Antony and Cleopatra
Act V, Scene 2
Alexandria. Another room in a monument in Cleopatra’s palace.
- Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.
Cleopatra1 - 8
- My desolation does begin to make
- A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar;
- Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave,
- A minister of her will: and it is great
- To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
- Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
- Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
- The beggar’s nurse and Caesar’s.
- Enter Proculeius.
Proculeius9 - 11
- Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
- And bids thee study on what fair demands
- Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.
- What’s thy name?
- My name is Proculeius.
Cleopatra14 - 23
- Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
- I do not greatly care to be deceiv’d,
- That have no use for trusting. If your master
- Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him
- That majesty, to keep decorum, must
- No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
- To give me conquer’d Egypt for my son,
- He gives me so much of mine own as I
- Will kneel to him with thanks.
Proculeius24 - 31
- Be of good cheer;
- Y’ are fall’n into a princely hand, fear nothing.
- Make your full reference freely to my lord,
- Who is so full of grace that it flows over
- On all that need. Let me report to him
- Your sweet dependency, and you shall find
- A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness
- Where he for grace is kneel’d to.
Cleopatra32 - 36
- Pray you tell him
- I am his fortune’s vassal, and I send him
- The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
- A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
- Look him i’ th’ face.
Proculeius37 - 41
- This I’ll report, dear lady.
- Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
- Of him that caus’d it.
- Enter Roman Soldiers behind Cleopatra.
- You see how easily she may be surpris’d.
- Guard her till Caesar come.
- Royal Queen!
- O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, Queen.
- Quick, quick, good hands.
- Drawing a dagger.
Proculeius45 - 47
- Hold, worthy lady, hold!
- Seizes and disarms her.
- Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
- Reliev’d, but not betray’d.
Cleopatra48 - 49
- What, of death too,
- That rids our dogs of languish?
Proculeius50 - 54
- Do not abuse my master’s bounty by
- Th’ undoing of yourself. Let the world see
- His nobleness well acted, which your death
- Will never let come forth.
Cleopatra55 - 57
- Where art thou, death?
- Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
- Worth many babes and beggars!
- O, temperance, lady!
Cleopatra59 - 72
- Sir, I will eat no meat, I’ll not drink, sir;
- If idle talk will once be necessary,
- I’ll not sleep neither. This mortal house I’ll ruin,
- Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
- Will not wait pinion’d at your master’s court,
- Nor once be chastis’d with the sober eye
- Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
- And show me to the shouting varlotry
- Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
- Be gentle grave unto me! Rather on Nilus’ mud
- Lay me stark-nak’d, and let the water-flies
- Blow me into abhorring! Rather make
- My country’s high pyramides my gibbet,
- And hang me up in chains!
Proculeius73 - 75
- You do extend
- These thoughts of horror further than you shall
- Find cause in Caesar.
- Enter Dolabella.
Dolabella76 - 79
- What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
- And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
- I’ll take her to my guard.
Proculeius80 - 83
- So, Dolabella,
- It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.
- To Cleopatra.
- To Caesar I will speak what you shall please,
- If you’ll employ me to him.
- Say, I would die.
- Exit Proculeius with Roman Soldiers.
- Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?
- I cannot tell.
- Assuredly you know me.
Cleopatra88 - 90
- No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
- You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
- Is’t not your trick?
- I understand not, madam.
Cleopatra92 - 94
- I dreamt there was an Emperor Antony.
- O, such another sleep, that I might see
- But such another man!
- If it might please ye—
Cleopatra96 - 98
- His face was as the heav’ns, and therein stuck
- A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
- The little O, th’ earth.
- Most sovereign creature—
Cleopatra100 - 110
- His legs bestrid the ocean, his rear’d arm
- Crested the world, his voice was propertied
- As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
- But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
- He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
- There was no winter in’t; an autumn it was
- That grew the more by reaping. His delights
- Were dolphin-like, they show’d his back above
- The element they liv’d in. In his livery
- Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
- As plates dropp’d from his pocket.
