Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Anthony and Cleopatra (Modern)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Modern)

    Music plays.
    Enter two or three Servants with a banquet.
    1335First Servant
    Here they'll be, man. Some o'their plants are ill-rooted already. The least wind i'th'world will blow them down.
    Second Servant
    Lepidus is high-colored.
    First Servant
    They have made him drink alms-drink.
    1340Second Servant
    As they pinch one another by the disposition, he cries out "No more", reconciles them to his entreaty and himself to'th'drink.
    First Servant
    But it raises the greatest war between him and his discretion.
    1345Second Servant
    Why, this it is to have a name in great men's fellowship. I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service as a partisan I could not heave.
    First Servant
    To be called into a huge sphere and not to be seen to move in't are the holes where eyes should be, which 1350pitifully disaster the cheeks.
    A Sennet sounded.
    Enter Caesar, Antony, Pompey, Lepidus, Agrippa, Maecenas, Enobarbus, [and] Menas, with other captains [and a Boy].
    Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o'th'Nile
    1355By certain scales i'th'pyramid; they know
    By th'height, the lowness, or the mean if dearth
    Or foison follow. The higher Nilus swells,
    The more it promises; as it ebbs, the seedsman
    Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
    1360And shortly comes to harvest.
    You've strange serpents there?
    Ay, Lepidus.
    Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun; so is your crocodile.
    They are so.
    Sit, and some wine. A health to Lepidus! [They drink.]
    I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.
    Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be in 1370till then.
    Nay certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things. Without contradiction I have heard that.
    [Aside to Pompey] Pompey, a word.
    [Aside to Menas] Say in mine ear what is't.
    [Aside to Pompey] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,
    And hear me speak a word.
    [Aside to Menas] Forbear me till anon.
    [Aloud] This wine for Lepidus.
    [Menas] whispers in [Pompey's] ear.
    What manner o'thing is your crocodile?
    It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth; it is just so high as it is, and moves with it own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.
    What color is it of?
    Of it own color too.
    'Tis a strange serpent.
    'Tis so, and the tears of it are wet.
    [To Antony] Will this description satisfy him?
    [To Caesar] With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.
    [Aside to Menas] Go hang sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away!
    Do as I bid you! [Aloud] Where's this cup I called for?
    Menas [Aside to Pompey]
    If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,
    1395Rise from thy stool.
    Pompey [Aside to Menas]
    I think th'art mad.
    [Pompey and Menas stand apart.]
    The matter?
    I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.
    Thou hast served me with much faith. What's else to say?
    [Aloud] Be jolly, lords.
    These quicksands, Lepidus, Keep off them, for you sink.
    [Menas and Pompey speak aside.]
    Wilt thou be lord of all the world?
    What say'st thou?
    Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? 1405That's twice.
    How should that be?
    But entertain it,
    And though thou think me poor, I am the man
    Will give thee all the world.
    Hast thou drunk well?
    No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
    Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove:
    Whate'er the ocean pales or sky inclips
    Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.
    Show me which way.
    These three world-sharers, these competitors
    Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable,
    And when we are put off, fall to their throats.
    All there is thine.
    Ah, this thou shouldst have done
    1420And not have spoke on't. In me, 'tis villainy;
    In thee't had been good service. Thou must know
    'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honor;
    Mine honor, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue
    Hath so betrayed thine act. Being done unknown,
    1425I should have found it afterwards well done,
    But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.
    [Pompey returns to the others.]
    For this, I'll never follow thy palled fortunes more.
    Who seeks and will not take when once 'tis offered
    1430Shall never find it more.
    This health to Lepidus.
    [To a servant] Bear him ashore.
    I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.
    Here's to thee, Menas!
    Enobarbus, welcome.
    Fill till the cup be hid.
    [Pointing to the servant carrying off Lepidus] There's a strong fellow, Menas.
    A bears the third part of the world, man, seest 1440not?
    The third part, then, he is drunk. Would it were all,
    That it might go on wheels.
    Drink thou, increase the reels.
    This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
    It ripens towards it; strike the vessels, ho!
    Here's to Caesar!
    I could well forbear't:
    It's monstrous labor when I wash my brain
    And it grow fouler.
    Be a child o'th'time.
    Possess it, I'll make answer;
    But I had rather fast from all, four days,
    Than drink so much in one.
    [To Antony] Ha, my brave emperor,
    Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals,
    And celebrate our drink?
    Let's ha't, good soldier!
    Come, let's all take hands,
    Till that the conquering wine hath steeped our sense
    In soft and delicate Lethe.
    All take hands!
    1460Make battery to our ears with the loud music.
    The while I'll place you, then the boy shall sing.
    The holding every man shall beat as loud
    As his strong sides can volley.
    Music plays.
    Enobarbus places them hand in hand.
    1465The Song.
    Come thou monarch of the vine,
    Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
    In thy vats our cares be drowned,
    With thy grapes our hairs be crowned.
    1470Cup us till the world go round,
    Cup us till the world go round!
    What would you more? Pompey, goodnight. Good brother,
    Let me request you off: our graver business
    1475Frowns at this levity. Gentle lords, let's part.
    You see we have burnt our cheeks. Strong Enobarb
    Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue
    Splits what it speaks. The wild disguise hath almost
    Anticked us all. What needs more words? Goodnight.
    1480Good Antony, your hand.
    I'll try you on the shore.
    And shall, sir. Give's your hand.
    Oh, Antony,
    You have my father's house. But what--we are friends!
    1485Come down into the boat.
    [Exeunt all but Enobarbus and Menas].
    Take heed you fall not.
    Menas, I'll not on shore.
    No, to my cabin; these drums,
    These trumpets, flutes--what,
    Let Neptune hear, we bid a loud farewell
    1490To these great fellows. Sound and be hanged, sound out!
    Sound a flourish with drums.
    Hoo, says a! There's my cap!
    [He throws his cap in the air].
    Hoa! Noble captain, come.