The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare

Act IV

Scene I. Before Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp.

Enter Octavius Caesar, Agrippa, and Mecaenas, with his Army; Octavius Caesar reading a letter

Octavius Caesar

He calls me boy; and chides, as he had power
To beat me out of Egypt; my messenger
He hath whipp’d with rods; dares me to personal combat,
Caesar to Antony: let the old ruffian know
I have many other ways to die; meantime
Laugh at his challenge.

Mecaenas

Caesar must think,
When one so great begins to rage, he’s hunted
Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
Make boot of his distraction: never anger
Made good guard for itself.

Octavius Caesar

Let our best heads
Know, that to-morrow the last of many battles
We mean to fight: within our files there are,
Of those that served Mark Antony but late,
Enough to fetch him in. See it done:
And feast the army; we have store to do’t,
And they have earn’d the waste. Poor Antony!

Exeunt

Scene II. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.

Enter Mark Antony, Cleopatra, Domitius Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras, Alexas, with others

Mark Antony

He will not fight with me, Domitius.

Domitius Enobarbus

No.

Mark Antony

Why should he not?

Domitius Enobarbus

He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
He is twenty men to one.

Mark Antony

To-morrow, soldier,
By sea and land I’ll fight: or I will live,
Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
Shall make it live again. Woo’t thou fight well?

Domitius Enobarbus

I’ll strike, and cry ‘Take all.’

Mark Antony

Well said; come on.
Call forth my household servants: let’s to-night
Be bounteous at our meal.

Enter three or four Servitors

Give me thy hand,
Thou hast been rightly honest; — so hast thou; —
Thou — and thou — and thou:— you have served me well,
And kings have been your fellows.

Cleopatra

[Aside to Domitius Enobarbus] What means this?

Domitius Enobarbus

[Aside to Cleopatra] ’Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow shoots Out of the mind.

Mark Antony

  And thou art honest too.
I wish I could be made so many men,
And all of you clapp’d up together in
An Antony, that I might do you service
So good as you have done.

All

The gods forbid!

Mark Antony

Well, my good fellows, wait on me to-night:
Scant not my cups; and make as much of me
As when mine empire was your fellow too,
And suffer’d my command.

Cleopatra

[Aside to Domitius Enobarbus] What does he mean?

Domitius Enobarbus

[Aside to Cleopatra] To make his followers weep.

Mark Antony

Tend me to-night;
May be it is the period of your duty:
Haply you shall not see me more; or if,
A mangled shadow: perchance to-morrow
You’ll serve another master. I look on you
As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends,
I turn you not away; but, like a master
Married to your good service, stay till death:
Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
And the gods yield you for’t!

Domitius Enobarbus

What mean you, sir,
To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;
And I, an ass, am onion-eyed: for shame,
Transform us not to women.

Mark Antony

Ho, ho, ho!
Now the witch take me, if I meant it thus!
Grace grow where those drops fall!
My hearty friends,
You take me in too dolorous a sense;
For I spake to you for your comfort; did desire you
To burn this night with torches: know, my hearts,
I hope well of to-morrow; and will lead you
Where rather I’ll expect victorious life
Than death and honour. Let’s to supper, come,
And drown consideration.

Exeunt

Scene III. The same. Before the palace.

Enter two Soldiers to their guard

First Soldier

Brother, good night: to-morrow is the day.

Second Soldier

It will determine one way: fare you well.
Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?

First Soldier

Nothing. What news?

Second Soldier

Belike ’tis but a rumour. Good night to you.

First Soldier

Well, sir, good night.

Enter two other Soldiers

Second Soldier

Soldiers, have careful watch.

Third Soldier

And you. Good night, good night.

They place themselves in every corner of the stage

Fourth Soldier

Here we: and if to-morrow
Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope
Our landmen will stand up.

Third Soldier

’Tis a brave army,
And full of purpose.

Music of the hautboys as under the stage

Fourth Soldier

Peace! what noise?

First Soldier

List, list!

Second Soldier

Hark!

First Soldier

  Music i’ the air.

Third Soldier

Under the earth.

Fourth Soldier

It signs well, does it not?

Third Soldier

No.

First Soldier

Peace, I say!
What should this mean?

Second Soldier

’Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony loved,
Now leaves him.

First Soldier

Walk; let’s see if other watchmen
Do hear what we do?

