Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 5

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CAESAR

                                                            You have broken
The article of your oath, which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.

CAESAR

You’ve broken the terms of our sworn agreement. You will never be able to say the same about me.

LEPIDUS

90Soft, Caesar.

LEPIDUS

Easy, Caesar.

ANTONY

No, Lepidus, let him speak.
The honor is sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lacked it.—But, on, Caesar.
The article of my oath?

ANTONY

No, Lepidus, let him say what’s on his mind. Now he slanders my honor, which is sacred to me. Go on, Caesar. What part of the agreement did I break?

CAESAR

95To lend me arms and aid when I required them,
The which you both denied.

CAESAR

You agreed to send me troops and weapons when I needed them. You refused me both.

ANTONY

                                                       Neglected, rather,
And then when poisoned hours had bound me up
From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may
I’ll play the penitent to you, but mine honesty
100Shall not make poor my greatness nor my power
Work without it. Truth is that Fulvia,
To have me out of Egypt, made wars here,
For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
So far ask pardon as befits mine honor
105To stoop in such a case.

ANTONY

I overlooked your request, but I did not deny it. Your request came at a time when the poisonous effects of reveling caused me to be unaware of my own actions. I will apologize as much as is appropriate, but my apology will not diminish my great stature—or if I am denied that honor, I will withhold my military might. The truth is that to get me out of Egypt, Fulvia provoked riots here. And though I am only indirectly the cause of all this trouble, I ask your pardon to the extent that my honor permits me to lower myself in such a situation.

LEPIDUS

                                               ’Tis noble spoken.

LEPIDUS

Spoken like a gentleman.

MAECENAS

If it might please you to enforce no further
The griefs between ye, to forget them quite
Were to remember that the present need
Speaks to atone you.

MAECENAS

If it’s okay with you, you should not press your grievances any further, but realize that the current situation should be enough to reconcile you.