Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Randall Martin
Not Peer Reviewed

Anthony and Cleopatra (Modern)

Enter Demetrius and Philo.
Nay, but this dotage of our general's
5O'er-flows the measure. Those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glowed like plated Mars now bend, now turn
The office and devotion of their view
10Upon a tawny front. His captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gypsy's lust.
Enter Antony, Cleopatra, her ladies [Charmian and Iras, Mardian and] the train, with eunuchs fanning her.
Look where they come.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transformed
20Into a strumpet's fool. Behold and see.
If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.
I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved.
Then must thou needs find out new heaven, 25new earth.
Enter a Messenger.
News, my good lord, from Rome.
Grates me; the sum.
Nay, hear them, Antony.
30Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you: "Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
Perform't, or else we damn thee."
How, my love?
Perchance? Nay, and most like.
You must not stay here longer. Your dismission
Is come from Caesar. Therefore hear it, Antony.
Where's Fulvia's process?--Caesar's, I would say. Both?
40Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine
Is Caesar's homager; else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
45Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
Is to do thus [embracing Cleopatra], when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do't--in which I bind,
50On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.
Excellent falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia and not love her?
I'll seem the fool I am not. Antony
Will be himself.
But stirred by Cleopatra.
Now for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh.
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?
Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen
Whom everything becomes--to chide, to laugh,
To weep. How every passion fully strives
To make itself in thee fair and admired.
65No messenger but thine; and all alone,
Tonight we'll wander through the streets and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen,
Last night you did desire it. [To the Messenger] Speak not to us.
Exeunt [Antony and Cleopatra] with [Charmian, Iras, Mardian, eunuchs and] the train, [and the Messenger by another door], [Philo and Demetrius remain].
Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
I am full sorry,
That he approves the common 75liar who
Thus speaks of him at Rome. But I will hope
Of better deeds tomorrow. Rest you happy.