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ACT III. - William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
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A Plain in Syria.
EnterVentidius,in triumph, withSiliusand other Romans, Officers, and Soldiers; the dead body ofPacorusborne before him.
Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck; and now
Pleas’d fortune does of Marcus Crassus’ death
Make me revenger. Bear the king’s son’s body
Before our army. Thy Pacorus, Orodes,
Pays this for Marcus Crassus.
Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm,
The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media,
Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
The routed fly; so thy grand captain Antony
Shall set thee on triumphant chariots and
Put garlands on thy head.
O Silius, Silius!
I have done enough; a lower place, note well,
May make too great an act; for learn this, Silius,
Better to leave undone than by our deed
Acquire too high a fame when him we serve’s away.
Cæsar and Antony have ever won
More in their officer than person; Sossius,
One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant,
For quick accumulation of renown,
Which he achiev’d by the minute, lost his favour.
Who does i’ the wars more than his captain can
Becomes his captain’s captain; and ambition,
The soldier’s virtue, rather makes choice of loss
Than gain which darkens him.
I could do more to do Antonius good,
But ’twould offend him; and in his offence
Should my performance perish.
Thou hast, Ventidius, that
Without the which a soldier, and his sword,
Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?
I’ll humbly signify what in his name,
That magical word of war, we have effected;
How, with his banners and his well-paid ranks,
The ne’er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
We have jaded out o’ the field.
Where is he now?
He purposeth to Athens; whither, with what haste
The weight we must convey with ’s will permit,
We shall appear before him. On, there; pass along.
Rome. A Room inCæsar’sHouse.
What! are the brothers parted?
They have dispatch’d with Pompey; he is gone;
The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps
To part from Rome; Cæsar is sad; and Lepidus,
Since Pompey’s feast, as Menas says, is troubled
With the green sickness.
’Tis a noble Lepidus.
A very fine one. O! how he loves Cæsar.
Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!
Cæsar? Why, he’s the Jupiter of men.
What’s Antony? The god of Jupiter.
Spake you of Cæsar? How! the non-pareil!
O, Antony! O thou Arabian bird!
Would you praise Cæsar, say, ‘Cæsar,’ go no further.
Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.
But he loves Cæsar best; yet he loves Antony.
Hoo! hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets, cannot
Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number; hoo!
His love to Antony. But as for Cæsar,
Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.
Both he loves.
They are his shards, and he their beetle.
[Trumpets within.] So;
This is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.
Good fortune, worthy soldier, and farewell.
EnterCæsar, Antony, Lepidus,andOctavia.
No further, sir.
You take from me a great part of myself;
Use me well in’t. Sister, prove such a wife
As my thoughts make thee, and as my furthest band
Shall pass on thy approof. Most noble Antony,
Let not the piece of virtue, which is set
Betwixt us as the cement of our love
To keep it builded, be the ram to batter
The fortress of it; for better might we
Have lov’d without this mean, if on both parts
This be not cherish’d.
Make me not offended
In your distrust.
I have said.
You shall not find,
Though you be therein curious, the least cause
For what you seem to fear. So, the gods keep you,
And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends!
We will here part.
Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well:
The elements be kind to thee, and make
Thy spirits all of comfort! fare thee well.
My noble brother!
The April’s in her eyes; it is love’s spring,
And these the showers to bring it on. Be cheerful.
Sir, look well to my husband’s house; and—
I’ll tell you in your ear.
Her tongue will not obey her heart, nor can
Her heart obey her tongue; the swan’s downfeather,
That stands upon the swell at full of tide,
And neither way inclines.
[Aside toAgrippa.] Will Cæsar weep?
He has a cloud in’s face.
He were the worse for that were he a horse;
So is he, being a man.
When Antony found Julius Cæsar dead
He cried almost to roaring; and he wept
When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.
That year, indeed, he was troubled with a rheum;
What willingly he did confound he wail’d,
Believe ’t, till I wept too.
No, sweet Octavia,
You shall hear from me still; the time shall not
Out-go my thinking on you.
Come, sir, come;
I’ll wrestle with you in my strength of love:
Look, here I have you; thus I let you go,
And give you to the gods.
Adieu; be happy!
Let all the number of the stars give light
To thy fair way!
[Trumpets sound. Exeunt.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
EnterCleopatra, Charmian, Iras,andAlexas.
Where is the fellow?
Half afeard to come.
Go to, go to.
Enter a Messenger.
Come hither, sir.
Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you
But when you are well pleas’d.
