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Antony and Cleopatra: Act V, Scene 2

Antony and Cleopatra
Act V, Scene 2

Alexandria. Another room in a monument in Cleopatra’s palace.

  1. Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.

Cleopatra

1 - 8
  1. My desolation does begin to make
  2. A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar;
  3. Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave,
  4. A minister of her will: and it is great
  5. To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
  6. Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
  7. Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
  8. The beggar’s nurse and Caesar’s.
  1. Enter Proculeius.

Proculeius

9 - 11
  1. Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
  2. And bids thee study on what fair demands
  3. Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.

Cleopatra

12
  1.                                      What’s thy name?

Proculeius

13
  1. My name is Proculeius.

Cleopatra

14 - 23
  1.                        Antony
  2. Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
  3. I do not greatly care to be deceiv’d,
  4. That have no use for trusting. If your master
  5. Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him
  6. That majesty, to keep decorum, must
  7. No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
  8. To give me conquer’d Egypt for my son,
  9. He gives me so much of mine own as I
  10. Will kneel to him with thanks.

Proculeius

24 - 31
  1.                                Be of good cheer;
  2. Y’ are fall’n into a princely hand, fear nothing.
  3. Make your full reference freely to my lord,
  4. Who is so full of grace that it flows over
  5. On all that need. Let me report to him
  6. Your sweet dependency, and you shall find
  7. A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness
  8. Where he for grace is kneel’d to.

Cleopatra

32 - 36
  1.                                   Pray you tell him
  2. I am his fortune’s vassal, and I send him
  3. The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
  4. A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
  5. Look him i’ th’ face.

Proculeius

37 - 41
  1.                       This I’ll report, dear lady.
  2. Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
  3. Of him that caus’d it.
  4. Enter Roman Soldiers behind Cleopatra.
  5. You see how easily she may be surpris’d.
  6. Guard her till Caesar come.

Iras

42
  1. Royal Queen!

Charmian

43
  1. O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, Queen.

Cleopatra

44
  1. Quick, quick, good hands.
  1. Drawing a dagger.

Proculeius

45 - 47
  1.                           Hold, worthy lady, hold!
  2. Seizes and disarms her.
  3. Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
  4. Reliev’d, but not betray’d.

Cleopatra

48 - 49
  1.                             What, of death too,
  2. That rids our dogs of languish?

Proculeius

50 - 54
  1.                                 Cleopatra,
  2. Do not abuse my master’s bounty by
  3. Th’ undoing of yourself. Let the world see
  4. His nobleness well acted, which your death
  5. Will never let come forth.

Cleopatra

55 - 57
  1.                            Where art thou, death?
  2. Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
  3. Worth many babes and beggars!

Proculeius

58
  1.                               O, temperance, lady!

Cleopatra

59 - 72
  1. Sir, I will eat no meat, I’ll not drink, sir;
  2. If idle talk will once be necessary,
  3. I’ll not sleep neither. This mortal house I’ll ruin,
  4. Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
  5. Will not wait pinion’d at your master’s court,
  6. Nor once be chastis’d with the sober eye
  7. Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
  8. And show me to the shouting varlotry
  9. Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
  10. Be gentle grave unto me! Rather on Nilus’ mud
  11. Lay me stark-nak’d, and let the water-flies
  12. Blow me into abhorring! Rather make
  13. My country’s high pyramides my gibbet,
  14. And hang me up in chains!

Proculeius

73 - 75
  1.                           You do extend
  2. These thoughts of horror further than you shall
  3. Find cause in Caesar.
  1. Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella

76 - 79
  1.                       Proculeius,
  2. What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
  3. And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
  4. I’ll take her to my guard.

Proculeius

80 - 83
  1.                            So, Dolabella,
  2. It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.
  3. To Cleopatra.
  4. To Caesar I will speak what you shall please,
  5. If you’ll employ me to him.

Cleopatra

84
  1.                             Say, I would die.
  1. Exit Proculeius with Roman Soldiers.

