ACT III SCENE XIII

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Antony and Cleopatra

 

ACT III SCENE XIII Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS]
CLEOPATRA What shall we do, Enobarbus?
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Think, and die.
CLEOPATRA Is Antony or we in fault for this?
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Antony only, that would make his will
Lord of his reason. What though you fled 5
From that great face of war, whose several ranges
Frighted each other? why should he follow?
The itch of his affection should not then
Have nick’d his captainship; at such a point,
When half to half the world opposed, he being 10
The meered question: ’twas a shame no less
Than was his loss, to course your flying flags,
And leave his navy gazing.
CLEOPATRA Prithee, peace.
[Enter MARK ANTONY with EUPHRONIUS, the Ambassador]
MARK ANTONY Is that his answer? 15
EUPHRONIUS Ay, my lord.
MARK ANTONY The queen shall then have courtesy, so she
Will yield us up.
EUPHRONIUS He says so.
MARK ANTONY Let her know’t. 20
To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
With principalities.
CLEOPATRA That head, my lord?
MARK ANTONY To him again: tell him he wears the rose 25
Of youth upon him; from which the world should note
Something particular: his coin, ships, legions,
May be a coward’s; whose ministers would prevail
Under the service of a child as soon
As i’ the command of Caesar: I dare him therefore 30
To lay his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declined, sword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I’ll write it: follow me.
[Exeunt MARK ANTONY and EUPHRONIUS]
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS [Aside] Yes, like enough, high-battled Caesar will
Unstate his happiness, and be staged to the show, 35
Against a sworder! I see men’s judgments are
A parcel of their fortunes; and things outward
Do draw the inward quality after them,
To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will 40
Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued
His judgment too.
[Enter an Attendant]
Attendant A messenger from CAESAR.
CLEOPATRA What, no more ceremony? See, my women!
Against the blown rose may they stop their nose 45
That kneel’d unto the buds. Admit him, sir.
[Exit Attendant]
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS [Aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square.
The loyalty well held to fools does make
Our faith mere folly: yet he that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord 50
Does conquer him that did his master conquer
And earns a place i’ the story.
[Enter THYREUS]
CLEOPATRA Caesar’s will?
THYREUS Hear it apart.
CLEOPATRA None but friends: say boldly. 55
THYREUS So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has;
Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master
Will leap to be his friend: for us, you know,
Whose he is we are, and that is, Caesar’s. 60
THYREUS So.
Thus then, thou most renown’d: Caesar entreats,
Not to consider in what case thou stand’st,
Further than he is Caesar.
CLEOPATRA Go on: right royal. 65
THYREUS He knows that you embrace not Antony
As you did love, but as you fear’d him.
CLEOPATRA O!
THYREUS The scars upon your honour, therefore, he
Does pity, as constrained blemishes, 70
Not as deserved.
CLEOPATRA He is a god, and knows
What is most right: mine honour was not yielded,
But conquer’d merely.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS [Aside] To be sure of that, 75
I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky,
That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for
Thy dearest quit thee.
[Exit]
THYREUS Shall I say to Caesar
What you require of him? for he partly begs 80
To be desired to give. It much would please him,
That of his fortunes you should make a staff
To lean upon: but it would warm his spirits,
To hear from me you had left Antony,
And put yourself under his shrowd, 85
The universal landlord.
CLEOPATRA What’s your name?
THYREUS My name is Thyreus.
CLEOPATRA Most kind messenger,
Say to great Caesar this: in deputation 90
I kiss his conquering hand: tell him, I am prompt
To lay my crown at ‘s feet, and there to kneel:
Tell him from his all-obeying breath I hear
The doom of Egypt.
THYREUS ‘Tis your noblest course. 95
Wisdom and fortune combating together,
If that the former dare but what it can,
No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay
My duty on your hand.
CLEOPATRA Your Caesar’s father oft, 100
When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in,
Bestow’d his lips on that unworthy place,
As it rain’d kisses.
[Re-enter MARK ANTONY and DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
MARK ANTONY Favours, by Jove that thunders!
What art thou, fellow? 105
THYREUS One that but performs
The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest
To have command obey’d.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS [Aside] You will be whipp’d.
MARK ANTONY Approach, there! Ah, you kite! Now, gods 110
and devils!
Authority melts from me: of late, when I cried ‘Ho!’
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
And cry ‘Your will?’ Have you no ears? I am
Antony yet. 115
[Enter Attendants]
Take hence this Jack, and whip him.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS [Aside] ‘Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp
Than with an old one dying.
MARK ANTONY Moon and stars!
Whip him. Were’t twenty of the greatest tributaries 120
