyer, and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in lingring pickle.
1110Mes. Gratious Madam,
I that do bring the newes, made not the match.
Cleo. Say 'tis not so, a Prouince I will giue thee,
And make thy Fortunes proud: the blow thou had'st
Shall make thy peace, for mouing me to rage,
1115And I will boot thee with what guift beside
Thy modestie can begge.
Mes. He's married Madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liu'd too long. Draw a knife.
Mes. Nay then Ile runne:
1120What meane you Madam, I haue made no fault. Exit.
Char. Good Madam keepe your selfe within your selfe,
The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some Innocents scape not the thunderbolt:
Melt Egypt into Nyle: and kindly creatures
1125Turne all to Serpents. Call the slaue againe,
Though I am mad, I will not byte him: Call?
Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him,
These hands do lacke Nobility, that they strike
1130A meaner then my selfe: since I my selfe
Haue giuen my selfe the cause. Come hither Sir.
Enter the Messenger againe.
Though it be honest, it is neuer good
To bring bad newes: giue to a gratious Message
Anthony and Cleopatra. 349
1135An host of tongues, but let ill tydings tell
Themselues, when they be felt.
Mes. I haue done my duty.
Cleo. Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser then I do,
1140If thou againe say yes.
Mes. He's married Madam.
Cleo. The Gods confound thee,
Dost thou hold there still?
Mes. Should I lye Madame?
1145Cleo. Oh, I would thou didst:
So halfe my Egypt were submerg'd and made
A Cesterne for scal'd Snakes. Go get thee hence,
Had'st thou Narcissus in thy face to me,
Thou would'st appeere most vgly: He is married?
1150Mes. I craue your Highnesse pardon.
Cleo. He is married?
Mes. Take no offence, that I would not offend you,
To punnish me for what you make me do
Seemes much vnequall, he's married to Octauia.
1155Cleo. Oh that his fault should make a knaue of thee,
That art not what th'art sure of. Get thee hence,
The Marchandize which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too deere for me:
Lye they vpon thy hand, and be vndone by em.
1160Char. Good your Highnesse patience.
Cleo. In praysing Anthony, I haue disprais'd Caesar.
Char. Many times Madam.
Cleo. I am paid for't now: lead me from hence,
I faint, oh Iras, Charmian: 'tis no matter.
1165Go to the Fellow, good Alexas bid him
Report the feature of Octauia: her yeares,
Her inclination, let him not leaue out
The colour of her haire. Bring me word quickly,
Let him for euer go, let him not Charmian,
1170Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
The other wayes a Mars. Bid you Alexas
Bring me word, how tall she is: pitty me Charmian,
But do not speake to me. Lead me to my Chamber.