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Antony and Cleopatra


ACT IV SCENE VIIField of battle between the two camps.
[ Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA and others ]
AGRIPPARetire, we have engaged ourselves too far:
Caesar himself has work, and our oppression
Exceeds what we expected.
[Alarums. Enter MARK ANTONY and SCARUS wounded]
SCARUSO my brave emperor, this is fought indeed!
Had we done so at first, we had droven them home5
With clouts about their heads.
MARK ANTONYThou bleed’st apace.
SCARUSI had a wound here that was like a T,
But now ’tis made an H.
MARK ANTONYThey do retire.10
SCARUSWe’ll beat ’em into bench-holes: I have yet
Room for six scotches more.
[Enter EROS]
EROSThey are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves
For a fair victory.
SCARUSLet us score their backs,15
And snatch ’em up, as we take hares, behind:
‘Tis sport to maul a runner.
MARK ANTONYI will reward thee
Once for thy spritely comfort, and ten-fold
For thy good valour. Come thee on.20
SCARUSI’ll halt after.

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4, Scene 8

Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 7
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

2. Oppression. That is, we have ventured too far and met more opposition than we expected.

5. Droven. An old form of “driven.”

6. Clouts. That is, with their heads tied up in bandages.

8. T. Shaped like a T.

9. H. A pun is intended here on the word “ache,” which was formerly pronounced like the letter H.

16. Snatch. Catch them by the neck as dogs catch hares.

19. Spritely. Spirited, encouraging.


How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.