Antony and Cleopatra


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Antony and Eros


ANTONY

Eros, thou yet behold'st me?


EROS

                         Ay, noble lord.


ANTONY

Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish,
dragonish (adj.) shaped like a dragon
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then

A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
vapour (n.) 2 mist, cloud, fog

A towered citadel, a pendent rock,
pendent (adj.) 1 downhanging, drooping, dangling

A forked mountain, or blue promontory
forked (adj.) 3 cleft, twin-peaked

With trees upon't that nod unto the world

And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs;

They are black vesper's pageants.
pageant (n.) show, scene, spectacle, tableau
vesper (n.) evening, eventide


EROS

                         Ay, my lord.


ANTONY

That which is now a horse, even with a thought

The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
dislimn (v.) obliterate, efface, blot out
rack (n.) 1 clouds, cloud formations

As water is in water.


EROS

                         It does, my lord.


ANTONY

My good knave Eros, now thy captain is
knave (n.) 3 boy, lad, fellow

Even such a body. Here I am Antony,

Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.

I made these wars for Egypt; and the Queen –

Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine,

Which, whilst it was mine, had annexed unto't

A million more, now lost – she, Eros, has

Packed cards with Caesar, and false-played my glory
false-play (v.) play unfairly
pack (v.) 4 arrange, rig, shuffle cheatingly

Unto an enemy's triumph.
triumph (n.) 5 trump-card

Nay, weep not, gentle Eros, there is left us
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Ourselves to end ourselves.

Enter Mardian

She has robbed me of my sword.


MARDIAN

                         No, Antony;

My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled

With thine entirely.
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant


ANTONY

                         Hence, saucy eunuch, peace!

She hath betrayed me and shall die the death.


MARDIAN

Death of one person can be paid but once,

And that she has discharged. What thou wouldst do

Is done unto thy hand. The last she spake

Was ‘ Antony! most noble Antony!’

Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
break (v.) 7 interrupt, break in on, cut in on

The name of Antony; it was divided

Between her heart and lips. She rendered life,
render (v.) 1 give up, surrender, yield

Thy name so buried in her.


ANTONY

                         Dead, then?


MARDIAN

                                                         Dead.


ANTONY

Unarm, Eros. The long day's task is done,
unarm (v.) disarm, remove armour

And we must sleep. (To Mardian) That thou depart'st hence safe

Does pay thy labour richly. Go.

Exit Mardian

                         Off, pluck off!

The sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep

The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides!
battery (n.) 1 assault, bombardment, blitz

Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
continent (n.) 2 container, receptacle, enclosure

Crack thy frail case! Apace, Eros, apace!
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate See Topics: Frequency count

No more a soldier. Bruised pieces, go;

You have been nobly borne. – From me awhile.

Exit Eros

I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and

Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now

All length is torture; since the torch is out,
length (n.) 3 length of time, duration left in life, delay

Lie down, and stray no farther. Now all labour

Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles

Itself with strength. Seal then, and all is done.
seal (v.) 3 make final arrangements, come to an agreement

Eros! – I come, my queen – Eros! Stay for me.

Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
couch (v.) 6 lie, sleep, go to bed

And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:
port (n.) 2 bearing, demeanour, carriage
sprightly, spritely (adj.) 1 cheerful, light-hearted, bright

Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
troop (n.) company, retinue, band of followers
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

And all the haunt be ours. – Come, Eros, Eros!
haunt (n.) 1 public places, society, company

Enter Eros


EROS

What would my lord?


ANTONY

                         Since Cleopatra died,

I have lived in such dishonour that the gods

Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
baseness (n.) 3 cowardice, degenerateness, degradation

Quartered the world, and o'er green Neptune's back

With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack

The courage of a woman; less noble mind

Than she which by her death our Caesar tells

‘I am conqueror of myself.' Thou art sworn, Eros,

That, when the exigent should come, which now
exigent (n.) 2 time of necessity, critical moment

Is come indeed, when I should see behind me

Th' inevitable prosecution of
prosecution (n.) pursuit, chase, hounding

Disgrace and horror, that on my command

Thou then wouldst kill me. Do't; the time is come.

Thou strik'st not me; 'tis Caesar thou defeat'st.

Put colour in thy cheek.


EROS

                         The gods withhold me!

Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
dart (n.) arrow; or: light spear

Though enemy, lost aim and could not?


