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Antony and Cleopatra Scenes

Scene 12

Egypt. Octavius Caesar’s camp.

(Caesar; Agrippa; Thidias; Dolabella; Schoolmaster)

Antony’s schoolmaster bears a humble offer of peace to Caesar, but Caesar wants him driven out of Egypt. (43 lines)

Enter Caesar, Agrippa, Thidias, and Dolabella, with others.


Let him appear that’s come from Antony.

Know you him?


Caesar, ’tis his schoolmaster,

An argument that he is pluck’d, when hither

He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,

Which had superfluous kings for messengers

Not many moons gone by.

Enter Schoolmaster as Ambassador from Antony.


Approach and speak.


Such as I am, I come from Antony.

I was of late as petty to his ends

As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf

To his grand sea.


Be’t so, declare thine office.


Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and

Requires to live in Egypt, which not granted,

He lessons his requests, and to thee sues

To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,

A private man in Athens: this for him.

Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,

Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves

The circle of the Ptolomies for her heirs,

Now hazarded to thy grace.


For Antony,

I have no ears to his request. The Queen

Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she

From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend,

Or take his life there. This if she perform,

She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.


Fortune pursue thee!


Bring him through the bands.

Exit Ambassador.

To Thidias.

To try thy eloquence, now ’tis time; dispatch.

From Antony win Cleopatra, promise,

And in our name, what she requires; add more,

From thine invention, offers. Women are not

In their best fortunes strong, but want will perjure

The ne’er-touch’d vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias,

Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we

Will answer as a law.


Caesar, I go.


Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,

And what thou think’st his very action speaks

In every power that moves.


Caesar, I shall.



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