Antony and Cleopatra

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Casar, Agrippa, Dollabella, Menas,
with his Counsell of Warre.

Casar.
Go to him Dollabella, bid him yeeld,
Being so frustrate, tell him, / He mockes
the pawses that he makes.

Dol.
Casar, I shall.
Enter Decretas with the sword of Anthony.

Cas.
Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar'st
Appeare thus to vs?

Dec.
I am call'd Decretas,
Marke Anthony I seru'd, who best was worthie
Best to be seru'd: whil'st he stood vp, and spoke
He was my Master, and I wore my life
To spend vpon his haters. If thou please
To take me to thee, as I was to him,
Ile be to Casar: if yu pleasest not,
I yeild thee vp my life.

Casar.
What is't thou say'st?

Dec.
I say (Oh Caesar) Anthony is dead.

Casar.
The breaking of so great a thing, should make
A greater cracke. The round World
Should haue shooke Lyons into ciuill streets,
And Cittizens to their dennes. The death of Anthony
Is not a single doome, in the name lay
A moity of the world.

Dec.
He is dead Casar,
Not by a publike minister of Iustice,
Nor by a hyred Knife, but that selfe-hand
Which writ his Honor in the Acts it did,
Hath with the Courage which the heart did lend it,
Splitted the heart. This is his Sword,
I robb'd his wound of it: behold it stain'd
With his most Noble blood.

Cas.
Looke you sad Friends,
The Gods rebuke me, but it is Tydings
To wash the eyes of Kings.

Dol.
And strange it is,
That Nature must compell vs to lament
Our most persisted deeds.

Mec.
His taints and Honours,
wag'd equal with him.

Dola.
A Rarer spirit neuer
Did steere humanity: but you Gods will giue vs
Some faults to make vs men. Casar is touch'd.

Mec.
When such a spacious Mirror's set before him,
He needes must see him selfe.

Casar.
Oh Anthony,
I haue followed thee to this, but we do launch
Diseases in our Bodies. I must perforce
Haue shewne to thee such a declining day,
Or looke on thine: we could not stall together,
In the whole world. But yet let me lament
With teares as Soueraigne as the blood of hearts,
That thou my Brother, my Competitor,
In top of all designe; my Mate in Empire,
Friend and Companion in the front of Warre,
The Arme of mine owne Body, and the Heart
Where mine his thoughts did kindle; that our Starres
Vnreconciliable, should diuide
our equalnesse to this. / Heare me good Friends,
Enter an Agyptian.
But I will tell you at some meeter Season,
The businesse of this man lookes out of him,
Wee'l heare him what he sayes. / Whence are you?

Agyp.
A poore Egyptian yet, the Queen my mistris
Confin'd in all, she has her Monument
Of thy intents, desires, instruction,
That she preparedly may frame her selfe
To'th'way shee's forc'd too.

Casar.
Bid her haue good heart,
She soone shall know of vs, by some of ours,
How honourable, and how kindely Wee
Determine for her. For Casar cannot leaue
to be vngentle

Agypt.
So the Gods preserue thee.
Exit.

Cas.
Come hither Proculeius. Go and say
We purpose her no shame: giue her what comforts
The quality of her passion shall require;
Least in her greatnesse, by some mortall stroke
She do defeate vs. For her life in Rome,
Would be eternall in our Triumph: Go,
And with your speediest bring vs what she sayes,
And how you finde of her.

Pro.
Casar I shall.
Exit Proculeius.

Cas.
Gallus, go you along:
where's Dolabella,
to second Proculeius?

All.
Dolabella.

Cas.
Let him alone: for I remember now
How hee's imployd: he shall in time be ready.
Go with me to my Tent, where you shall see
How hardly I was drawne into this Warre,
How calme and gentle I proceeded still
In all my Writings. Go with me, and see
What I can shew in this.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.

Cleo.
My desolation does begin to make
A better life: Tis paltry to be Casar:
Not being Fortune, hee's but Fortunes knaue,
A minister of her will: and it is great
To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
Which shackles accedents, and bolts vp change;
Which sleepes, and neuer pallates more the dung,
The beggers Nurse, and Casars.
Enter Proculeius.

