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

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Act III. Scene XI.

Scene XI.—Alexandria. A Room in the


Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus?
Eno. Think, and die.
Cleo. Is Antony or we, in fault for this?
Eno. Antony only, that would make his will
Lord of his reason. What though you fled
From that great face of war, whose several
Frighted each other, why should he follow?
The itch of his affection should not then
Have nick'd his captainship; at such a point,
When half to half the world oppos'd, he being
The mered question. 'Twas a shame no less
Than was his loss, to course your flying flags,
And leave his navy gazing.
Cleo. Prithee, peace.

Ant. Is that his answer?
Euph. Ay, my lord.
Ant. The queen shall then have courtesy,
so she
Will yield us up?
Euph. He says so.
Ant. Let her know't.
To the boy Cæsar send this grizzled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
With principalities.
Cleo. That head, my lord?
Ant. To him again. Tell him he wears the
Of youth upon him, from which the world should
Something particular; his coin, ships, legions,
May be a coward's, whose ministers would pre-
Under the service of a child as soon
As i' the command of Cæsar: I dare him there-
To lay his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declin'd, sword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I'll write it: follow me.
Eno. [Aside.] Yes, like enough, high-battled
Cæsar will
Unstate his happiness, and be stag'd to the 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,
To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
Knowing all measures, the full Cæsar will
Answer his emptiness! Cæsar, thou hast subdu'd
His judgment too.

Enter an Attendant.
Att. A messenger from Cæsar.
Cleo. What! no more ceremony? See! my
Against the blown rose may they stop their nose,
That kneel'd unto the buds. Admit him, sir.
[Exit Attendant.
Eno. [Aside.] Mine honesty and I begin to
The loyalty well held to fools does make
Our faith mere folly; yet he that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fall'n lord,
Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
And earns a place i' the story.

Cleo. Cæsar's will?
Thyr. Hear it apart.
Cleo. None but friends; say boldly.
Thyr. So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
Eno. He needs as many, sir, as Cæsar has,
I Or needs not us. If Cæsar please, our master
Will leap to be his friend; for us, you know
Whose he is we are, and that is Cæsar's.
Thyr. So.
Thus then, thou most renown'd: Cæsar entreats,
Not to consider in what case thou stand'st,
Further than he is Cæsar.
Cleo. Go on; right royal.
Thyr. He knows that you embrace not
As you did love, but as you fear'd him.
Cleo. O!
Thyr. The scars upon your honour there-
fore he
Does pity, as constrained blemishes,
Not as deserv'd.
Cleo. He is a god, and knows
What is most right. Mine honour was not
But conquer'd merely.
Eno. [Aside.] To be sure of that,
I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou'rt so leaky,
That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for
Thy dearest quit thee. [Exit.
Thyr. Shall I say to Cæsar
What you require of him? for he partly begs
To be desir'd to give. It much would please
That of his fortunes you should make a staff
To 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.
Cleo. What's your name?
Thyr. My name is Thyreus.
Cleo. Most kind messenger,
Say to great Cæsar this: in deputation
I kiss his conqu'ring hand; tell him, I am
To lay my crown at's feet, and there to kneel;
Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear
The doom of Egypt.
Thyr. '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
My duty on your hand.
Cleo. Your Cæsar's father oft,
When he hath mus'd of taking kingdoms in,
Bestow'd his lips on that unworthy place,
As it rain'd kisses.

Ant. Favours, by Jove that thunders!
What art thou, fellow?
Thyr. One that but performs
The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest
To have command obey'd.
Eno. [Aside.] You will be whipp'd.
Ant. Approach there! Ah, you kite! Now,
gods and devils!
Authority melts from me: of late, when I cried
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
And cry, 'Your will?' Have you no ears? I am
Antony yet.

Enter Attendants.
Take hence this Jack and whip him.
Eno. [Aside.] 'Tis better playing with a lion's
Than with an old one dying.
Ant. Moon and stars!
Whip him. Were't twenty of the greatest tribu-
That do acknowledge Cæsar, should I find
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
And whine aloud for mercy; take him hence.
Thyr. Mark Antony,—
Ant. Tug him away; being whipp'd,
Bring him again; this Jack of Cæsar's shall
Bear us an errand to him.
[Exeunt Attendants with THYREUS.
You were half blasted ere I knew you: ha!
Have I my pillow left unpress'd in Rome,
Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
And by a gem of women, to be abus'd
By one that looks on feeders?
Cleo. Good my lord,—
Ant. You have been a boggier ever:
But when we in our viciousness grow hard,—
O misery on't!—the wise gods seel our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments;
make us
Adore our errors; laugh at's while we strut
To our confusion.
Cleo. O! is't come to this?
Ant. I found you as a morsel, cold upon
Dead Cæsar's trencher; nay, you were a frag-
Of Cneius Pompey's; besides what hotter hours,
Unregister'd in vulgar fame, you have
Luxuriously pick'd out; for, I am sure,
Though you can guess what temperance should
You know not what it is.
Cleo. Wherefore is this?
Ant. To let a fellow that will take rewards
And say 'God quit you!' be familiar with
My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal
And plighter of high hearts. O! that I were
Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar
The horned herd; for I have savage cause;
And to proclaim it civilly were like
A halter'd neck, which does the hangman thank
For being yare about him.

Re-enter Attendants, with THYREUS.
Is he whipp'd?
First Att. Soundly, my lord.
Ant. Cried he? and begg'd a' pardon?
First Att. He did ask favour.
Ant. If that thy father live, let him repent
Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou
To follow Cæsar in his triumph, since
Thou hast been whipp'd for following him;
The white hand of a lady fever thee,
Shake thou to look on't. Get thee back to
Tell 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,
When my good stars, that were my former
Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires
Into the abysm of hell. If he mislike
My speech and what is done, tell him he has
Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom
He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,
As he shall like, to quit me: urge it thou:
Hence with thy stripes; be gone!
Cleo. Have you done yet?
Ant. Alack! our terrene moon
Is now eclips'd; and it portends alone
The fall of Antony.
Cleo. I must stay his time.
Ant. To flatter Cæsar, would you mingle eyes
With one that ties his points?
Cleo. Not know me yet?
Ant. Cold-hearted toward me?
Cleo. 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
Dissolve my life. The next Cæsarion 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
Have buried them for prey!
Ant. I am satisfied.
Cæsar sits down in Alexandria, where
I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
Hath nobly held; our sever'd navy too
Have knit again, and fleet, threat'ning most sea-
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:
There's hope in't yet.
Cleo. That's my brave lord!
Ant. I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd,
And fight maliciously; for when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
Of 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.
Cleo. It is my birth-day:
I had thought to have held it poor; but, since
my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
Ant. We will yet do well.
Cleo. Call all his noble captains to my lord.
Ant. Do so, we'll speak to them; and to-night
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
I'll make death love me, for I will contend
Even with his pestilent scythe.
[Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS.
Eno. Now he'll outstare the lightning. To be
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
The dove will peck the estridge; and I see
A diminution in our captain's brain
Restores his heart. When valour preys on
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him. [Exit.
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