Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 14

ANTONY.
Come, then; for with a wound I must be cur'd.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.

EROS.
O, sir, pardon me!

ANTONY.
When I did make thee free, swor'st thou not then
To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once;
Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurpos'd. Draw, and come.

EROS.
Turn from me then that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.

ANTONY.
Lo thee!

[Turning from him.]

EROS.
My sword is drawn.

ANTONY.
Then let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.

EROS.
My dear master,
My captain and my emperor, let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

ANTONY.
'Tis said, man; — and farewell.

EROS.
Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

ANTONY.
Now, Eros.

EROS.
Why, there then [falls on his sword]! — thus do I escape the
sorrow
Of Antony's death.

[Dies.]

ANTONY.
Thrice nobler than myself!
Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros
Have, by their brave instruction, got upon me
A nobleness in record: but I will be
A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
As to a lover's bed. Come, then; and, Eros,
Thy master dies thy scholar: to do thus

[Falling on his sword.]

I learn'd of thee. How? not dead? not dead? —
The guard, ho! — O, despatch me!

[Enter DERCETAS and a guard.]

FIRST GUARD.
What's the noise?

ANTONY.
I have done my work ill, friends: O, make an end
Of what I have begun.

SECOND GUARD.
The star is fallen.

FIRST GUARD.
And time is at his period.

ALL.
Alas, and woe!

ANTONY.
Let him that loves me, strike me dead.

FIRST GUARD.
Not I.

SECOND GUARD.
Nor I.

THIRD GUARD.
Nor any one.

[Exeunt guard.]

DERCETAS.
Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,
Shall enter me with him.

[Enter DIOMEDES.]

DIOMEDES.
Where's Antony?

DERCETAS.
There, Diomed, there.

DIOMEDES.
Lives he?
Wilt thou not answer, man?

[Exit DERCETAS.]

ANTONY.
Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword and give me
Sufficing strokes for death.

DIOMEDES.
Most absolute lord,
My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.

ANTONY.
When did she send thee?

DIOMEDES.
Now, my lord.

ANTONY.
Where is she?

DIOMEDES.
Lock'd in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
Of what hath come to pass: for when she saw, —
Which never shall be found, — you did suspect
She had dispos'd with Caesar, and that your rage
Would not be purg'd, she sent you word she was dead;
But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent
Me to proclaim the truth; and I am come,
I dread, too late.

ANTONY.
Too late, good Diomed. — Call my guard, I pr'ythee.

DIOMEDES.
What, ho! the emperor's guard! The guard, what ho!
Come, your lord calls!

[Enter some of the Guard.]

ANTONY.
Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
'Tis the last service that I shall command you.

FIRST GUARD.
Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
All your true followers out.

ALL.
Most heavy day!

ANTONY.
Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
To grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome
Which comes to punish us, and we punish it,
Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up:
I have led you oft: carry me now, good friends,
And have my thanks for all.

[Exeunt, bearing ANTONY.]

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As the play unfolds, to whom is Antony betrothed?




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