They advance to another post

Second Soldier

How now, masters!

All

[Speaking together] How now!
How now! do you hear this?

First Soldier

Ay; is’t not strange?

Third Soldier

Do you hear, masters? do you hear?

First Soldier

Follow the noise so far as we have quarter;
Let’s see how it will give off.

All

Content. ’Tis strange.

Exeunt

Scene IV. The same. A room in the palace.

Enter Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Charmian, and others attending

Mark Antony

Eros! mine armour, Eros!

Cleopatra

Sleep a little.

Mark Antony

No, my chuck. Eros, come; mine armour, Eros!

Enter Eros with armour

Come good fellow, put mine iron on:
If fortune be not ours to-day, it is
Because we brave her: come.

Cleopatra

Nay, I’ll help too.
What’s this for?

Mark Antony

  Ah, let be, let be! thou art
The armourer of my heart: false, false; this, this.

Cleopatra

Sooth, la, I’ll help: thus it must be.

Mark Antony

Well, well;
We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?
Go put on thy defences.

Eros

Briefly, sir.

Cleopatra

Is not this buckled well?

Mark Antony

Rarely, rarely:
He that unbuckles this, till we do please
To daff’t for our repose, shall hear a storm.
Thou fumblest, Eros; and my queen’s a squire
More tight at this than thou: dispatch. O love,
That thou couldst see my wars to-day, and knew’st
The royal occupation! thou shouldst see
A workman in’t.

Enter an armed Soldier

Good morrow to thee; welcome:
Thou look’st like him that knows a warlike charge:
To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.

Soldier

A thousand, sir,
Early though’t be, have on their riveted trim,
And at the port expect you.

Shout. Trumpets flourish

Enter Captains and Soldiers

Captain

The morn is fair. Good morrow, general.

All

Good morrow, general.

Mark Antony

’Tis well blown, lads:
This morning, like the spirit of a youth
That means to be of note, begins betimes.
So, so; come, give me that: this way; well said.
Fare thee well, dame, whate’er becomes of me:
This is a soldier’s kiss: rebukeable

Kisses her

And worthy shameful cheque it were, to stand
On more mechanic compliment; I’ll leave thee
Now, like a man of steel. You that will fight,
Follow me close; I’ll bring you to’t. Adieu.

Exeunt Mark Antony, Eros, Captains, and Soldiers

Charmian

Please you, retire to your chamber.

Cleopatra

Lead me.
He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might
Determine this great war in single fight!
Then Antony — but now — Well, on.

Exeunt

Scene V. Alexandria. Mark Antony’s camp.

Trumpets sound. Enter Mark Antony and Eros; a Soldier meeting them

Soldier

The gods make this a happy day to Antony!

Mark Antony

Would thou and those thy scars had once prevail’d
To make me fight at land!

Soldier

Hadst thou done so,
The kings that have revolted, and the soldier
That has this morning left thee, would have still
Follow’d thy heels.

Mark Antony

Who’s gone this morning?

Soldier

Who!
One ever near thee: call for Enobarbus,
He shall not hear thee; or from Caesar’s camp
Say ‘I am none of thine.’

Mark Antony

What say’st thou?

Soldier

Sir,
He is with Caesar.

Eros

  Sir, his chests and treasure
He has not with him.

Mark Antony

Is he gone?

Soldier

Most certain.

Mark Antony

Go, Eros, send his treasure after; do it;
Detain no jot, I charge thee: write to him —
I will subscribe — gentle adieus and greetings;
Say that I wish he never find more cause
To change a master. O, my fortunes have
Corrupted honest men! Dispatch. — Enobarbus!

Exeunt

Scene VI. Alexandria. Octavius Caesar’s camp.

Flourish. Enter Octavius Caesar, Agrippa, with Domitius Enobarbus, and others

Octavius Caesar

Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight:
Our will is Antony be took alive;
Make it so known.

Agrippa

Caesar, I shall.

Exit

Octavius Caesar

The time of universal peace is near:
Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nook’d world
Shall bear the olive freely.

Enter a Messenger

Messenger

Antony
Is come into the field.

Octavius Caesar

Go charge Agrippa
Plant those that have revolted in the van,
That Antony may seem to spend his fury
Upon himself.

Exeunt all but Domitius Enobarbus

Domitius Enobarbus

Alexas did revolt; and went to Jewry on
Affairs of Antony; there did persuade
Great Herod to incline himself to Caesar,
And leave his master Antony: for this pains
Caesar hath hang’d him. Canidius and the rest
That fell away have entertainment, but
No honourable trust. I have done ill;
Of which I do accuse myself so sorely,
That I will joy no more.

Enter a Soldier of Caesar’s

Soldier

Enobarbus, Antony
Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with
His bounty overplus: the messenger
Came on my guard; and at thy tent is now
Unloading of his mules.

Domitius Enobarbus

I give it you.

Soldier

Mock not, Enobarbus.
I tell you true: best you safed the bringer
Out of the host; I must attend mine office,
Or would have done’t myself. Your emperor
Continues still a Jove.

Exit

Domitius Enobarbus

I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. O Antony,
Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid
My better service, when my turpitude
Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart:
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
Shall outstrike thought: but thought will do’t, I feel.
I fight against thee! No: I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die; the foul’st best fits
My latter part of life.

Exit

Scene VII. Field of battle between the camps.

Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter Agrippa and others

Agrippa

Retire, we have engaged ourselves too far:
Caesar himself has work, and our oppression
Exceeds what we expected.

Exeunt

Alarums. Enter Mark Antony and Scarus wounded

Scarus

O my brave emperor, this is fought indeed!
Had we done so at first, we had droven them home
With clouts about their heads.

Mark Antony

Thou bleed’st apace.

Scarus

I had a wound here that was like a T,
But now ’tis made an H.

Mark Antony

They do retire.

Scarus

We’ll beat ’em into bench-holes: I have yet
Room for six scotches more.

Enter Eros

Eros

They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves
For a fair victory.

Scarus

Let us score their backs,
And snatch ’em up, as we take hares, behind:
’Tis sport to maul a runner.

Mark Antony

I will reward thee
Once for thy spritely comfort, and ten-fold
For thy good valour. Come thee on.

Scarus

I’ll halt after.

Exeunt

Scene VIII. Under the walls of Alexandria.

Alarum. Enter Mark Antony, in a march; Scarus, with others

Mark Antony

We have beat him to his camp: run one before,
And let the queen know of our gests. To-morrow,
Before the sun shall see ’s, we’ll spill the blood
That has to-day escaped. I thank you all;
For doughty-handed are you, and have fought
Not as you served the cause, but as ’t had been
Each man’s like mine; you have shown all Hectors.
Enter the city, clip your wives, your friends,
Tell them your feats; whilst they with joyful tears
Wash the congealment from your wounds, and kiss
The honour’d gashes whole.

To Scarus

Give me thy hand

Enter Cleopatra, attended

To this great fairy I’ll commend thy acts,
Make her thanks bless thee.

To Cleopatra

O thou day o’ the world,
Chain mine arm’d neck; leap thou, attire and all,
Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
Ride on the pants triumphing!

Cleopatra

Lord of lords!
O infinite virtue, comest thou smiling from
The world’s great snare uncaught?

Mark Antony

My nightingale,
We have beat them to their beds. What, girl! though grey
Do something mingle with our younger brown, yet ha’ we
A brain that nourishes our nerves, and can
Get goal for goal of youth. Behold this man;
Commend unto his lips thy favouring hand:
Kiss it, my warrior: he hath fought to-day
As if a god, in hate of mankind, had
Destroy’d in such a shape.

Cleopatra

I’ll give thee, friend,
An armour all of gold; it was a king’s.

Mark Antony

He has deserved it, were it carbuncled
Like holy Phoebus’ car. Give me thy hand:
Through Alexandria make a jolly march;
Bear our hack’d targets like the men that owe them:
Had our great palace the capacity
To camp this host, we all would sup together,
And drink carouses to the next day’s fate,
Which promises royal peril. Trumpeters,
With brazen din blast you the city’s ear;
Make mingle with rattling tabourines;
That heaven and earth may strike their sounds together,
Applauding our approach.

Exeunt

Scene IX. Octavius Caesar’s camp.

Sentinels at their post

First Soldier

If we be not relieved within this hour,
We must return to the court of guard: the night
Is shiny; and they say we shall embattle
By the second hour i’ the morn.

Second Soldier

This last day was
A shrewd one to’s.

