Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 1

Original Text

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Enter ENOBARBUS, LAMPRIUS, a SOOTHSAYER, Rannius, LUCILLIUS, CHARMIAN, IRAS, MARDIAN the eunuch, and ALEXAS
ENOBARBUS, LAMPRIUS, the FORTUNETELLER, Rannius, LUCILLUS, CHARMIAN, IRAS, MARDIAN the eunuch, and ALEXAS enter.

CHARMIAN

Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where’s the soothsayer that you praised so to th’ Queen? Oh that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands!

CHARMIAN

Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost the most consummate Alexas, where’s the fortuneteller you recommended so highly to the Queen? Oh, I only wish I knew the name of that husband you said he predicted will have a cheating wife!

ALEXAS

5Soothsayer!

ALEXAS

(calling) Fortuneteller!

SOOTHSAYER

Your will?

FORTUNETELLER

What can I do for you?

CHARMIAN

(to ALEXAS ) Is this the man? (to SOOTHSAYER ) Is ’t you, sir, that know things?

CHARMIAN

(to ALEXAS ) Is this the man you recommended? (to the FORTUNETELLER ) Are you the man who knows the future?

SOOTHSAYER

In nature’s infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.

FORTUNETELLER

I can understand a few of nature’s infinite secrets.

ALEXAS

10 (to CHARMIAN )         Show him your hand.

ALEXAS

(to CHARMIAN ) Give him your hand to read.

ENOBARBUS

(to servants within) Bring in the banquet quickly. Wine enough
Cleopatra’s health to drink.

ENOBARBUS

(to the servants) Bring the dessert in right away, and make sure there’s enough wine to toast Cleopatra’s health.

CHARMIAN

(giving hand to SOOTHSAYER ) Good sir, give me good fortune.

CHARMIAN

(giving her hand to the FORTUNETELLER ) Kind sir, give me a good fortune.

SOOTHSAYER

I make not, but foresee.

FORTUNETELLER

I don’t make fortunes; I only see them.

CHARMIAN

15Pray, then, foresee me one.

CHARMIAN

Then see a good one for me.

SOOTHSAYER

You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

FORTUNETELLER

Your beauty will be even greater than it is now.

CHARMIAN

(to the others) He means in flesh.

CHARMIAN

(to the others) He means I’ll get fat.

IRAS

No, you shall paint when you are old.

IRAS

No, he means you’ll use makeup when you’re old.

CHARMIAN

Wrinkles forbid!

CHARMIAN

May my wrinkles forbid that!

ALEXAS

20Vex not his prescience. Be attentive.

ALEXAS

Don’t joke about his predictions. Pay attention.

CHARMIAN

Hush!

CHARMIAN

Quiet!

SOOTHSAYER

You shall be more beloving than beloved.

FORTUNETELLER

You will love more than you are loved.