Dolabella

85
  1. Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?

Cleopatra

86
  1. I cannot tell.

Dolabella

87
  1.                Assuredly you know me.

Cleopatra

88 - 90
  1. No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
  2. You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
  3. Is’t not your trick?

Dolabella

91
  1.                      I understand not, madam.

Cleopatra

92 - 94
  1. I dreamt there was an Emperor Antony.
  2. O, such another sleep, that I might see
  3. But such another man!

Dolabella

95
  1.                       If it might please ye

Cleopatra

96 - 98
  1. His face was as the heav’ns, and therein stuck
  2. A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
  3. The little O, th’ earth.

Dolabella

99
  1.                          Most sovereign creature

Cleopatra

100 - 110
  1. His legs bestrid the ocean, his rear’d arm
  2. Crested the world, his voice was propertied
  3. As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
  4. But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
  5. He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
  6. There was no winter in’t; an autumn it was
  7. That grew the more by reaping. His delights
  8. Were dolphin-like, they show’d his back above
  9. The element they liv’d in. In his livery
  10. Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
  11. As plates dropp’d from his pocket.

Dolabella

111
  1.                                    Cleopatra!

Cleopatra

112 - 113
  1. Think you there was or might be such a man
  2. As this I dreamt of?

Dolabella

114
  1.                      Gentle madam, no.

Cleopatra

115 - 120
  1. You lie up to the hearing of the gods!
  2. But if there be, nor ever were one such,
  3. It’s past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff
  4. To vie strange forms with fancy; yet t’ imagine
  5. An Antony were nature’s piece ’gainst fancy,
  6. Condemning shadows quite.

Dolabella

121 - 126
  1.                           Hear me, good madam:
  2. Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
  3. As answering to the weight. Would I might never
  4. O’ertake pursu’d success, but I do feel,
  5. By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
  6. My very heart at root.

Cleopatra

127 - 128
  1.                        I thank you, sir.
  2. Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

Dolabella

129
  1. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.

Cleopatra

130
  1. Nay, pray you, sir.

Dolabella

131
  1.                     Though he be honorable

Cleopatra

132
  1. He’ll lead me then in triumph?

Dolabella

133
  1. Madam, he will, I know’t.
  1. Flourish.
  1. Enter Proculeius, Caesar, Gallus, Maecenas, and others of
  2. his Train, Seleucus following.

All Caesar’s Train

134
  1. Make way there! Caesar!

Caesar

135
  1. Which is the Queen of Egypt?

Dolabella

136
  1. It is the Emperor, madam.
  1. Cleopatra kneels.

Caesar

137 - 138
  1. Arise, you shall not kneel.
  2. I pray you rise, rise, Egypt.

Cleopatra

139 - 141
  1.                               Sir, the gods
  2. Will have it thus, my master and my lord
  3. I must obey.

Caesar

142 - 145
  1. Take to you no hard thoughts.
  2. The record of what injuries you did us,
  3. Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
  4. As things but done by chance.

Cleopatra

146 - 150
  1.                               Sole sir o’ th’ world,
  2. I cannot project mine own cause so well
  3. To make it clear, but do confess I have
  4. Been laden with like frailties which before
  5. Have often sham’d our sex.

Caesar

151 - 160
  1.                            Cleopatra, know
  2. We will extenuate rather than enforce.
  3. If you apply yourself to our intents,
  4. Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find
  5. A benefit in this change; but if you seek
  6. To lay on me a cruelty, by taking
  7. Antony’s course, you shall bereave yourself
  8. Of my good purposes, and put your children
  9. To that destruction which I’ll guard them from
  10. If thereon you rely. I’ll take my leave.

Cleopatra

161 - 163
  1. And may, through all the world; ’tis yours, and we,
  2. Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
  3. Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.

Caesar

164
  1. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleopatra

165 - 167
  1. Giving a scroll.
  2. This is the brief: of money, plate, and jewels
  3. I am possess’d of; ’tis exactly valued,
  4. Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?