Enter Domitius Enobarbus

Domitius Enobarbus

  O, bear me witness, night —

Third Soldier

What man is this?

Second Soldier

  Stand close, and list him.

Domitius Enobarbus

Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon,
When men revolted shall upon record
Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
Before thy face repent!

First Soldier

Enobarbus!

Third Soldier

Peace!
Hark further.

Domitius Enobarbus

O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
That life, a very rebel to my will,
May hang no longer on me: throw my heart
Against the flint and hardness of my fault:
Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony,
Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
Forgive me in thine own particular;
But let the world rank me in register
A master-leaver and a fugitive:
O Antony! O Antony!

Dies

Second Soldier

Let’s speak To him.

First Soldier

Let’s hear him, for the things he speaks
May concern Caesar.

Third Soldier

Let’s do so. But he sleeps.

First Soldier

Swoons rather; for so bad a prayer as his
Was never yet for sleep.

Second Soldier

Go we to him.

Third Soldier

Awake, sir, awake; speak to us.

Second Soldier

Hear you, sir?

First Soldier

The hand of death hath raught him.

Drums afar off

Hark! the drums
Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him
To the court of guard; he is of note: our hour
Is fully out.

Third Soldier

Come on, then;
He may recover yet.

Exeunt with the body

Scene X. Between the two camps.

Enter Mark Antony and Scarus, with their Army

Mark Antony

Their preparation is to-day by sea;
We please them not by land.

Scarus

For both, my lord.

Mark Antony

I would they’ld fight i’ the fire or i’ the air;
We’ld fight there too. But this it is; our foot
Upon the hills adjoining to the city
Shall stay with us: order for sea is given;
They have put forth the haven
Where their appointment we may best discover,
And look on their endeavour.

Exeunt

Scene XI. Another part of the same.

Enter Octavius Caesar, and his Army

Octavius Caesar

But being charged, we will be still by land,
Which, as I take’t, we shall; for his best force
Is forth to man his galleys. To the vales,
And hold our best advantage.

Exeunt

Scene XII. Another part of the same.

Enter Mark Antony and Scarus

Mark Antony

Yet they are not join’d: where yond pine does stand,
I shall discover all: I’ll bring thee word
Straight, how ’tis like to go.

Exit

Scarus

Swallows have built
In Cleopatra’s sails their nests: the augurers
Say they know not, they cannot tell; look grimly,
And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony
Is valiant, and dejected; and, by starts,
His fretted fortunes give him hope, and fear,
Of what he has, and has not.

Alarum afar off, as at a sea-fight

Re-enter Mark Antony

Mark Antony

All is lost;
This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me:
My fleet hath yielded to the foe; and yonder
They cast their caps up and carouse together
Like friends long lost. Triple-turn’d whore!
’tis thou
Hast sold me to this novice; and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly;
For when I am revenged upon my charm,
I have done all. Bid them all fly; begone.

Exit Scarus

O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more:
Fortune and Antony part here; even here
Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
That spaniel’d me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is bark’d,
That overtopp’d them all. Betray’d I am:
O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm —
Whose eye beck’d forth my wars, and call’d them home;
Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end —
Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose,
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
What, Eros, Eros!

Enter Cleopatra

Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!

Cleopatra

Why is my lord enraged against his love?

Mark Antony

Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving,
And blemish Caesar’s triumph. Let him take thee,
And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians:
Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
Of all thy sex; most monster-like, be shown
For poor’st diminutives, for doits; and let
Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
With her prepared nails.

Exit Cleopatra

’Tis well thou’rt gone,
If it be well to live; but better ’twere
Thou fell’st into my fury, for one death
Might have prevented many. Eros, ho!
The shirt of Nessus is upon me: teach me,
Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage:
Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o’ the moon;
And with those hands, that grasp’d the heaviest club,
Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die:
To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot; she dies for’t. Eros, ho!

Exit

Scene XIII. Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian

Cleopatra

Help me, my women! O, he is more mad
Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly
Was never so emboss’d.

Charmian

To the monument!
There lock yourself, and send him word you are dead.
The soul and body rive not more in parting
Than greatness going off.

Cleopatra

To the monument!
Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself;
Say, that the last I spoke was ‘Antony,’
And word it, prithee, piteously: hence, Mardian,
And bring me how he takes my death.
To the monument!

Exeunt

Scene XIV. The same. Another room.

