The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

Act IV

Scene II.

William Shakespeare

Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace

ALEXAS, with others.

He will not fight with me, Domitius?


Why should he not?

He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
He is twenty men to one.

                                        To-morrow, soldier,
By sea and land I’ll fight. Or I will live,
Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
Shall make it live again. Woo’t thou fight well?

I’ll strike, and cry ‘Take all.’

                                        Well said; come on.
Call forth my household servants; let’s to-night
Be bounteous at our meal.

Enter three or four servitors

                                        Give me thy hand,
Thou has been rightly honest. So hast thou;
Thou, and thou, and thou. You have serv’d me well,
And kings have been your fellows.

                [Aside to ENOBARBUS] What means this?

[Aside to CLEOPATRA] ’Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow shoots
Out of the mind.

                        And thou art honest too.
I wish I could be made so many men,
And all of you clapp’d up together in
An Antony, that I might do you service
So good as you have done.

                                        The gods forbid!

Well, my good fellows, wait on me to-night.
Scant not my cups, and make as much of me
As when mine empire was your fellow too,
And suffer’d my command.

            [Aside to ENOBARBUS] What does he mean?

[Aside to CLEOPATRA] To make his followers weep.

                                        Tend me to-night;
May be it is the period of your duty.
Haply you shall not see me more; or if,
A mangled shadow. Perchance to-morrow
You’ll serve another master. I look on you
As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends,
I turn you not away; but, like a master
Married to your good service, stay till death.
Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
And the gods yield you for’t!

                                        What mean you, sir,
To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;
And I, an ass, am onion-ey’d. For shame!
Transform us not to women.

                                        Ho, ho, ho!
Now the witch take me if I meant it thus!
Grace grow where those drops fall! My hearty friends,
You take me in too dolorous a sense;
For I spake to you for your comfort, did desire you
To burn this night with torches. Know, my hearts,
I hope well of to-morrow, and will lead you
Where rather I’ll expect victorious life
Than death and honour. Let’s to supper, come,
And drown consideration.[Exeunt

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

Back    |    Words Home    |    William Shakespeare Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback