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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Antony and Cleopatra Scenes


Scene 13

Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.

(Cleopatra; Enobarbus; Charmian; Iras; Schoolmaster as Ambassador; Antony; First Egyptian Servant; Second Egyptian Servant; Thidias)


Antony challenges Caesar to single combat again. Enobarbus begins to doubt his allegiance to Antony. Thidias comes from Caesar to ask Cleopatra to betray Antony. Antony has Thidias whipped, and resolves to fight again. (236 lines)

Enter Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, and Iras.

CLEO.

What shall we do, Enobarbus?

ENO.

Think, and die.

CLEO.

Is Antony or we in fault for this?

ENO.

Antony only, that would make his will

Lord of his reason. What though you fled

From that great face of war, whose several ranges

Frighted each other? Why should he follow?

The itch of his affection should not then

Have nick’d his captainship, at such a point,

When half to half the world oppos’d, he being

The mered question. ’Twas a shame no less

Than was his loss, to course your flying flags,

And leave his navy gazing.

CLEO.

Prithee peace.

Enter the Ambassador with Antony.

ANT.

Is that his answer?

AMB.

Ay, my lord.

ANT.

The Queen shall then have courtesy, so she

Will yield us up.

AMB.

He says so.

ANT.

Let her know’t.

To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,

And he will fill thy wishes to the brim

With principalities.

CLEO.

That head, my lord?

ANT.

To him again, tell him he wears the rose

Of youth upon him; from which the world should note

Something particular. His coin, ships, legions,

May be a coward’s, whose ministers would prevail

Under the service of a child as soon

As i’ th’ command of Caesar. I dare him therefore

To lay his gay comparisons apart,

And answer me declin’d, sword against sword,

Ourselves alone. I’ll write it. Follow me.

Exeunt Antony and Ambassador.

ENO.

Aside.

Yes, like enough! High-battled Caesar will

Unstate his happiness, and be stag’d to th’ show

Against a sworder! I see men’s judgments are

A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward

Do draw the inward quality after them,

To suffer all alike. That he should dream,

Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will

Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdu’d

His judgment too.

Enter First Egyptian Servant.

1. EGYPT. SERV.

A messenger from Caesar.

CLEO.

What, no more ceremony? See, my women,

Against the blown rose may they stop their nose

That kneel’d unto the buds. Admit him, sir.

Exit First Egyptian Servant.

ENO.

Aside.

Mine honesty and I begin to square.

The loyalty well held to fools does make

Our faith mere folly; yet he that can endure

To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord

Does conquer him that did his master conquer,

And earns a place i’ th’ story.

Enter Thidias.

CLEO.

Caesar’s will?

THID.

Hear it apart.

CLEO.

None but friends: say boldly.

THID.

So haply are they friends to Antony.

ENO.

He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has,

Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master

Will leap to be his friend; for us, you know

Whose he is we are, and that is Caesar’s.

THID.

So.

Thus then, thou most renown’d: Caesar entreats

Not to consider in what case thou stand’st

Further than he is Caesar.

CLEO.

Go on: right royal.

THID.

He knows that you embrace not Antony

As you did love, but as you fear’d him.

CLEO.

O!

THID.

The scars upon your honor, therefore, he

Does pity, as constrained blemishes,

Not as deserved.

CLEO.

He is a god and knows

What is most right. Mine honor was not yielded,

But conquer’d merely.

ENO.

Aside.

To be sure of that,

I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky

That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for

Thy dearest quit thee.

Exit Enobarbus.

THID.

Shall I say to Caesar

What you require of him? For he partly begs

To be desir’d to give. It much would please him,

That of his fortunes you should make a staff

To lean upon; but it would warm his spirits

To hear from me you had left Antony,

And put yourself under his shroud,

The universal landlord.

CLEO.

What’s your name?

THID.

My name is Thidias.

CLEO.

Most kind messenger,

Say to great Caesar this in deputation:

I kiss his conqu’ring hand. Tell him, I am prompt

To lay my crown at ’s feet, and there to kneel.

Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear

The doom of Egypt.

THID.

’Tis your noblest course.

Wisdom and fortune combating together,

If that the former dare but what it can,

No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay

My duty on your hand.

CLEO.

Your Caesar’s father oft

(When he hath mus’d of taking kingdoms in)

Bestow’d his lips on that unworthy place,

As it rain’d kisses.

Enter Antony and Enobarbus.

ANT.

Favors? By Jove that thunders!

What art thou, fellow?

THID.

One that but performs

The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest

To have command obey’d.

ENO.

Aside.

You will be whipt.

ANT.

Calling for Servants.

Approach there!—Ah, you kite!—Now gods and devils!

Authority melts from me. Of late, when I cried “Ho!”

Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth

And cry, “Your will?”—Have you no ears?—I am

Antony yet.

Enter First Egyptian Servant, others following.

Take hence this Jack and whip him.

ENO.

Aside.

’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelp

Than with an old one dying.

ANT.

Moon and stars!

Whip him. Were’t twenty of the greatest tributaries

That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them

So saucy with the hand of she here—what’s her name,

Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows,

Till like a boy you see him cringe his face,

And whine aloud for mercy. Take him hence.

THID.

Mark Antony—

ANT.

Tug him away. Being whipt,

Bring him again; the Jack of Caesar’s shall

Bear us an arrant to him.

Exeunt Egyptian Servants with Thidias.

You were half blasted ere I knew you; ha?

Have I my pillow left unpress’d in Rome,

Forborne the getting of a lawful race,

And by a gem of women, to be abus’d

By one that looks on feeders?

CLEO.

Good my lord—

ANT.

You have been a boggler ever,

But when we in our viciousness grow hard

(O misery on’t!), the wise gods seel our eyes,

In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us

Adore our errors, laugh at ’s while we strut

To our confusion.

CLEO.

O, is’t come to this?

ANT.

I found you as a morsel, cold upon

Dead Caesar’s trencher; nay, you were a fragment

Of Cneius Pompey’s—besides what hotter hours,

Unregist’red in vulgar fame, you have

Luxuriously pick’d out; for I am sure,

Though you can guess what temperance should be,

You know not what it is.

CLEO.

Wherefore is this?

ANT.

To let a fellow that will take rewards

And say “God quit you!” be familiar with

My playfellow, your hand, this kingly seal

And plighter of high hearts! O that I were

Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar

The horned herd! For I have savage cause,

And to proclaim it civilly were like

A halter’d neck which does the hangman thank

For being yare about him.

Enter First Egyptian Servant with Thidias.

Is he whipt?

1. EGYPT. SERV.

Soundly, my lord.

ANT.

Cried he? And begg’d ’a pardon?

1. EGYPT. SERV.

He did ask favor.

ANT.

If that thy father live, let him repent

Thou wast not made his daughter, and be thou sorry

To follow Caesar in his triumph, since

Thou hast been whipt for following him. Henceforth

The white hand of a lady fever thee,

Shake thou to look on’t. Get thee back to Caesar,

Tell him thy entertainment. Look thou say

He makes me angry with him; for he seems

Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am,

Not what he knew I was. He makes me angry,

And at this time most easy ’tis to do’t:

When my good stars, that were my former guides,

Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires

Into th’ abysm of hell. If he mislike

My speech and what is done, tell him he has

Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom

He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,

As he shall like, to quit me. Urge it thou:

Hence with thy stripes, be gone!

Exit Thidias.

CLEO.

Have you done yet?

ANT.

Alack, our terrene moon

Is now eclips’d, and it portends alone

The fall of Antony!

CLEO.

I must stay his time.

ANT.

To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes

With one that ties his points?

CLEO.

Not know me yet?

ANT.

Cold-hearted toward me?

CLEO.

Ah, dear, if I be so,

From my cold heart let heaven engender hail,

And poison it in the source, and the first stone

Drop in my neck; as it determines, so

Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite,

Till by degrees the memory of my womb,

Together with my brave Egyptians all,

By the discandying of this pelleted storm,

Lie graveless, till the flies and gnats of Nile

Have buried them for prey!

ANT.

I am satisfied.

Caesar sets down in Alexandria, where

I will oppose his fate. Our force by land

Hath nobly held; our sever’d navy too

Have knit again, and fleet, threat’ning most sea-like.

Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady?

If from the field I shall return once more

To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood;

I and my sword will earn our chronicle.

There’s hope in’t yet.

CLEO.

That’s my brave lord!

ANT.

I will be treble-sinew’d, hearted, breath’d,

And fight maliciously; for when mine hours

Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives

Of me for jests; but now I’ll set my teeth,

And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,

Let’s have one other gaudy night. Call to me

All my sad captains, fill our bowls once more;

Let’s mock the midnight bell.

CLEO.

It is my birthday,

I had thought t’ have held it poor; but since my lord

Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.

ANT.

We will yet do well.

CLEO.

Call all his noble captains to my lord.

ANT.

Do so, we’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force

The wine peep through their scars. Come on, my queen,

There’s sap in’t yet. The next time I do fight,

I’ll make death love me; for I will contend

Even with his pestilent scythe.

Exeunt all but Enobarbus.

ENO.

Now he’ll outstare the lightning: to be furious

Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood

The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still

A diminution in our captain’s brain

Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason,

It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek

Some way to leave him.

Exit.

 

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Left Edge Theatre