Antony and Cleopatra

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Enobarbus and Lepidus


Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,

And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

To soft and gentle speech.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


                         I shall entreat him

To answer like himself. If Caesar move him,
move (v.) 2 move to anger, provoke, exasperate

Let Antony look over Caesar's head

And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,

Were I the wearer of Antonio's beard,

I would not shave't today.


                         'Tis not a time

For private stomaching.
stomaching (n.) cherishing bitterness, feeling resentful


                         Every time

Serves for the matter that is then born in't.


But small to greater matters must give way.


Not if the small come first.
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage


                         Your speech is passion;

But pray you stir no embers up. Here comes

The noble Antony.

Enter Antony and Ventidius


                         And yonder Caesar.

Enter Caesar, Maecenas, and Agrippa
compose (v.) 2 reach agreement, make a settlement


If we compose well here, to Parthia.

Hark, Ventidius.


                         I do not know,

Maecenas; ask Agrippa.


(to Caesar and Antony)

                          Noble friends,

That which combined us was most great, and let not

A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
action (n.) 1 campaign, military action, strategy
lean (adj.) 1 slight, mean, poor

May it be gently heard. When we debate
debate (v.) 1 discuss, argue over, dispute about

Our trivial difference loud, we do commit

Murder in healing wounds. Then, noble partners,

The rather for I earnestly beseech,

Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
touch (v.) 2 refer to, treat of, deal with

Nor curstness grow to th' matter.
curstness (n.) ill humour, bad temper


                         'Tis spoken well.

Were we before our armies, and to fight,

I should do thus.



Welcome to Rome.


Thank you.




Sit, sir.


Nay then.

They sit
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count


I learn you take things ill which are not so,

Or, being, concern you not.


                         I must be laughed at

If, or for nothing or a little, I

Should say myself offended, and with you

Chiefly i'th' world; more laughed at that I should

Once name you derogately, when to sound your name
derogately (adv.) disparagingly, in a derogatory way
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

It not concerned me.


                         My being in Egypt, Caesar,

What was't to you?


No more than my residing here at Rome

Might be to you in Egypt. Yet if you there

Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
practise (v.) 1 plot, scheme, conspire
state (n.) 12 welfare, well-being, prosperity

Might be my question.
intend (v.) 3 mean, imply, suggest
question (n.) 2 point at issue, problem, business


                         How intend you – practised?


You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
catch at (v.) 2 grasp, gather, infer
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother

Made wars upon me, and their contestation
contestation (n.) joint action as enemies, shared antagonism

Was theme for you You were the word of war.
theme (n.) 2 reason for acting, ground of belief
word (n.) 2 declaration, affirmation, proclamation


You do mistake your business. My brother never

Did urge me in his act. I did inquire it,
urge (v.) 4 bring forward, advocate, represent

And have my learning from some true reports
report (n.) 3 account, description
true (adj.) 5 reliable, trustworthy, dependable

That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather

Discredit my authority with yours,

And make the wars alike against my stomach,
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

Having alike your cause? Of this, my letters

Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
patch (v.) 1 fabricate, make up [as in patchwork]

As matter whole you have to make it with,
matter (n.) 5 reason, cause, ground

It must not be with this.


                         You praise yourself

By laying defects of judgement to me, but
lay (v.) 2 attribute, ascribe, impute

You patched up your excuses.
patch up (v.) invent in haste, fabricate, make


                         Not so, not so;

I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,

Very necessity of this thought, that I,

Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,

Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
attend (v.) 6 regard, consider
graceful (adj.) 2 favourable, friendly, approving

Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
front (v.) 2 oppose, confront, be hostile to

I would you had her spirit in such another;

The third o'th' world is yours, which with a snaffle
snaffle (n.) bridle-bit

You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
pace (v.) 2 train to move, control the course of


Would we had all such wives, that the men

might go to wars with the women.


So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar,
garboil (n.) trouble, disturbance, commotion

Made out of her impatience – which not wanted

Shrewdness of policy too – I grieving grant
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Did you too much disquiet. For that you must

But say I could not help it.