Pro.
Casar sends greeting to the Queene of Egypt,
And bids thee study on what faire demands
Thou mean'st to haue him grant thee.

Cleo.
What's thy name?

Pro.
My name is Proculeius.

Cleo.
Anthony
Did tell me of you, bad me trust you, but
I do not greatly care to be deceiu'd
That haue no vse for trusting. If your Master
Would haue a Queece his begger, you must tell him,
That Maiesty to keepe decorum, must
No lesse begge then a Kingdome: If he please
To giue me conquer'd Egypt for my Sonne,
He giues me so much of mine owne, as I
Will kneele to him with thankes.

Pro.
Be of good cheere:
Y'are falne into a Princely hand, feare nothing,
Make your full reference freely to my Lord,
Who is so full of Grace, that it flowes ouer
On all that neede. Let me report to him
Your sweet dependacie, and you shall finde
A Conqueror that will pray in ayde for kindnesse,
Where he for grace is kneel'd too.

Cleo.
Pray you tell him,
I am his Fortunes Vassall, and I send him
The Greatnesse he has got. I hourely learne
A Doctrine of Obedience, and would gladly
Looke him i'th'Face.

Pro.
This Ile report (deere Lady)
Haue comfort, for I know your plight is pittied
Of him that caus'd it.

Pro.
You see how easily she may be surpriz'd:
Guard her till Casar come.

Iras.
Royall Queene.

Char.
Oh Cleopatra, thou art taken Queene.

Cleo.
Quicke, quicke, good hands.

Pro.
Hold worthy Lady, hold:
Doe not your selfe such wrong, who are in this
Releeu'd, but not betraid.

Cleo.
What of death too
that rids our dogs of languish

Pro.
Cleopatra,
do not abuse my Masters bounty, by
Th'vndoing of your selfe: Let the World see
His Noblenesse well acted, which your death
Will neuer let come forth.

Cleo.
Where art thou Death?
Come hither come; Come, come, and take a Queene
Worth many Babes and Beggers.

Pro.
Oh temperance Lady.

Cleo.
Sir, I will eate no meate, Ile not drinke sir,
If idle talke will once be necessary
Ile not sleepe neither. This mortall house Ile ruine,
Do Casar what he can. Know sir, that I
Will not waite pinnion'd at your Masters Court,
Nor once be chastic'd with the sober eye
Of dull Octauia. Shall they hoyst me vp,
And shew me to the showting Varlotarie
Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt.
Be gentle graue vnto me, rather on Nylus mudde
Lay me starke-nak'd, and let the water-Flies
Blow me into abhorring; rather make
My Countries high pyramides my Gibbet,
And hang me vp in Chaines.

Pro.
You do extend
These thoughts of horror further then you shall
Finde cause in Casar.
Enter Dolabella.

Dol.
Proculeius,
What thou hast done, thy Master Casar knowes,
And he hath sent for thee: for the Queene,
Ile take her to my Guard.

Pro.
So Dolabella,
It shall content me best: Be gentle to her,
To Casar I will speake, what you shall please,
If you'l imploy me to him.

Cleo.
Say, I would dye.
Exit Proculeius

Dol.
Most Noble Empresse, you haue heard of me.

Cleo.
I cannot tell.

Dol.
Assuredly you know me.

Cleo.
No matter sir, what I haue heard or knowne:
You laugh when Boyes or Women tell their Dreames,
Is't not your tricke?

Dol.
I vnderstand not, Madam.

Cleo.
I dreampt there was an Emperor Anthony.
Oh such another sleepe, that I might see
But such another man.

Dol.
If it might please ye.

Cleo.
His face was as the Heau'ns, and therein stucke
A Sunne and Moone, which kept their course, & lighted
The little o'th'earth.

Dol.
Most Soueraigne Creature.

Cleo.
His legges bestrid the Ocean, his rear'd arme
Crested the world: His voyce was propertied
As all the tuned Spheres, and that to Friends:
But when he meant to quaile, and shake the Orbe,
He was as ratling Thunder. For his Bounty,
There was no winter in't. An Anthony it was,
That grew the more by reaping: His delights
Were Dolphin-like, they shew'd his backe aboue
The Element they liu'd in: In his Liuery
Walk'd Crownes and Crownets: Realms & Islands were
As plates dropt from his pocket.

