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Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

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180That’s my brave lord!
That’s my brave lord!
I will be treble-sinewed, -hearted, -breathed,
And fight maliciously. For when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
Of me for jests; but now I’ll set my teeth
185And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,
Let’s have one other gaudy night. Call to me
All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more.
Let’s mock the midnight bell.
I’ll be triple the soldier I was in strength, bravery, and stamina. I’ll fight brutally. In the days when I had better luck, prisoners of war could buy their freedoms from me with simple trinkets. But now I’ll grit my teeth and kill anyone who tries to stop me. Come, let’s have one more extravagant night. Invite all my sad captains. Fill our wine bowls again. Let’s drink through midnight.
                                                           It is my birthday.
I had thought t’ have held it poor; but since my lord
190Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
It’s my birthday. I had planned to celebrate it quietly, but since my lord is once more himself, I will be Cleopatra again.
We will yet do well.
We’ll win yet.
(to ENOBARBUS ) Call all his noble captains to my lord.
(to ENOBARBUS ) Call all my lord’s noble captains to him.
Do so. We’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force
The wine peep through their scars.—Come on, my Queen,
195There’s sap in ’t yet. The next time I do fight
I’ll make Death love me, for I will contend
Even with his pestilent scythe.
Do so. I’ll speak to them, and then tonight I’ll get them all so drunk that the wine seeps out of their old war wounds. Come on, my Queen. There’s still life in our cause. The next time I fight, I’ll make Death love me. I’ll compete even with his fatal scythe.
Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
Everyone except ENOBARBUS exits.
Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
200The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still
A diminution in our captain’s brain
Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason,
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him.
Now he’ll work himself up to a fury. Rage scares away a man’s fear. In that state, a dove will attack an ostrich. I have always noticed that when my captain’s reason is diminished, his bravery increases. When courage consumes reason, it destroys its only weapon. I’ll look for some way to leave his service.