                         I wrote to you

When, rioting in Alexandria, you

Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts

Did gibe my missive out of audience.
audience (n.) 2 audience-chamber, presence
gibe (v.) scoff, jeer, ridicule
missive (n.) messenger, emissary, courier



He fell upon me, ere admitted, then.

Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
want (v.) 3 fall short [of], be deficient [in]

Of what I was i'th' morning; but next day

I told him of myself, which was as much

As to have asked him pardon. Let this fellow

Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
contend (v.) 1 fight, engage in combat, struggle

Out of our question wipe him.


                         You have broken

The article of your oath, which you shall never
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision

Have tongue to charge me with.
soft (adv.) 1 [used as a command] not so fast, wait a moment See Topics: Attention signals


                         Soft, Caesar!


No, Lepidus; let him speak.

The honour is sacred which he talks on now,

Supposing that I lacked it. But on, Caesar:

The article of my oath –


To lend me arms and aid when I required them,

The which you both denied.


                         Neglected rather;

And then when poisoned hours had bound me up
bind up (v.) prevent, keep away, impede

From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,

I'll play the penitent to you; but mine honesty

Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power

Work without it. Truth is that Fulvia,

To have me out of Egypt, made wars here,

For which myself, the ignorant motive, do

So far ask pardon as befits mine honour

To stoop in such a case.


                         'Tis noble spoken.


If it might please you to enforce no further

The griefs between ye: to forget them quite
grief (n.) 1 grievance, complaint, hurt, injury

Were to remember that the present need

Speaks to atone you.
atone (v.) 1 unite, join, reconcile
present (adj.) 6 occurring at this time, taking place now


                         Worthily spoken, Maecenas.


Or, if you borrow one another's love for the

instant, you may, when you hear no more words of

Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to wrangle

in when you have nothing else to do.


Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.


That truth should be silent I had almost



You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
presence (n.) 1 royal assembly, eminent company


Go to, then; your considerate stone.
considerate (adj.) 1 considering, thoughtful, reflecting


I do not much dislike the matter, but
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

The manner of his speech; for't cannot be

We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

So diff'ring in their acts. Yet if I knew
act (n.) 2 action (upon a person), effect

What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to edge
staunch, stanch (adj.) water-tight, steadfast, firm

O'th' world I would pursue it.


                         Give me leave, Caesar.


Speak, Agrippa.


Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,

Admired Octavia. Great Mark Antony
admired (adj.) 2 regarded with admiration, wondered at

Is now a widower.


                         Say not so, Agrippa.

If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof

Were well deserved of rashness.


I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear

Agrippa further speak.


To hold you in perpetual amity,

To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts

With an unslipping knot, take Antony

Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims

No worse a husband than the best of men;

Whose virtue and whose general graces speak

That which none else can utter. By this marriage

All little jealousies, which now seem great,
jealousy (n.) 1 suspicion, mistrust, apprehension

And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
import (v.) 3 involve as a consequence, carry along

Would then be nothing. Truths would be tales,

Where now half-tales be truths. Her love to both

Would each to other, and all loves to both,

Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke,

For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
present (adj.) 4 sudden, spur-of-the-moment

By duty ruminated.


                         Will Caesar speak?


Not till he hears how Antony is touched
touch (v.) 3 affect, move, stir

With what is spoke already.


                         What power is in Agrippa,

If I would say, ‘ Agrippa, be it so,’

To make this good?


                         The power of Caesar, and

His power unto Octavia.


                         May I never

To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
fairly (adv.) 4 promisingly, favourably, propitiously
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand.

Further this act of grace, and from this hour
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect

The heart of brothers govern in our loves

And sway our great designs.


                         There's my hand.

A sister I bequeath you whom no brother

Did ever love so dearly. Let her live

To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never

Fly off our loves again.


                         Happily, amen.


I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey,

For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
strange (adj.) 2 rare, singular, exceptional

Of late upon me. I must thank him only,

Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

At heel of that, defy him.
heel (n.) end, completion, termination


                         Time calls upon's.

Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Or else he seeks out us.


                         Where lies he?


About the Mount Misena.


                         What is his strength?


By land, great and increasing; but by sea

He is an absolute master.
fame (n.) 2 report, account, description


                         So is the fame.

Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it.
speak (v.) 7 encounter, fight, exchange blows

Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly

The business we have talked of.


