Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CAESAR

                               Good Queen, let us entreat you—

CAESAR

Good Queen, let me implore you—

CLEOPATRA

O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
160That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honor of thy lordliness
To one so meek, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
165That I some lady trifles have reserved,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal, and say
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
170Their mediation, must I be unfolded
With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
Beneath the fall I have. (to SELEUCUS ) Prithee, go hence,
Or I shall show the cinders of my spirit
Through th’ ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
175Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

CLEOPATRA

Oh, Caesar, I am so ashamed. You condescended to visit me here, honoring my humble self with your lordly presence. And one of my own servants increases my disgrace by adding his envy! Suppose, good Caesar, that I have saved a few feminine trifles, some unimportant trinkets. These have worth only as gifts to friends. And suppose I have kept a few more expensive gifts aside for

Livia

Octavius Caesar’s wife

Livia
and Octavia, to solicit their good wishes. Must I then be exposed by a person I’ve supported? By the gods! It adds another blow to the many I have already. (to SELEUCUS ) Please leave, or I’ll show you what’s left of my spirit since my fortune was ruined. If you were a real man, you would have had mercy on me.

CAESAR

                                                                  Forbear, Seleucus.

CAESAR

Leave, Seleucus.
Exit SELEUCUS
SELEUCUS exits.

CLEOPATRA

Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do, and when we fall
We answer others’ merits in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.

CLEOPATRA

You should also know that as head of state, we are often blamed for the crimes of others. And though we may fall, we are still responsible for their offenses. I am therefore to be pitied.