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Enter CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , ALEXAS , and IRAS
CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , ALEXAS , and IRAS enter.

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CHARMIAN

I did not see him since.

CHARMIAN

I havent seen him recently.

CLEOPATRA

(toALEXAS) See where he is, whos with him, what he does.
I did not send you. If you find him sad,
Say I am dancing. If in mirth, report
5 That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

CLEOPATRA

(toALEXAS) Find out where he is, whos with him, and what hes doing. Dont tell him I sent you. If hes sad, tell him Im dancing. If hes happy, say that Ive suddenly taken sick. Hurry, and come back.

CHARMIAN

Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

CHARMIAN

Madam, I think if you love him so much, you arent using the best way to get him to reciprocate.

CLEOPATRA

What should I do I do not?

CLEOPATRA

What should I do that Im not doing?

CHARMIAN

In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.

CHARMIAN

Always give him his way. Never contradict him.

CLEOPATRA

10 Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.

CLEOPATRA

You advise me like a fool. Thats the way to lose him.

CHARMIAN

Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear.
In time we hate that which we often fear.

CHARMIAN

Dont push him too far. I wish youd be patient. We come to hate that which controls us.
Enter ANTONY
ANTONY enters.
But here comes Antony.
But here comes Antony.

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

ANTONY

I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose

ANTONY

Im sorry to have to say this

CLEOPATRA

15 Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.
It cannot be thus long. The sides of nature
Will not sustain it.

CLEOPATRA

Help me away from here, dear Charmian! I shall faint. I wont be able to go on this way much longer. Human nature isnt built to withstand this.
Exit ALEXAS ALEXAS exits.

ANTONY

Now, my dearest Queen

ANTONY

Now, my dearest Queen

CLEOPATRA

Pray you, stand farther from me.

CLEOPATRA

Please, stand farther away from me.

ANTONY

Whats the matter?

ANTONY

Whats the matter?

CLEOPATRA

I know by that same eye theres some good news.
20 What, says the married woman you may go?
Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say tis I that keep you here.
I have no power upon you. Hers you are.

CLEOPATRA

I can see in your eyes theres been some good news. What, does your wife say you can come home? I wish shed never let you come. Dont let her say I kept you. I have no power over you. You belong to her.

ANTONY

The gods best know

ANTONY

The gods know

CLEOPATRA

Oh never was there queen
25 So mightily betrayed! Yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.

CLEOPATRA

Oh, never has a queen been so betrayed as I have been. I knew from the first it would be this way.

ANTONY

Cleopatra

ANTONY

Cleopatra

CLEOPATRA

Why should I think you can be mine, and true
Though you in swearing shake the thrond gods
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
30 To be entangled with those mouth-made vows
Which break themselves in swearing!

CLEOPATRA

How could I have ever thought that you would be faithful and true, even though your vows of love shook the heavens themselvesyou, who were unfaithful to Fulvia? It was wild insanity to believe promises made by the mouth and not the heart. Such false vows are broken as soon as they are spoken.

ANTONY

Most sweet Queen

ANTONY

Most sweet Queen

CLEOPATRA

Nay, pray you, seek no color for your going,
But bid farewell and go. When you sued staying,
Then was the time for words. No going then!
35 Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows bent, none our parts so poor
But was a race of heaven. They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turned the greatest liar.

CLEOPATRA

No, please dont try to excuse your departure. Just say good-bye and go. When you begged to stay, that was the time for words. You didnt want to go then! You saw eternity in my lips and eyes, and happiness in the arch of my eyebrows. Then, all my parts seemed angelic to you. My features are still that beautifulor else you, the greatest soldier in the world, have become the greatest liar by overpraising them.

ANTONY

How now, lady?

ANTONY

What do you mean, lady?

CLEOPATRA

40 I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.

CLEOPATRA

I wish I were as big and strong as you. Then youd see the courage that lives in the Queen of Egypt.

ANTONY

Hear me, Queen:
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
45 Shines oer with civil swords. Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.
Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love. The condemned Pompey,
50 Rich in his fathers honor, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change. My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvias death.

