Antony and Cleopatra


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Music plays. Enter two or three Servants, with a banquet


FIRST SERVANT

Here they'll be, man. Some o' their

plants are ill-rooted already; the least wind i'th' world
ill-rooted (adj.) unstable, unsteady, likely to fall down
plant (n.) foot, sole of the foot

will blow them down.


SECOND SERVANT

Lepidus is high-coloured.
high-coloured (adj.) flushed, red-faced


FIRST SERVANT

They have made him drink alms drink.
alms-drink, alms drink (n.) dregs of drink given away in charity; or: drink taken in charity [to foster reconciliation]


SECOND SERVANT

As they pinch one another by the
pinch (v.) 3 harass, irritate, annoy

disposition, he cries out ‘ No more;’ reconciles them
disposition (n.) 1 composure, state of mind, temperament

to his entreaty, and himself to th' drink.


FIRST SERVANT

But it raises the greater war between

him and his discretion.


SECOND SERVANT

Why, this it is to have a name in great

men's fellowship. I had as lief have a reed that will do

me no service as a partisan I could not heave.
heave (v.) 1 raise, lift up
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count
partisan (n.) weapon with a long handle and a broad head, sometimes with a projection at the side See Topics: Weapons


FIRST SERVANT

To be called into a huge sphere, and
sphere (n.) 1 celestial globe in which a heavenly body was thought to move, orbit See Topics: Cosmos

not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes

should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.
disaster (v.) [astrology] ruin, strike with calamity, bring misfortune on

A sennet sounded. Enter Caesar, Antony, Pompey,

Lepidus, Agrippa, Maecenas, Enobarbus, Menas, with

other captains, and a Boy


ANTONY

(to Lepidus)

Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o'th' Nile
take (v.) 16 measure, estimate, gauge

By certain scales i'th' pyramid. They know
scale (n.) 2 measuring mark, graduated line, calibration

By th' height, the lowness, or the mean if dearth
dearth (n.) 1 scarcity, shortage, lack [of food], famine

Or foison follow. The higher Nilus swells,
foison, foizon (n.) 1 [pron: 'foyzn] abundance, plenty, profusion

The more it promises; as it ebbs, the seedsman

Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,

And shortly comes to harvest.


LEPIDUS

Y'have strange serpents there.


ANTONY

Ay, Lepidus.


LEPIDUS

Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud

by the operation of your sun; so is your crocodile.


ANTONY

They are so.


POMPEY

Sit – and some wine! A health to Lepidus!


LEPIDUS

I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er

out.


ENOBARBUS

Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be

in till then.
in (prep.) 3 in an inebriated state, drunk


LEPIDUS

Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies'

pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine
pyramis (n.) pyramid

I have heard that.


MENAS

(aside to Pompey)

Pompey, a word.


POMPEY

(aside to Menas)

                         Say in mine ear; what is't?


MENAS

(aside to Pompey)

Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,

And hear me speak a word.


POMPEY

(aside to Menas)
anon, till for a little while
forbear (v.) 2 leave alone, avoid, stay away [from] See Topics: Frequency count

                         Forbear me till anon.

(aloud) This wine for Lepidus!


LEPIDUS

What manner o' thing is your crocodile?


ANTONY

It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad

as it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is, and moves

with its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it,

and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.
element (n.) 2 (plural) elements of life, life-forces
transmigrate (v.) pass into a new life; or: decompose, rot


LEPIDUS

What colour is it of?


ANTONY

Of it own colour too.


LEPIDUS

'Tis a strange serpent.


ANTONY

'Tis so; and the tears of it are wet.


CAESAR

Will this description satisfy him?


ANTONY

With the health that Pompey gives him; else he
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink

is a very epicure.
epicure (n.) 1 [follower of Epicurus] someone who does not believe in divine power or a future life

Menas whispers to Pompey


POMPEY

(aside to Menas)

Go hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that? Away!

Do as I bid you. – Where's this cup I called for?


MENAS

(aside to Pompey)
merit (n.) 5 meritorious service

If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,

Rise from thy stool.


POMPEY

(aside to Menas)
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

                         I think th'art mad. The matter?

He rises and they walk aside


MENAS

I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.


POMPEY

Thou hast served me with much faith. What's else to say? –

Be jolly, lords.


ANTONY

                         These quicksands, Lepidus,

Keep off them, for you sink.


MENAS

Wilt thou be lord of all the world?


POMPEY

                         What sayst thou?


MENAS

Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice.


POMPEY

How should that be?
entertain (v.) 7 admit into consideration, grant as a possibility


MENAS

                         But entertain it,

And, though thou think me poor, I am the man

Will give thee all the world.


POMPEY

                         Hast thou drunk well?


MENAS

No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.

Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove;

Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
inclip (v.) embrace, enclose, enfold
pale (v.) 1 enclose, surround, encompass

Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.


POMPEY

                         Show me which way.


MENAS

These three world-sharers, these competitors,
competitor (n.) 1 partner, associate, colleague

Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable;

And when we are put off, fall to their throats.

All there is thine.


POMPEY

                         Ah, this thou shouldst have done,

And not have spoke on't. In me 'tis villainy;

In thee't had been good service. Thou must know

'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour;

Mine honour, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue

Hath so betrayed thine act. Being done unknown,

I should have found it afterwards well done,

But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.


MENAS

(aside)

For this I'll never follow thy palled fortunes more.
palled (adj.) decayed, weakened, enfeebled

Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offered,

Shall never find it more.
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink


POMPEY

                         This health to Lepidus!


ANTONY

Bear him ashore. – I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.


ENOBARBUS

Here's to thee, Menas!


MENAS

                         Enobarbus, welcome!


POMPEY

Fill till the cup be hid.


ENOBARBUS

(pointing to the servant who is carrying off Lepidus)

There's a strong fellow, Menas.


MENAS

Why?


ENOBARBUS

'A bears the third part of the world, man; seest not?


MENAS

The third part then is drunk. Would it were all,

That it might go on wheels!


ENOBARBUS

Drink thou; increase the reels.
reels (n.) (plural) revels, revelry, merrymaking


MENAS

Come.


POMPEY

This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.


ANTONY

It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho!
strike the vessels [unclear meaning] tap the casks; fill the cups; clink the glasses; bang the drums

Here's to Caesar!
forbear (v.) 2 leave alone, avoid, stay away [from] See Topics: Frequency count


CAESAR

                         I could well forbear't.

It's monstrous labour when I wash my brain

And it grows fouler.


ANTONY

                         Be a child o'th' time.


CAESAR

Possess it, I'll make answer.
answer (n.) 3 recompense, requital, response
possess it have your way, go for it

But I had rather fast from all, four days,

Than drink so much in one.


ENOBARBUS

(to Antony)
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count

                         Ha, my brave emperor!

Shall we dance now the Egyptian bacchanals
bacchanal (n.) 1 dance in honour of Bacchus [god of wine]

And celebrate our drink?
drink (n.) drinking-bout, carousing


POMPEY

                         Let's ha't, good soldier.


ANTONY

Come, let's all take hands

Till that the conquering wine hath steeped our sense

In soft and delicate Lethe.


ENOBARBUS

                         All take hands.

Make battery to our ears with the loud music;
battery (n.) 1 assault, bombardment, blitz

The while I'll place you; then the boy shall sing.

The holding every man shall beat as loud
holding (n.) 3 refrain, chorus

As his strong sides can volley.
volley (v.) utter, express, proclaim

Music plays. Enobarbus places them hand in hand


BOY

(sings)

Come, thou monarch of the vine,

Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
eyne (n.) [archaism] eyes See Topics: Archaisms
pink (adj.) half-shut, blinking, tiny

In thy fats our cares be drowned;
fat (n.) 2 vat, wine cask, barrel

With thy grapes our hairs be crowned.

Cup us till the world go round,
cup (v.) supply with drink, make drunk

Cup us till the world go round!


CAESAR

What would you more? Pompey, good night. (To Antony) Good brother,

Let me request you off. Our graver business
grave (adj.) 2 important, dignified, serious
off (adv.) 1 off the ship, ashore

Frowns at this levity. Gentle lords, let's part.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

You see we have burnt our cheeks. Strong Enobarb

Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue

Spleets what it speaks. The wild disguise hath almost
disguise (n.) 2 drunkenness, state of intoxication
spleet (v.) split, break up

Anticked us all. What needs more words? Good night.
antic, antick(e), antique (v.) make grotesque figure of, make fools of

Good Antony, your hand.
try (v.) 2 put to the test, test the goodness [of]


POMPEY

                         I'll try you on the shore.


ANTONY

And shall, sir. Give's your hand.


POMPEY

                         O, Antony,

You have my father's house. But what, we are friends!

Come down into the boat.

Exeunt all but Enobarbus and Menas


ENOBARBUS

                         Take heed you fall not.

Menas, I'll not on shore.


MENAS

                         No, to my cabin.

These drums! These trumpets, flutes! What!

Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell

To these great fellows. Sound and be hanged, sound out!

Sound a flourish, with drums


ENOBARBUS

Hoo, says 'a. There's my cap.

He throws his cap in the air


MENAS

Hoa! Noble captain, come.

Exeunt

 
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