Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

She gives him a scroll
She hands him a list.

CAESAR

You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

CAESAR

You shall advise me in everything having to do with Cleopatra.

CLEOPATRA

This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued,
140Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?

CLEOPATRA

This is the inventory of the money, silverware, dishes, and jewels that are still in my possession. It’s an exact list. Not even trivial things were left out. Where’s Seleucus?
Enter SELEUCUS
SELEUCUS enters.

SELEUCUS

Here, madam.

SELEUCUS

Here, madam.

CLEOPATRA

This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
To myself nothing.Speak the truth, Seleucus.

CLEOPATRA

This is my treasurer. My lord, he will swear on his life that I haven’t kept a thing.—Tell the truth, Seleucus.

SELEUCUS

145Madam, I had rather seal my lips
Than to my peril speak that which is not.

SELEUCUS

Madam, I’d rather sew my lips shut than tell a lie when my life depends upon it.

CLEOPATRA

What have I kept back?

CLEOPATRA

What did I keep for myself?

SELEUCUS

Enough to purchase what you have made known.

SELEUCUS

Enough to buy everything you have declared.

CAESAR

Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve
150Your wisdom in the deed.

CAESAR

No, don’t be ashamed, Cleopatra. You’re very prudent to set a little aside.

CLEOPATRA

                                                  See, Caesar! Oh, behold
How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours,
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild. (to SELEUCUS ) O slave, of no more trust
155Than love that’s hired!
                                             What, goest thou back? Thou shalt
Go back, I warrant thee! But I’ll catch thine eyes,
Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
Oh, rarely base!

CLEOPATRA

Look around you, Caesar. Oh, just see what happens after the pageantry is over! What is mine will be yours now. If we were to change places, what is yours would be mine. Seleucus’ ingratitude makes me wild. (to SELEUCUS ) Oh, you slave! I can’t trust you any more than a prostitute.
What are you doing? Cringing away? I’ll give you a good reason to cringe, I promise you. I’ll scratch out your eyes, even if they could fly. You slave! Soulless villain! Dog! Oh, that was unbelievably low!