Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Randall Martin
Not Peer Reviewed

Anthony and Cleopatra (Modern)

Enter Caesar, Agrippa, [Thidias] and Dolabella, with others.
Let him appear that's come from Antony.
Know you him?
Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster.
An argument that he is plucked, when hither
He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,
Which had superfluous kings for messengers
Not many moons gone by.
2115Enter Ambassador from Antony.
Approach, and speak.
Such as I am, I come from Antony.
I was of late as petty to his ends
As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
2120To his grand sea.
Be't so. Declare thine office.
Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted
He lessens his requests, and to thee sues
2125To let him breathe between the heavens and earth
A private man in Athens. This for him.
Next: Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,
Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
2130Now hazarded to thy grace.
For Antony,
I have no ears to his request. The queen
Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend
2135Or take his life there. This if she perform
She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.
Fortune pursue thee.
Bring him through the bands.
[Exit Ambassador, attended].
[To Thidias] To try thy eloquence now 'tis time--dispatch.
2140From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise--
And in our name--what she requires. Add more--
From thine invention--offers. Women are not
In their best fortunes strong; but want will perjure
The ne'er-touched vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias.
2145Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
Will answer as a law.
Caesar, I go.
Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
And what thou think'st his very action speaks
2150In every power that moves.
Caesar, I shall.
Exeunt [Thidias at one door and Caesar, Agrippa, Dolabella and others at another door].