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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, and Iras.
    What shall we do, Enobarbus?
    Think, and die.
    Is Antony or we in fault for this?
    Antony only, that would make his will
    Lord of his reason. What though you fled
    From that great face of war, whose several ranges
    Frighted each other? Why should he follow?
    2160The itch of his affection should not then
    Have nicked his captainship at such a point,
    When half to half the world opposed, he being
    The merèd question? 'Twas a shame no less
    Than was his loss to course your flying flags,
    2165And leave his navy gazing.
    Prithee, peace.
    Enter the Ambassador with Antony.
    Is that his answer?
    Ay, my lord.
    The queen shall then have courtesy,
    2170So she will yield us up.
    He says so.
    Let her know't.
    [To Cleopatra] To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,
    And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
    With principalities.
    That head, my lord?
    [To the Ambassador] To him again. Tell him he wears the rose
    Of youth upon him, from which the world should note
    Something particular. His coin, ships, legions,
    May be a coward's, whose ministers would prevail
    2180Under the service of a child as soon
    As i'th'command of Caesar. I dare him therefore
    To lay his gay comparisons apart,
    And answer me declined, sword against sword,
    Ourselves alone. I'll write it. Follow me.
    [Exeunt Antony and Ambassador.]
    [Aside] Yes, like enough: high-battled Caesar will
    Unstate his happiness, and be staged to'th'show
    Against a sworder. I see men's judgments are
    A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward
    Do draw the inward quality after them
    2190To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
    Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will
    Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued
    His judgment too.
    Enter a Servant.
    A messenger from Caesar.
    What, no more ceremony? See, my women,
    Against the blown rose may they stop their nose
    That kneeled unto the buds. Admit him, sir.
    [Exit Servant.]
    [Aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square.
    2200The loyalty well-held to fools does make
    Our faith mere folly; yet he that can endure
    To follow with allegiance a fallen lord
    Does conquer him that did his master conquer
    And earns a place i'th'story.
    2205Enter Thidias.
    Caesar's will?
    Hear it apart.
    None but friends; say boldly.
    So haply are they friends to Antony.
    He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has,
    Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master
    Will leap to be his friend; for us, you know
    Whose he is, we are, and that is Caesar's.
    So. [To Cleopatra]
    Thus then, thou most renowned: Caesar entreats
    2215Not to consider in what case thou stand'st
    Further than he is Caesar.
    Go on; right royal.
    He knows that you embrace not Antony
    As you did love, but as you feared him.
    The scars upon your honor, therefore, he
    Does pity as constrainèd blemishes,
    Not as deserved.
    He is a god, and knows
    2225What is most right. Mine honor was not yielded,
    But conquered merely.
    [Aside] To be sure of that,
    I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky
    That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for
    2230Thy dearest quit thee.
    Exit Enobarbus.
    Shall I say to Caesar
    What you require of him? For he partly begs
    To be desired to give. It much would please him
    That of his fortunes you should make a staff
    2235To lean upon. But it would warm his spirits
    To hear from me you had left Antony,
    And put yourself under his shroud,
    The universal landlord.
    What's your name?
    My name is Thidias.
    Most kind messenger,
    Say to great Caesar this in deputation:
    I kiss his conqu'ring hand. Tell him I am prompt
    To lay my crown at's feet, and there to kneel
    Till from from his all-obeying breath I hear
    2245The doom of Egypt.
    'Tis your noblest course.
    Wisdom and fortune combating together,
    If that the former dare but what it can,
    No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay
    2250My duty on your hand. [He kisses Cleopatra's hand].
    Your Caesar's father oft,
    When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in,
    Bestowed his lips on that unworthy place,
    As it rained kisses.
    2255Enter Antony and Enobarbus.
    Favors, by Jove that thunders!
    What art thou, fellow?
    One that but performs
    The bidding of the fullest man and worthiest
    To have command obeyed.
    You will be whipped.
    [Calling Servants] Approach there!--[To Cleopatra] Ah, you kite!--Now, gods and devils,
    Authority melts from me of late. When I cried "Ho!"
    Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth
    And cry "Your will?" Have you no ears? 2265I am
    Antony yet.
    Enter Servants.
    Take hence this jack and whip him.
    [Aside] 'Tis better playing with a lion's whelp
    Than with an old one dying.