Seleucus

168
  1. Here, madam.

Cleopatra

169 - 171
  1. This is my treasurer, let him speak, my lord,
  2. Upon his peril, that I have reserv’d
  3. To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Seleucus

172 - 174
  1. Madam,
  2. I had rather seel my lips than to my peril
  3. Speak that which is not.

Cleopatra

175
  1.                          What have I kept back?

Seleucus

176
  1. Enough to purchase what you have made known.

Caesar

177 - 178
  1. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra, I approve
  2. Your wisdom in the deed.

Cleopatra

179 - 187
  1.                          See, Caesar! O, behold,
  2. How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours,
  3. And should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
  4. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
  5. Even make me wild. O slave, of no more trust
  6. Than love that’s hir’d! What, goest thou back? Thou shalt
  7. Go back, I warrant thee; but I’ll catch thine eyes
  8. Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
  9. O rarely base!

Caesar

188
  1.                Good Queen, let us entreat you.

Cleopatra

189 - 206
  1. O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
  2. That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
  3. Doing the honor of thy lordliness
  4. To one so meek, that mine own servant should
  5. Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
  6. Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
  7. That I some lady trifles have reserv’d,
  8. Immoment toys, things of such dignity
  9. As we greet modern friends withal, and say
  10. Some nobler token I have kept apart
  11. For Livia and Octavia, to induce
  12. Their mediation, must I be unfolded
  13. With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
  14. Beneath the fall I have.
  15. To Seleucus.
  16.                          Prithee go hence,
  17. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
  18. Through th’ ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
  19. Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

Caesar

207
  1.                                Forbear, Seleucus.
  1. Exit Seleucus.

Cleopatra

208 - 211
  1. Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
  2. For things that others do; and when we fall,
  3. We answer others’ merits in our name,
  4. Are therefore to be pitied.

Caesar

212 - 222
  1.                             Cleopatra,
  2. Not what you have reserv’d, nor what acknowledg’d,
  3. Put we i’ th’ roll of conquest. Still be’t yours,
  4. Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe
  5. Caesar’s no merchant, to make prize with you
  6. Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer’d,
  7. Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear Queen,
  8. For we intend so to dispose you as
  9. Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep.
  10. Our care and pity is so much upon you,
  11. That we remain your friend, and so adieu.

Cleopatra

223
  1. My master, and my lord!

Caesar

224
  1.                         Not so. Adieu.
  1. Flourish. Exeunt Caesar and his Train.

Cleopatra

225 - 226
  1. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
  2. Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian.
  1. Whispers Charmian.

Iras

227 - 228
  1. Finish, good lady, the bright day is done,
  2. And we are for the dark.

Cleopatra

229 - 231
  1.                          Hie thee again.
  2. I have spoke already, and it is provided;
  3. Go put it to the haste.

Charmian

232
  1.                         Madam, I will.
  1. Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella

233
  1. Where’s the Queen?

Charmian

234
  1.                    Behold, sir.
  1. Exit.

Cleopatra

235
  1.              Dolabella!

Dolabella

236 - 242
  1. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command
  2. (Which my love makes religion to obey),
  3. I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
  4. Intends his journey, and within three days
  5. You with your children will he send before.
  6. Make your best use of this. I have perform’d
  7. Your pleasure and my promise.

Cleopatra

243 - 244
  1.                               Dolabella,
  2. I shall remain your debtor.

Dolabella

245 - 246
  1.                             I your servant.
  2. Adieu, good Queen, I must attend on Caesar.

Cleopatra

247 - 254
  1. Farewell, and thanks!
  2. Exit Dolabella.
  3.                       Now, Iras, what think’st thou?
  4. Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shall be shown
  5. In Rome as well as I. Mechanic slaves
  6. With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers shall
  7. Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
  8. Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
  9. And forc’d to drink their vapor.

