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

Act IV. Scene XIII.

Antony and Cleopatra

The Same.A Monument.

Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft, with CHARMIAN and IRAS.

Cle.O Charmian! I will never go from hence.

Char.Be comforted, dear madam.

Cleo.No, I will not.

All strange and terrible events are welcome,

But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,

Proportion’d to our cause, must be as great

As that which makes it.

Enter, below, DIOMEDES.

How now! is he dead?

Dio.His death’s upon him, but not dead.

Look out o’ the other side your monument;

His guard have brought him thither.

Enter, below, ANTONY, borne by the Guard.

Cleo.O sun!

Burn the great sphere thou mov’st in; darkling stand

The varying star o’ the world. O Antony,

Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help;

Help, friends below! let’s draw him hither.


Not Cæsar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony,

But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.

Cleo.So it should be, that none but Antony

Should conquer Antony; but woe ’tis so!

Ant.I am dying, Egypt, dying; only

I here importune death awhile, until

Of many thousand kisses the poor last

I lay upon thy lips.

Cleo.I dare not, dear,—

Dear my lord, pardon,—I dare not,

Lest I be taken: not the imperious show

Of the full-fortun’d Cæsar ever shall

Be brooch’d with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have

Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:

Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes

And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour

Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony,—

Help me, my women,—we must draw thee up.

Assist, good friends.

Ant.O! quick, or I am gone.

Cleo.Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!

Our strength is all gone into heaviness,

That makes the weight. Had I great Juno’s power,

The strong-wing’d Mercury should fetch thee up,

And set thee by Jove’s side. Yet come a little,

Wishers were ever fools. O! come, come, come;[They heave ANTONY aloft to CLEOPATRA.

And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast liv’d;

Quicken with kissing; had my lips that power,

Thus would I wear them out.

All.A heavy sight!

Ant.I am dying, Egypt, dying:

Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.

Cleo.No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,

That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,

Provok’d by my offence.

Ant.One word, sweet queen.

Of Cæsar seek your honour with your safety. O!

Cleo.They do not go together.

Ant.Gentle, hear me:

None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.

Cleo.My resolution and my hands I’ll trust;

None about Cæsar.

Ant.The miserable change now at my end

Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts

In feeding them with those my former fortunes

Wherein I liv’d, the greatest prince o’ the world,

The noblest; and do now not basely die,

Not cowardly put off my helmet to

My countryman; a Roman by a Roman

Valiantly vanquish’d. Now my spirit is going;

I can no more.

Cleo.Noblest of men, woo ’t die?

Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide

In this dull world, which in thy absence is

No better than a sty? O! see my women,[ANTONY dies.

The crown o’ the earth doth melt. My lord!

O! wither’d is the garland of the war,

The soldier’s pole is fall’n; young boys and girls

Are level now with men; the odds is gone,

And there is nothing left remarkable

Beneath the visiting moon.[Swoons.

Char.O, quietness, lady!

Iras.She is dead too, our sovereign.



Char.O madam, madam, madam!

Iras.Royal Egypt!


Char.Peace, peace, Iras!

Cleo.No more, but e’en a woman, and commanded

By such poor passion as the maid that milks

And does the meanest chares. It were for me

To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;

To tell them that this world did equal theirs

Till they had stol’n our jewel. All’s but naught;

Patience is sottish, and impatience does

Become a dog that’s mad; then is it sin

To rush into the secret house of death,

Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?

What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!

My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look!

Our lamp is spent, it’s out. Good sirs, take heart;—

We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave, what’s noble,

Let’s do it after the high Roman fashion,

And make death proud to take us. Come, away;

This case of that huge spirit now is cold;

Ah! women, women. Come; we have no friend

But resolution, and the briefest end.[Exeunt; those above bearing off ANTONY’S body.