Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Antony and Cleopatra > Act I, scene III


CLEOPATRA: Where is he?

CHARMIAN:                   I did not see him since.

CLEOPATRA: See where he is, who's with him, what he does:
	I did not send you: if you find him sad,
	Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
	That I am sudden sick: quick, and return.

	[Exit ALEXAS]

CHARMIAN: Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
	You do not hold the method to enforce
	The like from him.

CLEOPATRA:                   What should I do, I do not?

CHARMIAN: In each thing give him way, cross him nothing.

CLEOPATRA: Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.

CHARMIAN: Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:
	In time we hate that which we often fear.
	But here comes Antony.


CLEOPATRA: I am sick and sullen.

MARK ANTONY: I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--

CLEOPATRA: Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:
	It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
	Will not sustain it.

MARK ANTONY: Now, my dearest queen,--

CLEOPATRA: Pray you, stand further from me.

MARK ANTONY: What's the matter?

CLEOPATRA: I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.
	What says the married woman? You may go:
	Would she had never given you leave to come!
	Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here:
	I have no power upon you; hers you are.

MARK ANTONY: The gods best know,--

CLEOPATRA: O, never was there queen
	So mightily betray'd! yet at the first
	I saw the treasons planted.

MARK ANTONY: Cleopatra,--

CLEOPATRA: Why should I think you can be mine and true,
	Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
	Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
	To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
	Which break themselves in swearing!

MARK ANTONY: Most sweet queen,--

CLEOPATRA: Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
	But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
	Then was the time for words: no going then;
	Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
	Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
	But was a race of heaven: they are so still,
	Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
	Art turn'd the greatest liar.

MARK ANTONY: How now, lady!

CLEOPATRA: I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
	There were a heart in Egypt.

MARK ANTONY: Hear me, queen:
	The strong necessity of time commands
	Our services awhile; but my full heart
	Remains in use with you. Our Italy
	Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
	Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
	Equality of two domestic powers
	Breed scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength,
	Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
	Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace,
	Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
	Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
	And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
	By any desperate change: my more particular,
	And that which most with you should safe my going,
	Is Fulvia's death.

CLEOPATRA: Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
	It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?

MARK ANTONY: She's dead, my queen:
	Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
	The garboils she awaked; at the last, best:
	See when and where she died.

CLEOPATRA: O most false love!
	Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
	With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
	In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.

MARK ANTONY: Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
	The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
	As you shall give the advice. By the fire
	That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
	Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war
	As thou affect'st.

CLEOPATRA:                   Cut my lace, Charmian, come;
	But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well,
	So Antony loves.

MARK ANTONY:                   My precious queen, forbear;
	And give true evidence to his love, which stands
	An honourable trial.

CLEOPATRA: So Fulvia told me.
	I prithee, turn aside and weep for her,
	Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
	Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
	Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
	Life perfect honour.

MARK ANTONY: You'll heat my blood: no more.

CLEOPATRA: You can do better yet; but this is meetly.

MARK ANTONY: Now, by my sword,--

CLEOPATRA: And target. Still he mends;
	But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
	How this Herculean Roman does become
	The carriage of his chafe.

MARK ANTONY: I'll leave you, lady.

CLEOPATRA: Courteous lord, one word.
	Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
	Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;
	That you know well: something it is I would,
	O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
	And I am all forgotten.

MARK ANTONY: But that your royalty
	Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
	For idleness itself.

CLEOPATRA: 'Tis sweating labour
	To bear such idleness so near the heart
	As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
	Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
	Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
	Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly.
	And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
	Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
	Be strew'd before your feet!

MARK ANTONY: Let us go. Come;
	Our separation so abides, and flies,
	That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
	And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee. Away!



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