ANTONY

                         Eros,

Wouldst thou be windowed in great Rome and see
window (v.) put in a window, place on display

Thy master thus: with pleached arms, bending down
pleached (adj.) 1 intertwined, folded, bound together

His corrigible neck, his face subdued
corrigible (adj.) 2 submissive, docile, acquiescent
subdued (adj.) overcome, overwhelmed, subjugated

To penetrative shame, whilst the wheeled seat
penetrative (adj.) penetrating, deeply piercing

Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
brand (v.) mark indelibly, make conspicuous

His baseness that ensued?
baseness (n.) 2 debasement, lowly state, humiliation


EROS

                         I would not see't.


ANTONY

Come then; for with a wound I must be cured.

Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn

Most useful for thy country.


EROS

                         O, sir, pardon me.


ANTONY

When I did make thee free, swor'st thou not then

To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once,

Or thy precedent services are all
precedent (adj.) former, previous, prior

But accidents unpurposed. Draw, and come.
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening
unpurposed (adj.) unintentional, unwitting, unthinking


EROS

Turn from me then that noble countenance

Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
worship (n.) 1 esteem, honour, renown


ANTONY

Lo thee!

He turns from him


EROS

My sword is drawn.


ANTONY

                         Then let it do at once

The thing why thou hast drawn it.


EROS

                         My dear master,

My captain, and my emperor, let me say,

Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.


ANTONY

'Tis said, man, and farewell.


EROS

Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?


ANTONY

                         Now, Eros.


EROS

Why, there then! Thus I do escape the sorrow

Of Antony's death. He kills himself


ANTONY

                         Thrice nobler than myself,

Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what

I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros

Have by their brave instruction got upon me
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

A nobleness in record. But I will be
record (n.) 3 recorded history, public remembrance

A bridegroom in my death, and run into't

As to a lover's bed. Come then; and, Eros,

Thy master dies thy scholar. To do thus
scholar (n.) 2 pupil, student

I learned of thee.

He falls on his sword

                         How? Not dead? Not dead?

The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

Enter Decretas and a company of the Guard
dispatch, despatch (v.) 3 kill, put to death, make away with, finish off


FIRST GUARD

                         What's the noise?


ANTONY

I have done my work ill, friends. O, make an end
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

Of what I have begun.


SECOND GUARD

                         The star is fallen.


FIRST GUARD

And time is at his period.
period (n.) 1 full stop, end, ending, conclusion


ALL THE GUARDS

                         Alas, and woe!


ANTONY

Let him that loves me strike me dead.


FIRST GUARD

                         Not I.


SECOND GUARD

Nor I.


THIRD GUARD

Nor anyone.

Exeunt Guard


DECRETAS

Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.

This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,

Shall enter me with him.
enter (v.) 3 recommend [to], introduce [to], admit into society

Enter Diomedes


DIOMEDES

Where's Antony?


DECRETAS

                         There, Diomed, there.


DIOMEDES

                                                         Lives he?

Wilt thou not answer, man?

Exit Decretas


ANTONY

Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me

Sufficing strokes for death.
sufficing (adj.) sufficient, enough, adequate


DIOMEDES

                         Most absolute lord,

My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.


ANTONY

When did she send thee?


DIOMEDES

                         Now, my lord.


ANTONY

                                                         Where is she?


DIOMEDES

Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear

Of what hath come to pass; for when she saw –

Which never shall be found – you did suspect

She had disposed with Caesar, and that your rage
dispose (v.) 5 come to terms, make a deal

Would not be purged, she sent you word she was dead;
purge (v.) 2 expel, get rid of, flush out

But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent

Me to proclaim the truth, and I am come,

I dread, too late.
dread (v.) fear, anticipate in fear, be anxious about


ANTONY

Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.


DIOMEDES

What ho! The Emperor's guard! The guard, what ho!

Come, your lord calls!

Enter four or five of the Guard of Antony


ANTONY

Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides.

'Tis the last service that I shall command you.


FIRST GUARD

Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
wear out (v.) 1 outlive, survive, outlast
woe (adj.) sorry, sorrowful, sad See Topics: Regrets

All your true followers out.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


ALL THE GUARDS

                         Most heavy day!


ANTONY

Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate

To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to

Which comes to punish us, and we punish it,

Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up.

I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

And have my thanks for all.

Exeunt, bearing Antony

 
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