Antony and Cleopatra
|ACT V SCENE II||Alexandria. A room in the monument.|
|[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS]|
|CLEOPATRA||My desolation does begin to make|
|A better life. ‘Tis paltry to be Caesar;|
|Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave,|
|A minister of her will: and it is great|
|To do that thing that ends all other deeds;||5|
|Which shackles accidents and bolts up change;|
|Which sleeps, and never palates more the dug,|
|The beggar’s nurse and Caesar’s.|
|[ Enter, to the gates of the monument, PROCULEIUS, GALLUS and Soldiers ]|
|PROCULEIUS||Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt;|
|And bids thee study on what fair demands||10|
|Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.|
|CLEOPATRA||What’s thy name?|
|PROCULEIUS||My name is Proculeius.|
|Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but||15|
|I do not greatly care to be deceived,|
|That have no use for trusting. If your master|
|Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,|
|That majesty, to keep decorum, must|
|No less beg than a kingdom: if he please||20|
|To give me conquer’d Egypt for my son,|
|He gives me so much of mine own, as I|
|Will kneel to him with thanks.|
|PROCULEIUS||Be of good cheer;|
|You’re fall’n into a princely hand, fear nothing:||25|
|Make your full reference freely to my lord,|
|Who is so full of grace, that it flows over|
|On all that need: let me report to him|
|Your sweet dependency; and you shall find|
|A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness,||30|
|Where he for grace is kneel’d to.|
|CLEOPATRA||Pray you, tell him|
|I am his fortune’s vassal, and I send him|
|The greatness he has got. I hourly learn|
|A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly||35|
|Look him i’ the face.|
|PROCULEIUS||This I’ll report, dear lady.|
|Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied|
|Of him that caused it.|
|GALLUS||You see how easily she may be surprised:||40|
|[ Here PROCULEIUS and two of the Guard ascend the monument by a ladder placed against a window, and, having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the Guard unbar and open the gates ]|
|[To PROCULEIUS and the Guard]|
|Guard her till Caesar come.|
|CHARMIAN||O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen:|
|CLEOPATRA||Quick, quick, good hands.|
|[Drawing a dagger]|
|PROCULEIUS||Hold, worthy lady, hold:||45|
|[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?|
|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?||55|
|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,||60|
|I’ll not sleep neither: this mortal house I’ll ruin,|
|Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I|
|Will 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||65|
|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||70|
|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.||75|
|What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,|
|And he hath sent for thee: for the queen,|
|I’ll take her to my guard.|
|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?||85|
|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?||90|
|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,–||95|
|CLEOPATRA||His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck|
|A sun and moon, which kept their course,|
|The little O, the earth.|
|DOLABELLA||Most sovereign creature,–||100|
|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,||105|
|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||110|
|As plates dropp’d from his pocket.|
|CLEOPATRA||Think you there was, or might be, such a man|
|As this I dream’d of?|
|DOLABELLA||Gentle madam, no.||115|
|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,||120|
|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,||125|
|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.||130|
|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?||135|
|DOLABELLA||It is the emperor, madam.|
|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||140|
|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.||145|
|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.||150|
|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||155|
|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.||160|
|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,||165|
|I am possess’d of: ’tis exactly valued;|
|Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?|
|CLEOPATRA||This is my treasurer: let him speak, my lord,|
|Upon his peril, that I have reserved||170|
|To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.|
|I had rather seal my lips, than, to my peril,|
|Speak that which is not.|
|CLEOPATRA||What have I kept back?||175|
|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;||180|
|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,||185|
|Though they had wings: slave, soulless villain, dog!|
|O rarely base!|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Good queen, let us entreat you.|
|CLEOPATRA||O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,|
|That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,||190|
|Doing the honour of thy lordliness|
|To one so meek, that mine own servant should|
|Parcel the sum of my disgraces by|
|Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,|
|That I some lady trifles have reserved,||195|
|Immoment toys, things of such dignity|
|As we greet modern friends withal; and say,|
|Some nobler token I have kept apart|
|For Livia and Octavia, to induce|
|Their mediation; must I be unfolded||200|
|With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me|
|Beneath the fall I have.|
|Prithee, go hence;|
|Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits|
|Through the ashes of my chance: wert thou a man,||205|
|Thou wouldst have mercy on me.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Forbear, Seleucus.|
|CLEOPATRA||Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought|
|For things that others do; and, when we fall,|
|We answer others’ merits in our name,||210|
|Are therefore to be pitied.|
|Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,|
|Put we i’ the roll of conquest: still be’t yours,|
|Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,||215|
|Caesar’s no merchant, to make prize with you|
|Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer’d;|
|Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear queen;|
|For we intend so to dispose you as|
|Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:||220|
|Our care and pity is so much upon you,|
|That we remain your friend; and so, adieu.|
|CLEOPATRA||My master, and my lord!|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Not so. Adieu.|
|[Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR and his train]|
|CLEOPATRA||He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not||225|
|Be noble to myself: but, hark thee, Charmian.|
|IRAS||Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,|
|And we are for the dark.|
|CLEOPATRA||Hie thee again:|
|I have spoke already, and it is provided;||230|
|Go put it to the haste.|
|CHARMIAN||Madam, I will.|
|DOLABELLA||Where is the queen?|
|DOLABELLA||Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,|
|Which my love makes religion to obey,|
|I tell you this: Caesar through Syria|
|Intends his journey; and within three days|
|You with your children will he send before:||240|
|Make your best use of this: I have perform’d|
|Your pleasure and my promise.|
|I shall remain your debtor.|
|DOLABELLA||I your servant,||245|
|Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Caesar.|
|CLEOPATRA||Farewell, and thanks.|
|Now, Iras, what think’st thou?|
|Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shown|
|In Rome, as well as I mechanic slaves||250|
|With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall|
|Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,|
|Rank of gross diet, shall be enclouded,|
|And forced to drink their vapour.|
|IRAS||The gods forbid!||255|
|CLEOPATRA||Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras: saucy lictors|
|Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers|
|Ballad us out o’ tune: the quick comedians|
|Extemporally will stage us, and present|
|Our Alexandrian revels; Antony||260|
|Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see|
|Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness|
|I’ the posture of a whore.|
|IRAS||O the good gods!|
|CLEOPATRA||Nay, that’s certain.||265|
|IRAS||I’ll never see ‘t; for, I am sure, my nails|
|Are stronger than mine eyes.|
|CLEOPATRA||Why, that’s the way|
|To fool their preparation, and to conquer|
|Their most absurd intents.||270|
|Show me, my women, like a queen: go fetch|
|My best attires: I am again for Cydnus,|
|To meet Mark Antony: sirrah Iras, go.|
|Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch indeed;||275|
|And, when thou hast done this chare, I’ll give thee leave|
|To play till doomsday. Bring our crown and all.|
|Wherefore’s this noise?|
|[Exit IRAS. A noise within]|
|[Enter a Guardsman]|
|Guard||Here is a rural fellow|
|That will not be denied your highness presence:||280|
|He brings you figs.|
|CLEOPATRA||Let him come in.|
|What poor an instrument|
|May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.|
|My resolution’s placed, and I have nothing||285|
|Of woman in me: now from head to foot|
|I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon|
|No planet is of mine.|
|[Re-enter Guardsman, with Clown bringing in a basket]|
|Guard||This is the man.|
|CLEOPATRA||Avoid, and leave him.||290|
|Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,|
|That kills and pains not?|
|Clown||Truly, I have him: but I would not be the party|
|that should desire you to touch him, for his biting|
|is immortal; those that do die of it do seldom or||295|
|CLEOPATRA||Rememberest thou any that have died on’t?|
|Clown||Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of|
|them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman,|
|but something given to lie; as a woman should not||300|
|do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the|
|biting of it, what pain she felt: truly, she makes|
|a very good report o’ the worm; but he that will|
|believe all that they say, shall never be saved by|
|half that they do: but this is most fallible, the||305|
|worm’s an odd worm.|
|CLEOPATRA||Get thee hence; farewell.|
|Clown||I wish you all joy of the worm.|
|[Setting down his basket]|
|Clown||You must think this, look you, that the worm will||310|
|do his kind.|
|CLEOPATRA||Ay, ay; farewell.|
|Clown||Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the|
|keeping of wise people; for, indeed, there is no|
|goodness in worm.||315|
|CLEOPATRA||Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.|
|Clown||Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is|
|not worth the feeding.|
|CLEOPATRA||Will it eat me?|
|Clown||You must not think I am so simple but I know the||320|
|devil himself will not eat a woman: I know that a|
|woman is a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her|
|not. But, truly, these same whoreson devils do the|
|gods great harm in their women; for in every ten|
|that they make, the devils mar five.||325|
|CLEOPATRA||Well, get thee gone; farewell.|
|Clown||Yes, forsooth: I wish you joy o’ the worm.|
|[Re-enter IRAS with a robe, crown, &c]|
|CLEOPATRA||Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have|
|Immortal longings in me: now no more|
|The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip:||330|
|Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear|
|Antony call; I see him rouse himself|
|To praise my noble act; I hear him mock|
|The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men|
|To excuse their after wrath: husband, I come:||335|
|Now to that name my courage prove my title!|
|I am fire and air; my other elements|
|I give to baser life. So; have you done?|
|Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.|
|Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell.||340|
|[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies]|
|Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?|
|If thou and nature can so gently part,|
|The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,|
|Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still?|
|If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world||345|
|It is not worth leave-taking.|
|CHARMIAN||Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,|
|The gods themselves do weep!|
|CLEOPATRA||This proves me base:|