    Moon and stars,
    2270Whip him! Were't twenty of the greatest tributaries
    That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them
    So saucy with the hand of she here--what's her name
    Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows,
    Till like a boy you see him cringe his face,
    2275And whine aloud for mercy. Take him hence!
    Mark Antony!
    Tug him away; being whipped
    Bring him again. The jack of Caesar's shall
    Bear us an errand to him.
    Exeunt [Servants] with Thidias.
    2280You were half blasted ere I knew you. Ha!
    Have I my pillow left unpressed in Rome,
    Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
    And by a gem of women, to be abused
    By one that looks on feeders?
    Good my lord--
    You have been a boggler ever.
    But when we in our viciousness grow hard--
    Oh misery on't--the wise gods seel our eyes,
    In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us
    2290Adore our errors, laugh at's while we strut
    To our confusion.
    Oh, is't come to this?
    I found you as a morsel cold upon
    Dead Caesar's trencher. Nay, you were a fragment
    2295Of Gneius Pompey's, besides what hotter hours
    Unregistered in vulgar fame you have
    Luxuriously picked out. For I am sure,
    Though you can guess what temperance should be,
    You know not what it is.
    Wherefore is this?
    To let a fellow that will take rewards
    And say "God quit you", be familiar with
    My play-fellow your hand, this kingly seal
    And plighter of high hearts! O that I were
    2305Upon the hill of Basan to outroar
    The hornèd herd, for I have savage cause
    And to proclaim it civilly were like
    A haltered neck which does the hangman thank
    For being yare about him.
    2310Enter a Servant with Thidias.
    Is he whipped?
    Soundly, my lord.
    Cried he? And begged a pardon?
    He did ask favor.
    If that thy father live, let him repent
    2315Thou was't not made his daughter, and be thou sorry
    To follow Caesar in his triumph, since
    Thou hast been whipped for following him. Henceforth
    The white hand of a lady fever thee,
    Shake thou to look on't! Get thee back to Caesar,
    2320Tell him thy entertainment. Look thou say
    He makes me angry with him. For he seems
    Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am,
    Not what he knew I was. He makes me angry,
    And at this time most easy 'tis to do't,
    2325When my good stars that were my former guides
    Have empty left their orbs and shot their fires
    Into th'abysm of hell. If he mislike
    My speech and what is done, tell him he has
    Hipparchus, my enfranchèd bondman, whom
    2330He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,
    As he shall like to quit me. Urge it thou.
    Hence with thy stripes, be gone!
    Exit [Servant and] Thidias.
    Have you done yet?
    Alack, our terrene moon
    Is now eclipsed, 2335And it portends alone
    The fall of Antony.
    I must stay his time.
    To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes
    With one that ties his points?
    Not know me yet?
    Cold-hearted toward me?
    Ah, dear, if I be so,
    From my cold heart let heaven engender hail
    And poison it in the source, and the first stone
    Drop in my neck. As it determines so,
    2345Dissolve my life; the next, Caesarion smite,
    Till by degrees the memory of my womb,
    Together with my brave Egyptians all,
    By the discandying of this pelleted storm
    Lie graveless till the flies and gnats of Nile
    2350Have buried them for prey.
    I am satisfied.
    Caesar sets down in Alexandria, where
    I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
    Hath nobly held; our severed navy too
    2355Have knit again, and fleet, threat'ning most sea-like.
    Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady?
    If from the field I shall return once more
    To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood;
    I and my sword will earn our chronicle.
    2360There's hope in't yet.
    That's my brave lord!
    I will be treble-sinewed, -hearted, -breathed,
    And fight maliciously; for when mine hours
    Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
    2365Of me for jests. But now I'll set my teeth,
    And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,
    Let's have one other gaudy night. Call to me
    All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more;
    Let's mock the midnight bell.
    It is my birthday;
    I had thought t'have held it poor. But since my lord
    Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
    We will yet do well.
    [To Charmian and Iras] Call all his noble captains to my lord.
    Do so, we'll speak to them; and tonight I'll force
    The wine peep through their scars. Come on, my queen,
    There's sap in't yet. The next time I do fight
    2380I'll make Death love me, for I will contend
    Even with his pestilent scythe.
    Exeunt [all but Enobarbus].
    Now he'll outstare the lightning. To be furious
    Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
    The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,
    2385A diminution in our captain's brain
    Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason,
    It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
    Some way to leave him.