Antony and Cleopatra
|ACT III SCENE XI||Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace|
|[Enter MARK ANTONY with Attendants]|
|MARK ANTONY||Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon’t;|
|It is ashamed to bear me! Friends, come hither:|
|I am so lated in the world, that I|
|Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship|
|Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly,||5|
|And make your peace with Caesar.|
|All||Fly! not we.|
|MARK ANTONY||I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards|
|To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;|
|I have myself resolved upon a course||10|
|Which has no need of you; be gone:|
|My treasure’s in the harbour, take it. O,|
|I follow’d that I blush to look upon:|
|My very hairs do mutiny; for the white|
|Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them||15|
|For fear and doting. Friends, be gone: you shall|
|Have letters from me to some friends that will|
|Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,|
|Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint|
|Which my despair proclaims; let that be left||20|
|Which leaves itself: to the sea-side straightway:|
|I will possess you of that ship and treasure.|
|Leave me, I pray, a little: pray you now:|
|Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command,|
|Therefore I pray you: I’ll see you by and by.||25|
|[ Enter CLEOPATRA led by CHARMIAN and IRAS; EROS following ]|
|EROS||Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.|
|IRAS||Do, most dear queen.|
|CHARMIAN||Do! why: what else?|
|CLEOPATRA||Let me sit down. O Juno!|
|MARK ANTONY||No, no, no, no, no.||30|
|EROS||See you here, sir?|
|MARK ANTONY||O fie, fie, fie!|
|IRAS||Madam, O good empress!|
|MARK ANTONY||Yes, my lord, yes; he at Philippi kept|
|His sword e’en like a dancer; while I struck|
|The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and ’twas I|
|That the mad Brutus ended: he alone|
|Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practise had||40|
|In the brave squares of war: yet now–No matter.|
|CLEOPATRA||Ah, stand by.|
|EROS||The queen, my lord, the queen.|
|IRAS||Go to him, madam, speak to him:|
|He is unqualitied with very shame.||45|
|CLEOPATRA||Well then, sustain him: O!|
|EROS||Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches:|
|Her head’s declined, and death will seize her, but|
|Your comfort makes the rescue.|
|MARK ANTONY||I have offended reputation,||50|
|A most unnoble swerving.|
|EROS||Sir, the queen.|
|MARK ANTONY||O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See,|
|How I convey my shame out of thine eyes|
|By looking back what I have left behind||55|
|‘Stroy’d in dishonour.|
|CLEOPATRA||O my lord, my lord,|
|Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought|
|You would have follow’d.|
|MARK ANTONY||Egypt, thou knew’st too well||60|
|My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings,|
|And thou shouldst tow me after: o’er my spirit|
|Thy full supremacy thou knew’st, and that|
|Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods|
|CLEOPATRA||O, my pardon!|
|MARK ANTONY||Now I must|
|To the young man send humble treaties, dodge|
|And palter in the shifts of lowness; who|
|With half the bulk o’ the world play’d as I pleased,||70|
|Making and marring fortunes. You did know|
|How much you were my conqueror; and that|
|My sword, made weak by my affection, would|
|Obey it on all cause.|
|MARK ANTONY||Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates|
|All that is won and lost: give me a kiss;|
|Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster;|
|Is he come back? Love, I am full of lead.|
|Some wine, within there, and our viands! Fortune knows||80|
|We scorn her most when most she offers blows.|
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 3, Scene 12
Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 11
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
3. Lated. Belated.
18. Sweep your way. Make your reconciliation with Caesar easy.
19. Loathness. Unwillingness to leave me.
22. Possess you. Put you in possession of them.
24. Command. That is, I have lost the power to command you.
37. Dancer. Caesar, at the Battle of Philippi, did not draw his sword, but wore it as if he were at a dance.
39. Ended. That is, it was I that ended the mad Brutus.
40. Lieutenantry. Acted by means of his lieutenants instead of fighting himself.
41. Squares. Squadrons.
45. Unqualitied. Has lost his natural qualities, is not himself.
48. But. Except, unless.
50. Offended. Sinned against my reputation.
51. Unnoble. Ignoble.
55. Looking back. Some editors explain this passage by “See, how by looking another way, I withdraw my ignominy from your sight.” Others give it a wider meaning: “See how I am trying to hide my shame from you by holding myself aloof and bitterly meditating on the ruin of my power and reputation.”
56. ‘Stroy’d. Destroyed.
61. Strings. That is, by the heart strings.
68. Treaties. Entreaties, proposals of peace.
69. Palter. Equivocate, use tricks.
76. Fall. Do not let fall.
76. Rates. Equals in value.
78. Schoolmaster. One Euphronius, the teacher of Antony and Cleopatra’s children.
79. Lead. Heavy of heart.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.