Enter Mark Antony and Eros

Mark Antony

Eros, thou yet behold’st me?

Eros

Ay, noble lord.

Mark Antony

Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish;
A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
A tower’d citadel, a pendent rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon’t, that nod unto the world,
And mock our eyes with air: thou hast seen these signs;
They are black vesper’s pageants.

Eros

Ay, my lord,

Mark Antony

That which is now a horse, even with a thought
The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
As water is in water.

Eros

It does, my lord.

Mark Antony

My good knave Eros, now thy captain is
Even such a body: here I am Antony:
Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
I made these wars for Egypt: and the queen —
Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine;
Which whilst it was mine had annex’d unto’t
A million more, now lost — she, Eros, has
Pack’d cards with Caesar, and false-play’d my glory
Unto an enemy’s triumph.
Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
Ourselves to end ourselves.

Enter Mardian

O! thy vile lady!
She has robb’d me of my sword.

Mardian

No, Antony;
My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled
With thine entirely.

Mark Antony

Hence, saucy eunuch; peace!
She hath betray’d me and shall die the death.

Mardian

Death of one person can be paid but once,
And that she has discharged: what thou wouldst do
Is done unto thy hand: the last she spake
Was ‘Antony! most noble Antony!’
Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
The name of Antony; it was divided
Between her heart and lips: she render’d life,
Thy name so buried in her.

Mark Antony

Dead, then?

Mardian

Dead.

Mark Antony

Unarm, Eros; the long day’s task is done,
And we must sleep.

To Mardian

That thou depart’st hence safe,
Does pay thy labour richly; go.

Exit Mardian

Off, pluck off:
The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep
The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides!
Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
Crack thy frail case! Apace, Eros, apace.
No more a soldier: bruised pieces, go;
You have been nobly borne. From me awhile.

Exit Eros

I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length is torture: since the torch is out,
Lie down, and stray no farther: now all labour
Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles
Itself with strength: seal then, and all is done.
Eros! — I come, my queen:— Eros! — Stay for me:
Where souls do couch on flowers, we’ll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:
Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
And all the haunt be ours. Come, Eros, Eros!

Re-enter Eros

Eros

What would my lord?

Mark Antony

Since Cleopatra died,
I have lived in such dishonour, that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quarter’d the world, and o’er green Neptune’s back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
The courage of a woman; less noble mind
Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
‘I am conqueror of myself.’ Thou art sworn, Eros,
That, when the exigent should come, which now
Is come indeed, when I should see behind me
The inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that, on my command,
Thou then wouldst kill me: do’t; the time is come:
Thou strikest not me, ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st.
Put colour in thy cheek.

Eros

The gods withhold me!
Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
Though enemy, lost aim, and could not?

Mark Antony

Eros,
Wouldst thou be window’d in great Rome and see
Thy master thus with pleach’d arms, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel’d seat
Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued?

Eros

I would not see’t.

Mark Antony

Come, then; for with a wound I must be cured.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.

Eros

O, sir, pardon me!

Mark Antony

When I did make thee free, sworest thou not then
To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once;
Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurposed. Draw, and come.

Eros

Turn from me, then, that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.

Mark Antony

Lo thee!

Turning from him

Eros

My sword is drawn.

Mark Antony

  Then let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.

Eros

My dear master,
My captain, and my emperor, let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

Mark Antony

’Tis said, man; and farewell.

Eros

Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

Mark Antony

Now, Eros.

Eros

Why, there then: thus I do escape the sorrow
Of Antony’s death.

Kills himself

Mark Antony

  Thrice-nobler than myself!
Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros
Have by their brave instruction got upon me
A nobleness in record: but I will be
A bridegroom in my death, and run into’t
As to a lover’s bed. Come, then; and, Eros,
Thy master dies thy scholar: to do thus

Falling on his sword

I learn’d of thee. How! not dead? not dead?
The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

Enter Dercetas and Guard

First Guard

What’s the noise?

Mark Antony

I have done my work in, friends: O, make an end
Of what I have begun.

Second Guard

The star is fall’n.

First Guard

And time is at his period.

All

Alas, and woe!

Mark Antony

Let him that loves me strike me dead.

First Guard

Not I.

Second Guard

Nor I.

Third Guard

Nor any one.

Exeunt Guard

Dercetas

Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,
Shall enter me with him.