ANTONY

Listen to me, Queen. There is an emergency I must take care of, but my whole heart will remain here with you. My Italy is full of civil war. Sextus Pompeius is sailing toward the port of Rome. When two domestic opponents are equally matchedas we are against Pompeyfactions will form on the smallest of pretexts. When a formerly hated man grows powerful, he suddenly finds himself with many supporters. Pompey, who was once condemned, now wields his fathers power, and all the citizens who have grievances against the government are joining him. Pompeys numbers are steadily growing, and the government is ready to do something desperate. But my personal motivationand that which should move you most to sanction my departureis that Fulvia is dead.

CLEOPATRA

Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?

CLEOPATRA

I may not have outlived the foolishness of my youth, but Im not that childishly nave. Is it possible Fulvia is dead?

ANTONY

Shes dead, my Queen.

ANTONY

Shes dead, my Queen.
He offers letters
He shows her the message.
60 Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils she awaked, at the last, best,
See when and where she died.
Look at this. Take your royal time and read about the quarrels she encouraged. And saving the best for last, read when and where she died.

CLEOPATRA

O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
65 In Fulvias death how mine received shall be.

CLEOPATRA

ANTONY

Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
The purposes I bear, which are or cease
As you shall give th advice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus slime, I go from hence
70 Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war
As thou affects.

ANTONY

Stop arguing and listen to my plans. Whether I go ahead with them or not is completely up to you. I swear by the sun that when I leave here, it will be as your faithful servant. I will make either peace or war, whichever you prefer.

CLEOPATRA

Cut my lace, Charmian, come!
But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.

CLEOPATRA

Cut my corset laces, Charmian, so I can breathe. Hurry! No, leave it alone. I waver easily between sickness and health. Just as Antony loves.

ANTONY

75 My precious Queen, forbear,
And give true evidence to his love which stands
An honorable trial.

ANTONY

Control yourself, my precious Queen, and concede that my love is true. It has endured many genuine trials.

CLEOPATRA

So Fulvia told me.
I prithee, turn aside and weep for her.
80 Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
Like perfect honor.

CLEOPATRA

Thats what Fulvia told me. I beg you, turn away and cry for her. Then say good-bye to me and tell me those tears were for my benefit. Good. Now perform a scene for me, using your excellent skills of playacting, and pretend that youre being honorable and righteous.

ANTONY

Youll heat my blood. No more.

ANTONY

Youll make me angry. No more of this.

CLEOPATRA

You can do better yet, but this is meetly.

CLEOPATRA

I know you can do better than that, but itll do for now.

ANTONY

85 Now, by my sword

ANTONY

I swear by my sword

CLEOPATRA

And target. Still he mends.
(toCHARMIAN) But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.

CLEOPATRA

Swear by your shield, too! (toCHARMIAN) Hes getting better, but still its not his best. See, Charmian, how well this mighty Roman portrays anger?

ANTONY

Ill leave you, lady.

ANTONY

Ill leave you, lady.

CLEOPATRA

90 Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part, but thats not it.
Sir, you and I have loved, but theres not it,
That you know well. Something it is I would
Oh, my oblivion is a very Antony,
95 And I am all forgotten.

CLEOPATRA

Polite sir, let me say one thing. Sir, you and I must part companyno, thats not it. Sir, you and I were loversno, thats not it, either. You already know all that. Theres something Id like tooh, Ive forgotten what I wanted to say. Just as Antony has forgotten me.

ANTONY

But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.

ANTONY

If you werent the queen of immaturity, Id think you were immaturity itself.

CLEOPATRA

Tis sweating labor
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me,
100 Since my becomings kill me when they do not
Eye well to you. Your honor calls you hence.
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel victory, and smooth success
105 Be strewed before your feet.

CLEOPATRA

Its difficult to have such immaturity so close to my heart, but bear with me. Even the traits that become me most kill me when you dont approve of them. Your honor is the reason you are leaving. So I beg you not to listen to my foolishness. May the gods be with you. May your sword be victorious and everything you do succeed.

ANTONY

Let us go. Come.
Our separation so abides and flies
That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Away!

ANTONY

Lets go. Come with me. Our imminent separation so occupies our thoughts that even though you stay here, you come with me, and even though I leave here, I stay with you.
Exeunt They exit.