That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them
So saucy with the hand of she here,–what’s her name,
Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows,
Till, like a boy, you see him cringe his face,
And whine aloud for mercy: take him hence. 125
THYREUS Mark Antony!
MARK ANTONY Tug him away: being whipp’d,
Bring him again: this Jack of Caesar’s shall
Bear us an errand to him.
[Exeunt Attendants with THYREUS]
You were half blasted ere I knew you: ha! 130
Have I my pillow left unpress’d in Rome,
Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
And by a gem of women, to be abused
By one that looks on feeders?
CLEOPATRA Good my lord,– 135
MARK ANTONY You have been a boggler ever:
But when we in our viciousness grow hard–
O misery on’t!–the wise gods seel our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors; laugh at’s, while we strut 140
To our confusion.
CLEOPATRA O, is’t come to this?
MARK ANTONY I found you as a morsel cold upon
Dead Caesar’s trencher; nay, you were a fragment
Of Cneius Pompey’s; besides what hotter hours, 145
Unregister’d in vulgar fame, you have
Luxuriously pick’d out: for, I am sure,
Though you can guess what temperance should be,
You know not what it is.
CLEOPATRA Wherefore is this? 150
MARK ANTONY To let a fellow that will take rewards
And say ‘God quit you!’ be familiar with
My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal
And plighter of high hearts! O, that I were
Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar 155
The horned herd! for I have savage cause;
And to proclaim it civilly, were like
A halter’d neck which does the hangman thank
For being yare about him.
[Re-enter Attendants with THYREUS]
Is he whipp’d? 160
First Attendant Soundly, my lord.
MARK ANTONY Cried he? and begg’d a’ pardon?
First Attendant He did ask favour.
MARK ANTONY If that thy father live, let him repent
Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry 165
To follow Caesar in his triumph, since
Thou hast been whipp’d for following him: henceforth
The white hand of a lady fever thee,
Shake thou to look on ‘t. Get thee back to Caesar,
Tell him thy entertainment: look, thou say 170
He makes me angry with him; for he seems
Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am,
Not what he knew I was: he makes me angry;
And at this time most easy ’tis to do’t,
When my good stars, that were my former guides, 175
Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires
Into the abysm of hell. If he mislike
My speech and what is done, tell him he has
Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom
He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture, 180
As he shall like, to quit me: urge it thou:
Hence with thy stripes, begone!
[Exit THYREUS]
CLEOPATRA Have you done yet?
MARK ANTONY Alack, our terrene moon
Is now eclipsed; and it portends alone 185
The fall of Antony!
CLEOPATRA I must stay his time.
MARK ANTONY To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes
With one that ties his points?
CLEOPATRA Not know me yet? 190
MARK ANTONY Cold-hearted toward me?
CLEOPATRA Ah, dear, if I be so,
From my cold heart let heaven engender hail,
And poison it in the source; and the first stone
Drop in my neck: as it determines, so 195
Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite!
Till by degrees the memory of my womb,
Together with my brave Egyptians all,
By the discandying of this pelleted storm,
Lie graveless, till the flies and gnats of Nile 200
Have buried them for prey!
MARK ANTONY I am satisfied.
Caesar sits down in Alexandria; where
I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
Hath nobly held; our sever’d navy too 205
Have knit again, and fleet, threatening most sea-like.
Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady?
If from the field I shall return once more
To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood;
I and my sword will earn our chronicle: 210
There’s hope in’t yet.
CLEOPATRA That’s my brave lord!
MARK ANTONY I will be treble-sinew’d, hearted, breathed,
And fight maliciously: for when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives 215
Of me for jests; but now I’ll set my teeth,
And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,
Let’s have one other gaudy night: call to me
All my sad captains; fill our bowls once more;
Let’s mock the midnight bell. 220
CLEOPATRA It is my birth-day:
I had thought to have held it poor: but, since my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
MARK ANTONY We will yet do well.
CLEOPATRA Call all his noble captains to my lord. 225
MARK ANTONY Do so, we’ll speak to them; and to-night I’ll force
The wine peep through their scars. Come on, my queen;
There’s sap in’t yet. The next time I do fight,
I’ll make death love me; for I will contend
Even with his pestilent scythe. 230
[Exeunt all but DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious,
Is to be frighted out of fear; and in that mood
The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,
A diminution in our captain’s brain
Restores his heart: when valour preys on reason, 235
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him.
[Exit]

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4, Scene 1
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Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 13
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
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2. Think, and die. Take thought, despair and die.

