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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Antony and Octavia.
    Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that--
    That were excusable, that and thousands more
    Of semblable import--but he hath waged
    New wars 'gainst Pompey, made his will and read it
    To public ear, spoke scantly of me!
    1690When perforce he could not
    But pay me terms of honor, cold and sickly
    He vented then, most narrow measure lent me;
    When the best hint was given him, he not look't,
    Or did it from his teeth.
    Oh my good lord,
    Believe not all, or if you must believe,
    Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,
    If this division chance, ne'er stood between
    Praying for both parts.
    1700The good gods will mock me presently
    When I shall pray "Oh bless my lord and husband,"
    Undo that prayer by crying out as loud
    "Oh bless my brother." Husband win, win brother,
    Prays and destroys the prayer; no midway
    1705'Twixt these extremes at all.
    Gentle Octavia,
    Let your best love draw to that point which seeks
    Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honor
    I lose myself; better I were not yours
    1710Than yours so branchless. But as you requested,
    Yourself shall go between's. The meantime, lady,
    I'll raise the preparation of a war
    Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste;
    So your desires are yours.
    Thanks to my lord.
    The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak
    Your reconciler. Wars 'twixt you twain would be
    As if the world should cleave, and that slain men
    Should solder up the rift.
    When it appears to you where this begins,
    Turn your displeasure that way, for our faults
    Can never be so equal that your love
    Can equally move with them. Provide your going;
    Choose your own company, and command what cost
    1725Your heart has mind to.