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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene IV.

Antony and Cleopatra

The Same.A Room in the Palace.

Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA; CHARMIAN, and Others, attending.

Ant.Eros! mine armour, Eros!

Cleo.Sleep a little.

Ant.No, my chuck. Eros, come; mine armour, Eros!

Enter EROS, with armour.

Come, good fellow, put mine iron on:

If Fortune be not ours to-day, it is

Because we brave her. Come.

Cleo.Nay, I’ll help too.

What’s this for?

Ant.Ah! let be, let be; thou art

The armourer of my heart: false, false; this, this.

Cleo.Sooth, la! I’ll help: thus it must be.

Ant.Well, well;

We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?

Go put on thy defences.

Eros.Briefly, sir.

Cleo.Is not this buckled well?

Ant.Rarely, rarely:

He that unbuckles this, till we do please

To daff ’t for our repose, shall hear a storm.

Thou fumblest, Eros; and my queen’s a squire

More tight at this than thou: dispatch. O love!

That thou couldst see my wars to-day, and knew’st

The royal occupation, thou shouldst see

A workman in ’t.

Enter an armed Soldier.

Good morrow to thee; welcome;

Thou look’st like him that knows a war-like charge:

To business that we love we rise betime,

And go to ’t with delight.

Sold.A thousand, sir,

Early though ’t be, have on their riveted trim,

And at the port expect you.[Shout.Trumpets flourish.

Enter Captains and Soldiers.

Capt.The morn is fair. Good morrow, general.

All.Good morrow, general.

Ant.’Tis well blown, lads.

This morning, like the spirit of a youth

That means to be of note, begins betimes.

So, so; come, give me that: this way; well said.

Fare thee well, dame, whate’er becomes of me;

This is a soldier’s kiss.[Kisses her.]Rebukeable

And worthy shameful check it were, to stand

On more mechanic compliment; I’ll leave thee

Now, like a man of steel. You that will fight,

Follow me close; I’ll bring you to ’t. Adieu.[Exeunt ANTONY, EROS, Captains, and Soldiers.

Char.Please you, retire to your chamber.

Cleo.Lead me.

He goes forth gallantly. That he and Cæsar might

Determine this great war in single fight!

Then, Antony,—but now.—Well, on.[Exeunt.