6. Ranges. Ranks.

9. Nick’d. Disfigure, mark with folly.

11. Meered. The whole question, the only cause of dispute. The etymology of this word is somewhat doubtful.

12. Course. Follow as a hunter courses after game.

13. Gazing. That is, gazing after him in consternation.

23. Principalities. Kingdoms.

31. Comparisons. Some editors think this means his advantages as compared with mine; others take it as a misprint for “caparisons.”

32. Declined. Fallen in estate.

34. High-battled. The commander of proud and victorious armies.

35. Unstate. Divest himself of his advantages.

35. Staged. Exhibit himself on a stage.

36. Sworder. A gladiator, a slave who fought in the arena at public shows.

37. Parcel. Of a piece with, correspond with.

39. Suffer. To suffer the same ruin.

40. Measures. So well able to guage men’s measures or capacities.

45. Blown. Full blown.

47. Square. Quarrel.

48. Loyalty. Loyalty to a fool becomes mere folly.

52. I’ the story. Wins renown when the story is told.

56. Haply. Perhaps.

59. Leap. Is eager to be friends.

60. He is. We acknowledge Antony’s master, that is, Caesar.

60. Right royal. Gracious sir.

70. Constrained. Faults forced upon you.

76. Leaky. So like a leaky ship.

85. Shrowd. Protection. The word originally meam any kind of garment or covering.

90. Deputation. By deputy or proxy.

93. All-obeying. Whose commands are obeyed by all men.

98. Grace. Allow men the favor of kissing your hand.

100. Caesar’s father. The great general, Julius Caesar, who had adopted Octavius, his grandnephew.

101. Kingdoms in. Conquering kingdoms.

103. As. As if.

107. Fullest. Most complete or perfect, fullest of good qualities.

113. Muss. A scramble after some object that had been thrown down.

116. Jack. Impudent fellow.

122. She here. Used contemptuously. Of this woman here who was once Cleopatra.

124. Cringe. Distort his face in pain or fear.

134. Feeders. Parasites, those who live on the bounty of others. Some think it means merely servants.

136. Boggler. Bungler, blunderer.

138. Seel. Blind.

144. Trencher. A large plate.

145. Cneius Pompey. The present Pompey’s father, a great Roman general.

147. Luxuriously. Wantonly.

148. Temperance. Here, chastity.

152. Quit. Requite. A common phrase of beggars.

155. Basan. We find in the Psalms, “As the hill of Basan, so is God’s hill; even an high hill, as the hill of Basan.” And again, “Many oxen have come about me: fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.”

159. Yare. Prompt and skillful.

162. A’. Our.

168. Fever. Give you a fever.

176. Orbs. Spheres.

177. Abysm. Abyss.

177. Mislike. Dislike, is angry at.

179. Enfranched. Enfranchised; a slave who has been set free.

181. Quit. Requhe, get even with me.

183. Stripes. Lashings.

184. Terrene. Earthly moon; that is, Cleopatra.

185. Portends. Foretells, indicates.

189. Ties his points. One who does the duty of a servant; literally, fastens the tagged lacings of his garments, or his points, as they were called.

195. Determines. As the stone dissolves.

196. Caesarion. Her son by Julius Caesar.

199. Discandying. Melting.

199. Pelleted. Storm of pellets or hail stones.

206. Fleet, Float, in sea trim.

210. Chronicle, Will perform acts that deserve to be chronicled.

213. Breathed. Endowed with treble breath.

214. Maliciously. Without mercy.

215. Nice. Dainty, luxurious.

218. Gaudy. Joyous, festive.

228. Sap. Life.

233. Estridge. Ostrich.

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