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Antony and Cleopatra: Act I, Scene 2

Antony and Cleopatra
Act I, Scene 2

Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace.

  1. Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius the Soothsayer, Rannius,
  2. Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, and Alexas.

Charmian

1 - 4
  1. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost
  2. most absolute Alexas, where’s the soothsayer that you
  3. prais’d so to th’ Queen? O that I knew this husband, which,
  4. you say, must change his horns with garlands!

Alexas

5
  1. Soothsayer!

Soothsayer

6
  1. Your will?

Charmian

7
  1. Is this the man? Is’t you, sir, that know things?

Soothsayer

8 - 9
  1. In nature’s infinite book of secrecy
  2. A little I can read.

Alexas

10
  1.                      Show him your hand.

Domitius Enobarbus

11 - 12
  1. To Servants within.
  2. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
  3. Cleopatra’s health to drink.

Charmian

13
  1. Good sir, give me good fortune.

Soothsayer

14
  1. I make not, but foresee.

Charmian

15
  1. Pray then, foresee me one.

Soothsayer

16
  1. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Charmian

17
  1. He means in flesh.

Iras

18
  1. No, you shall paint when you are old.

Charmian

19
  1. Wrinkles forbid!

Alexas

20
  1. Vex not his prescience, be attentive.

Charmian

21
  1. Hush!

Soothsayer

22
  1. You shall be more beloving than beloved.

Charmian

23
  1. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.

Alexas

24
  1. Nay, hear him.

Charmian

25 - 29
  1. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three
  2. kings in a forenoon, and widow them all. Let me have a child
  3. at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage. Find me to
  4. marry me with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my
  5. mistress.

Soothsayer

30
  1. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

Charmian

31
  1. O, excellent, I love long life better than figs.

Soothsayer

32 - 33
  1. You have seen and prov’d a fairer former fortune
  2. Than that which is to approach.

Charmian

34 - 35
  1. Then belike my children shall have no names. Prithee, how
  2. many boys and wenches must I have?

Soothsayer

36 - 37
  1. If every of your wishes had a womb,
  2. And fertile every wish, a million.

Charmian

38
  1. Out, fool, I forgive thee for a witch.

Alexas

39
  1. You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

Charmian

40
  1. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

Alexas

41
  1. We’ll know all our fortunes.

Domitius Enobarbus

42 - 43
  1. Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight, shall bedrunk to
  2. bed.

Iras

44
  1. There’s a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Charmian

45
  1. E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

Iras

46
  1. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Charmian

47 - 49
  1. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I
  2. cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee tell her but a worky-day
  3. fortune.

Soothsayer

50
  1. Your fortunes are alike.

Iras

51
  1. But how, but how? Give me particulars.

Soothsayer

52
  1. I have said.

Iras

53
  1. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

Charmian

54 - 55
  1. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I,
  2. where would you choose it?

Iras

56
  1. Not in my husband’s nose.

Charmian

57 - 63
  1. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexascome, his fortune,
  2. his fortune! O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet
  3. Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a
  4. worse! And let worse follow worse, till the worst of all
  5. follow him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good
  6. Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of
  7. more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

Iras

64 - 68
  1. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! For, as
  2. it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wiv’d, so
  3. it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded;
  4. therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him
  5. accordingly!

Charmian

69
  1. Amen.

Alexas

70 - 71
  1. Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they
  2. would make themselves whores but they’ld do’t!
  1. Enter Cleopatra.

Domitius Enobarbus

72
  1. Hush, here comes Antony.

Charmian

73
  1.                          Not he, the Queen.

Cleopatra

74
  1. Saw you my lord?

Domitius Enobarbus

75
  1.                  No, lady.

Cleopatra

76
  1.           Was he not here?

Charmian

77
  1. No, madam.

Cleopatra

78 - 79
  1. He was dispos’d to mirth, but on the sudden
  2. A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!

Domitius Enobarbus

80
  1. Madam?

Cleopatra

81
  1. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where’s Alexas?

Alexas

82
  1. Here, at your service. My lord approaches.
  1. Enter Antony with First Messenger and Attendants.

Cleopatra

83
  1. We will not look upon him. Go with us.
  1. Exeunt Cleopatra, Enobarbus, and Train.

First Messenger

84
  1. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

Mark Antony

85
  1. Against my brother Lucius?

First Messenger

86 - 90
  1. Ay;
  2. But soon that war had end, and the time’s state
  3. Made friends of them, jointing their force ’gainst Caesar,
  4. Whose better issue in the war from Italy,
  5. Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Mark Antony

91
  1.                                       Well, what worst?

First Messenger

92
  1. The nature of bad news infects the teller.

Mark Antony

93 - 96
  1. When it concerns the fool or coward. On:
  2. Things that are past are done with me. ’Tis thus:
  3. Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
  4. I hear him as he flatter’d.

First Messenger

97 - 102
  1.                             Labienus
  2. (This is stiff news) hath with his Parthian force
  3. Extended Asia; from Euphrates
  4. His conquering banner shook, from Syria
  5. To Lydia and to Ionia,
  6. Whilst

Mark Antony

103
  1.         Antony, thou wouldst say

First Messenger

104
  1.                           O, my lord!

Mark Antony

105 - 111
  1. Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue;
  2. Name Cleopatra as she is call’d in Rome.
  3. Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults
  4. With such full license as both truth and malice
  5. Have power to utter. O then we bring forth weeds
  6. When our quick winds lie still, and our ills told us
  7. Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.

First Messenger

112
  1. At your noble pleasure.
  1. Exit First Messenger.

Mark Antony

113
  1. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there!

Antony’s First Attendant

114
  1. The man from Sicyonis there such an one?

Antony’s Second Attendant

115
  1. He stays upon your will.

Mark Antony

116 - 119
  1.                          Let him appear.
  2. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
  3. Or lose myself in dotage.
  4. Enter Second Messenger with a letter.
  5.                           What are you?

Second Messenger

120
  1. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Mark Antony

121
  1.                          Where died she?

Second Messenger

122 - 124
  1. In Sicyon:
  2. Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
  3. Importeth thee to know, this bears.
  1. Gives a letter.

Mark Antony

125 - 134
  1.                                     Forbear me.
  2. Exit Second Messenger.
  3. There’s a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it.
  4. What our contempts doth often hurl from us,
  5. We wish it ours again. The present pleasure,
  6. By revolution low’ring, does become
  7. The opposite of itself. She’s good, being gone;
  8. The hand could pluck her back that shov’d her on.
  9. I must from this enchanting queen break off;
  10. Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
  11. My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus?
  1. Enter Enobarbus.

Domitius Enobarbus

135
  1. What’s your pleasure, sir?

Mark Antony

136
  1. I must with haste from hence.

Domitius Enobarbus

137 - 139
  1. Why then we kill all our women. We see how mortal an
  2. unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death’s
  3. the word.

Mark Antony

140
  1. I must be gone.

Domitius Enobarbus

141 - 147
  1. Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to
  2. cast them away for nothing, though between them and a great
  3. cause, they should be esteem’d nothing. Cleopatra, catching
  4. but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her
  5. die twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do think there is
  6. mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she
  7. hath such a celerity in dying.

Mark Antony

148
  1. She is cunning past man’s thought.

Domitius Enobarbus

149 - 153
  1. Alack, sir, no, her passions are made of nothing but the
  2. finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and
  3. waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests
  4. than almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if
  5. it be, she makes a show’r of rain as well as Jove.

Mark Antony

154
  1. Would I had never seen her!

Domitius Enobarbus

155 - 157
  1. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work,
  2. which not to have been blest withal would have discredited
  3. your travel.

Mark Antony

158
  1. Fulvia is dead.

Domitius Enobarbus

159
  1. Sir?

Mark Antony

160
  1. Fulvia is dead.

Domitius Enobarbus

161
  1. Fulvia?

Mark Antony

162
  1. Dead.

Domitius Enobarbus

163 - 171
  1. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it
  2. pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him,
  3. it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting
  4. therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members
  5. to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then
  6. had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented. This
  7. grief is crown’d with consolation: your old smock brings
  8. forth a new petticoat, and indeed the tears live in an onion
  9. that should water this sorrow.

Mark Antony

172 - 173
  1. The business she hath broached in the state
  2. Cannot endure my absence.

Domitius Enobarbus

174 - 176
  1. And the business you have broach’d here cannot be without
  2. you, especially that of Cleopatra’s, which wholly depends on
  3. your abode.

Mark Antony

177 - 197
  1. No more light answers. Let our officers
  2. Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
  3. The cause of our expedience to the Queen,
  4. And get her leave to part. For not alone
  5. The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
  6. Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
  7. Of many our contriving friends in Rome
  8. Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
  9. Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
  10. The empire of the sea. Our slippery people,
  11. Whose love is never link’d to the deserver
  12. Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
  13. Pompey the Great and all his dignities
  14. Upon his son, who, high in name and power,
  15. Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
  16. For the main soldier; whose quality, going on,
  17. The sides o’ th’ world may danger. Much is breeding,
  18. Which, like the courser’s hair, hath yet but life,
  19. And not a serpent’s poison. Say our pleasure,
  20. To such whose places under us require,
  21. Our quick remove from hence.

Domitius Enobarbus

198
  1. I shall do’t.
  1. Exeunt.
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