Antony and Cleopatra - Act 2, scene 3
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Act 2, scene 3
Antony promises Octavia that he will henceforth live according to the rule. A Soothsayer advises Antony to keep his distance from Caesar. Antony admits to himself that he will return to Egypt.Enter Antony, Caesar; Octavia between them.
0954 The world and my great office will sometimes
0955 Divide me from your bosom.
OCTAVIA 0956 All which time
0957 Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
0958 5 To them for you.
0960 Read not my blemishes in the world’s report.
0961 I have not kept my square, but that to come
0962 Shall all be done by th’ rule. Good night, dear
0963 10 lady.—
0964 Good night, sir.
CAESAR 0965 Goodnight.⌜Caesar and Octavia⌝ exit.
0966 Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?
SOOTHSAYER 0967 Would I had never come from thence,
0968 15 nor you thither.
ANTONY 0969 If you can, your reason?
SOOTHSAYER 0970 I see it in my motion, have it not in my
0971 tongue. But yet hie you to Egypt again.
0972 Say to me, whose fortunes shall rise higher,
0973 20 Caesar’s or mine?
SOOTHSAYER 0974 Caesar’s.
0975 Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side.
0976 Thy dæmon—that thy spirit which keeps thee—is
0977 Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
0978 25 Where Caesar’s is not. But near him, thy angel
0979 Becomes ⌜afeard,⌝ as being o’erpowered. Therefore
0980 Make space enough between you.
ANTONY 0981 Speak this no more.
0982 To none but thee; no more but when to thee.
0983 30 If thou dost play with him at any game,
0984 Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck
0985 He beats thee ’gainst the odds. Thy luster thickens
0986 When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
0987 Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
0988 35 But he ⌜away,⌝ ’tis noble.
0990 Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.
0991 He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap,
0992 He hath spoken true. The very dice obey him,
0993 40 And in our sports my better cunning faints
0994 Under his chance. If we draw lots, he speeds;
0995 His cocks do win the battle still of mine
0996 When it is all to naught, and his quails ever
0997 Beat mine, inhooped, at odds. I will to Egypt.
0998 45 And though I make this marriage for my peace,
0999 I’ th’ East my pleasure lies.
1000 O, come, Ventidius.
1001 You must to Parthia; your commission’s ready.
1002 Follow me and receive ’t.