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Home > Anthony and Cleopatra > ACT II - SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.

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ACT II - SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS

CLEOPATRA
1    Give me some music; music, moody food
2    Of us that trade in love.
Attendants
3    The music, ho!
Enter MARDIAN

CLEOPATRA
4    Let it alone; let's to billiards: come, Charmian.
CHARMIAN
5    My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.
CLEOPATRA
6    As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
7    As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me, sir?
MARDIAN
8    As well as I can, madam.
CLEOPATRA
9    And when good will is show'd, though't come
10   too short,
11   The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:
12   Give me mine angle; we'll to the river: there,
13   My music playing far off, I will betray
14   Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
15   Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
16   I'll think them every one an Antony,
17   And say 'Ah, ha! you're caught.'
CHARMIAN
18   'Twas merry when
19   You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
20   Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
21   With fervency drew up.
CLEOPATRA
22   That time,--O times!--
23   I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
24   I laugh'd him into patience; and next morn,
25   Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
26   Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
27   I wore his sword Philippan.
Enter a Messenger
28   O, from Italy
29   Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
30   That long time have been barren.
Messenger
31   Madam, madam,--
CLEOPATRA
32   Antonius dead!--If thou say so, villain,
33   Thou kill'st thy mistress: but well and free,
34   If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
35   My bluest veins to kiss; a hand that kings
36   Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
Messenger
37   First, madam, he is well.
CLEOPATRA
38   Why, there's more gold.
39   But, sirrah, mark, we use
40   To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
41   The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
42   Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Messenger
43   Good madam, hear me.
CLEOPATRA
44   Well, go to, I will;
45   But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
46   Be free and healthful,--so tart a favour
47   To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
48   Thou shouldst come like a Fury crown'd with snakes,
49   Not like a formal man.
Messenger
50   Will't please you hear me?
CLEOPATRA
51   I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
52   Yet if thou say Antony lives, is well,
53   Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
54   I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
55   Rich pearls upon thee.
Messenger
56   Madam, he's well.
CLEOPATRA
57   Well said.
Messenger
58   And friends with Caesar.
CLEOPATRA
59   Thou'rt an honest man.
Messenger
60   Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
CLEOPATRA
61   Make thee a fortune from me.
Messenger
62   But yet, madam,--
CLEOPATRA
63   I do not like 'But yet,' it does allay
64   The good precedence; fie upon 'But yet'!
65   'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
66   Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
67   Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
68   The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar:
69   In state of health thou say'st; and thou say'st free.
Messenger
70   Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
71   He's bound unto Octavia.
CLEOPATRA
72   For what good turn?
Messenger
73   For the best turn i' the bed.
CLEOPATRA
74   I am pale, Charmian.
Messenger
75   Madam, he's married to Octavia.
CLEOPATRA
76   The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
Strikes him down

Messenger
77   Good madam, patience.
CLEOPATRA
78   What say you? Hence,
Strikes him again
79   Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
80   Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
She hales him up and down
81   Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine,
82   Smarting in lingering pickle.
Messenger
83   Gracious madam,
84   I that do bring the news made not the match.
CLEOPATRA
85   Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
86   And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
87   Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
88   And I will boot thee with what gift beside
89   Thy modesty can beg.
Messenger
90   He's married, madam.
CLEOPATRA
91   Rogue, thou hast lived too long.
Draws a knife

Messenger
92   Nay, then I'll run.
93   What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
Exit

CHARMIAN
94   Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
95   The man is innocent.
CLEOPATRA
96   Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.
97   Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
98   Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again:
99   Though I am mad, I will not bite him: call.
CHARMIAN
100  He is afeard to come.
CLEOPATRA
101  I will not hurt him.
Exit CHARMIAN
102  These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
103  A meaner than myself; since I myself
104  Have given myself the cause.
Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger
105  Come hither, sir.
106  Though it be honest, it is never good
107  To bring bad news: give to a gracious message.
108  An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
109  Themselves when they be felt.
Messenger
110  I have done my duty.
CLEOPATRA
111  Is he married?
112  I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
113  If thou again say 'Yes.'
Messenger
114  He's married, madam.
CLEOPATRA
115  The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still?
Messenger
116  Should I lie, madam?
CLEOPATRA
117  O, I would thou didst,
118  So half my Egypt were submerged and made
119  A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence:
120  Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
121  Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
Messenger
122  I crave your highness' pardon.
CLEOPATRA
123  He is married?
Messenger
124  Take no offence that I would not offend you:
125  To punish me for what you make me do.
126  Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.
CLEOPATRA
127  O, that his fault should make a knave of thee,
128  That art not what thou'rt sure of! Get thee hence:
129  The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
130  Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
131  And be undone by 'em!
Exit Messenger

CHARMIAN
132  Good your highness, patience.
CLEOPATRA
133  In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.
CHARMIAN
134  Many times, madam.
CLEOPATRA
135  I am paid for't now.
136  Lead me from hence:
137  I faint: O Iras, Charmian! 'tis no matter.
138  Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
139  Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
140  Her inclination, let him not leave out
141  The colour of her hair: bring me word quickly.
Exit ALEXAS
142  Let him for ever go:--let him not--Charmian,
143  Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
144  The other way's a Mars. Bid you Alexas
To MARDIAN
145  Bring me word how tall she is. Pity me, Charmian,
146  But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IVACT II, SCENE VI (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X
  • SCENE XI
  • SCENE XII
  • SCENE XIII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X
  • SCENE XI
  • SCENE XII
  • SCENE XIII
  • SCENE XIV
  • SCENE XV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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