Antony and Cleopatra


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Flourish. Enter Pompey and Menas at one door,

with drum and trumpet; at another, Caesar, Lepidus,

Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, Agrippa, with soldiers

marching


POMPEY

Your hostages I have; so have you mine;

And we shall talk before we fight.
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count


CAESAR

                         Most meet

That first we come to words; and therefore have we

Our written purposes before us sent;
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Which if thou hast considered, let us know

If 'twill tie up thy discontented sword

And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
tall (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, bold

That else must perish here.


POMPEY

                         To you all three,

The senators alone of this great world,

Chief factors for the gods: I do not know
factor (n.) agent, representative, broker

Wherefore my father should revengers want,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar,

Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
ghost (v.) haunt, appear as a ghost

There saw you labouring for him. What was't

That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what

Made the all-honoured, honest, Roman Brutus,

With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
courtier (n.) courter, wooer, pursuer

To drench the Capitol, but that they would

Have one man but a man? And that is it

Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden
rig (v.) fit out, equip, prepare

The angered ocean foams; with which I meant

To scourge th' ingratitude that despiteful Rome
despiteful (adj.) cruel, spiteful, malicious

Cast on my noble father.
time (n.) 8 right moment, favourable opportunity


CAESAR

                         Take your time.


ANTONY

Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails.
fear (v.) 1 frighten, scare, terrify, daunt
sail (n.) 1 ship, vessel

We'll speak with thee at sea. At land thou know'st
speak (v.) 7 encounter, fight, exchange blows

How much we do o'ercount thee.
overcount (v.) outnumber, exceed in number


POMPEY

                         At land indeed,

Thou dost o'ercount me of my father's house;

But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,

Remain in't as thou mayst.


LEPIDUS

                         Be pleased to tell us –

For this is from the present – how you take
present, from the beside the present point

The offers we have sent you.


CAESAR

                         There's the point.


ANTONY

Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
weigh (v.) 2 consider, take into account

What it is worth embraced.


CAESAR

                         And what may follow,

To try a larger fortune.
try (v.) 6 try for, aim at, aspire to


POMPEY

                         You have made me offer

Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must

Rid all the sea of pirates; then, to send

Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon,

To part with unhacked edges and bear back
edge (n.) 6 sword, weapon
unhacked (adj.) unused, with no gashes

Our targes undinted.
targe (n.) shield See Topics: Weapons
undinted (adj.) unmarked by blows, without dents


ALL THE TRIUMVIRS

                         That's our offer.


POMPEY

                                                         Know, then,

I came before you here a man prepared

To take this offer. But Mark Antony

Put me to some impatience. Though I lose

The praise of it by telling, you must know,
praise (n.) 2 credit, honour, prestige

When Caesar and your brother were at blows,

Your mother came to Sicily and did find

Her welcome friendly.


ANTONY

                         I have heard it, Pompey,

And am well studied for a liberal thanks,
studied (adj.) 2 prepared, equipped, fitted

Which I do owe you.


POMPEY

                         Let me have your hand.

I did not think, sir, to have met you here.


ANTONY

The beds i'th' East are soft; and thanks to you,

That called me timelier than my purpose hither;
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count
timely (adv.) 2 early, prematurely

For I have gained by't.


CAESAR

(to Pompey)

                         Since I saw you last

There is a change upon you.


POMPEY

                         Well, I know not

What counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face,
cast (v.) 1 calculate, reckon, estimate
count (n.) 1 account, reckoning

But in my bosom shall she never come

To make my heart her vassal.
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject


LEPIDUS

                         Well met here.


POMPEY

I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.

I crave our composition may be written,
composition (n.) 3 settlement, truce, coming to terms
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

And sealed between us.


CAESAR

                         That's the next to do.


POMPEY

We'll feast each other ere we part, and let's

Draw lots who shall begin.


ANTONY

                         That will I, Pompey.


POMPEY

No, Antony, take the lot.
lot (n.) result of casting lots

But, first or last, your fine Egyptian cookery

Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar

Grew fat with feasting there.