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , ALEXAS , and IRAS
CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , ALEXAS , and IRAS enter.

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CHARMIAN

I did not see him since.

CHARMIAN

I havent seen him recently.

CLEOPATRA

(toALEXAS) See where he is, whos with him, what he does.
I did not send you. If you find him sad,
Say I am dancing. If in mirth, report
5 That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

CLEOPATRA

(toALEXAS) Find out where he is, whos with him, and what hes doing. Dont tell him I sent you. If hes sad, tell him Im dancing. If hes happy, say that Ive suddenly taken sick. Hurry, and come back.

CHARMIAN

Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

CHARMIAN

Madam, I think if you love him so much, you arent using the best way to get him to reciprocate.

CLEOPATRA

What should I do I do not?

CLEOPATRA

What should I do that Im not doing?

CHARMIAN

In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.

CHARMIAN

Always give him his way. Never contradict him.

CLEOPATRA

10 Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.

CLEOPATRA

You advise me like a fool. Thats the way to lose him.

CHARMIAN

Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear.
In time we hate that which we often fear.

CHARMIAN

Dont push him too far. I wish youd be patient. We come to hate that which controls us.
Enter ANTONY
ANTONY enters.
But here comes Antony.
But here comes Antony.

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

ANTONY

I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose

ANTONY

Im sorry to have to say this

CLEOPATRA

15 Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.
It cannot be thus long. The sides of nature
Will not sustain it.

CLEOPATRA

Help me away from here, dear Charmian! I shall faint. I wont be able to go on this way much longer. Human nature isnt built to withstand this.
Exit ALEXAS ALEXAS exits.

ANTONY

Now, my dearest Queen

ANTONY

Now, my dearest Queen

CLEOPATRA

Pray you, stand farther from me.

CLEOPATRA

Please, stand farther away from me.

ANTONY

Whats the matter?

ANTONY

Whats the matter?

CLEOPATRA

I know by that same eye theres some good news.
20 What, says the married woman you may go?
Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say tis I that keep you here.
I have no power upon you. Hers you are.

CLEOPATRA

I can see in your eyes theres been some good news. What, does your wife say you can come home? I wish shed never let you come. Dont let her say I kept you. I have no power over you. You belong to her.

ANTONY

The gods best know

ANTONY

The gods know

CLEOPATRA

Oh never was there queen
25 So mightily betrayed! Yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.

CLEOPATRA

Oh, never has a queen been so betrayed as I have been. I knew from the first it would be this way.

ANTONY

Cleopatra

ANTONY

Cleopatra

CLEOPATRA

Why should I think you can be mine, and true
Though you in swearing shake the thrond gods
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
30 To be entangled with those mouth-made vows
Which break themselves in swearing!

CLEOPATRA

How could I have ever thought that you would be faithful and true, even though your vows of love shook the heavens themselvesyou, who were unfaithful to Fulvia? It was wild insanity to believe promises made by the mouth and not the heart. Such false vows are broken as soon as they are spoken.

ANTONY

Most sweet Queen

ANTONY

Most sweet Queen

CLEOPATRA

Nay, pray you, seek no color for your going,
But bid farewell and go. When you sued staying,
Then was the time for words. No going then!
35 Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows bent, none our parts so poor
But was a race of heaven. They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turned the greatest liar.

CLEOPATRA

No, please dont try to excuse your departure. Just say good-bye and go. When you begged to stay, that was the time for words. You didnt want to go then! You saw eternity in my lips and eyes, and happiness in the arch of my eyebrows. Then, all my parts seemed angelic to you. My features are still that beautifulor else you, the greatest soldier in the world, have become the greatest liar by overpraising them.

ANTONY

How now, lady?

ANTONY

What do you mean, lady?

CLEOPATRA

40 I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.

CLEOPATRA

I wish I were as big and strong as you. Then youd see the courage that lives in the Queen of Egypt.

ANTONY

Hear me, Queen:
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
45 Shines oer with civil swords. Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.
Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love. The condemned Pompey,
50 Rich in his fathers honor, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change. My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvias death.

