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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Agrippa, Maecenas, and Caesar.
    Contemning Rome, he's done all this and more
    In Alexandria. Here's the manner of't:
    I'th'market-place, on a tribunal silvered,
    1755Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
    Were publicly enthroned; at the feet sat
    Caesarion, whom they call my father's son,
    And all the unlawful issue that their lust
    Since then hath made between them. Unto her
    1760He gave the stablishment of Egypt, made her
    Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
    Absolute queen.
    This in the public eye?
    I'th'common showplace where they exercise.
    His sons hither proclaimed the kings of kings,
    1765Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia
    He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assigned
    Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia. She
    In th'habiliments of the goddess Isis,
    That day appeared, and oft before gave audience--
    1770As 'tis reported--so.
    Let Rome be thus informed.
    Who, queasy with his insolence already,
    Will their good thoughts call from him.
    The people knows it, 1775and have now received
    His accusations.
    Who does he accuse?
    Caesar; and that, having in Sicily
    Sextus Pompeius spoiled, we had not rated him
    His part o'th'isle. Then does he say he lent me
    1780Some shipping unrestored. Lastly, he frets
    That Lepidus of the triumvirate
    Should be deposed, and being, that we detain
    All his revenue.
    Sir, this should be answered.
    'Tis done already, and the messenger gone.
    1785I have told him Lepidus was grown too cruel,
    That he his high authority abused
    And did deserve his change. For what I have conquered,
    I grant him part; but then in his Armenia,
    And other of his conquered kingdoms, I
    Demand the like.
    He'll never yield to that.
    Nor must not then be yielded to in this.
    Enter Octavia with her train.
    Hail, Caesar and my lord. Hail, most dear Caesar!
    That ever I should call thee cast-away.
    You have not called me so, nor have you cause.
    Why have you stolen upon us thus? You come not
    Like Caesar's sister. The wife of Antony
    Should have an army for an usher, and
    The neighs of horse to tell of her approach
    1800Long ere she did appear. The trees by th'way
    Should have borne men, and expectation fainted,
    Longing for what it had not. Nay, the dust
    Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
    Raised by your populous troops. But you are come
    1805A market-maid to Rome, and have prevented
    The ostentation of our love, which left unshown
    Is often left unloved. We should have met you
    By sea and land, supplying every stage
    With an augmented greeting.
    Good my lord,
    To come thus was I not constrained, but did it
    On my free will. My lord Mark Antony,
    Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted
    My grievèd ear withal, whereon I begged
    1815His pardon for return.
    Which soon he granted,
    Being an abstract 'tween his lust and him.
    Do not say so, my lord.
    I have eyes upon him,
    1820And his affairs come to me on the wind.
    Where is he now?
    My lord, in Athens.
    No, my most wronged sister, Cleopatra
    Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire
    Up to a whore, who now are levying
    1825The kings o'th'earth for war. He hath assembled
    Bochus the King of Libya, Archelaus
    Of Cappadocia, Philadelphos King
    Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian King Adullas,
    King Manchus of Arabia, King of Pont,
    1830Herod of Jewry, Mithridates King
    Of Comagene, Polemon and Amintas,
    The Kings of Mede and Lycaonia,
    With a more larger list of sceptres.
    Ay me, most wretched,
    1835That have my heart parted betwixt two friends
    That does afflict each other!
    Welcome hither:
    Your letters did withhold our breaking forth
    Till we perceived both how you were wrong-led
    And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;
    1840Be you not troubled with the time, which drives
    O'er your content these strong necessities,
    But let determined things to destiny
    Hold unbewailed their way. Welcome to Rome,
    Nothing more dear to me. You are abused
    1845Beyond the mark of thought, and the high gods,
    To do you justice, makes his ministers
    Of us, and those that love you. Best of comfort,
    And ever welcome to us.
    Welcome, lady.
    Welcome, dear madam.
    1850Each heart in Rome does love and pity you;
    Only th'adulterous Antony, most large
    In his abominations, turns you off,
    And gives his potent regiment to a trull
    That noises it against us.
    Is it so, sir?
    Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray you
    Be ever known to patience. My dearest sister!