Dol.
Cleopatra.

Cleo.
Thinke you there was, or might be such a man
As this I dreampt of?

Dol.
Gentle Madam, no.

Cleo.
You Lye vp to the hearing of the Gods:
But if there be, nor euer were one such
It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuffe
To vie strange formes with fancie, yet t'imagine
An Anthony were Natures peece, 'gainst Fancie,
Condemning shadowes quite.

Dol.
Heare me, good Madam:
Your losse is as your selfe, great; and you beare it
As answering to the waight, would I might neuer
Ore-take pursu'de successe: But I do feele
By the rebound of yours, a greefe that suites
My very heart at roote.

Cleo.
I thanke you sir:
Know you what Casar meanes to do with me?

Dol.
I am loath to tell you what, I would you knew.

Cleo.
Nay pray you sir.

Dol.
Though he be Honourable.

Cleo.
Hee'l leade me then in Triumph.

Dol.
Madam he will, I know't.
Flourish. Enter Proculeius, Casar, Gallus, Mecenas,
and others of his Traine.

All.
Make way there Casar.

Cas.
Which is the Queene of Egypt.

Dol.
It is the Emperor Madam.
Cleo. kneeles.

Casar.
Arise, you shall not kneele:
I pray you rise, rise Egypt.

Cleo.
Sir, the Gods
will haue it thus, / My Master and my Lord
I must obey,

Casar.
Take to you no hard thoughts,
The Record of what iniuries you did vs,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance.

Cleo.
Sole Sir o'th'World,
I cannot proiect mine owne cause so well
To make it cleare, but do confesse I haue
Bene laden with like frailties, which before
Haue often sham'd our Sex.

Casar.
Cleopatra know,
We will extenuate rather then inforce:
If you apply your selfe to our intents,
Which towards you are most gentle, you shall finde
A benefit in this change: but if you seeke
To lay on me a Cruelty, by taking
Anthonies course, you shall bereaue your selfe
Of my good purposes, and put your children
To that destruction which Ile guard them from,
If thereon you relye. Ile take my leaue.

Cleo.
And may through all the world: tis yours, & we
your Scutcheons, and your signes of Conquest shall
Hang in what place you please. Here my good Lord.


Casar.
You shall aduise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleo.
This is the breefe: of Money, Plate, & Iewels
I am possest of, 'tis exactly valewed,
Not petty things admitted. Where's Seleucus?

Seleu.
Heere Madam.

Cleo.
This is my Treasurer, let him speake (my Lord)
Vpon his perill, that I haue reseru'd
To my selfe nothing. Speake the truth Seleucus.

Seleu.
Madam,
I had rather seele my lippes, / Then to my perill
speake that which is not.

Cleo.
What haue I kept backe.

Sel.
Enough to purchase what you haue made known

Casar.
Nay blush not Cleopatra, I approue
Your Wisedome in the deede.

Cleo.
See Casar: Oh behold,
How pompe is followed: Mine will now be yours,
And should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus, does
Euen make me wilde. Oh Slaue, of no more trust
Then loue that's hyr'd? What goest thou backe, yu shalt
Go backe I warrant thee: but Ile catch thine eyes
Though they had wings. Slaue, Soule-lesse, Villain, Dog.
O rarely base!

Casar.
Good Queene, let vs intreat you.

Cleo.
O Casar, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou vouchsafing heere to visit me,
Doing the Honour of thy Lordlinesse
To one so meeke, that mine owne Seruant should
Parcell the summe of my disgraces, by
Addition of his Enuy. Say (good Casar)
That I some Lady trifles haue reseru'd,
Immoment toyes, things of such Dignitie
As we greet moderne Friends withall, and say
Some Nobler token I haue kept apart
For Liuia and Octauia, to induce
Their mediation, must I be vnfolded
With one that I haue bred: The Gods! it smites me
Beneath the fall I haue. Prythee go hence,
Or I shall shew the Cynders of my spirits
Through th'Ashes of my chance: Wer't thou a man,
Thou would'st haue mercy on me.

Casar.
Forbeare Seleucus.

Cleo.
Be it known, that we the greatest are mis-thoght
For things that others do: and when we fall,
We answer others merits, in our name
Are therefore to be pittied.

Casar.
Cleopatra,
Not what you haue reseru'd, nor what acknowledg'd
Put we i'th' Roll of Conquest: still bee't yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure, and beleeue
Casars no Merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that Merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd,
Make not your thoughts your prisons: No deere Queen,
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Your selfe shall giue vs counsell: Feede, and sleepe:
Our care and pitty is so much vpon you,
That we remaine your Friend, and so adieu.

Cleo.
My Master, and my Lord.

Casar.
Not so: Adieu.
Flourish. Exeunt Casar, and his Traine.

Cleo.
He words me Gyrles, he words me, / That I should not
be Noble to my selfe. / But hearke thee Charmian.

Iras.
Finish good Lady, the bright day is done,
And we are for the darke.

Cleo.
Hye thee againe,
I haue spoke already, and it is prouided,
Go put it to the haste.

Char.
Madam, I will.
Enter Dolabella.
Dol. Where's the Queene?

Char.
Behold sir.

Cleo.
Dolabella.

Dol.
Madam, as thereto sworne, by your command
(Which my loue makes Religion to obey)
I tell you this: Casar through Syria
Intends his iourney, and within three dayes,
You with your Children will he send before,
Make your best vse of this. I haue perform'd
Your pleasure, and my promise.

Cleo.
Dolabella,
I shall remaine your debter.

Dol.
I your Seruant:
Adieu good Queene, I must attend on Casar. Exit

Cleo.
Farewell, and thankes.
Now Iras, what think'st thou?
Thou, an Egyptian Puppet shall be shewne
In Rome as well as I: Mechanicke Slaues
With greazie Aprons, Rules, and Hammers shall
Vplift vs to the view. In their thicke breathes,
Ranke of grosse dyet, shall we be enclowded,
And forc'd to drinke their vapour.

Iras.
The Gods forbid.

Cleo.
Nay, 'tis most certaine Iras: sawcie Lictors
Will catch at vs like Strumpets, and scald Rimers
Ballads vs out a Tune. The quicke Comedians
Extemporally will stage vs, and present
Our Alexandrian Reuels: Anthony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra Boy my greatnesse
I'th'posture of a Whore.

Iras.
O the good Gods!

Cleo.
Nay that's certaine.

Iras.
Ile neuer see't? for I am sure mine Nailes
Are stronger then mine eyes.

Cleo.
Why that's the way
to foole their preparation, / And to conquer
their most absurd intents.
Enter Charmian.
Now Charmian.
Shew me my Women like a Queene: Go fetch
My best Attyres. I am againe for Cidrus,
To meete Marke Anthony. Sirra Iras, go
(Now Noble Charmian, wee'l dispatch indeede,)
And when thou hast done this chare, Ile giue thee leaue
To play till Doomesday: bring our Crowne, and all.
A noise within.
Wherefore's this noise?
Enter a Guardsman.

Gards.
Heere is a rurall Fellow,
That will not be deny'de your Highnesse presence,
He brings you Figges.

Cleo.
Let him come in.
Exit Guardsman.
What poore an Instrument
May do a Noble deede: he brings me liberty:
My Resolution's plac'd, and I haue nothing
Of woman in me: Now from head to foote
I am Marble constant: now the fleeting Moone
No Planet is of mine.
Enter Guardsman, and Clowne.

Guards.
This is the man.

Cleo.
Auoid, and leaue him.
Exit Guardsman.
Hast thou the pretty worme of Nylus there,
That killes and paines not?

Clow.
Truly I haue him: but I would not be the partie
that should desire you to touch him, for his byting is
immortall: those that doe dye of it, doe seldome or neuer
recouer.

Cleo.
Remember'st thou any that haue dyed on't?

Clow.
Very many, men and women too. I heard of one
of them no longer then yesterday, a very honest
woman, / but something giuen to lye, as a woman should
not do, but in the way of honesty, how she dyed of the
byting of it, what paine she felt: Truely, she makes averie
good report o'th'worme: but he that wil beleeue all that
they say, shall neuer be saued by halfe that they do: but
this is most falliable, the Worme's an odde Worme.

Cleo.
Get thee hence, farewell.

Clow.
I wish you all ioy of the Worme.

Cleo.
Farewell.