ANTONY

Listen to me, Queen. There is an emergency I must take care of, but my whole heart will remain here with you. My Italy is full of civil war. Sextus Pompeius is sailing toward the port of Rome. When two domestic opponents are equally matchedas we are against Pompeyfactions will form on the smallest of pretexts. When a formerly hated man grows powerful, he suddenly finds himself with many supporters. Pompey, who was once condemned, now wields his fathers power, and all the citizens who have grievances against the government are joining him. Pompeys numbers are steadily growing, and the government is ready to do something desperate. But my personal motivationand that which should move you most to sanction my departureis that Fulvia is dead.

CLEOPATRA

Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?

CLEOPATRA

I may not have outlived the foolishness of my youth, but Im not that childishly nave. Is it possible Fulvia is dead?

ANTONY

Shes dead, my Queen.

ANTONY

Shes dead, my Queen.
He offers letters
He shows her the message.
60 Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils she awaked, at the last, best,
See when and where she died.
Look at this. Take your royal time and read about the quarrels she encouraged. And saving the best for last, read when and where she died.

CLEOPATRA

O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
65 In Fulvias death how mine received shall be.

CLEOPATRA

ANTONY

Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
The purposes I bear, which are or cease
As you shall give th advice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus slime, I go from hence
70 Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war
As thou affects.

ANTONY

Stop arguing and listen to my plans. Whether I go ahead with them or not is completely up to you. I swear by the sun that when I leave here, it will be as your faithful servant. I will make either peace or war, whichever you prefer.

CLEOPATRA

Cut my lace, Charmian, come!
But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.

CLEOPATRA

Cut my corset laces, Charmian, so I can breathe. Hurry! No, leave it alone. I waver easily between sickness and health. Just as Antony loves.

ANTONY

75 My precious Queen, forbear,
And give true evidence to his love which stands
An honorable trial.

ANTONY

Control yourself, my precious Queen, and concede that my love is true. It has endured many genuine trials.

CLEOPATRA

So Fulvia told me.
I prithee, turn aside and weep for her.
80 Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
Like perfect honor.

CLEOPATRA

Thats what Fulvia told me. I beg you, turn away and cry for her. Then say good-bye to me and tell me those tears were for my benefit. Good. Now perform a scene for me, using your excellent skills of playacting, and pretend that youre being honorable and righteous.

ANTONY

Youll heat my blood. No more.

ANTONY

Youll make me angry. No more of this.

CLEOPATRA

You can do better yet, but this is meetly.

CLEOPATRA

I know you can do better than that, but itll do for now.

ANTONY

85 Now, by my sword

ANTONY

I swear by my sword

CLEOPATRA

And target. Still he mends.
(toCHARMIAN) But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.

CLEOPATRA

Swear by your shield, too! (toCHARMIAN) Hes getting better, but still its not his best. See, Charmian, how well this mighty Roman portrays anger?

ANTONY

Ill leave you, lady.

ANTONY

Ill leave you, lady.

CLEOPATRA

90 Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part, but thats not it.
Sir, you and I have loved, but theres not it,
That you know well. Something it is I would
Oh, my oblivion is a very Antony,
95 And I am all forgotten.

CLEOPATRA

Polite sir, let me say one thing. Sir, you and I must part companyno, thats not it. Sir, you and I were loversno, thats not it, either. You already know all that. Theres something Id like tooh, Ive forgotten what I wanted to say. Just as Antony has forgotten me.

ANTONY

But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.

ANTONY

If you werent the queen of immaturity, Id think you were immaturity itself.

CLEOPATRA

Tis sweating labor
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me,
100 Since my becomings kill me when they do not
Eye well to you. Your honor calls you hence.
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel victory, and smooth success
105 Be strewed before your feet.

CLEOPATRA

Its difficult to have such immaturity so close to my heart, but bear with me. Even the traits that become me most kill me when you dont approve of them. Your honor is the reason you are leaving. So I beg you not to listen to my foolishness. May the gods be with you. May your sword be victorious and everything you do succeed.

ANTONY

Let us go. Come.
Our separation so abides and flies
That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Away!

ANTONY

Lets go. Come with me. Our imminent separation so occupies our thoughts that even though you stay here, you come with me, and even though I leave here, I stay with you.
Exeunt They exit.