William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra in the complete original text
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Antony and Cleopatra

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Act I. Scene V.

Scene V.—Alexandria. A Room in the
Palace.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS,
and MARDIAN.

Cleo. Charmian!
Char. Madam!
Cleo. Ha, ha!
Give me to drink mandragora.
Char. Why, madam?
Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap
of time
My Antony is away.
Char. You think of him too much.
Cleo. O! 'tis treason.
Char. Madam, I trust, not so.
Cleo. Thou, eunuch Mardian!
Mar. What's your highness' pleasure?
Cleo. Not now to bear thee sing; I take no
pleasure
In aught a eunuch has. 'Tis well for thee,
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affec-
tions?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Cleo. Indeed!
Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do
nothing
But what in deed is honest to be done;
Yet have I fierce affections, and think
What Venus did with Mars.
Cleo. O Charmian!
Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or
sits he?
Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?
O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely, horse, for wot'st thou whom thou
mov'st?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men. He's speaking now,
Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old
Nile?'
For so he calls me. Now I feed myself
With most delicious poison. Think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted
Cæsar,
When thou wast here above the ground I was
A morsel for a monarch, and great Pompey
Would stand and make his eyes grow in my
brow;
There would he anchor his aspect and die
With looking on his life.

Enter ALEXAS.
Alex. Sovereign of Egypt, hail!
Cleo. How much unlike art thou Mark
Antony!
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine
hath
With his tinct gilded thee.
How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?
Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen,
He kiss'd, the last of many doubled kisses,
This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my
heart.
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Alex. ' Good friend,' quoth he,
'Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends
This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot,
To mend the petty present, I will piece
Her opulent throne with kingdoms; all the
east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress.' So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed,
Who neigh'd so high that what I would have
spoke
Was beastly dumb'd by him.
Cleo. What! was he sad or merry?
Alex. Like to the time o' the year between
the extremes
Of hot and cold; he was nor sad nor merry.
Cleo. O well-divided disposition! Note him,
Note him, good Charmian, 'tis the man; but
note him:
He was not sad, for he would shine on those
That make their looks by his; he was not
merry,
Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay
In Egypt with his joy; but between both:
O heavenly mingle! Be'st thou sad or merry,
The violence of either thee becomes,
So does it no man else. Mett'st thou my posts?
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
Why do you send so thick?
Cleo. Who's born that day
When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.
Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Cæsar so?
Char. O! that brave Cæsar.
Cleo. Be chok'd with such another emphasis!
Say the brave Antony.
Char. The valiant Cæsar!
Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,
If thou with Cæsar paragon again
My man of men.
Char. By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.
Cleo. My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting.
Or I'll unpeople Egypt. [Exeunt.
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