Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 5

What say you? — Hence,

[Strikes him again.]

Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:

[She hales him up and down.]

Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in ling'ring pickle.

Gracious madam,
I that do bring the news made not the match.

Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.

He's married, madam.

Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.

[Draws a dagger.]

Nay, then I'll run. —
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.


Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
The man is innocent.

Some innocents scape not the thunderbolt. —
Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
Turn all to serpents! — Call the slave again: —
Though I am mad, I will not bite him: — call!

He is afear'd to come.

I will not hurt him.


These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause.

[Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger.]

Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves when they be felt.

I have done my duty.

Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do
If thou again say 'Yes.'

He's married, madam.

The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still!

Should I lie, madam?

O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scal'd snakes! Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?

I crave your highness' pardon.

He is married?

Take no offence that I would not offend you:
To punish me for what you make me do
Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.

O, that his fault should make a knave of thee
That art not what tho'rt sure of! — Get thee hence:
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em!

[Exit Messenger.]

Good your highness, patience.

In praising Antony I have disprais'd Caesar.

Many times, madam.

I am paid for't now.
Lead me from hence;
I faint: — O Iras, Charmian! — 'tis no matter. —
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination; let him not leave out
The colour of her hair: — bring me word quickly.

[Exit ALEXAS.]

Let him for ever go: — let him not, Charmian —
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
T'other way he's a Mars. — [To MARDIAN] Bid you Alexas
Bring me word how tall she is. — Pity me, Charmian,
But do not speak to me. — Lead me to my chamber.


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