Antony and Cleopatra
|ACT III SCENE VI||Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house.|
|[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MECAENAS]|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Contemning Rome, he has done all this, and more,|
|In Alexandria: here’s the manner of ‘t:|
|I’ the market-place, on a tribunal silver’d,|
|Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold|
|Were publicly enthroned: at the feet sat||5|
|Caesarion, whom they call my father’s son,|
|And all the unlawful issue that their lust|
|Since then hath made between them. Unto her|
|He gave the stablishment of Egypt; made her|
|Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,||10|
|MECAENAS||This in the public eye?|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||I’ the common show-place, where they exercise.|
|His sons he there proclaim’d the kings of kings:|
|Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia.||15|
|He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign’d|
|Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia: she|
|In the habiliments of the goddess Isis|
|That day appear’d; and oft before gave audience,|
|As ’tis reported, so.||20|
|MECAENAS||Let Rome be thus Inform’d.|
|AGRIPPA||Who, queasy with his insolence|
|Already, will their good thoughts call from him.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||The people know it; and have now received|
|AGRIPPA||Who does he accuse?|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Caesar: and that, having in Sicily|
|Sextus Pompeius spoil’d, we had not rated him|
|His part o’ the isle: then does he say, he lent me|
|Some shipping unrestored: lastly, he frets||30|
|That Lepidus of the triumvirate|
|Should be deposed; and, being, that we detain|
|All his revenue.|
|AGRIPPA||Sir, this should be answer’d.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||‘Tis done already, and the messenger gone.||35|
|I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel;|
|That he his high authority abused,|
|And did deserve his change: for what I have conquer’d,|
|I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia,|
|And other of his conquer’d kingdoms, I||40|
|Demand the like.|
|MECAENAS||He’ll never yield to that.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Nor must not then be yielded to in this.|
|[Enter OCTAVIA with her train]|
|OCTAVIA||Hail, Caesar, and my lord! hail, most dear Caesar!|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||That ever I should call thee castaway!||45|
|OCTAVIA||You have not call’d me so, nor have you cause.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Why have you stol’n upon us thus! You come not|
|Like Caesar’s sister: the wife of Antony|
|Should have an army for an usher, and|
|The neighs of horse to tell of her approach||50|
|Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way|
|Should have borne men; and expectation fainted,|
|Longing for what it had not; nay, the dust|
|Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,|
|Raised by your populous troops: but you are come||55|
|A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented|
|The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown,|
|Is often left unloved; we should have met you|
|By sea and land; supplying every stage|
|With an augmented greeting.||60|
|OCTAVIA||Good my lord,|
|To come thus was I not constrain’d, but did|
|On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony,|
|Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted|
|My grieved ear withal; whereon, I begg’d||65|
|His pardon for return.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Which soon he granted,|
|Being an obstruct ‘tween his lust and him.|
|OCTAVIA||Do not say so, my lord.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||I have eyes upon him,||70|
|And his affairs come to me on the wind.|
|Where is he now?|
|OCTAVIA||My lord, in Athens.|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||No, my most wronged sister; Cleopatra|
|Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire||75|
|Up to a whore; who now are levying|
|The kings o’ the earth for war; he hath assembled|
|Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus,|
|Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king|
|Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;||80|
|King Malchus of Arabia; King of Pont;|
|Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king|
|Of Comagene; Polemon and Amyntas,|
|The kings of Mede and Lycaonia,|
|With a more larger list of sceptres.||85|
|OCTAVIA||Ay me, most wretched,|
|That have my heart parted betwixt two friends|
|That do afflict each other!|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Welcome hither:|
|Your letters did withhold our breaking forth;||90|
|Till we perceived, both how you were wrong led,|
|And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;|
|Be you not troubled with the time, which drives|
|O’er your content these strong necessities;|
|But let determined things to destiny||95|
|Hold unbewail’d their way. Welcome to Rome;|
|Nothing more dear to me. You are abused|
|Beyond the mark of thought: and the high gods,|
|To do you justice, make them ministers|
|Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort;||100|
|And ever welcome to us.|
|MECAENAS||Welcome, dear madam.|
|Each heart in Rome does love and pity you:|
|Only the adulterous Antony, most large||105|
|In his abominations, turns you off;|
|And gives his potent regiment to a trull,|
|That noises it against us.|
|OCTAVIA||Is it so, sir?|
|OCTAVIUS CAESAR||Most certain. Sister, welcome: pray you,||110|
|Be ever known to patience: my dear’st sister!|
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 3, Scene 7
Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 6
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
1. Contemning. To show his contempt of Rome.
3. Market place. Public square.
3. Tribunal. A raised platform, so called because in the days of the Roman republic, the tribunes used to sit on such a platform when transacting public business.
9. Stablishment. Established her queen of Egypt, gave her Egypt as an inheritance.
12. Exercise. That is, in the area where the athletic exercises were held.
19. Gave audience. Received complaints and petitions.
22. Who. That is, the Roman people.
22. Queasy. Disgusted, sick of his insolence.
23. Call. Recall their good opinion.
28. Spoil’d. Despoiled.
28. Rated. Assigned him a just share.
30. Unrestored. Which has not been restored to him.
31. Of. From.
32. Being. That is, being deposed.
38. Change. That is, changed position.
38. For. As regards what.
45. Castaway. That is, cast off by her husband.
52. Borne men. That is, been crowded with spectators.
52. Expectation fainted. That is, the spectators should have fainted with expectation.
55. Populous. Numerous.
56. Market-maid. That is, like a maid on her way to market.
57. Ostentation. Display, manifestation.
58. Unloved. That is, love which is denied opportunity for showing itself often ceases to be felt.
59. Stage. In your journey.
60. Augmented. That is, a greeting by increasing numbers of persons.
68. Obstruct. Obstruction.
75. Nodded. Hath summoned him with a mere nod.
76. Who. That is, both Antony and Cleopatra.
78. Bocchus, etc. This list of kings Shakespeare gets from Plutarch.
85. More larger. A double comparative.
88. Afflict. Injure.
90. Withhold. Prevent.
91. Wrong led. Wrongly led, misled.
92. Negligent. That is, in danger from being negligent.
94. Content. That is, spoils your peace by the necessity for strong measures.
95. Determined. That is, determined by fate.
100. Best of comfort. This may either mean, “May the best of comfort be yours,” or, “You are my greatest comfort.”
107. Potent regiment. Powerful sway.
107. Trull. Infamous woman.
108. Noises it. Uses it for making a disturbance.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.