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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Caesar with his council of war: Agrippa, Dolabella [Maecenas, Gallus, Proculeius].
    Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield.
    Being so frustrate, tell him he mocks
    The pauses that he makes.
    Caesar, I shall.
    Enter Dercetus with the sword of Antony.
    Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar'st
    Appear thus to us?
    I am called Dercetus.
    Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy
    Best to be served; whilst he stood up and spoke
    3120He was my master, and I wore my life
    To spend upon his haters. If thou please
    To take me to thee as I was to him,
    I'll be to Caesar; if you pleasest not,
    I yield thee up my life.
    What is't thou say'st?
    I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.
    The breaking of so great a thing should make
    A greater crack. The round world
    Should have shook lions into civil streets
    And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony
    3130Is not a single doom; in the name lay
    A moiety of the world.
    He is dead, Caesar,
    Not by a public minister of justice,
    Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand
    3135Which writ his honor in the acts it did
    Hath with the courage which the heart did lend it
    Splitted the heart. This is his sword:
    I robbed his wound of it. Behold it stained
    With his most noble blood.
    Look you sad, friends?
    The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings
    To wash the eyes of kings.
    And strange it is,
    That Nature must compel us to lament
    3145Our most persisted deeds.
    His taints and honors
    Waged equal with him.
    A rarer spirit never
    Did steer humanity; but you gods will give us
    Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touched.
    When such a spacious mirror's set before him,
    He needs must see himself.
    Oh, Antony,
    I have followed thee to this; but we do lance
    Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce
    3155Have shown to thee such a declining day
    Or looked on thine; we could not stall together
    In the whole world. But yet let me lament,
    With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
    That thou my brother, my competitor
    3160In top of all design, my mate in empire,
    Friend and companion in the front of war,
    The arm of mine own body, and the heart
    Where mine his thoughts did kindle, that our stars
    Unreconciliable should divide our equalness
    To this. 3165Hear me, good friends--
    Enter an Egyptian.
    But I will tell you at some meeter season.
    The business of this man looks out of him,
    We'll hear him what he says.--3170Whence are you?
    A poor Egyptian yet. The Queen my mistress,
    Confined in all she has--her monument--
    Of thy intents desires instruction,
    That she preparedly may frame herself
    3175To'th'way she's forced to.
    Bid her have good heart.
    She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
    How honorable and how kindly we
    Determine for her. For Caesar cannot live
    To be ungentle.
    So the gods preserve thee.
    Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say
    We purpose her no shame. Give her what comforts
    The quality of her passion shall require,
    Lest in her greatness, by some mortal stroke,
    3185She do defeat us--for her life in Rome
    Would be eternal in our triumph. Go,
    And with your speediest bring us what she says,
    And how you find of her.
    Caesar, I shall.
    Exit Proculeius.
    Gallus, go you along.
    [Exit Gallus.]
    Where's Dolabella,
    To second Proculeius?
    All [but Caesar]
    Let him alone, for I remember now
    How he's employed. He shall in time be ready.
    3195Go with me to my tent, where you shall see
    How hardly I was drawn into this war,
    How calm and gentle I proceeded still
    In all my writings. Go with me, and see
    What I can show in this.