Antony and Cleopatra


Seizes and disarms her Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this Relieved, but not betray'd. CLEOPATRA What, of death too, That rids our dogs of languish? PROCULEIUS Cleopatra, Do not abuse my master's bounty by The undoing of yourself: let the world see His nobleness well acted, which your death Will never let come forth. CLEOPATRA Where art thou, death?

Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen Worthy many babes and beggars! PROCULEIUS O, temperance, lady! CLEOPATRA Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir;If idle talk will once be necessary, I'll not sleep neither: this mortal house I'll ruin, Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that IWill not wait pinion'd at your master's court;Nor once be chastised with the sober eye Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up And show me to the shouting varletry Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt Be gentle grave unto me! rather on Nilus' mud Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies Blow me into abhorring! rather make My country's high pyramides my gibbet, And hang me up in chains! PROCULEIUS You do extend These thoughts of horror further than you shall Find cause in Caesar.

Enter DOLABELLA DOLABELLA Proculeius, What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows, And he hath sent for thee: for the queen, I'll take her to my guard. PROCULEIUS So, Dolabella, It shall content me best: be gentle to her.


To Caesar I will speak what you shall please, If you'll employ me to him. CLEOPATRA Say, I would die.

Exeunt PROCULEIUS and Soldiers DOLABELLA Most noble empress, you have heard of me? CLEOPATRA I cannot tell. DOLABELLA Assuredly you know me. CLEOPATRA No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.

You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;Is't not your trick? DOLABELLA I understand not, madam. CLEOPATRA I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony:

O, such another sleep, that I might see But such another man! DOLABELLA If it might please ye,-- CLEOPATRA His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted The little O, the earth. DOLABELLA Most sovereign creature,-- CLEOPATRA His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm Crested the world: his voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas That grew the more by reaping: his delights Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above The element they lived in: in his livery Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were As plates dropp'd from his pocket. DOLABELLA Cleopatra! CLEOPATRA Think you there was, or might be, such a man As this I dream'd of? DOLABELLA Gentle madam, no. CLEOPATRA You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.

But, if there be, or ever were, one such, It's past the size of dreaming: nature wants stuff To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine And Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy, Condemning shadows quite. DOLABELLA Hear me, good madam.

Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it As answering to the weight: would I might never O'ertake pursued success, but I do feel, By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites My very heart at root. CLEOPATRA I thank you, sir, Know you what Caesar means to do with me? DOLABELLA I am loath to tell you what I would you knew. CLEOPATRA Nay, pray you, sir,-- DOLABELLA Though he be honourable,-- CLEOPATRA He'll lead me, then, in triumph? DOLABELLA Madam, he will; I know't.

Flourish, and shout within, 'Make way there: Octavius Caesar!'

Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECAENAS, SELEUCUS, and others of his Train OCTAVIUS CAESAR Which is the Queen of Egypt? DOLABELLA It is the emperor, madam.

CLEOPATRA kneels OCTAVIUS CAESAR Arise, you shall not kneel:

I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt. CLEOPATRA Sir, the gods Will have it thus; my master and my lord I must obey. OCTAVIUS CAESAR Take to you no hard thoughts:

The record of what injuries you did us, Though written in our flesh, we shall remember As things but done by chance. CLEOPATRA Sole sir o' the world, I cannot project mine own cause so well To make it clear; but do confess I have Been laden with like frailties which before Have often shamed our sex. OCTAVIUS CAESAR Cleopatra, know, We will extenuate rather than enforce:

If you apply yourself to our intents, Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find A benefit in this change; but if you seek To lay on me a cruelty, by taking Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself Of my good purposes, and put your children To that destruction which I'll guard them from, If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave. CLEOPATRA And may, through all the world: 'tis yours; and we, Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord. OCTAVIUS CAESAR You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra. CLEOPATRA This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued;Not petty things admitted. Where's Seleucus? SELEUCUS Here, madam. CLEOPATRA This is my treasurer: let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus. SELEUCUS Madam, I had rather seal my lips, than, to my peril, Speak that which is not. CLEOPATRA What have I kept back? SELEUCUS Enough to purchase what you have made known. OCTAVIUS CAESAR Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve Your wisdom in the deed. CLEOPATRA See, Caesar! O, behold, How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours;And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.

The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild: O slave, of no more trust Than love that's hired! What, goest thou back?

thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings: slave, soulless villain, dog!