Antony and Cleopatra Act III
by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scene 1

A plain in Syria.

[Enter VENTIDIUS, in triumph, with SILIUS and other Romans,
Officers and Soldiers; the dead body of PACORUS borne in front.]

VENTIDIUS.
Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck; and now
Pleas'd fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
Make me revenger.--Bear the king's son's body
Before our army.--Thy Pacorus, Orodes,
Pays this for Marcus Crassus.

SILIUS.
Noble Ventidius,
Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm
The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media,
Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
The routed fly: so thy grand captain Antony
Shall set thee on triumphant chariots, and
Put garlands on thy head.

VENTIDIUS.
O Silius, Silius,
I have done enough: a lower place, note well,
May make too great an act; for learn this, Silius,--
Better to leave undone, than by our deed
Acquire too high a fame when him we serve's away.
Caesar and Antony have ever won
More in their officer, than person: Sossius,
One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant,
For quick accumulation of renown,
Which he achiev'd by the minute, lost his favour.
Who does i' the wars more than his captain can
Becomes his captain's captain; and ambition,
The soldier's virtue, rather makes choice of loss
Than gain which darkens him.
I could do more to do Antonius good,
But 'twould offend him; and in his offence
Should my performance perish.

SILIUS.
Thou hast, Ventidius, that
Without the which a soldier and his sword
Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?

VENTIDIUS.
I'll humbly signify what in his name,
That magical word of war, we have effected;
How, with his banners, and his well-paid ranks,
The ne'er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
We have jaded out o' the field.

SILIUS.
Where is he now?

VENTIDIUS.
He purposeth to Athens: whither, with what haste
The weight we must convey with's will permit,
We shall appear before him.--On, there; pass along!

[Exeunt.]

Act III, Scene 2

Rome. An Ante-chamber in CAESAR'S house.

[Enter AGRIPPA and ENOBARBUS, meeting.]

AGRIPPA.
What, are the brothers parted?

ENOBARBUS.
They have despatch'd with Pompey; he is gone;
The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps
To part from Rome: Caesar is sad; and Lepidus,
Since Pompey's feast, as Menas says, is troubled
With the green sickness.

AGRIPPA.
'Tis a noble Lepidus.

ENOBARBUS.
A very fine one: O, how he loves Caesar!

AGRIPPA.
Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!

ENOBARBUS.
Caesar? Why he's the Jupiter of men.

AGRIPPA.
What's Antony? The god of Jupiter.

ENOBARBUS.
Spake you of Caesar? How! the nonpareil!

AGRIPPA.
O, Antony! O thou Arabian bird!

ENOBARBUS.
Would you praise Caesar, say 'Caesar'--go no further.

AGRIPPA.
Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.

ENOBARBUS.
But he loves Caesar best;--yet he loves Antony:
Hoo! hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets, cannot
Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number--hoo!--
His love to Antony. But as for Caesar,
Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.

AGRIPPA.
Both he loves.

ENOBARBUS.
They are his shards, and he their beetle.

[Trumpets within.]

So,--
This is to horse.--Adieu, noble Agrippa.

AGRIPPA.
Good fortune, worthy soldier; and farewell.

[Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, and OCTAVIA.]

ANTONY.
No further, sir.

CAESAR.
You take from me a great part of myself;
Use me well in't.--Sister, prove such a wife
As my thoughts make thee, and as my furthest band
Shall pass on thy approof.--Most noble Antony,
Let not the piece of virtue which is set
Betwixt us as the cement of our love,
To keep it builded, be the ram to batter
The fortress of it; for better might we
Have lov'd without this mean if on both parts
This be not cherish'd.

ANTONY.
Make me not offended
In your distrust.

CAESAR.
I have said.

ANTONY.
You shall not find,
Though you be therein curious, the least cause
For what you seem to fear: so, the gods keep you,
And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends!
We will here part.

CAESAR.
Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well:
The elements be kind to thee, and make
Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.

OCTAVIA.
My noble brother!--

ANTONY.
The April's in her eyes: it is love's spring,
And these the showers to bring it on.--Be cheerful.

(The entire section is 6,485 words.)