Iras

255
  1.                                  The gods forbid!

Cleopatra

256 - 263
  1. Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
  2. Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
  3. Ballad ’s out a’ tune. The quick comedians
  4. Extemporally will stage us, and present
  5. Our Alexandrian revels: Antony
  6. Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
  7. Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
  8. I’ th’ posture of a whore.

Iras

264
  1.                            O the good gods!

Cleopatra

265
  1. Nay, that’s certain.

Iras

266 - 267
  1. I’ll never see’t! For I am sure mine nails
  2. Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleopatra

268 - 279
  1.                              Why, that’s the way
  2. To fool their preparation, and to conquer
  3. Their most absurd intents.
  4. Enter Charmian.
  5.                            Now, Charmian!
  6. Show me, my women, like a queen; go fetch
  7. My best attires. I am again for Cydnus
  8. To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah Iras, go.
  9. Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch indeed,
  10. And when thou hast done this chore, I’ll give thee leave
  11. To play till doomsday.
  12. To Iras.
  13.                        Bring our crown and all.
  14. Exit Iras. A noise within.
  15. Wherefore’s this noise?
  1. Enter First Roman Guard.

First Roman Guard

280 - 282
  1.                         Here is a rural fellow
  2. That will not be denied your Highness’ presence.
  3. He brings you figs.

Cleopatra

283 - 289
  1. Let him come in.
  2. Exit First Roman Guard.
  3.                  What poor an instrument
  4. May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
  5. My resolution’s plac’d, and I have nothing
  6. Of woman in me; now from head to foot
  7. I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
  8. No planet is of mine.
  1. Enter First Roman Guard and Clown with a basket.

First Roman Guard

290
  1.                       This is the man.

Cleopatra

291 - 293
  1. Avoid, and leave him.
  2. Exit First Roman Guard.
  3. Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
  4. That kills and pains not?

Clown

294 - 296
  1. Truly, I have him; but I would not be the party that should
  2. desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those
  3. that do die of it do seldom or never recover.

Cleopatra

297
  1. Remember’st thou any that have died on’t?

Clown

298 - 305
  1. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no
  2. longer than yesterday, a very honest womanbut something
  3. given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of
  4. honestyhow she died of the biting of it, what pain she
  5. felt. Truly, she makes a very good report o’ th’ worm; but
  6. he that will believe all that they say, shall never be sav’d
  7. by half that they do. But this is most falliable, the worm’s
  8. an odd worm.

Cleopatra

306
  1. Get thee hence, farewell.

Clown

307
  1. I wish you all joy of the worm.
  1. Setting down his basket.

Cleopatra

308
  1. Farewell.

Clown

309 - 310
  1. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his
  2. kind.

Cleopatra

311
  1. Ay, ay, farewell.

Clown

312 - 314
  1. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping
  2. of wise people; for indeed, there is no goodness in the
  3. worm.

Cleopatra

315
  1. Take thou no care, it shall be heeded.

Clown

316 - 317
  1. Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth
  2. the feeding.

Cleopatra

318
  1. Will it eat me?

Clown

319 - 323
  1. You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil
  2. himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish
  3. for the gods, if the devil dress her not. But truly, these
  4. same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women;
  5. for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.

Cleopatra

324
  1. Well, get thee gone, farewell.

Clown

325
  1. Yes, forsooth; I wish you joy o’ th’ worm.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Iras with a robe, crown, etc.

Cleopatra

326 - 344
  1. Give me my robe, put on my crown, I have
  2. Immortal longings in me. Now no more
  3. The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.
  4. Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear
  5. Antony call; I see him rouse himself
  6. To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
  7. The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
  8. To excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come!
  9. Now to that name my courage prove my title!
  10. I am fire and air; my other elements
  11. I give to baser life. So, have you done?
  12. Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
  13. Farewell, kind Charmian, Iras, long farewell.
  14. Kisses them.
  15. Iras falls and dies.
  16. Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
  17. If thou and nature can so gently part,
  18. The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
  19. Which hurts, and is desir’d. Dost thou lie still?
  20. If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
  21. It is not worth leave-taking.

Charmian

345 - 346
  1. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
  2. The gods themselves do weep!

Cleopatra

347 - 355
  1.                              This proves me base.
  2. If she first meet the curled Antony,
  3. He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
  4. Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou mortal wretch,
  5. To an asp, which she applies to her breast.
  6. With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
  7. Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool,
  8. Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,
  9. That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
  10. Unpolicied!

Charmian

356
  1.             O eastern star!

Cleopatra

357 - 359
  1.                 Peace, peace!
  2. Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
  3. That sucks the nurse asleep?

Charmian

360
  1.                              O, break! O, break!

Cleopatra

361 - 363
  1. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle
  2. O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee too:
  3. Applying another asp to her arm.
  4. What should I stay
  1. Dies.

Charmian

364 - 369
  1. In this vild world? So fare thee well!
  2. Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
  3. A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close,
  4. And golden Phoebus never be beheld
  5. Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry,
  6. I’ll mend it, and then play
  1. Enter the Roman Guards rustling in.

First Roman Guard

370
  1. Where’s the Queen?

Charmian

371
  1.                    Speak softly, wake her not.

First Roman Guard

372
  1. Caesar hath sent

Charmian

373 - 374
  1.                   Too slow a messenger.
  2. Applies an asp.
  3. O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.

First Roman Guard

375
  1. Approach ho, all’s not well; Caesar’s beguil’d.

Second Roman Guard

376
  1. There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.

First Roman Guard

377
  1. What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

Charmian

378 - 380
  1. It is well done, and fitting for a princess
  2. Descended of so many royal kings.
  3. Ah, soldier!
  1. Charmian dies.
  1. Enter Dolabella.

Dolabella

381
  1. How goes it here?

Second Roman Guard

382
  1.                   All dead.

Dolabella

383 - 386
  1.           Caesar, thy thoughts
  2. Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming
  3. To see perform’d the dreaded act which thou
  4. So sought’st to hinder.
  1. Enter Caesar and all his Train, marching.

All Caesar’s Train

387
  1. A way there, a way for Caesar!

Dolabella

388 - 389
  1. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer;
  2. That you did fear is done.

Caesar

390 - 393
  1.                            Bravest at the last,
  2. She levell’d at our purposes, and being royal
  3. Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
  4. I do not see them bleed.

Dolabella

394
  1.                          Who was last with them?

First Roman Guard

395 - 396
  1. A simple countryman, that brought her figs.
  2. This was his basket.

Caesar

397
  1.                      Poison’d then.

First Roman Guard

398 - 402
  1.                O Caesar,
  2. This Charmian liv’d but now, she stood and spake.
  3. I found her trimming up the diadem
  4. On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
  5. And on the sudden dropp’d.

Caesar

403 - 407
  1.                            O noble weakness!
  2. If they had swallow’d poison, ’twould appear
  3. By external swelling; but she looks like sleep,
  4. As she would catch another Antony
  5. In her strong toil of grace.

Dolabella

408 - 410
  1.                              Here, on her breast,
  2. There is a vent of blood, and something blown;
  3. The like is on her arm.

First Roman Guard

411 - 413
  1. This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves
  2. Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves
  3. Upon the caves of Nile.

Caesar

414 - 427
  1.                         Most probable
  2. That so she died; for her physician tells me
  3. She hath pursu’d conclusions infinite
  4. Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed,
  5. And bear her women from the monument.
  6. She shall be buried by her Antony;
  7. No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
  8. A pair so famous. High events as these
  9. Strike those that make them; and their story is
  10. No less in pity than his glory which
  11. Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
  12. In solemn show attend this funeral,
  13. And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
  14. High order in this great solemnity.
  1. Exeunt omnes.
finis
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