Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter a SOLDIER of Caesar’s
A SOLDIER of Caesar’s enters.

SOLDIER

                                                Enobarbus, Antony
Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with
His bounty overplus. The messenger
Came on my guard, and at thy tent is now
Unloading of his mules.

SOLDIER

Enobarbus, Antony has sent you all your treasure, with generous gifts besides. The messenger arrived on my watch and is unloading his mules at your tent.

ENOBARBUS

25I give it you.

ENOBARBUS

It’s yours.

SOLDIER

Mock not, Enobarbus.
I tell you true. Best you safed the bringer
Out of the host. I must attend mine office,
Or would have done ’t myself. Your Emperor
30Continues still a Jove.

SOLDIER

Don’t joke about this, Enobarbus. I’m telling you the truth. You’d better bring the messenger safely through the lines so he can return. I’d do it myself, but I can’t leave my post. Your Emperor is still a king among gods.
Exit
He exits.

ENOBARBUS

I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. O Antony,
Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid
My better service, when my turpitude
35Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart.
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
Shall outstrike thought, but thought will do ’t, I feel.
I fight against thee? No, I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die. The foul’st best fits
40My latter part of life.

ENOBARBUS

I am the worst person alive, and I know it the best. Oh, Antony, you extravagantly generous man, how would you have rewarded me for serving you faithfully when you reward my badness with all of this gold! My heart feels like it’s about to explode. If grief doesn’t kill me, I’ll find a quicker way to kill myself—even though I think grief will do the job just as well. I, fight against you, Antony? No, I’ll go find some ditch to die in. The foulest fate would be most appropriate for me now in this latest phase of my life.