Alexandria. Another room in a monument in Cleopatra’s palace.
(Cleopatra; Maids; Charmian; Iras; Diomedes; Antony’s First Guardsman; Antony’s Second Guardsman; Antony’s Third Guardsman)
Antony and Cleopatra exchange their last words together. He is lifted up to her in the monument and gives her some final advice. On his dying, she faints, but revives and decides to follow him. (105 lines)
Enter Cleopatra and her maids aloft, with Charmian and Iras.
O Charmian, I will never go from hence.
Be comforted, dear madam.
No, I will not.
All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion’d to our cause, must be as great
As that which makes it.
Enter Diomed below.
How now? Is he dead?
His death’s upon him, but not dead.
Look out o’ th’ other side your monument,
His guard have brought him thither.
Enter below Antony, and the Guard bearing him.
Burn the great sphere thou mov’st in! Darkling stand
The varying shore o’ th’ world! O Antony,
Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help;
Help, friends below, let’s draw him hither.
Not Caesar’s valor hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.
So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony, but woe ’tis so!
I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here importune death awhile, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.
I dare not, dear—
Dear my lord, pardon—I dare not,
Lest I be taken. Not th’ imperious show
Of the full-fortun’d Caesar ever shall
Be brooch’d with me, if knife, drugs, serpents have
Edge, sting, or operation. I am safe:
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion, shall acquire no honor
Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony—
Help me, my women—we must draw thee up.
Assist, good friends.
O, quick, or I am gone.
Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
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—
Wishers were ever fools—O, come, come, come,
They heave Antony aloft to Cleopatra.
And welcome, welcome! Die when thou hast liv’d,
Quicken with kissing. Had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.
A heavy sight!
I am dying, Egypt, dying.
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
No, let me speak, and let me rail so high,
That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
Provok’d by my offense.
One word, sweet queen:
Of Caesar seek your honor, with your safety. O!
They do not go together.
Gentle, hear me:
None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.
My resolution and my hands I’ll trust,
None about Caesar.
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 liv’d, the greatest prince o’ th’ world,
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.
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:
The crown o’ th’ earth doth melt. My lord!
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.
O, quietness, lady!
She’s dead too, our sovereign.
O madam, madam, madam!
Peace, peace, Iras!
No more but e’en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chores. It were for me
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
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,
We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave, what’s noble,
Let’s do’t after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us. Come, away,
This case of that huge spirit now is cold.
Ah, women, women! Come, we have no friend
But resolution and the briefest end.
Exeunt, those above bearing off Antony’s body.