Clow.
You must thinke this (looke you,) that the Worme
will do his kinde.

Cleo.
I, I, farewell.

Clow.
Looke you, the Worme is not to bee trusted, but in
the keeping of wise people: for indeede, there is no
goodnesse in the Worme.

Cleo.
Take thou no care, it shall be heeded.

Clow.
Very good: giue it nothing I pray you, for it is
not worth the feeding.

Cleo.
Will it eate me?

Clow.
You must not think I am so simple, but I know
the diuell himselfe will not eate a woman: I know, that a
woman is a dish for the Gods, if the diuell dresse her not.
But truly, these same whorson diuels doe the Gods great
harme in their women: for in euery tenne that they make,
the diuels marre fiue.

Cleo.
Well, get thee gone, farewell.

Clow.
Yes forsooth: I wish you ioy o'th'worm.
Exit

Cleo.
Giue me my Robe, put on my Crowne, I haue
Immortall longings in me. Now no more
The iuyce of Egypts Grape shall moyst this lip.
Yare, yare, good Iras; quicke: Me thinkes I heare
Anthony call: I see him rowse himselfe
To praise my Noble Act. I heare him mock
The lucke of Casar, which the Gods giue men
To excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come:
Now to that name, my Courage proue my Title.
I am Fire, and Ayre; my other Elements
I giue to baser life. So, haue you done?
Come then, and take the last warmth of my Lippes.
Farewell kinde Charmian, Iras, long farewell.

Haue I the Aspicke in my lippes? Dost fall?
If thou, and Nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a Louers pinch,
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lye still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world,
It is not worth leaue-taking.

Char.
Dissolue thicke clowd, & Raine, that I may say
The Gods themselues do weepe.

Cleo.
This proues me base:
If she first meete the Curled Anthony,
Hee'l make demand of her, and spend that kisse
Which is my heauen to haue. Come thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharpe teeth this knot intrinsicate,
Of life at once vntye: Poore venomous Foole,
Be angry, and dispatch. Oh could'st thou speake,
That I might heare thee call great Casar Asse,
vnpolicied.

Char.
Oh Easterne Starre.

Cleo.
Peace, peace:
Dost thou not see my Baby at my breast,
That suckes the Nurse asleepe.

Char.
O breake! O breake!

Cleo.
As sweet as Balme, as soft as Ayre, as gentle.
O Anthony! Nay I will take thee too.


What should I stay----- .

Char.
In this wilde World? So fare thee well:
Now boast thee Death, in thy possession lyes
A Lasse vnparalell'd. Downie Windowes cloze,
And golden Phobus, neuer be beheld
Of eyes againe so Royall: your Crownes away,
Ile mend it, and then play---
Enter the Guard rustling in, and Dolabella.

1 Guard.
Where's the Queene?

Char.
Speake softly, wake her not.

1
Casar hath sent

Char.
Too slow a Messenger.

Oh come apace, dispatch, I partly feele thee.

1
Approach hoa, / All's not well: Casar's beguild.

2
There's Dolabella sent from Casar: call him.

1
What worke is heere Charmian? / Is this well done?

Char.
It is well done, and fitting for a Princesse
Descended of so many Royall Kings.
Ah Souldier. Charmian dyes.
Enter Dolabella.

Dol.
How goes it heere?
2. Guard. All dead.

Dol.
Casar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this: Thy selfe art comming
To see perform'd the dreaded Act which thou
So sought'st to hinder.
Enter Casar and all his Traine, marching.

All.
A way there, a way for Casar.

Dol.
Oh sir, you are too sure an Augurer:
That you did feare, is done.

Casar.
Brauest at the last,
She leuell'd at our purposes, and being Royall
Tooke her owne way: the manner of their deaths,
I do not see them bleede.

Dol.
Who was last with them?

1. Guard.
A simple Countryman, that broght hir Figs:
This was his Basket.

Casar.
Poyson'd then.

1. Guard.
Oh Casar:
This Charmian liu'd but now, she stood and spake:
I found her trimming vp the Diadem;
On her dead Mistris tremblingly she stood,
And on the sodaine dropt.

Casar.
Oh Noble weakenesse:
If they had swallow'd poyson, 'twould appeare
By externall swelling: but she lookes like sleepe,
As she would catch another Anthony
In her strong toyle of Grace.

Dol.
Heere on her brest,
There is a vent of Bloud, and something blowne,
The like is on her Arme.

1. Guard.
This is an Aspickes traile, / And these Figge-leaues
haue slime vpon them, such / As th'Aspicke leaues
vpon the Caues of Nyle.

Casar.
Most probable
That so she dyed: for her Physitian tels mee
She hath pursu'de Conclusions infinite
Of easie wayes to dye. Take vp her bed,
And beare her Women from the Monument,
She shall be buried by her Anthony.
No Graue vpon the earth shall clip in it
A payre so famous: high euents as these
Strike those that make them: and their Story is
No lesse in pitty, then his Glory which
Brought them to be lamented. Our Army shall
In solemne shew, attend this Funerall,
And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
High Order, in this great Solmemnity.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Caesar, Agrippa, Dolabella, Maecenas,
Gallus, Proculeius, with his council of war

CAESAR
Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield.
Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks
The pauses that he makes.

DOLABELLA
Caesar, I shall.
Exit
Enter Decretas, with the sword of Antony

CAESAR
Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar'st
Appear thus to us?

DECRETAS
I am called Decretas.
Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy
Best to be served. Whilst he stood up and spoke,
He was my master, and I wore my life
To spend upon his haters. If thou please
To take me to thee, as I was to him
I'll be to Caesar; if thou pleasest not,
I yield thee up my life.

CAESAR
What is't thou sayst?

DECRETAS
I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.

CAESAR
The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack. The round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets
And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony
Is not a single doom; in the name lay
A moiety of the world.

DECRETAS
He is dead, Caesar,
Not by a public minister of justice
Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand
Which writ his honour in the acts it did
Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it,
Splitted the heart. This is his sword;
I robbed his wound of it. Behold it stained
With his most noble blood.

CAESAR
Look you, sad friends.
The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings
To wash the eyes of kings.

AGRIPPA
And strange it is
That nature must compel us to lament
Our most persisted deeds.

MAECENAS
His taints and honours
Waged equal with him.

AGRIPPA
A rarer spirit never
Did steer humanity. But you gods will give us
Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touched.

MAECENAS
When such a spacious mirror's set before him,
He needs must see himself.

CAESAR
O Antony,
I have followed thee to this. But we do launch
Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce
Have shown to thee such a declining day
Or look on thine. We could not stall together
In the whole world. But yet let me lament
With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts
That thou, my brother, my competitor
In top of all design, my mate in empire,
Friend and companion in the front of war,
The arm of mine own body, and the heart
Where mine his thoughts did kindle – that our stars,
Unreconciliable, should divide
Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends –
Enter an Egyptian
But I will tell you at some meeter season.
The business of this man looks out of him;
We'll hear him what he says. Whence are you?

EGYPTIAN
A poor Egyptian yet. The Queen my mistress,
Confined in all she has, her monument,
Of thy intents desires instruction,
That she preparedly may frame herself
To th' way she's forced to.

CAESAR
Bid her have good heart.
She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honourable and how kindly we
Determine for her. For Caesar cannot live
To be ungentle.

EGYPTIAN
So the gods preserve thee!
Exit

CAESAR
Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say
We purpose her no shame. Give her what comforts
The quality of her passion shall require,
Lest in her greatness, by some mortal stroke,
She do defeat us. For her life in Rome
Would be eternal in our triumph. Go,
And with your speediest bring us what she says
And how you find her.

PROCULEIUS
Caesar, I shall.
Exit

CAESAR
Gallus, go you along.
Exit Gallus
Where's Dolabella,
To second Proculeius?

ALL CAESAR'S ATTENDANTS
Dolabella!

CAESAR
Let him alone, for I remember now
How he's employed. He shall in time be ready.
Go with me to my tent, where you shall see
How hardly I was drawn into this war,
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
In all my writings. Go with me, and see
What I can show in this.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian

CLEOPATRA
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, to the gates of the monument, Proculeius,
Gallus, and soldiers

PROCULEIUS
Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.

CLEOPATRA
What's thy name?

PROCULEIUS
My name is Proculeius.

CLEOPATRA
Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
I do not greatly care to be deceived,
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 conquered Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.

