Alexandria. Before Cleopatra’s palace.
(Antony; Cleopatra; Charmian; Scarus; Soldiers; Captain of Antony’s Army)
Cleopatra clumsily helps Antony put on his armor. He leaves to battle, and Cleopatra thinks of how things could have turned out differently. (48 lines)
Enter Antony and Cleopatra, Charmian, with others.
Eros, mine armor, Eros!
Sleep a little.
No, my chuck. Eros, come, mine armor, Eros!
Enter Eros with armor.
Come, good fellow, put thine iron on.
If Fortune be not ours today, it is
Because we brave her. Come.
Nay, I’ll help too.
What’s this for?
Ah, let be, let be! Thou art
The armorer of my heart. False, false; this, this.
Sooth law, I’ll help. Thus it must be.
We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?
Go, put on thy defenses.
Is not this buckled well?
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
More tight at this than thou; dispatch. O love,
That thou couldst see my wars today, and knew’st
The royal occupation, thou shouldst see
A workman in’t.
Enter an armed Scarus.
Good morrow to thee, welcome.
Thou look’st like him that knows a warlike charge.
To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.
A thousand, sir,
Early though’t be, have on their riveted trim,
And at the port expect you.
Shout. Trumpets flourish.
Enter Captain of Antony’s Army, Captains and Soldiers.
The morn is fair. Good morrow, general.
Good morrow, general.
’Tis well blown, lads.
This morning, like the spirit of a youth
That means to be of note, begins betimes.
So, so; come give me that: this way—well said.
Fare thee well, dame, what e’er becomes of me.
This is a soldier’s kiss; rebukable
And worthy shameful check it were, to stand
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 Antony, Eros, Scarus, Captains, and Soldiers.
Please you retire to your chamber?
He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might
Determine this great war in single fight!
Then, Antony—but now—Well, on.