|If she first meet the curled Antony,||350|
|He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss|
|Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou|
|[To an asp, which she applies to her breast]|
|With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate|
|Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool||355|
|Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,|
|That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass|
|CHARMIAN||O eastern star!|
|Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,|
|That sucks the nurse asleep?|
|CHARMIAN||O, break! O, break!|
|CLEOPATRA||As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,–|
|O Antony!–Nay, I will take thee too.||365|
|[Applying another asp to her arm]|
|What should I stay–|
|CHARMIAN||In this vile world? So, fare thee well.|
|Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies|
|A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close;|
|And golden Phoebus never be beheld||370|
|Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry;|
|I’ll mend it, and then play.|
|[Enter the Guard, rushing in]|
|First Guard||Where is the queen?|
|CHARMIAN||Speak softly, wake her not.|
|First Guard||Caesar hath sent–||375|
|CHARMIAN||Too slow a messenger.|
|[Applies an asp]|
|O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.|
|First Guard||Approach, ho! All’s not well: Caesar’s beguiled.|
|Second Guard||There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.|
|First Guard||What work is here! Charmian, is this well done?||380|
|CHARMIAN||It is well done, and fitting for a princess|
|Descended of so many royal kings.|
|DOLABELLA||How goes it here?|
|Second Guard||All dead.||385|
|DOLABELLA||Caesar, thy thoughts|
|Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming|
|To see perform’d the dreaded act which thou|
|So sought’st to hinder.|
|[Within ‘A way there, a way for Caesar!’]|
|[Re-enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR and all his train marching]|
|DOLABELLA||O sir, you are too sure an augurer;||390|
|That you did fear is done.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Bravest at the last,|
|She levell’d at our purposes, and, being royal,|
|Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?|
|I do not see them bleed.||395|
|DOLABELLA||Who was last with them?|
|First Guard||A simple countryman, that brought her figs:|
|This was his basket.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Poison’d, then.|
|First Guard||O Caesar,||400|
|This Charmian lived but now; she stood and spake:|
|I found her trimming up the diadem|
|On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood|
|And on the sudden dropp’d.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||O noble weakness!||405|
|If they had swallow’d poison, ‘twould appear|
|By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,|
|As she would catch another Antony|
|In her strong toil of grace.|
|DOLABELLA||Here, on her breast,||410|
|There is a vent of blood and something blown:|
|The like is on her arm.|
|First Guard||This is an aspic’s trail: and these fig-leaves|
|Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves|
|Upon the caves of Nile.||415|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Most probable|
|That so she died; for her physician tells me|
|She hath pursued conclusions infinite|
|Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed;|
|And bear her women from the monument:||420|
|She shall be buried by her Antony:|
|No grave upon the earth shall clip in it|
|A pair so famous. High events as these|
|Strike those that make them; and their story is|
|No less in pity than his glory which||425|
|Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall|
|In solemn show attend this funeral;|
|And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see|
|High order in this great solemnity.|
Antony and Cleopatra, Scenes
Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 2
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
3. Knave. Servant.
5. That thing. That is, commit suicide.
6. Shackles. Prevents accidents and changes of fortune from touching us.
7. Which sleeps. Which causes sleep.
7. Palates. Makes it unnecessary to taste.
8. Beggar’s nurse. That is, life, the nourisher of rich and poor alike.
10. Study. Carefully consider.
19. Decorum. To do what is becoming for it.
22. As I, etc. For which I will kneel to him with thanks.
29. Dependency. That you acknowledge yourself dependent on him.
30. Pray in aid. That is, will be glad to add kindness to clemency. Pray in aid is a law term signifying a petition made in court for calling in help from another who has an interest in the case.
33. Vassal. Slave.
33. Send him. That is, send him the submission he has conquered.
35. Doctrine. Lesson.
49. Languish. Disease, suffering.
53. Acted. Displayed.
57. Worthy, etc. That is, who is worth more than the babes and beggars you are so ready to take.
58. Temperance. Control yourself.
60. If idle talk. The meaning is not quite clear. Perhaps it is “Even if idle talk be necessary to keep me awake, I’ll not sleep neither.”
66. Varletry. Rabble.
69. Nak’d. Pronounced as one syllable.
71. Pyramides. The Latin form of the plural is sometimes used, as here, for the sake of the metre.
79. To my guard. I will take charge of her.
83. Employ. Use me as your messenger.
99. O. A common term for a sphere.
102. Crested. Made a crest for the world. A raised arm was often used as a family crest or coat-of-arms.
102. Propertied. Endowed with the qualities, etc.
103. Tuned. According to the philosopher, Pythagoras, the spheres made music as they moved through space.
104. Quail. That is, causes the world to quail.
107. Grew. Yielded more the more it was reaped.
108. Dolphin-like. That is, in his delights he was like the dolphin, that leap out of the water in their gambols.
110. Crownets. Coronets, the insignia of noblemen. That is, he had kings and nobles for his servants.
111. Plates. Silver coins, so called because they were flat.
116. Hearing. That is, your lie is so great it reaches the ears of the gods.
119. Vie. Rival. That is, nature cannot produce forms so strange as those of fancy.
120. Piece. Masterpiece. Yet, were nature to conceive an Antony, it would be a masterpiece with which imagination could not vie.
