Antony and Cleopatra
|ACT IV SCENE XV||The same. A monument.|
|[ Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft, with CHARMIAN and IRAS ]|
|CLEOPATRA||O Charmian, I will never go from hence.|
|CHARMIAN||Be comforted, dear madam.|
|CLEOPATRA||No, I will not:|
|All strange and terrible events are welcome,|
|But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,||5|
|Proportion’d to our cause, must be as great|
|As that which makes it.|
|[Enter, below, DIOMEDES]|
|How now! is he dead?|
|DIOMEDES||His death’s upon him, but not dead.|
|Look out o’ the other side your monument;||10|
|His guard have brought him thither.|
|[Enter, below, MARK ANTONY, borne by the Guard]|
|Burn the great sphere thou movest in!|
|The varying shore o’ the world. O Antony,||15|
|Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help;|
|Help, friends below; let’s draw him hither.|
|Not Caesar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony,|
|But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.||20|
|CLEOPATRA||So it should be, that none but Antony|
|Should conquer Antony; but woe ’tis so!|
|MARK ANTONY||I am dying, Egypt, dying; only|
|I here importune death awhile, until|
|Of many thousand kisses the poor last||25|
|I lay up thy lips.|
|CLEOPATRA||I dare not, dear,–|
|Dear my lord, pardon,–I dare not,|
|Lest I be taken: not the imperious show|
|Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall||30|
|Be brooch’d with me; if knife, drugs,|
|Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:|
|Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes|
|And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour||35|
|Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony,–|
|Help me, my women,–we must draw thee up:|
|Assist, good friends.|
|MARK ANTONY||O, quick, or I am gone.|
|CLEOPATRA||Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!||40|
|Our strength is all gone into heaviness,|
|That makes the weight: had I great Juno’s power,|
|The strong-wing’d Mercury should fetch thee up,|
|And set thee by Jove’s side. Yet come a little,–|
|Wishes were ever fools,–O, come, come, come;||45|
|[They heave MARK ANTONY aloft to CLEOPATRA]|
|And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast lived:
|Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power,|
|Thus would I wear them out.|
|All||A heavy sight!|
|MARK ANTONY||I am dying, Egypt, dying:||50|
|Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.|
|CLEOPATRA||No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,|
|That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,|
|Provoked by my offence.|
|MARK ANTONY||One word, sweet queen:||55|
|Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!|
|CLEOPATRA||They do not go together.|
|MARK ANTONY||Gentle, hear me:|
|None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.|
|CLEOPATRA||My resolution and my hands I’ll trust;||60|
|None about Caesar.|
|MARK ANTONY||The miserable change now at my end|
|Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts|
|In feeding them with those my former fortunes|
|Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o’ the world,||65|
|The noblest; and do now not basely die,|
|Not cowardly put off my helmet to|
|My countryman,–a Roman by a Roman|
|Valiantly vanquish’d. Now my spirit is going;|
|I can no more.||70|
|CLEOPATRA||Noblest of men, woo’t die?|
|Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide|
|In this dull world, which in thy absence is|
|No better than a sty? O, see, my women,|
|[MARK ANTONY dies]|
|The crown o’ the earth doth melt. My lord!||75|
|O, wither’d is the garland of the war,|
|The soldier’s pole is fall’n: young boys and girls|
|Are level now with men; the odds is gone,|
|And there is nothing left remarkable|
|Beneath the visiting moon.||80|
|CHARMIAN||O, quietness, lady!|
|IRAS||She is dead too, our sovereign.|
|CHARMIAN||O madam, madam, madam!||85|
|IRAS||Royal Egypt, Empress!|
|CHARMIAN||Peace, peace, Iras!|
|CLEOPATRA||No more, but e’en a woman, and commanded|
|By such poor passion as the maid that milks|
|And does the meanest chares. It were for me||90|
|To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;|
|To tell them that this world did equal theirs|
|Till they had stol’n our jewel. All’s but naught;|
|Patience is sottish, and impatience does|
|Become a dog that’s mad: then is it sin||95|
|To rush into the secret house of death,|
|Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?|
|What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!|
|My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look,|
|Our lamp is spent, it’s out! Good sirs, take heart:||100|
|We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave,|
|Let’s do it after the high Roman fashion,|
|And make death proud to take us. Come, away:|
|This case of that huge spirit now is cold:||105|
|Ah, women, women! come; we have no friend|
|But resolution, and the briefest end.|
|[Exeunt; those above bearing off MARK ANTONY’s body]|
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 5, Scene 1
Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 15
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
13. Great sphere. The sun would then fall from his place and the earth become dark.
14. Darkling. In the dark.
24. Importunate. Beg him to delay.
27. Dare not. That is, dare not come down from the monument.
29. Imperious. Triumphal entry into Rome.
31. Brooch’d. Adorned as with a brooch or large pin.
35. Still conclusion. Her quietly disdainful way of observing and drawing conclusions.
36. Demuring. Looking demurely. [Not found elsewhere in Shakespeare.]
40. Sport. Said, of course, with pathetic and bitter irony.
41. Heaviness. A play upon the word, both literally and in the figurative sense of “sorrow.”
43. Mercury. The messenger of the gods.
47. Quicken. Revive, make alive.
52. High. Violently.
53. Housewife. Housewife was often used as a term of contempt.
71. Woo’t. Wouldest thou.
76. Garland. He who was the glory of war.
77. Pole. The one about whom they rally. Shakespeare was probably thinking of the pole decked with garlands about which village festivities were held.
78. Odds. The favor of fortune.
79. Remarkable. In Shakespeare’s day this word was stronger than it is now, and meant something singular and impressive.
90. Chares. Drudgery. Compare the modern word “chores.”
76. Injurious. Working injury, malignant.
93. Naught. Worthless, of no use.
94. Sottish. Stupid.
100. Sirs. We find this word applied to women in Beaumont and Fletcher also.
107. Briefest. Quickest.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.