Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

MESSENGER

Brown, madam, and her forehead
35As low as she would wish it.

MESSENGER

Brown, madam, and she wouldn’t want her forehead to be any lower.

CLEOPATRA

            (giving money)             There’s gold for thee.
Thou must not take my former sharpness ill.
I will employ thee back again; I find thee
Most fit for business. Go make thee ready;
Our letters are prepared.

CLEOPATRA

Here’s gold for you. You mustn’t hold my earlier outburst against me. I’ll hire you again to go back to Rome. I find that you’re very good at this kind of work. Go, prepare to travel. My letters are ready to go.
Exit MESSENGER
The MESSENGER exits.

CHARMIAN

                                                 A proper man.

CHARMIAN

He’s an admirable man.

CLEOPATRA

40Indeed, he is so. I repent me much
That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,
This creature’s no such thing.

CLEOPATRA

He certainly is. I’m very sorry I was so hard on him. Why, from what he says, Octavia isn’t worth getting upset over.

CHARMIAN

                                                          Nothing, madam.

CHARMIAN

Not a bit, madam.

CLEOPATRA

The man hath seen some majesty and should know.

CLEOPATRA

This man’s been around royalty. He should recognize it when he sees it.

CHARMIAN

Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,
45And serving you so long!

CHARMIAN

Been around royalty! Isis forbid it were otherwise, since he’s been in your service so long.

CLEOPATRA

I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian—
But ’tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me
Where I will write. All may be well enough.

CLEOPATRA

I want to ask him one more thing, Charmian. But it’s not important. Bring him to my writing room. Everything may still be all right.

CHARMIAN

I warrant you, madam.

CHARMIAN

I assure you it is, madam.
Exeunt
They exit.