Antony and Cleopatra Act IV
by William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download Antony and Cleopatra Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Act IV, Scene 1

SCENE I. CAESAR'S Camp at Alexandria.

[Enter CAESAR reading a letter; AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, and others.]

CAESAR.
He calls me boy; and chides as he had power
To beat me out of Egypt; my messenger
He hath whip'd with rods; dares me to personal combat,
Caesar to Antony:--let the old ruffian know
I have many other ways to die; meantime
Laugh at his challenge.

MAECENAS.
Caesar must think
When one so great begins to rage, he's hunted
Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
Make boot of his distraction:--never anger
Made good guard for itself.

CAESAR.
Let our best heads
Know that to-morrow the last of many battles
We mean to fight.--Within our files there are
Of those that serv'd Mark Antony but late,
Enough to fetch him in. See it done:
And feast the army; we have store to do't,
And they have earn'd the waste. Poor Antony!

[Exeunt.]

Act IV, Scene 2

Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

[Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and
others.]

ANTONY.
He will not fight with me, Domitius?

ENOBARBUS.
No.

ANTONY.
Why should he not?

ENOBARBUS.
He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
He is twenty men to one.

ANTONY.
To-morrow, soldier,
By sea and land I'll fight; or I will live,
Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
Shall make it live again. Woo't thou fight well?

ENOBARBUS.
I'll strike, and cry 'Take all.'

ANTONY.
Well said; come on.--
Call forth my household servants: let's to-night
Be bounteous at our meal.--

[Enter Servants.]

Give me thy hand,
Thou has been rightly honest;--so hast thou;--
Thou,--and thou,--and thou;--you have serv'd me well,
And kings have been your fellows.

CLEOPATRA.
[Aside to ENOBARBUS.] What means this?

ENOBARBUS.
[Aside to CLEOPATRA.] 'Tis one of those odd tricks which sorrow
shoots
Out of the mind.

ANTONY.
And thou art honest too.
I wish I could be made so many men,
And all of you clapp'd up together in
An Antony, that I might do you service
So good as you have done.

SERVANT.
The gods forbid!

ANTONY.
Well, my good fellows, wait on me to-night:
Scant not my cups; and make as much of me
As when mine empire was your fellow too,
And suffer'd my command.

CLEOPATRA.
[Aside to ENOBARBUS.] What does he mean?

ENOBARBUS.
[Aside to CLEOPATRA.] To make his followers weep.

ANTONY.
Tend me to-night;
May be it is the period of your duty:
Haply you shall not see me more; or if,
A mangled shadow: perchance to-morrow
You'll serve another master. I look on you
As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends,
I turn you not away; but, like a master
Married to your good service, stay till death:
Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
And the gods yield you for't!

ENOBARBUS.
What mean you, sir,
To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;
And I, an ass, am onion-ey'd: for shame,
Transform us not to women.

ANTONY.
Ho, ho, ho!
Now the witch take me, if I meant it thus!
Grace grow where those drops fall! My hearty friends,
You take me in too dolorous a sense;
For I spake to you for your comfort,--did desire you
To burn this night with torches: know, my hearts,
I hope well of to-morrow; and will lead you
Where rather I'll expect victorious life
Than death and honour. Let's to supper; come,
And drown consideration.

[Exeunt.]

Act IV, Scene 3

Alexandria. Before the Palace.

[Enter two Soldiers to their guard.]

FIRST SOLDIER.
Brother, good night: to-morrow is the day.

SECOND SOLDIER.
It will determine one way: fare you well.
Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?

FIRST SOLDIER.
Nothing. What news?

SECOND SOLDIER.
Belike 'tis but a rumour. Good night to you.

FIRST SOLDIER.
Well, sir, good night.

[Enter two other Soldiers.]

SECOND SOLDIER.
Soldiers, have careful watch.

THIRD SOLDIER.
And you. Good night, good night.

[The first two place themselves at their posts.]

FOURTH SOLDIER.
Here we: [The third and fourth take their posts.] and if
to-morrow
Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope
Our landmen will stand up.

THIRD SOLDIER.
'Tis a brave army,
And full of purpose.

[Music as of hautboys under the stage.]

FOURTH SOLDIER.
Peace, what noise?

FIRST SOLDIER.
List, list!

SECOND SOLDIER.
Hark!

FIRST SOLDIER.
Music i' the air.

THIRD SOLDIER.
Under the earth.

FOURTH SOLDIER.
It signs...

(The entire section is 5,205 words.)