That Herod’s head
I’ll have; but how, when Antony is gone
Through whom I might command it? Come thou near.
Most gracious majesty!
Didst thou behold
Ay, dread queen.
Madam, in Rome;
I look’d her in the face, and saw her led
Between her brother and Mark Antony.
Is she as tall as me?
She is not, madam.
Didst hear her speak? is she shrill-tongu’d, or low?
Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voic’d.
That’s not so good. He cannot like her long.
Like her! O Isis! ’tis impossible.
I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue, and dwarfish!
What majesty is in her gait? Remember,
If e’er thou look’dst on majesty.
Her motion and her station are as one;
She shows a body rather than a life,
A statue than a breather.
Is this certain?
Or I have no observance.
Three in Egypt
Cannot make better note.
He’s very knowing,
I do perceive ’t. There’s nothing in her yet.
The fellow has good judgment.
Guess at her years, I prithee.
She was a widow,—
Widow! Charmian, hark.
And I do think she’s thirty.
Bear’st thou her face in mind? is’t long or round?
Round even to faultiness.
For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.
Her hair, what colour?
Brown, madam; and her forehead
As low as she would wish it.
There’s gold for thee:
Thou must not take my former sharpness ill.
I will employ thee back again; I find thee
Most fit for business. Go, make thee ready;
Our letters are prepar’d.
A proper man.
Indeed, he is so; I repent me much
That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,
This creature’s no such thing.
The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.
Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,
And serving you so long!
I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian:
But ’tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me
Where I will write. All may be well enough.
I warrant you, madam.
Athens. A Room inAntony’sHouse.
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.
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 husband;’
Undo that prayer, by crying out as loud,
‘O! bless my brother!’ Husband win, win brother,
Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway
’Twixt these extremes at all.
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 requested,
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.
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.
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.
The Same. Another Room.
How now, friend Eros!
There’s strange news come, sir.
Cæsar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
This is old: what is the success?
Cæsar, having made use of him in the wars ’gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality, would not let him partake in the glory of the action; and not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote to Pompey; upon his own appeal, seizes him: so the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.
Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no more;
And throw between them all the food thou hast,
They’ll grind the one the other. Where’s Antony?
He’s walking in the garden—thus: and spurns
The rush that lies before him; cries, ‘Fool, Lepidus!’
And threats the throat of that his officer
That murder’d Pompey.
Our great navy’s rigg’d.
For Italy and Cæsar. More, Domitius;
My lord desires you presently: my news
I might have told hereafter.
’Twill be naught;
But let it be. Bring me to Antony.
Rome. A Room inCæsar’sHouse.
Contemning Rome, he has done all this and more
In Alexandria; here’s the manner of ’t;
I’ the market-place, on a tribunal silver’d,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publicly enthron’d; at the feet sat
Cæsarion, whom they call my father’s son,
And all the unlawful issue that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the ’stablishment of Egypt; made her
Of Lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
This in the public eye?
I’ the common show-place, where they exercise.
His sons he there proclaim’d the kings of kings;
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia
He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign’d
Syria, Cilicia, and Phœnicia. She
In the habiliments of the goddess Isis
That day appear’d; and oft before gave audience,
As ’tis reported, so.
Let Rome be thus
Who, queasy with his insolence
Already, will their good thoughts call from him.
The people know it; and have now receiv’d
Whom does he accuse?
Cæsar; and that, having in Sicily
Sextus Pompeius spoil’d, we had not rated him
His part o’ the isle; then does he say, he lent me
Some shipping unrestor’d; lastly, he frets
That Lepidus of the triumvirate
Should be depos’d; and, being, that we detain
All his revenue.
Sir, this should be answer’d.
’Tis done already, and the messenger gone.
I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel;
That he his high authority abus’d,
And did deserve his change: for what I have conquer’d,
I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia,
And other of his conquer’d kingdoms, I
Demand the like.
He’ll never yield to that.
Nor must not then be yielded to in this.
EnterOctavia,with her Train.
Hail, Cæsar, and my lord! hail, most dear Cæsar!
That ever I should call thee cast-away!
You have not call’d me so, nor have you cause.
Why have you stol’n upon us thus? You come not
Like Cæsar’s sister; the wife of Antony
Should have an army for an usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the 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,
Rais’d by your populous troops. But you are come
A market-maid to Rome, and have prevented
The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown,
Is often left unlov’d: 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 constrain’d, but did it
On my free-will. My lord, Mark Antony,
Hearing that you prepar’d for war, acquainted
My grieved ear withal; whereon, I begg’d
His pardon for return.
