Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Randall Martin
Not Peer Reviewed

Anthony and Cleopatra (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Anthony and Octauia.
1685Ant. Nay, nay Octauia, not onely that,
That were excusable, that and thousands more
Of semblable import, but he hath wag'd
New Warres 'gainst Pompey. Made his will, and read it,
To publicke eare, spoke scantly of me,
1690When perforce he could not
But pay me tearmes of Honour: cold and sickly
He vented then most narrow measure: lent me,
When the best hint was giuen him: he not look't,
Or did it from his teeth.
1695Octaui. Oh my good Lord,
Beleeue not all, or if you must beleeue,
Stomacke not all. A more vnhappie Lady,
If this deuision chance, ne're stood betweene
Praying for both parts:
1700The good Gods wil mocke me presently,
When I shall pray: Oh blesse my Lord, and Husband,
Vndo that prayer, by crying out as loud,
Oh blesse my Brother. Husband winne, winne Brother,
Prayes, and distroyes the prayer, no midway
1705'Twixt these extreames at all.
Ant. Gentle Octauia,
Let your best loue draw to that point which seeks
Best to preserue it: if I loose mine Honour,
I loose my selfe: better I were not yours
1710Then your so branchlesse. But as you requested,
Your selfe shall go between's, the meane time Lady,
Ile raise the preparation of a Warre
Shall staine your Brother, make your soonest hast,
So your desires are yours.
1715Oct. Thanks to my Lord,
The Ioue of power make me most weake, most weake,
You reconciler: Warres 'twixt you twaine would be,
As if the world should cleaue, and that slaine men
Should soader vp the Rift.
1720Anth. When it appeeres to you where this begins,
Turne your displeasure that way, for our faults
Can neuer be so equall, that your loue
Can equally moue with them. Prouide your going,
Choose your owne company, and command what cost
1725Your heart he's mind too. Exeunt.