Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Antony and Cleopatra
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Antony and Cleopatra
Act III. Scene XI.
Alexandria.  A Room in the Palace.
  Cleo.  What shall we do, Enobarbus?
  Eno.        Think, and die.
  Cleo.  Is Antony or we, in fault for this?        5
  Eno.  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        10
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.        15
  Cleo.        Prithee, peace.
  Ant.  Is that his answer?
  Euph.  Ay, my lord.
  Ant.  The queen shall then have courtesy, so she        20
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        25
With principalities.
  Cleo.        That head, my lord?
  Ant.  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,        30
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,        35
Ourselves alone. I’ll write it: follow me.  [Exeunt ANTONY and EUPHRONIUS.
  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        40
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.        45
Enter an Attendant.
  Att.        A messenger from Cæsar.
  Cleo.  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.  [Exit Attendant.        50
  Eno.  [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,        55
And earns a place i’ the story.
  Cleo.        Cæsar’s will?
  Thyr.  Hear it apart.
  Cleo.        None but friends; say boldly.        60
  Thyr.  So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
  Eno.  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.        65
  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.        70
  Thyr.  He knows that you embrace not Antony
As you did love, but as you fear’d him.
  Cleo.        O!
  Thyr.  The scars upon your honour therefore he
Does pity, as constrained blemishes,        75
Not as deserv’d.
  Cleo.        He is a god, and knows
What is most right. Mine honour was not yielded,
But conquer’d merely.
  Eno.        [Aside.]  To be sure of that,        80
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        85
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,        90
The universal landlord.
  Cleo.        What’s your name?
  Thyr.  My name is Thyreus.
  Cleo.        Most kind messenger,
Say to great Cæsar this: in deputation        95
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.
  Thyr.        ’Tis your noblest course.        100
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,        105
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!        110
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.        115
  Ant.  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
Antony yet.        120
Enter Attendants.
        Take hence this Jack and whip him.
  Eno.  [Aside.]  ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp
Than with an old one dying.
  Ant.        Moon and stars!        125
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        130
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.        135
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?        140
  Cleo.        Good my lord,—
  Ant.  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        145
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 fragment        150
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.        155
  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        160
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.        165
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.        170
  Ant.  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,        175
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;        180
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        185
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!  [Exit THYREUS.
  Cleo.  Have you done yet?        190
  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        195
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,        200
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,        205
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        210
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        215
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 betreble-sinew’d, hearted, breath’d,        220
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        225
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.        230
  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        235
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 furious
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,        240
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.  [Exit.

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