Antony and Cleopatra
|ACT III SCENE III||Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.|
|[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS]|
|CLEOPATRA||Where is the fellow?|
|ALEXAS||Half afeard to come.|
|CLEOPATRA||Go to, go to.|
|[Enter the Messenger as before]|
|Come hither, sir.|
|Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you|
|But when you are well pleased.|
|CLEOPATRA||That Herod’s head|
|I’ll have: but how, when Antony is gone|
|Through whom I might command it? Come thou near.||10|
|Messenger||Most gracious majesty,–|
|CLEOPATRA||Didst thou behold Octavia?|
|Messenger||Ay, dread queen.|
|Messenger||Madam, in Rome;||15|
|I look’d her in the face, and saw her led|
|Between her brother and Mark Antony.|
|CLEOPATRA||Is she as tall as me?|
|Messenger||She is not, madam.|
|CLEOPATRA||Didst hear her speak? is she shrill-tongued or low?||20|
|Messenger||Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voiced.|
|CLEOPATRA||That’s not so good: he cannot like her long.|
|CHARMIAN||Like her! O Isis! ’tis impossible.|
|CLEOPATRA||I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue, and dwarfish!|
|What majesty is in her gait? Remember,||25|
|If e’er thou look’dst on majesty.|
|Her motion and her station are as one;|
|She shows a body rather than a life,|
|A statue than a breather.||30|
|CLEOPATRA||Is this certain?|
|Messenger||Or I have no observance.|
|CHARMIAN||Three in Egypt|
|Cannot make better note.|
|CLEOPATRA||He’s very knowing;||35|
|I do perceive’t: there’s nothing in her yet:|
|The fellow has good judgment.|
|CLEOPATRA||Guess at her years, I prithee.|
|She was a widow,–|
|CLEOPATRA||Widow! Charmian, hark.|
|Messenger||And I do think she’s thirty.|
|CLEOPATRA||Bear’st thou her face in mind? is’t long or round?|
|Messenger||Round even to faultiness.||45|
|CLEOPATRA||For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.|
|Her hair, what colour?|
|Messenger||Brown, madam: and her forehead|
|As low as she would wish it.|
|CLEOPATRA||There’s gold for thee.||50|
|Thou must not take my former sharpness ill:|
|I will employ thee back again; I find thee|
|Most fit for business: go make thee ready;|
|Our letters are prepared.|
|CHARMIAN||A proper man.||55|
|CLEOPATRA||Indeed, he is so: I repent me much|
|That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,|
|This creature’s no such thing.|
|CLEOPATRA||The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.||60|
|CHARMIAN||Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,|
|And serving you so long!|
|CLEOPATRA||I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian:|
|But ’tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me|
|Where I will write. All may be well enough.||65|
|CHARMIAN||I warrant you, madam.|
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 3, Scene 4
Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 3
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
18. As. This word had somewhat the force of a preposition; hence the objective case following.
20. Shrill. Sprightly, lively of speech.
28. Station. Manner of standing still.
30. Breather. A living being.
32. Observance. Powers of observation.
34. Note. Observation. That is, there are not three persons in Egypt who are better qualified to observe.
36. Yet. So far as he has described her.
39. Prithee. Pray thee.
37. As low as. Slang for “as low as it could be.”
41. Proper. A fine fellow.
57. Harried. Scolded, used roughly.
58. No such thing. Nothing very remarkable.
61. Defend. Forbid.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.