Cleopatra112 - 113
- Think you there was or might be such a man
- As this I dreamt of?
- Gentle madam, no.
Cleopatra115 - 120
- You lie up to the hearing of the gods!
- But if there be, nor ever were one such,
- It’s past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff
- To vie strange forms with fancy; yet t’ imagine
- An Antony were nature’s piece ’gainst fancy,
- Condemning shadows quite.
Dolabella121 - 126
- Hear me, good madam:
- Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
- As answering to the weight. Would I might never
- O’ertake pursu’d success, but I do feel,
- By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
- My very heart at root.
Cleopatra127 - 128
- I thank you, sir.
- Know you what Caesar means to do with me?
- I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
- Nay, pray you, sir.
- Though he be honorable—
- He’ll lead me then in triumph?
- Madam, he will, I know’t.
- Enter Proculeius, Caesar, Gallus, Maecenas, and others of
- his Train, Seleucus following.
All Caesar’s Train134
- Make way there! Caesar!
- Which is the Queen of Egypt?
- It is the Emperor, madam.
- Cleopatra kneels.
Caesar137 - 138
- Arise, you shall not kneel.
- I pray you rise, rise, Egypt.
Cleopatra139 - 141
- Sir, the gods
- Will have it thus, my master and my lord
- I must obey.
Caesar142 - 145
- Take to you no hard thoughts.
- The record of what injuries you did us,
- Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
- As things but done by chance.
Cleopatra146 - 150
- Sole sir o’ th’ world,
- I cannot project mine own cause so well
- To make it clear, but do confess I have
- Been laden with like frailties which before
- Have often sham’d our sex.
Caesar151 - 160
- Cleopatra, know
- We will extenuate rather than enforce.
- If you apply yourself to our intents,
- Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find
- A benefit in this change; but if you seek
- To lay on me a cruelty, by taking
- Antony’s course, you shall bereave yourself
- Of my good purposes, and put your children
- To that destruction which I’ll guard them from
- If thereon you rely. I’ll take my leave.
Cleopatra161 - 163
- And may, through all the world; ’tis yours, and we,
- Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
- Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
- You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleopatra165 - 167
- Giving a scroll.
- This is the brief: of money, plate, and jewels
- I am possess’d of; ’tis exactly valued,
- Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?
- Here, madam.
Cleopatra169 - 171
- This is my treasurer, let him speak, my lord,
- Upon his peril, that I have reserv’d
- To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Seleucus172 - 174
- I had rather seel my lips than to my peril
- Speak that which is not.
- What have I kept back?
- Enough to purchase what you have made known.
Caesar177 - 178
- Nay, blush not, Cleopatra, I approve
- Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleopatra179 - 187
- See, Caesar! O, behold,
- How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours,
- And should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
- The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
- Even make me wild. O slave, of no more trust
- Than love that’s hir’d! What, goest thou back? Thou shalt
- Go back, I warrant thee; but I’ll catch thine eyes
- Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
- O rarely base!
- Good Queen, let us entreat you.
Cleopatra189 - 206
- O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
- That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
- Doing the honor of thy lordliness
- To one so meek, that mine own servant should
- Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
- Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
- That I some lady trifles have reserv’d,
- Immoment toys, things of such dignity
- As we greet modern friends withal, and say
- Some nobler token I have kept apart
- For Livia and Octavia, to induce
- Their mediation, must I be unfolded
- With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
- Beneath the fall I have.
- To Seleucus.
- Prithee go hence,
- Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
- Through th’ ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
- Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
- Forbear, Seleucus.
- Exit Seleucus.
Cleopatra208 - 211
- Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
- For things that others do; and when we fall,
- We answer others’ merits in our name,
- Are therefore to be pitied.
