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 IV.

Scene IV.—Athens. A Room in ANTONY'S
House.

Enter ANTONY and OCTAVIA.

Ant. Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that,
That were excusable, that, and thousands more
Of semblable import, but he hath wag'd
New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and
read it
To public ear:
Spoke scantly of me; when perforce he could
not
But pay me terms of honour, cold and sickly
He vented them; most narrow measure lent
me;
When the best hint was given him, he not
took't,
Or did it from his teeth.
Oct. O 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:
The good gods will mock me presently,
When I shall pray, 'O! bless my lord and hus-
band;
Undo that prayer, by crying out as loud,
'O! bless my brother!' Husband win, win bro-
ther,
Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway
'Twixt these extremes at all.
Ant. Gentle Octavia,
Let your best love draw to that point which
seeks
Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honour
I lose myself; better I were not yours
Than yours so branchless. But, as you re-
quested,
Yourself shall go between's; the mean time,
lady,
I'll raise the preparation of a war
Shall stain your brother; make your soonest
haste,
So your desires are yours.
Oct. 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.
Ant. 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
Your heart has mind to. [Exeunt.
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