Which soon he granted,
Being an obstruct ’tween his lust and him.
Do not say so, my lord.
I have eyes upon him,
And his affairs come to me on the wind.
Where is he now?
My lord, in Athens.
No, my most wrong’d sister; Cleopatra
Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire
Up to a whore; who now are levying
The kings o’ the earth for war. He hath assembled
Bocchus, the King of Libya; Archelaus,
Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, King
Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;
King Malchus of Arabia; King of Pont;
Herod 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,
That have my heart parted betwixt two friends
That do afflict each other!
Your letters did withhold our breaking forth,
Till we perceiv’d both how you were wrong led
And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;
Be you not troubled with the time, which drives
O’er your content these strong necessities,
But let determin’d things to destiny
Hold unbewail’d their way. Welcome to Rome;
Nothing more dear to me. You are abus’d
Beyond the mark of thought, and the high gods,
To do you justice, make their ministers
Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort,
And ever welcome to us.
Welcome, dear madam.
Each heart in Rome does love and pity you;
Only the 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!
Antony’sCamp, near to the Promontory ofActium.
I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
But why, why, why?
Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
And sayst it is not fit.
Well, is it, is it?
If not denounc’d against us, why should not we
Be there in person?
[Aside.] Well, I could reply:
If we should serve with horse and mares together,
The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear
A soldier and his horse.
What is ’t you say?
Your presence needs must puzzle Antony;
Take from his heart, take from his brain, from ’s time,
What should not then be spar’d. He is already
Traduc’d for levity, and ’tis said in Rome
That Photinus a eunuch and your maids
Manage this war.
Sink Rome, and their tongues rot
That speak against us! A charge we bear i’ the war,
And, as the president of my kingdom, will
Appear there for a man. Speak not against it;
I will not stay behind.
Nay, I have done.
Here comes the emperor.
Is it not strange, Canidius,
That from Tarentum and Brundusium
He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea,
And take in Toryne? You have heard on ’t, sweet?
Celerity is never more admir’d
Than by the negligent.
A good rebuke,
Which might have well becom’d the best of men,
To taunt at slackness. Canidius, we
Will fight with him by sea.
By sea! What else?
Why will my lord do so?
For that he dares us to ’t.
So hath my lord dar’d him to single fight.
Ay, and to wage his battle at Pharsalia,
Where Cæsar fought with Pompey; but these offers,
Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off;
And so should you.
Your ships are not well mann’d;
Your mariners are muleters, reapers, people
Ingross’d by swift impress; in Cæsar’s fleet
Are those that often have gainst Pompey fought:
Their ships are yare; yours, heavy. No disgrace
Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,
Being prepar’d for land.
By sea, by sea.
Most worthy sir, you therein throw away
The absolute soldiership you have by land;
Distract your army, which doth most consist
Of war-mark’d footmen; leave unexecuted
Your own renowned knowledge; quite forego
The way which promises assurance; and
Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard
From firm security.
I’ll fight at sea.
I have sixty sails, Cæsar none better.
Our overplus of shipping will we burn;
And with the rest, full-mann’d, from the head of Actium
Beat the approaching Cæsar. But if we fail,
We then can do ’t at land.
Enter a Messenger.
The news is true, my lord; he is descried;
Cæsar has taken Toryne.
Can he be there in person? ’tis impossible;
Strange that his power should be. Canidius,
Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land,
And our twelve thousand horse. We’ll to our ship:
Away, my Thetis!
Enter a Soldier.
How now, worthy soldier!
O noble emperor! do not fight by sea;
Trust not to rotten planks: do you misdoubt
This sword and these my wounds? Let the Egyptians
And the Phœnicians go a-ducking; we
Have used to conquer, standing on the earth,
And fighting foot to foot.
Well, well: away!
By Hercules, I think I am i’ the right.
Soldier, thou art; but his whole action grows
Not in the power on ’t: so our leader’s led,
And we are women’s men.
You keep by land
The legions and the horse whole, do you not?
Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
Publicola, and Cælius, are for sea;
But we keep whole by land. This speed of Cæsar’s
Carries beyond belief.
While he was yet in Rome
His power went out in such distractions as
Beguil’d all spies.
Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?
They say, one Taurus.
Well I know the man.
Enter a Messenger.
The emperor calls Canidius.
With news the time’s with labour, and throes forth
Each minute some.