Caesar212 - 222
- Not what you have reserv’d, nor what acknowledg’d,
- Put we i’ th’ roll of conquest. Still be’t yours,
- Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe
- Caesar’s no merchant, to make prize with you
- Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer’d,
- Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear Queen,
- For we intend so to dispose you as
- Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep.
- Our care and pity is so much upon you,
- That we remain your friend, and so adieu.
- My master, and my lord!
- Not so. Adieu.
- Flourish. Exeunt Caesar and his Train.
Cleopatra225 - 226
- He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
- Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian.
- Whispers Charmian.
Iras227 - 228
- Finish, good lady, the bright day is done,
- And we are for the dark.
Cleopatra229 - 231
- Hie thee again.
- I have spoke already, and it is provided;
- Go put it to the haste.
- Madam, I will.
- Enter Dolabella.
- Where’s the Queen?
- Behold, sir.
Dolabella236 - 242
- Madam, as thereto sworn by your command
- (Which my love makes religion to obey),
- I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
- Intends his journey, and within three days
- You with your children will he send before.
- Make your best use of this. I have perform’d
- Your pleasure and my promise.
Cleopatra243 - 244
- I shall remain your debtor.
Dolabella245 - 246
- I your servant.
- Adieu, good Queen, I must attend on Caesar.
Cleopatra247 - 254
- Farewell, and thanks!
- Exit Dolabella.
- Now, Iras, what think’st thou?
- Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shall be shown
- In Rome as well as I. Mechanic slaves
- With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers shall
- Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
- Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
- And forc’d to drink their vapor.
- The gods forbid!
Cleopatra256 - 263
- Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
- Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
- Ballad ’s out a’ tune. The quick comedians
- Extemporally will stage us, and present
- Our Alexandrian revels: Antony
- Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
- Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
- I’ th’ posture of a whore.
- O the good gods!
- Nay, that’s certain.
Iras266 - 267
- I’ll never see’t! For I am sure mine nails
- Are stronger than mine eyes.
Cleopatra268 - 279
- Why, that’s the way
- To fool their preparation, and to conquer
- Their most absurd intents.
- Enter Charmian.
- Now, Charmian!
- Show me, my women, like a queen; go fetch
- My best attires. I am again for Cydnus
- To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah Iras, go.
- Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch indeed,
- And when thou hast done this chore, I’ll give thee leave
- To play till doomsday.
- To Iras.
- Bring our crown and all.
- Exit Iras. A noise within.
- Wherefore’s this noise?
- Enter First Roman Guard.
First Roman Guard280 - 282
- Here is a rural fellow
- That will not be denied your Highness’ presence.
- He brings you figs.
Cleopatra283 - 289
- Let him come in.
- Exit First Roman Guard.
- What poor an instrument
- May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
- My resolution’s plac’d, and I have nothing
- Of woman in me; now from head to foot
- I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
- No planet is of mine.
- Enter First Roman Guard and Clown with a basket.
First Roman Guard290
- This is the man.
Cleopatra291 - 293
- Avoid, and leave him.
- Exit First Roman Guard.
- Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
- That kills and pains not?
Clown294 - 296
- Truly, I have him; but I would not be the party that should
- desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those
- that do die of it do seldom or never recover.
- Remember’st thou any that have died on’t?
Clown298 - 305
- Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no
- longer than yesterday, a very honest woman—but something
- given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of
- honesty—how she died of the biting of it, what pain she
- felt. Truly, she makes a very good report o’ th’ worm; but
- he that will believe all that they say, shall never be sav’d
- by half that they do. But this is most falliable, the worm’s
- an odd worm.
- Get thee hence, farewell.
- I wish you all joy of the worm.
- Setting down his basket.
Clown309 - 310
- You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his
- Ay, ay, farewell.
Clown312 - 314
- Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping
- of wise people; for indeed, there is no goodness in the
- Take thou no care, it shall be heeded.
Clown316 - 317
- Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth
- the feeding.
- Will it eat me?