124. Weight. With a fortitude as great as is the burden.
125. Pursued. Coveted.
125. But I do feel. If I do not feel.
146. Sole sir. Sole master.
147. Project. Shape my case, plead it.
148. To make. As to make.
149. Like, etc. Like followed by “which” is equivalent to our “such” followed by “as.”
152. Enforce. Lay stress upon, exaggerate.
153. Apply. Adapt yourself to our purposes.
162. Scutcheons. Symbols of conquest. Literally, a shield on which was painted the coat-of-arms of a family.
165. Brief. Brief account, list.
167. Not petty things, etc. That is, a few trifling things excepted.
183. Wild. Mad.
184. Goest thou back. This phrase is used in a double sense to signify that Seleucus retreats before her as she is about to strike him, and also that he has deserted her.
191. Lordliness. Honoring by their lordly presence.
192. Meek. Humbled by misfortune.
193. Parcel. Item. That is, add the item of his malice (envy) to the sum of my disgraces.
196. Immoment. Of no moment, unimportant.
197. Modern. Ordinary.
199. Livia. Caesar’s wife.
200. Unfolded. Exposed by.
204. Cinders. The smouldering embers.
205. Chance. Fortune.
208. Misthought. Misjudged.
210. Merits. That is, we pay the penalties which are the deserts of others.
218. Make not your thoughts. That is, do not make yourself a prisoner in imagination when really you are free.
219. Dispose you. Dispose of you.
225. Words me. Cajoles or flatters me with words.
227. Finish. Make haste to die.
231. Put it to the haste. Make utmost haste.
237. Makes religion. Makes as binding as a religious obligation.
250. Mechanic slave. Artisans.
251. Rank of. Rank with.
254. Vapor. Breath.
256. Lictors. Officers, something like police who attended on magistrates, to clear the road, inflict punishment on criminals, etc.
257. Scald. Literally, scurvy, afflicted with an eruption of the skin.
258. Ballad. Sing ballads in mockery of us.
258. Quick. Quick-witted.
259. Extemporally. Extemporaneously.
259. Present. Represent.
262. Boy. The female parts in a play were taken by boys in the time of Shakespeare.
269. Conquer. Upset, bring to nothing.
272. Show. Attire me like a queen.
273. Cydnus. I will imagine that I am again going to set sail for Cydnus.
274. Sirrah. See former note on this form of address.
275. Despatch. Make haste.
276. Chare. Task.
283. What poor an instrument. The article in Shakespeare is not infrequently placed after instead of before the adjective.
285. Placed. Fixed, determined.
287. Marble-constant. That is, as firm and hard as marble.
290. Avoid. Depart.
291. Worm. Shakespeare often uses this word for “snake.”
295. Immortal. Causes death.
305. Fallible. Infallible, sure.
311. Do his kind. That is, act as nature impels it.
329. Immortal. Longings for death.
331. Yare. Quick.
337. Fire and air. The old belief was that man was composed of the four elements, fire and air, earth and water, the latter being the baser.
241. Aspic. The poison of the asp. Iras has already secretly applied the snake to herself.
342. Nature. Life.
350. Curled. That is, nobly attired.
351. Make demand. Inquire concerning me.
353. Mortal. Deadly, giving death.
354. Intrinsicate. Intricate, hard to loose.
358. Unpolicied. Without policy, stupid.
367. Vile. The folios have “wild,” which many editors retain.
369. Lass. Used as a term of endearment for a young girl, generally.
369. Windows. Eyelids soft as down.
371. Of. By.
372. Mend. Set it right.
372. Play. Compare Cleopatra’s words above, “I’ll give thee leave to play till doomsday.”
378. Beguiled. Deceived.
387. Touch their effects. Your thoughts, or anticipations, are realized.
390. Augurer. You foresee too truly.
393. Levell’d. Guessed.
408. As she. As if she.
409. Toil. In the fascinations of her graces.
411. Vent. A slight flow.
411. Blown. Somewhat swollen.
413. Aspic’s trail. The mark left by an asp.
415. Caves. Some editors think this word should be “canes” or “reeds.”
418. Conclusions. Experiments without number.
422. Clip. Hold, enclose.
423. High events. Such high events have their effect on those who bring them to pass.
429. High order. Fitting ceremony.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.