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ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

by William Shakespeare


PERSONS REPRESENTED.

M.ANTONY, Triumvir
OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir
M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS, Triumvir
SEXTUS POMPEIUS Triumvir
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, friend to Antony
VENTIDIUS, friend to Antony
EROS, friend to Antony
SCARUS, friend to Antony
DERCETAS, friend to Antony
DEMETRIUS, friend to Antony
PHILO, friend to Antony
MAECENAS, friend to Caesar
AGRIPPA, friend to Caesar
DOLABELLA, friend to Caesar
PROCULEIUS, friend to Caesar
THYREUS, friend to Caesar
GALLUS, friend to Caesar
MENAS, friend to Pompey
MENECRATES, friend to Pompey
VARRIUS, friend to Pompey
TAURUS, Lieutenant-General to Caesar
CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony
SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius's army
EUPHRONIUS, an Ambassador from Antony to Caesar
ALEXAS, attendant on Cleopatra
MARDIAN, attendant on Cleopatra
SELEUCUS, attendant on Cleopatra
DIOMEDES, attendant on Cleopatra
A SOOTHSAYER
A CLOWN

CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt
OCTAVIA, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony
CHARMIAN, Attendant on Cleopatra
IRAS, Attendant on Cleopatra

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants


SCENE: Dispersed, in several parts of the Roman Empire.


ACT I.

SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.

[Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.]

PHILO.
Nay, but this dotage of our general's
O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust.

[Flourish within.]

Look where they come:
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

[Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning
her.]

CLEOPATRA.
If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

ANTONY.
There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

CLEOPATRA.
I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.

ANTONY.
Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

[Enter an Attendant.]

ATTENDANT.
News, my good lord, from Rome.

ANTONY.
Grates me:--the sum.

CLEOPATRA.
Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you: 'Do this or this;
Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that;
Perform't, or else we damn thee.'

ANTONY.
How, my love!

CLEOPATRA.
Perchance! Nay, and most like:--
You must not stay here longer,--your dismission
Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. --
Where's Fulvia's process?--Caesar's I would say?--Both?--
Call in the messengers.--As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.--The messengers!

ANTONY.
Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
Is to do thus [Embracing]; when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless.

CLEOPATRA.
Excellent falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?--
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.

ANTONY.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.--
Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now:--what sport to-night?

CLEOPATRA.
Hear the ambassadors.

ANTONY.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom everything becomes,--to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself in thee fair and admir'd!
No messenger; but thine, and all alone
To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it:--speak not to us.

[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Train.]

DEMETRIUS.
Is Caesar with Antonius priz'd so slight?

PHILO.
Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.

DEMETRIUS.
I am full sorry
That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!

[Exeunt.]


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