ANTONY

                         You have heard much.


POMPEY

I have fair meanings, sir.


ANTONY

                         And fair words to them.


POMPEY

Then so much have I heard.

And I have heard Apollodorus carried –


ENOBARBUS

No more of that: he did so.


POMPEY

                         What, I pray you?


ENOBARBUS

A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.


POMPEY

I know thee now. How far'st thou, soldier?


ENOBARBUS

                         Well;

And well am like to do, for I perceive

Four feasts are toward.
toward (adv.) impending, forthcoming, in preparation


POMPEY

                         Let me shake thy hand;

I never hated thee; I have seen thee fight

When I have envied thy behaviour.


ENOBARBUS

                         Sir,

I never loved you much; but I ha' praised ye

When you have well deserved ten times as much

As I have said you did.
enjoy (v.) 2 indulge, give rein to, continue to practise
plainness (n.) plain-speaking, openness, frankness


POMPEY

                         Enjoy thy plainness;

It nothing ill becomes thee.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

Aboard my galley I invite you all.

Will you lead, lords?


ALL

                         Show's the way, sir.


POMPEY

                                                         Come.

Exeunt all but Enobarbus and Menas


MENAS

(aside)

Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have

made this treaty. – You and I have known, sir.
know (v.) 3 be acquainted, meet before


ENOBARBUS

At sea, I think.


MENAS

We have, sir.


ENOBARBUS

You have done well by water.


MENAS

And you by land.


ENOBARBUS

I will praise any man that will praise me;

though it cannot be denied what I have done by land.


MENAS

Nor what I have done by water.


ENOBARBUS

Yes, something you can deny for your own

safety: you have been a great thief by sea.


MENAS

And you by land.


ENOBARBUS

There I deny my land service. But give me
land-service (n.) military service done on land

your hand, Menas. If our eyes had authority, here they
authority (n.) 1 right to command, position of power

might take two thieves kissing.
kiss (v.) fraternize, associate, consort


MENAS

All men's faces are true, whatsome'er their hands
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding

are.


ENOBARBUS

But there is never a fair woman has a true
true (adj.) 5 reliable, trustworthy, dependable

face.


MENAS

No slander; they steal hearts.


ENOBARBUS

We came hither to fight with you.


MENAS

For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a drinking.

Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.


ENOBARBUS

If he do, sure he cannot weep't back again.


MENAS

Y'have said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony

here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?


ENOBARBUS

Caesar's sister is called Octavia.


MENAS

True, sir; she was the wife of Caius Marcellus.


ENOBARBUS

But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.


MENAS

Pray ye, sir?


ENOBARBUS

'Tis true.


MENAS

Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.


ENOBARBUS

If I were bound to divine of this unity, I
bound (adj.) 2 obliged, required, forced
divine (v.) 2 make guesses [about], predict the outcome

would not prophesy so.


MENAS

I think the policy of that purpose made more in
make (v.) 12 matter, count, signify
policy (n.) 1 statecraft, statesmanship, diplomacy
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

the marriage than the love of the parties.


ENOBARBUS

I think so too. But you shall find the band

that seems to tie their friendship together will be the

very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy, cold,

and still conversation.
conversation (n.) 1 way of life, behaviour, manners, conduct
still (adj.) 2 quiet, calm, subdued


MENAS

Who would not have his wife so?


ENOBARBUS

Not he that himself is not so; which is Mark

Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again. Then shall

the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in Caesar, and, as

I said before, that which is the strength of their amity

shall prove the immediate author of their variance.
variance (n.) falling out, disagreement, discord

Antony will use his affection where it is. He married but
affection (n.) 3 desire, passion, lustful feeling
use (v.) 7 satisfy, fulfil, engage in

his occasion here.
occasion (n.) 5 political opportunity, expedient circumstance


MENAS

And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard?

I have a health for you.
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink


ENOBARBUS

I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats
use (v.) 3 make use of, engage [in], practise [with]

in Egypt.


MENAS

Come, let's away.

Exeunt

 
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