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Antony and Cleopatra


ACT IV SCENE IX Octavius Caesar’s camp.
[Sentinels at their post]
First Soldier If we be not relieved within this hour,
We must return to the court of guard: the night
Is shiny; and they say we shall embattle
By the second hour i’ the morn.
Second Soldier This last day was 5
A shrewd one to’s.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS O, bear me witness, night,–
Third Soldier What man is this?
Second Soldier Stand close, and list him.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon, 10
When men revolted shall upon record
Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
Before thy face repent!
First Soldier Enobarbus!
Third Soldier Peace! 15
Hark further.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
That life, a very rebel to my will,
May hang no longer on me: throw my heart 20
Against the flint and hardness of my fault:
Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony,
Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
Forgive me in thine own particular; 25
But let the world rank me in register
A master-leaver and a fugitive:
O Antony! O Antony!
Second Soldier Let’s speak To him.
First Soldier Let’s hear him, for the things he speaks 30
May concern Caesar.
Third Soldier Let’s do so. But he sleeps.
First Soldier Swoons rather; for so bad a prayer as his
Was never yet for sleep.
Second Soldier Go we to him. 35
Third Soldier Awake, sir, awake; speak to us.
Second Soldier Hear you, sir?
First Soldier The hand of death hath raught him.
[Drums afar off]
Hark! the drums
Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him 40
To the court of guard; he is of note: our hour
Is fully out.
Third Soldier Come on, then;
He may recover yet.
[Exeunt with the body]

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4, Scene 10

Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 9
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

2. Court of guard. The guard room where the sentinels muster.

3. Shiny. Clear.

3. Embattle. Muster for battle.

6. Shrewd. Bad, unfortunate.

9. List. Listen to him.

11. Revolted. Who have revolted, been traitors.

17. Melancholy. The influence of the moon was supposed to produce madness.

18. Disponge. Shed like a sponge.

20. Throw my heart. Johnson regards this line as a conceit unworthy of Shakespeare.

25. Particular. That is, as far as you yourself are concerned, but let the world call me a traitor.

38. Raught. Reached him.

40. Demurely. That is, gravely, with measured beat of drums, as befits so serious a day as the one before us.

41. Note. Importance, rank.


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