ACT IV SCENE IV

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Antony and Cleopatra

 

ACT IV SCENE IV The same. A room in the palace.
[ Enter MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and others attending ]
MARK ANTONY Eros! mine armour, Eros!
CLEOPATRA Sleep a little.
MARK ANTONY No, my chuck. Eros, come; mine armour, Eros!
[Enter EROS with armour]
Come good fellow, put mine iron on:
If fortune be not ours to-day, it is 5
Because we brave her: come.
CLEOPATRA Nay, I’ll help too.
What’s this for?
MARK ANTONY Ah, let be, let be! thou art
The armourer of my heart: false, false; this, this. 10
CLEOPATRA Sooth, la, I’ll help: thus it must be.
MARK ANTONY Well, well;
We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?
Go put on thy defences.
EROS Briefly, sir. 15
CLEOPATRA Is not this buckled well?
MARK ANTONY Rarely, rarely:
He that unbuckles this, till we do please
To daff’t for our repose, shall hear a storm.
Thou fumblest, Eros; and my queen’s a squire 20
More tight at this than thou: dispatch. O love,
That thou couldst see my wars to-day, and knew’st
The royal occupation! thou shouldst see
A workman in’t.
[Enter an armed Soldier]
Good morrow to thee; welcome: 25
Thou look’st like him that knows a warlike charge:
To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.
Soldier A thousand, sir,
Early though’t be, have on their riveted trim, 30
And at the port expect you.
[Shout. Trumpets flourish]
[Enter Captains and Soldiers]
Captain The morn is fair. Good morrow, general.
All Good morrow, general.
MARK ANTONY ‘Tis well blown, lads:
This morning, like the spirit of a youth 35
That means to be of note, begins betimes.
So, so; come, give me that: this way; well said.
Fare thee well, dame, whate’er becomes of me:
This is a soldier’s kiss: rebukeable
[Kisses her]
And worthy shameful cheque it were, to stand 40
On more mechanic compliment; I’ll leave thee
Now, like a man of steel. You that will fight,
Follow me close; I’ll bring you to’t. Adieu.
[Exeunt MARK ANTONY, EROS, Captains, and Soldiers]
CHARMIAN Please you, retire to your chamber.
CLEOPATRA Lead me. 45
He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might
Determine this great war in single fight!
Then Antony,–but now–Well, on.
[Exeunt]

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4, Scene 5
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Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 4
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
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3. Chuck. Chick; a term of endearment.

6. Brave. Defy.

10. Armourer. Armor bearer.

15. Briefly. Immediately.

19. Daff’t. Doff it, remove it.

20. Squire. In feudal times, the attendant of a knight

21. Tight. Skillful, handy.

31. Port. Gate.

31. Expect. Await.

34. Blown. Some editors take this word to refer to the trumpets, and others to the morning. The former interpretation seems rather more in keeping with Antony’s mood.

37. Well said. Rather, well done.

40. Cheque. Rebuke.

41. Mechanic. Vulgar, like what a mechanic would use. [See 5.2 – “mechanic slaves”]

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