A Plain nearActium.
EnterCæsar, Taurus, Officers, and Others.
Strike not by land; keep whole: provoke not battle.
Till we have done at sea. Do not exceed
The prescript of this scroll: our fortune lies
Upon this jump.
Set we our squadrons on yond side o’ the hill,
In eye of Cæsar’s battle; from which place
We may the number of the ships behold,
And so proceed accordingly.
EnterCanidius,marching with his land army one way over the stage; andTaurus,the lieutenant ofCæsar,the other way. After their going in is heard the noise of a sea-fight.
Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.
The Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,
With all their sixty, fly, and turn the rudder;
To see ’t mine eyes are blasted.
Gods and goddesses,
All the whole synod of them!
What’s thy passion?
The greater cantle of the world is lost
With very ignorance; we have kiss’d away
Kingdoms and provinces.
How appears the fight?
On our side like the token’d pestilence,
Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt,
Whom leprosy o’ertake! i’ the midst o’ the fight,
When vantage like a pair of twins appear’d,
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,
The breese upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails and flies.
That I beheld:
Mine eyes did sicken at the sight, and could not
Endure a further view.
She once being loof’d,
The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,
Clapson his sea-wing, and like a doting mallard,
Leaving the fight in height, flies after her.
I never saw an action of such shame;
Experience, manhood, honour, ne’er before
Did violate so itself.
Our fortune on the sea is out of breath,
And sinks most lamentably. Had our general
Been what he knew himself, it had gone well:
O! he has given example for our flight
Most grossly by his own.
Ay, are you thereabouts?
Why, then, good night, indeed.
Towards Peloponnesus are they fled.
’Tis easy to ’t; and there I will attend
What further comes.
To Cæsar will I render
My legions and my horse; six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.
I’ll yet follow
The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason
Sits in the wind against me.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon ’t;
It is asham’d to bear me. Friends, come hither:
I am so lated in the world that I
Have lost my way for ever. I have a ship
Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly,
And make your peace with Cæsar.
Fly! not we.
I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
I have myself resolv’d upon a course
Which has no need of you; be gone:
My treasure’s in the harbour, take it. O!
I follow’d that I blush to look upon:
My very hairs do mutiny, for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doting. Friends, be gone; you shall
Have letters from me to some friends that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness; take the hint
Which my despair proclaims; let that be left
Which leaves itself; to the sea-side straightway;
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little; pray you now:
Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command,
Therefore I pray you. I’ll see you by and by.
Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.
Do, most dear queen.
Do! Why, what else?
Let me sit down. O Juno!
No, no, no, no, no.
See you here, sir?
O fie, fie, fie!
Madam; O good empress!
Yes, my lord, yes. He, at Philippi kept
His sword e’en like a dancer, while I struck
The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and ’twas I
That the mad Brutus ended: he alone
Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had
In the brave squares of war: yet now—No matter.
Ah! stand by.
The queen, my lord, the queen.
Go to him, madam, speak to him;
He is unqualitied with very shame.
Well then, sustain me: O!
Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches:
Her head’s declin’d, and death will seize her, but
Your comfort makes the rescue.
I have offended reputation,
A most unnoble swerving.
Sir, the queen.
O! whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See,
How I convey my shame out of thine eyes
By looking back what I have left behind
’Stroy’d in dishonour.
O my lord, my lord!
Forgive my fearful sails: I little thought
You would have follow’d.
Egypt, thou knew’st too well
My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings,
And thou shouldst tow me after; o’er my spirit
Thy full supremacy thou knew’st, and that
Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
O! my pardon.
Now I must
To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
And palter in the shifts of lowness, who
With half the bulk o’ the world play’d as I pleas’d,
Making and marring fortunes. You did know
How much you were my conqueror, and that
My sword, made weak by my affection, would
Obey it on all cause.
Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss;
Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster;
Is he come back? Love, I am full of lead.
Some wine, within there, and our viands! Fortune knows,
We scorn her most when most she offers blows.
EnterCæsar, Dolabella, Thyreus,and Others.
Let him appear that’s come from Antony.
Know you him?
Cæsar, ’tis his schoolmaster:
An argument that he is pluck’d, when hither
He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,
Which had superfluous kings for messengers
Not many moons gone by.
Approach, and speak.
Such as I am, I come from Antony:
I was of late as petty to his ends
As is the morn-dew on the myrtle-leaf
To his grand sea.
Be ’t so. Declare thine office.
Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted,
He lessens his requests, and to thee sues
To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,
A private man in Athens; this for him.
Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,
Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
Now hazarded to thy grace.
I have no ears to his request. The queen
Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend,
Or take his life there; this if she perform,
She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.
Fortune pursue thee!
Bring him through the bands.
[ToThyreus.] To try thy eloquence, now ’tis time; dispatch.
From Antony win Cleopatra; promise,
And in our name, what she requires; add more,
From thine invention, offers. Women are not
In their best fortunes strong, but want will perjure
The ne’er-touch’d vestal. Try thy cunning, Thyreus;
Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
Will answer as a law.
Cæsar, I go.
Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
And what thou think’st his very action speaks
In every power that moves.
Cæsar, I shall.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
EnterCleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian,andIras.
What shall we do, Enobarbus?
Think, and die.
Is Antony or we, in fault for this?
Antony only, that would make his will
Lord of his reason. What though you fled
From that great face of war, whose several ranges
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.
Is that his answer?
Ay, my lord.
The queen shall then have courtesy, so she
Will yield us up?
He says so.
Let her know’t.
To the boy Cæsar send this grizzled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
That head, my lord?
To him again. Tell him he wears the rose
Of youth upon him, from which the world should note
Something particular; his coin, ships, legions,
May be a coward’s, whose ministers would prevail
Under the service of a child as soon
As i’ the command of Cæsar: I dare him therefore
To lay his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declin’d, sword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I’ll write it: follow me.
[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.
A messenger from Cæsar.
What! no more ceremony? See! my women;
Against the blown rose may they stop their nose,
That kneel’d unto the buds. Admit him, sir.
[Aside.] Mine honesty and I begin to square.
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.
Hear it apart.
None but friends; say boldly.
So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
He needs as many, sir, as Cæsar has,
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.
Thus then, thou most renown’d: Cæsar entreats,
Not to consider in what case thou stand’st,
Further than he is Cæsar.
Go on; right royal.
He knows that you embrace not Antony
As you did love, but as you fear’d him.
The scars upon your honour therefore he
Does pity, as constrained blemishes,
Not as deserv’d.
He is a god, and knows
What is most right. Mine honour was not yielded,
But conquer’d merely.
[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.
Shall I say to Cæsar
What you require of him? for he partly begs
To be desir’d to give. It much would please him,
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.
What’s your name?
My name is Thyreus.
Most kind messenger,
Say to great Cæsar this: in deputation
I kiss his conqu’ring hand; tell him, I am prompt
To lay my crown at ’s feet, and there to kneel;
Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear
The doom of Egypt.
’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.
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.
Favours, by Jove that thunders!
What art thou, fellow?
One that but performs
The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest
To have command obey’d.
[Aside.] You will be whipp’d.
Approach there! Ah, you kite! Now, gods and devils!
Authority melts from me: of late, when I cried ‘Ho!’
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
And cry, ‘Your will?’ Have you no ears? I am
Take hence this Jack and whip him.
[Aside.] ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp
Than with an old one dying.
Moon and stars!
Whip him. Were’t twenty of the greatest tributaries
That do acknowledge Cæsar, should I find them
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.
Tug him away; being whipp’d,
Bring him again; this Jack of Cæsar’s shall
Bear us an errand to him.
[Exeunt Attendants withThyreus.
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?
Good my lord,—
You have been a boggler 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.
O! is’t come to this?
I found you as a morsel, cold upon
Dead Cæsar’s trencher; nay, you were a fragment
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 be,
You know not what it is.
Wherefore is this?
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, withThyreus.
Is he whipp’d?
Soundly, my lord.
Cried he? and begg’d a’ pardon?
He did ask favour.
If that thy father live, let him repent
Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry
To follow Cæsar in his triumph, since
Thou hast been whipp’d for following him: henceforth,
The white hand of a lady fever thee,
Shake thou to look on ’t. Get thee back to Cæsar,
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 guides,
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!
Have you done yet?
Alack! our terrene moon
Is now eclips’d; and it portends alone
The fall of Antony.
I must stay his time.
To flatter Cæsar, would you mingle eyes
With one that ties his points?
Not know me yet?
Cold-hearted toward me?
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!
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-like.
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.
That’s my brave lord!
I will betreble-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.
It is my birth-day:
I had thought to have held it poor; but, since my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
We will yet do well.
Call all his noble captains to my lord.
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 butEnobarbus.
Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,
A diminution in our captain’s brain
Restores his heart. When valour preys on reason
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him.