Enter Diomedes

Diomedes

Where’s Antony?

Dercetas

  There, Diomed there.

Diomedes

Lives he?
Wilt thou not answer, man?

Exit Dercetas

Mark Antony

Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me
Sufficing strokes for death.

Diomedes

Most absolute lord,
My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.

Mark Antony

When did she send thee?

Diomedes

Now, my lord.

Mark Antony

Where is she?

Diomedes

Lock’d in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
Of what hath come to pass: for when she saw —
Which never shall be found — you did suspect
She had disposed with Caesar, and that your rage
Would not be purged, she sent you word she was dead;
But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent
Me to proclaim the truth; and I am come,
I dread, too late.

Mark Antony

Too late, good Diomed: call my guard, I prithee.

Diomedes

What, ho, the emperor’s guard! The guard, what, ho!
Come, your lord calls!

Enter four or five of the Guard of Mark Antony

Mark Antony

Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
’Tis the last service that I shall command you.

First Guard

Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
All your true followers out.

All

Most heavy day!

Mark Antony

Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
To grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome
Which comes to punish us, and we punish it
Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up:
I have led you oft: carry me now, good friends,
And have my thanks for all.

Exeunt, bearing Mark Antony

Scene XV. The same. A monument.

Enter Cleopatra and her maids aloft, with Charmian and Iras

Cleopatra

O Charmian, I will never go from hence.

Charmian

Be comforted, dear madam.

Cleopatra

No, I will not:
All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion’d to our cause, must be as great
As that which makes it.

Enter, below, Diomedes

How now! is he dead?

Diomedes

His death’s upon him, but not dead.
Look out o’ the other side your monument;
His guard have brought him thither.

Enter, below, Mark Antony, borne by the Guard

Cleopatra

O sun,
Burn the great sphere thou movest in! darkling stand
The varying shore o’ the world. O Antony,
Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help;
Help, friends below; let’s draw him hither.

Mark Antony

Peace!
Not Caesar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.

Cleopatra

So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe ’tis so!

Mark Antony

I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here importune death awhile, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay up thy lips.

Cleopatra

  I dare not, dear —
Dear my lord, pardon — I dare not,
Lest I be taken: not the imperious show
Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall
Be brooch’d with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony —
Help me, my women — we must draw thee up:
Assist, good friends.

Mark Antony

O, quick, or I am gone.

Cleopatra

Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
Our strength is all gone into heaviness,
That makes the weight: had I great Juno’s power,
The strong-wing’d Mercury should fetch thee up,
And set thee by Jove’s side. Yet come a little —
Wishes were ever fools — O, come, come, come;

They heave Mark Antony aloft to Cleopatra

And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast lived:
Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.

All

A heavy sight!

Mark Antony

I am dying, Egypt, dying:
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.

Cleopatra

No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,
That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,
Provoked by my offence.

Mark Antony

One word, sweet queen:
Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!

Cleopatra

They do not go together.

Mark Antony

Gentle, hear me:
None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.

Cleopatra

My resolution and my hands I’ll trust;
None about Caesar.

Mark Antony

The miserable change now at my end
Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o’ the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman — a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish’d. Now my spirit is going;
I can no more.

Cleopatra

  Noblest of men, woo’t die?
Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide
In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a sty? O, see, my women,

Mark Antony dies

The crown o’ the earth doth melt. My lord!
O, wither’d is the garland of the war,
The soldier’s pole is fall’n: young boys and girls
Are level now with men; the odds is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.

Faints

Charmian

O, quietness, lady!

Iras

She is dead too, our sovereign.

Charmian

Lady!

Iras

Madam!

Charmian

O madam, madam, madam!

Iras

Royal Egypt, Empress!

Charmian

Peace, peace, Iras!

Cleopatra

No more, but e’en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chares. It were for me
To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
To tell them that this world did equal theirs
Till they had stol’n our jewel. All’s but naught;
Patience is scottish, and impatience does
Become a dog that’s mad: then is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death,
Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!
My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look,
Our lamp is spent, it’s out! Good sirs, take heart:
We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave, what’s noble,
Let’s do it after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us. Come, away:
This case of that huge spirit now is cold:
Ah, women, women! come; we have no friend
But resolution, and the briefest end.

Exeunt; those above bearing off Mark Antony’s body

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29