                         With most gladness;

And do invite you to my sister's view,
view (n.) 3 presence, meeting, sight

Whither straight I'll lead you.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


                         Let us, Lepidus,

Not lack your company.


                         Noble Antony,

Not sickness should detain me.

Flourish. Exeunt all but Enobarbus,

Agrippa, and Maecenas


Welcome from Egypt, sir.


Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas.

My honourable friend, Agrippa.


Good Enobarbus.


We have cause to be glad that matters are so

well disgested. You stayed well by't in Egypt.
digest, disgest (v.) 3 arrange, organize, order
stay (v.) 4 remain, continue, endure


Ay, sir, we did sleep day out of countenance
countenance, out of 2 into a disconcerted state

and made the night light with drinking.


Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast,

and but twelve persons there. Is this true?


This was but as a fly by an eagle. We had
by (prep.) 5 compared with

much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily

deserved noting.


She's a most triumphant lady, if report be
report (n.) 4 rumour, gossip, hearsay
triumphant (adj.) triumphal, glorious, celebrating a great victory

square to her.
square (adj.) 3 true, accurate, justified


When she first met Mark Antony, she

pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
purse up (v.) take possession of, put into one's keeping


There she appeared indeed! Or my reporter

devised well for her.
devise (v.) 2 invent, imagine, make up [an account]


I will tell you.

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,

Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold;

Purple the sails, and so perfumed that

The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were silver,

Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke and made

The water which they beat to follow faster,

As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,

It beggared all description. She did lie
beggar (v.) 4 use up all the resouces of, exhaust

In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
pavilion (n.) ceremonial tent
tissue (n.) [type of] rich cloth, sumptuous fabric

O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
overpicture (v.) surpass, outdo, excel

The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
fancy (n.) 3 imagination, creativity, inventiveness
nature (n.) 6 natural order, ungoverned state, way of the world [often personified]
outwork (v.) excel in workmanship, transcend

Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,

With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
divers (adj.) different, various, several

To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
glow (v.) blush, redden, flush

And what they undid did.
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent


                         O, rare for Antony!


Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,

So many mermaids, tended her i'th' eyes,
eye (n.) 1 sight, view, presence
eyes, in the in one's sight, in front of one
tend (v.) 1 attend, wait on, serve

And made their bends adornings. At the helm
adorning (n.) adornment, decoration, ornamentation
bend (n.) 1 movement, bending motion, posture

A seeming mermaid steers. The silken tackle
seeming (adj.) apparent, convincing in appearance
tackle (n.) 1 [of a ship] rigging and sails

Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,

That yarely frame the office. From the barge
frame (v.) 6 perform, manage, carry out
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count
yarely (adv.) quickly, briskly, lively

A strange invisible perfume hits the sense

Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
wharf (n.) river bank

Her people out upon her; and Antony,
upon (prep.) 3 on account of

Enthroned i'th' market-place, did sit alone,

Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
vacancy (n.) 1 empty space, nothingness

Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,

And made a gap in nature.
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent


                         Rare Egyptian!


Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,

Invited her to supper. She replied

It should be better he became her guest;

Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,

Whom ne'er the word of ‘ No’ woman heard speak,

Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,

And, for his ordinary, pays his heart
ordinary (n.) 2 regular meal, standard fare, meal-time

For what his eyes eat only.
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count


                         Royal wench!

She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed.

He ploughed her, and she cropped.
crop (v.) 3 bear a crop, have a child


                         I saw her once

Hop forty paces through the public street;

And, having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,

That she did make defect perfection,

And, breathless, power breathe forth.


Now Antony must leave her utterly.


Never; he will not.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
stale (v.) 1 make stale, wear out

Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
cloy (v.) 1 satiate, gorge, satisfy

The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry

Where most she satisfies; for vilest things

Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
become (v.) 3 put a good front on, give a pleasing appearance to

Bless her when she is riggish.
riggish (adj.) licentious, wanton, lascivious


If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle

The heart of Antony, Octavia is

A blessed lottery to him.
lottery (n.) 3 prize, allotment, award


                         Let us go.

Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest

Whilst you abide here.


                         Humbly, sir, I thank you.


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