The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra


Scene XI.

William Shakespeare

Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

Enter ANTONY with Attendants

Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon’t;
It is asham’d to bear me. Friends, come hither.
I am so lated in the world that I
Have lost my way for ever. I have a ship
Laden with gold; take that; divide it. Fly,
And make your peace with Cæsar.

                                                Fly? Not we!

I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
I have myself resolv’d upon a course
Which has no need of you; be gone.
My treasure’s in the harbour, take it. O,
I follow’d that I blush to look upon.
My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doting. Friends, be gone; you shall
Have letters from me to some friends that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness; take the hint
Which my despair proclaims. Let that be left
Which leaves itself. To the sea-side straight way.
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little; pray you now;
Nay, do so, for indeed I have lost command;
Therefore I pray you. I’ll see you by and by.[Sits down

EROS following

Nay, gentle madam, to him! Comfort him.

Do, most dear Queen.

Do? Why, what else?

Let me sit down. O Juno!

No, no, no, no, no.

See you here, sir?

O, fie, fie, fie!


Madam, O good Empress!

Sir, sir!

Yes, my lord, yes. He at Philippi kept
His sword e’en like a dancer, while I struck
The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and ’twas I
That the mad Brutus ended; he alone
Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had
In the brave squares of war. Yet now—No matter.

Ah, stand by!

The Queen, my lord, the Queen!

Go to him, madam, speak to him.
He is unqualitied with very shame.

Well then, sustain me. O!

Most noble sir, arise; the Queen approaches.
Her head’s declin’d, and death will seize her but
Your comfort makes the rescue.

I have offended reputation,
A most unnoble swerving.

                                Sir, the Queen.

O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See
How I convey my shame out of thine eyes
By looking back what I have left behind
’Stroy’d in dishonour.

                                O my lord, my lord,
Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought
You would have followed.

                                Egypt, thou knew’st too well
My heart was to thy rudder tied by th’ strings,
And thou shouldst tow me after. O’er my spirit
Thy full supremacy thou knew’st, and that
Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
Command me.

                O, my pardon!

                                                Now I must
To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
And palter in the shifts of lowness, who
With half the bulk o’ th’ world play’d as I pleas’d,
Making and marring fortunes. You did know
How much you were my conqueror, and that
My sword, made weak by my affection, would
Obey it on all cause.

                                Pardon, pardon!

Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss;
Even this repays me.
We sent our schoolmaster; is he come back?
Love, I am full of lead. Some wine,
Within there, and our viands! Fortune knows
We scorn her most when most she offers blows.[Exeunt

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra - Contents    |     Act III. Scene XII.

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