PROCULEIUS
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 kneeled to.

CLEOPATRA
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.

PROCULEIUS
This I'll report, dear lady.
Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
Of him that caused it.
The soldiers approach Cleopatra from behind

GALLUS
You see how easily she may be surprised.
They seize Cleopatra
Guard her till Caesar come.
Exit Gallus

IRAS
Royal queen!

CHARMIAN
O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, queen.

CLEOPATRA
Quick, quick, good hands!
She draws a dagger

PROCULEIUS
Hold, worthy lady, hold!
He disarms her
Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
Relieved, but not betrayed.

CLEOPATRA
What, of death too,
That rids our dogs of languish?

PROCULEIUS
Cleopatra,
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.

CLEOPATRA
Where art thou, death?
Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars!

PROCULEIUS
O, temperance, lady!

CLEOPATRA
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 pinioned at your master's court,
Nor once be chastised with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up
And show me to the shouting varletry
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 waterflies
Blow me into abhorring! Rather make
My country's high pyramides my gibbet
And hang me up in chains!

PROCULEIUS
You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
Find cause in Caesar.
Enter Dolabella

DOLABELLA
Proculeius.
What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
I'll take her to my guard.

PROCULEIUS
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.

CLEOPATRA
Say I would die.
Exeunt Proculeius and soldiers

DOLABELLA
Most noble empress, you have heard of me?

CLEOPATRA
I cannot tell.

DOLABELLA
Assuredly you know me.

CLEOPATRA
No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
Is't not your trick?

DOLABELLA
I understand not, madam.

CLEOPATRA
I dreamt there was an emperor Antony.
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!

DOLABELLA
If it might please ye –

CLEOPATRA
His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck
A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted
The little O o'th' earth.

DOLABELLA
Most sovereign creature –

CLEOPATRA
His legs bestrid the ocean; his reared 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 Antony it was
That grew the more by reaping. His delights
Were dolphin-like; they showed his back above
The element they lived in. In his livery
Walked crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropped from his pocket.

DOLABELLA
Cleopatra –

CLEOPATRA
Think you there was or might be such a man
As this I dreamt of?

DOLABELLA
Gentle madam, no.

CLEOPATRA
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.

DOLABELLA
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 pursued success but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
My very heart at root.

CLEOPATRA
I thank you, sir.
Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

DOLABELLA
I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.

CLEOPATRA
Nay, pray you, sir.

DOLABELLA
Though he be honourable –

CLEOPATRA
He'll lead me, then, in triumph?

DOLABELLA
Madam, he will. I know't.
Flourish, Enter Proculeius, Caesar, Gallus, Maecenas,
and others of Caesar's train

ALL
Make way there! Caesar!

CAESAR
Which is the Queen of Egypt?

DOLABELLA
It is the Emperor, madam.
Cleopatra kneels

CAESAR
Arise! You shall not kneel.
I pray you rise; rise, Egypt.

CLEOPATRA
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus. My master and my lord
I must obey.

CAESAR
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.

CLEOPATRA
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 shamed our sex.

CAESAR
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.

CLEOPATRA
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.
She gives him a paper

CAESAR
You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

CLEOPATRA
This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
I am possessed of. 'Tis exactly valued,
Not petty things admitted. Where's Seleucus?
Enter Seleucus

SELEUCUS
Here, madam.

CLEOPATRA
This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

SELEUCUS
Madam,
I had rather seel my lips than to my peril
Speak that which is not.

CLEOPATRA
What have I kept back?

SELEUCUS
Enough to purchase what you have made known.

CAESAR
Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.

CLEOPATRA
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 hired! 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!

CAESAR
Good queen, let us entreat you.

CLEOPATRA
O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honour 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 reserved,
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.

CAESAR
Forbear, Seleucus.
Exit Seleucus

CLEOPATRA
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.

CAESAR
Cleopatra,
Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged,
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 cheered.
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.

CLEOPATRA
My master, and my lord!

CAESAR
Not so. Adieu.
Flourish. Exeunt Caesar, Dolabella, Proculeius,
Gallus, Maecenas, and Caesar's other attendants

CLEOPATRA
He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian.
She whispers to Charmian

IRAS
Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.

