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Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 11

page Act 3 Scene 11 Page 1

Original Text

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Enter ANTONY with attendants
ANTONY enters with attendants.


Hark. The land bids me tread no more upon ’t.
It is ashamed to bear me. Friends, come hither.
I am so lated in the world that I
Have lost my way forever. I have a ship
5Laden with gold. Take that, divide it. Fly
And make your peace with Caesar.


Listen. The earth tells me to stop walking upon it, as it’s ashamed to carry me. Friends, come here. I’m completely lost. I have a ship full of treasure. Take that. Divide it. Escape and make peace with Caesar.


                                                                    Fly? Not we.


Flee? Not us.


I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders. Friends, begone.
I have myself resolved upon a course
10Which has no need of you. Begone.
My treasure’s in the harbor. Take it. Oh,
I followed that I blush to look upon!
My very hairs do mutiny, for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
15For fear and doting. Friends, begone. You shall
Have letters from me to some friends that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness. Take the hint
Which my despair proclaims. Let that be left
20Which leaves itself. To the seaside straightway!
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little. Pray you now,
Nay, do so, for indeed I have lost command.
Therefore I pray you. I’ll see you by and by.


I have already fled from my true self. I’ve told cowards to turn their backs on me and run. Friends, go. I’ve decided on a plan that doesn’t require your assistance. Leave. My treasure’s in the harbor; take it. Oh, I followed something I’m ashamed to look at now! Even my hair revolts. The white hairs blame the brown hairs for being irresponsible, and the brown ones blame the white ones for being spineless and foolish. Friends, go. I’ll give you letters of introduction to some friends of mine who will help you. Please, don’t be sad, and don’t tell me how reluctant you are. Take your cues from my own despair. Abandon the person that has abandoned himself. Go to the harbor immediately! I’ll give you the title to that ship and its treasure. Just give me a moment, please—only a moment. I’ve relinquished my authority, so please—I’ll see you all before long.