Antony and Cleopatra

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by William Shakespeare


M.ANTONY, Triumvir OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS, Triumvir SEXTUS POMPEIUS Triumvir DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, friend to Antony VENTIDIUS, friend to Antony EROS, friend to Antony SCARUS, friend to Antony DERCETAS, friend to Antony DEMETRIUS, friend to Antony PHILO, friend to Antony MAECENAS, friend to Caesar AGRIPPA, friend to Caesar DOLABELLA, friend to Caesar PROCULEIUS, friend to Caesar THYREUS, friend to Caesar GALLUS, friend to Caesar MENAS, friend to Pompey MENECRATES, friend to Pompey VARRIUS, friend to Pompey TAURUS, Lieutenant-General to Caesar CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius's army EUPHRONIUS, an Ambassador from Antony to Caesar ALEXAS, attendant on Cleopatra MARDIAN, attendant on Cleopatra SELEUCUS, attendant on Cleopatra DIOMEDES, attendant on Cleopatra A SOOTHSAYER A CLOWN

CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt OCTAVIA, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony CHARMIAN, Attendant on Cleopatra IRAS, Attendant on Cleopatra

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants

SCENE: Dispersed, in several parts of the Roman Empire.


SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.


PHILO. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy's lust.

[Flourish within.]

Look where they come: Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transform'd Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

[Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning her.]

CLEOPATRA. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

ANTONY. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

CLEOPATRA. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.

ANTONY. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

[Enter an Attendant.]

ATTENDANT. News, my good lord, from Rome.

ANTONY. Grates me:--the sum.

CLEOPATRA. Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent His powerful mandate to you: 'Do this or this; Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that; Perform't, or else we damn thee.'

ANTONY. How, my love!

CLEOPATRA. Perchance! Nay, and most like:-- You must not stay here longer,--your dismission Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. -- Where's Fulvia's process?--Caesar's I would say?--Both?-- Call in the messengers.--As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.--The messengers!

ANTONY. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is to do thus [Embracing]; when such a mutual pair And such a twain can do't, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless.

CLEOPATRA. Excellent falsehood! Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-- I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony Will be himself.

ANTONY. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-- Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, Let's not confound the time with conference harsh: There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now:--what sport to-night?

CLEOPATRA. Hear the ambassadors.

ANTONY. Fie, wrangling queen! Whom everything becomes,--to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself in thee fair and admir'd! No messenger; but thine, and all alone To-night we'll wander through the streets and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen; Last night you did desire it:--speak not to us.

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