CLEOPATRA
Hie thee again.
I have spoke already, and it is provided;
Go put it to the haste.

CHARMIAN
Madam, I will.
Enter Dolabella
Where's the Queen?

CHARMIAN
Behold, sir.
Exit

CLEOPATRA
Dolabella!

DOLABELLA
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 performed
Your pleasure and my promise.

CLEOPATRA
Dolabella,
I shall remain your debtor.

DOLABELLA
I, your servant,
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Caesar.

CLEOPATRA
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 be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapour.

IRAS
The gods forbid!

CLEOPATRA
Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o' 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.

IRAS
O, the good gods!

CLEOPATRA
Nay that's certain.

IRAS
I'll never see't! For I am sure my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

CLEOPATRA
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 chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till doomsday. – Bring our crown and all.
Exit Iras
A noise within
Wherefore's this noise?
Enter a Guardsman

GUARDSMAN
Here is a rural fellow
That will not be denied your highness' presence.
He brings you figs.

CLEOPATRA
Let him come in.
Exit Guardsman
What poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, 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 Guardsman and Clown with a basket

GUARDSMAN
This is the man.

CLEOPATRA
Avoid, and leave him.
Exit Guardsman
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?

CLOWN
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.

CLEOPATRA
Remember'st thou any that have died on't?

CLOWN
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 saved by half that they do. But
this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm.

CLEOPATRA
Get thee hence, farewell.

CLOWN
I wish you all joy of the worm.
He sets down the basket

CLEOPATRA
Farewell.

CLOWN
You must think this, look you, that the worm
will do his kind.

CLEOPATRA
Ay, ay, farewell.

CLOWN
Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in
the keeping of wise people; for indeed there is no
goodness in the worm.

CLEOPATRA
Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.

CLOWN
Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is
not worth the feeding.

CLEOPATRA
Will it eat me?

CLOWN
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.

CLEOPATRA
Well, get thee gone, farewell.

CLOWN
Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o'th' worm.
Exit
Enter Iras with a robe, crown, sceptre, and other
regalia

CLEOPATRA
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.
She 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 desired. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
It is not worth leave-taking.

CHARMIAN
Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
The gods themselves do weep.

CLEOPATRA
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. (To an asp) Come, thou mortal wretch,
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
Unpolicied!

CHARMIAN
O eastern star!

CLEOPATRA
Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

CHARMIAN
O, break! O, break!

CLEOPATRA
As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle –
O Antony! Nay, I will take thee too.
She applies another asp to her arm
She dies
What should I stay – She dies

CHARMIAN
In this vile world? So, fare thee well.
Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparalleled. 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 Guard, rustling in

FIRST GUARD
Where's the Queen?

CHARMIAN
Speak softly, wake her not.

FIRST GUARD
Caesar hath sent –

CHARMIAN
Too slow a messenger.
She applies an asp to herself
O, come apace, dispatch. I partly feel thee.

FIRST GUARD
Approach, ho! All's not well; Caesar's beguiled.

SECOND GUARD
There's Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.

FIRST GUARD
What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

CHARMIAN
It is well done, and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
Ah, soldier! Charmian dies
Enter Dolabella

DOLABELLA
How goes it here?
All dead.

DOLABELLA
Caesar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming
To see performed the dreaded act which thou
So sought'st to hinder.
Enter Caesar, and all his train, marching

ALL
A way there, a way for Caesar!

DOLABELLA
O, sir, you are too sure an augurer;
That you did fear is done.

CAESAR
Bravest at the last,
She levelled at our purposes and, being royal,
Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
I do not see them bleed.

DOLABELLA
Who was last with them?

FIRST GUARD
A simple countryman, that brought her figs.
This was his basket.

CAESAR
Poisoned, then.

FIRST GUARD
O Caesar,
This Charmian lived but now; she stood and spake.
I found her trimming up the diadem
On her dead mistress. Tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropped.

CAESAR
O, noble weakness!
If they had swallowed poison, 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.

DOLABELLA
Here, on her breast,
There is a vent of blood, and something blown;
The like is on her arm.

FIRST GUARD
This is an aspic's trail; and these fig leaves
Have slime upon them, such as th' aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.

CAESAR
Most probable
That so she died; for her physician tells me
She hath pursued 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.
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL