Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 15

ACT IV. SCENE XV. Alexandria. A monument.

[Enter, above, CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN and IRAS.]

CLEOPATRA.
O Charmian, I will never go from hence!

CHARMIAN.
Be comforted, dear madam.

CLEOPATRA.
No, I will not:
All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
As that which makes it. —

[Enter, below, DIOMEDES.]

How now! is he dead?

DIOMEDES.
His death's upon him, but not dead.
Look out o' the other side your monument;
His guard have brought him thither.

[Enter, below, ANTONY, borne by the Guard.]

CLEOPATRA.
O sun,
Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in! — darkling stand
The varying shore o' theworld. — O Antony,
Antony, Antony! — Help, Charmian; help, Iras, help, —
Help, friends below; — let's draw him hither.

ANTONY.
Peace!
Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.

CLEOPATRA.
So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!

ANTONY.
I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here importune death awhile, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.

CLEOPATRA.
I dare not, dear, —
Dear my lord, pardon, — I dare not,
Lest I be taken: not the imperious show
Of the full-fortun'd Caesar ever shall
Be brooch'd with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe;
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me. — But come, come, Antony, —
Help me, my women, — we must draw thee up;
Assist, good friends.

ANTONY.
O, quick, or I am gone.

CLEOPATRA.
Here's sport indeed! — How heavy weighs my lord!
Our strength is all gone into heaviness;
That makes the weight: had I great Juno's power,
The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up,
And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little, —
Wishers were ever fools, — O come, come;

[They draw ANTONY up.]

And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast liv'd:
Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.

ALL.
A heavy sight!

ANTONY.
I am dying, Egypt, dying:
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.

CLEOPATRA.
No, let me speak; and let me rail so high
That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
Provok'd by my offence.

ANTONY.
One word, sweet queen:
Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. — O!

CLEOPATRA.
They do not go together.

ANTONY.
Gentle, hear me:
None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.

CLEOPATRA.
My resolution and my hands I'll trust;
None about Caesar.

ANTONY.
The miserable change now at my end
Lament nor sorrow at: but please your thoughts
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I liv'd, the greatest prince o' the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman, a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going:
I can no more.

CLEOPATRA.
Noblest of men, woo't die?
Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide
In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a sty? — O, see, my women,

[Antony dies.]

The crown o' the earth doth melt. — My lord! —
O, wither'd is the garland of the war,
The soldier's pole is fallen: young boys and girls
Are level now with men: the odds is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.

[Faints.]

CHARMIAN.
O, quietness, lady!

IRAS.
She is dead too, our sovereign.

CHARMIAN.
Lady! —

IRAS.
Madam! —

CHARMIAN.
O madam, madam, madam! —

IRAS.
Royal Egypt, Empress, —

CHARMIAN.
Peace, peace, Iras!

CLEOPATRA.
No more but e'en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chares. — It were for me
To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
To tell them that this world did equal theirs
Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but naught;
Patience is sottish, and impatience does
Become a dog that's mad: then is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death
Ere death dare come to us? — How do you, women?
What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!
My noble girls! — Ah, women, women, look,
Our lamp is spent, it's out! — Good sirs, take heart: —
We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble,
Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us. Come, away:
This case of that huge spirit now is cold:
Ah, women, women! — Come; we have no friend
But resolution, and the briefest end.

[Exeunt; those above bearing off ANTONY'S body.]

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