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Antony and Cleopatra - Act 1, scene 5
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Navigate this workAntony and Cleopatra - Act 1, scene 5
Act 1, scene 5
Cleopatra receives a pearl and a message from Antony and resolves to send him a letter each day that he’s away.Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.
CLEOPATRA 0511 Charmian!
CHARMIAN 0512 Madam?
CLEOPATRA 0513 Ha, ha! Give me to drink mandragora.
CHARMIAN 0514 Why, madam?
0515 5 That I might sleep out this great gap of time
0516 My Antony is away.
CHARMIAN 0517 You think of him too much.
0518 O, ’tis treason!
CHARMIAN 0519 Madam, I trust not so.
0520 10 Thou, eunuch Mardian!
MARDIAN 0521 What’s your Highness’ pleasure?
0522 Not now to hear thee sing. I take no pleasure
0523 In aught an eunuch has. ’Tis well for thee
0524 That, being unseminared, thy freer thoughts
0525 15 May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
MARDIAN 0526 Yes, gracious madam.
CLEOPATRA 0527 Indeed?
0528 Not in deed, madam, for I can do nothing
0529 But what indeed is honest to be done.
0530 20 Yet have I fierce affections, and think
0531 What Venus did with Mars.
CLEOPATRA 0532 O, Charmian,
0533 Where think’st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he?
0534 Or does he walk? Or is he on his horse?
0535 25 O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
0536 Do bravely, horse, for wot’st thou whom thou
0538 The demi-Atlas of this Earth, the arm
0539 And burgonet of men. He’s speaking now,
0540 30 Or murmuring “Where’s my serpent of old Nile?”
0541 For so he calls me. Now I feed myself
0542 With most delicious poison. Think on me
0543 That am with Phoebus’ amorous pinches black,
0544 And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
0545 35 When thou wast here above the ground, I was
0546 A morsel for a monarch. And great Pompey
0547 Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
0548 There would he anchor his aspect, and die
0549 With looking on his life.
p. 45Enter Alexas from ⌜Antony.⌝
ALEXAS 0550 40Sovereign of Egypt, hail!
0551 How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!
0552 Yet coming from him, that great med’cine hath
0553 With his tinct gilded thee.
0554 How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?
ALEXAS 0555 45Last thing he did, dear queen,
0556 He kissed—the last of many doubled kisses—
0557 This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my heart.
0558 Mine ear must pluck it thence.
ALEXAS 0559 “Good friend,” quoth
0560 50 he,
0561 “Say the firm Roman to great Egypt sends
0562 This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot,
0563 To mend the petty present, I will piece
0564 Her opulent throne with kingdoms. All the East,
0565 55 Say thou, shall call her mistress.” So he nodded
0566 And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed,
0567 Who neighed so high that what I would have spoke
0568 Was beastly ⌜dumbed⌝ by him.
CLEOPATRA 0569 What, was he sad, or merry?
0570 60 Like to the time o’ th’ year between th’ extremes
0571 Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.
0572 O, well-divided disposition!—Note him,
0573 Note him, good Charmian, ’tis the man! But note
0575 65 He was not sad, for he would shine on those
0576 That make their looks by his; he was not merry,
0577 Which seemed to tell them his remembrance lay
0578 In Egypt with his joy; but between both.
p. 470579 O, heavenly mingle!—Be’st thou sad or merry,
0580 70 The violence of either thee becomes,
0581 So does it no man’s else.—Met’st thou my posts?
0582 Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
0583 Why do you send so thick?
CLEOPATRA 0584 Who’s born that day
0585 75 When I forget to send to Antony
0586 Shall die a beggar.—Ink and paper, Charmian.—
0587 Welcome, my good Alexas.—Did I, Charmian,
0588 Ever love Caesar so?
CHARMIAN 0589 O, that brave Caesar!
0590 80 Be choked with such another emphasis!
0591 Say “the brave Antony.”
CHARMIAN 0592 The valiant Caesar!
0593 By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth
0594 If thou with Caesar paragon again
0595 85 My man of men.
CHARMIAN 0596 By your most gracious pardon,
0597 I sing but after you.
CLEOPATRA 0598 My salad days,
0599 When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
0600 90 To say as I said then. But come, away,
0601 Get me ink and paper.
0602 He shall have every day a several greeting,
0603 Or I’ll unpeople Egypt.