Antony and Cleopatra
Act 1, Scene 2
Alexandria. Another room in Cleopatra’s palace.
- Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius the Soothsayer, Rannius,
- Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, and Alexas.
Charmian3 - 6
- Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost
- most absolute Alexas, where’s the soothsayer that you
- prais’d so to th’ Queen? O that I knew this husband, which,
- you say, must change his horns with garlands!
- Your will?
- Is this the man? Is’t you, sir, that know things?
Soothsayer10 - 11
- In nature’s infinite book of secrecy
- A little I can read.
- Show him your hand.
Domitius Enobarbus13 - 15
- To Servants within.
- Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
- Cleopatra’s health to drink.
- Good sir, give me good fortune.
- I make not, but foresee.
- Pray then, foresee me one.
- You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
- He means in flesh.
- No, you shall paint when you are old.
- Wrinkles forbid!
- Vex not his prescience, be attentive.
- You shall be more beloving than beloved.
- I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
- Nay, hear him.
Charmian28 - 32
- Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three
- kings in a forenoon, and widow them all. Let me have a child
- at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage. Find me to
- marry me with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my
- You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
- O, excellent, I love long life better than figs.
Soothsayer35 - 36
- You have seen and prov’d a fairer former fortune
- Than that which is to approach.
Charmian37 - 38
- Then belike my children shall have no names. Prithee, how
- many boys and wenches must I have?
Soothsayer39 - 40
- If every of your wishes had a womb,
- And fertile every wish, a million.
- Out, fool, I forgive thee for a witch.
- You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
- Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
- We’ll know all our fortunes.
Domitius Enobarbus45 - 46
- Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight, shall be—drunk to
- There’s a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
- E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
- Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Charmian50 - 52
- Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I
- cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee tell her but a worky-day
- Your fortunes are alike.
- But how, but how? Give me particulars.
- I have said.
- Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
Charmian57 - 58
- Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I,
- where would you choose it?
- Not in my husband’s nose.
Charmian60 - 66
- Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas—come, his fortune,
- his fortune! O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet
- Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a
- worse! And let worse follow worse, till the worst of all
- follow him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good
- Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of
- more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
Iras67 - 71
- Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! For, as
- it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wiv’d, so
- it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded;
- therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him
Alexas73 - 74
- Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they
- would make themselves whores but they’ld do’t!
- Enter Cleopatra.
- Hush, here comes Antony.
- Not he, the Queen.
- Saw you my lord?
- No, lady.
- Was he not here?
- No, madam.
Cleopatra82 - 83
- He was dispos’d to mirth, but on the sudden
- A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!
- Seek him, and bring him hither. Where’s Alexas?
- Here, at your service. My lord approaches.
- Enter Antony with First Messenger and Attendants.
- We will not look upon him. Go with us.
- Exeunt Cleopatra, Enobarbus, and Train.
- Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
- Against my brother Lucius?
First Messenger92 - 96
- But soon that war had end, and the time’s state
- Made friends of them, jointing their force ’gainst Caesar,
- Whose better issue in the war from Italy,
- Upon the first encounter, drave them.
- Well, what worst?
- The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Mark Antony99 - 102
- When it concerns the fool or coward. On:
- Things that are past are done with me. ’Tis thus:
- Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
- I hear him as he flatter’d.
First Messenger103 - 108
- (This is stiff news) hath with his Parthian force
- Extended Asia; from Euphrates
- His conquering banner shook, from Syria
- To Lydia and to Ionia,
- Antony, thou wouldst say—
- O, my lord!
Mark Antony111 - 117
- Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue;
- Name Cleopatra as she is call’d in Rome.
- Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults
- With such full license as both truth and malice
- Have power to utter. O then we bring forth weeds
- When our quick winds lie still, and our ills told us
- Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.
- At your noble pleasure.
- Exit First Messenger.
- From Sicyon how the news? Speak there!
Antony’s First Attendant121
- The man from Sicyon—is there such an one?
Antony’s Second Attendant122
- He stays upon your will.
Mark Antony123 - 127
- Let him appear.
- These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
- Or lose myself in dotage.
- Enter Second Messenger with a letter.
- What are you?
- Fulvia thy wife is dead.
- Where died she?
Second Messenger130 - 132
- In Sicyon:
- Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
- Importeth thee to know, this bears.
- Gives a letter.
Mark Antony134 - 144
- Forbear me.
- Exit Second Messenger.
- There’s a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it.
- What our contempts doth often hurl from us,
- We wish it ours again. The present pleasure,
- By revolution low’ring, does become
- The opposite of itself. She’s good, being gone;
- The hand could pluck her back that shov’d her on.
- I must from this enchanting queen break off;
- Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
- My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus?
- Enter Enobarbus.
- What’s your pleasure, sir?
- I must with haste from hence.
Domitius Enobarbus148 - 150
- Why then we kill all our women. We see how mortal an
- unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death’s
- the word.
- I must be gone.
Domitius Enobarbus152 - 158
- Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to
- cast them away for nothing, though between them and a great
- cause, they should be esteem’d nothing. Cleopatra, catching
- but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her
- die twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do think there is
- mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she
- hath such a celerity in dying.
- She is cunning past man’s thought.
Domitius Enobarbus160 - 164
- Alack, sir, no, her passions are made of nothing but the
- finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and
- waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests
- than almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if
- it be, she makes a show’r of rain as well as Jove.
- Would I had never seen her!
Domitius Enobarbus166 - 168
- O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work,
- which not to have been blest withal would have discredited
- your travel.
- Fulvia is dead.
- Fulvia is dead.
Domitius Enobarbus174 - 182
- Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it
- pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him,
- it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting
- therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members
- to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then
- had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented. This
- grief is crown’d with consolation: your old smock brings
- forth a new petticoat, and indeed the tears live in an onion
- that should water this sorrow.
Mark Antony183 - 184
- The business she hath broached in the state
- Cannot endure my absence.
Domitius Enobarbus185 - 187
- And the business you have broach’d here cannot be without
- you, especially that of Cleopatra’s, which wholly depends on
- your abode.
Mark Antony188 - 208
- No more light answers. Let our officers
- Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
- The cause of our expedience to the Queen,
- And get her leave to part. For not alone
- The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
- Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
- Of many our contriving friends in Rome
- Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
- Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
- The empire of the sea. Our slippery people,
- Whose love is never link’d to the deserver
- Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
- Pompey the Great and all his dignities
- Upon his son, who, high in name and power,
- Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
- For the main soldier; whose quality, going on,
- The sides o’ th’ world may danger. Much is breeding,
- Which, like the courser’s hair, hath yet but life,
- And not a serpent’s poison. Say our pleasure,
- To such whose places under us require,
- Our quick remove from hence.
- I shall do’t.