Clown319 - 323
- You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil
- himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish
- for the gods, if the devil dress her not. But truly, these
- same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women;
- for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.
- Well, get thee gone, farewell.
- Yes, forsooth; I wish you joy o’ th’ worm.
- Enter Iras with a robe, crown, etc.
Cleopatra326 - 344
- Give me my robe, put on my crown, I have
- Immortal longings in me. Now no more
- The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.
- Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear
- Antony call; I see him rouse himself
- To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
- The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
- To excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come!
- Now to that name my courage prove my title!
- I am fire and air; my other elements
- I give to baser life. So, have you done?
- Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
- Farewell, kind Charmian, Iras, long farewell.
- Kisses them.
- Iras falls and dies.
- Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
- If thou and nature can so gently part,
- The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
- Which hurts, and is desir’d. Dost thou lie still?
- If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
- It is not worth leave-taking.
Charmian345 - 346
- Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
- The gods themselves do weep!
Cleopatra347 - 355
- This proves me base.
- If she first meet the curled Antony,
- He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
- Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou mortal wretch,
- To an asp, which she applies to her breast.
- With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
- Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool,
- Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,
- That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
- O eastern star!
Cleopatra357 - 359
- Peace, peace!
- Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
- That sucks the nurse asleep?
- O, break! O, break!
Cleopatra361 - 363
- As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle—
- O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee too:
- Applying another asp to her arm.
- What should I stay—
Charmian364 - 369
- In this vild world? So fare thee well!
- Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
- A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close,
- And golden Phoebus never be beheld
- Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry,
- I’ll mend it, and then play—
- Enter the Roman Guards rustling in.
First Roman Guard370
- Where’s the Queen?
- Speak softly, wake her not.
First Roman Guard372
- Caesar hath sent—
Charmian373 - 374
- Too slow a messenger.
- Applies an asp.
- O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
First Roman Guard375
- Approach ho, all’s not well; Caesar’s beguil’d.
Second Roman Guard376
- There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.
First Roman Guard377
- What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?
Charmian378 - 380
- It is well done, and fitting for a princess
- Descended of so many royal kings.
- Ah, soldier!
- Charmian dies.
- Enter Dolabella.
- How goes it here?
Second Roman Guard382
- All dead.
Dolabella383 - 386
- Caesar, thy thoughts
- Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming
- To see perform’d the dreaded act which thou
- So sought’st to hinder.
- Enter Caesar and all his Train, marching.
All Caesar’s Train387
- A way there, a way for Caesar!
Dolabella388 - 389
- O, sir, you are too sure an augurer;
- That you did fear is done.
Caesar390 - 393
- Bravest at the last,
- She levell’d at our purposes, and being royal
- Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
- I do not see them bleed.
- Who was last with them?
First Roman Guard395 - 396
- A simple countryman, that brought her figs.
- This was his basket.
- Poison’d then.
First Roman Guard398 - 402
- O Caesar,
- This Charmian liv’d but now, she stood and spake.
- I found her trimming up the diadem
- On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
- And on the sudden dropp’d.
Caesar403 - 407
- O noble weakness!
- If they had swallow’d poison, ’twould appear
- By external swelling; but she looks like sleep,
- As she would catch another Antony
- In her strong toil of grace.
Dolabella408 - 410
- Here, on her breast,
- There is a vent of blood, and something blown;
- The like is on her arm.
First Roman Guard411 - 413
- This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves
- Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves
- Upon the caves of Nile.
Caesar414 - 427
- Most probable
- That so she died; for her physician tells me
- She hath pursu’d conclusions infinite
- Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed,
- And bear her women from the monument.
- She shall be buried by her Antony;
- No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
- A pair so famous. High events as these
- Strike those that make them; and their story is
- No less in pity than his glory which
- Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
- In solemn show attend this funeral,
- And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
- High order in this great solemnity.
- Exeunt omnes.