Antony and Cleopatra - Act 3, scene 4
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Act 3, scene 4
At the news of Caesar’s hostile actions, Antony begins to prepare for war, but gives Octavia permission to go to Rome to try to heal the new division between Caesar and him.Enter Antony and Octavia.
1687 Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that—
1688 That were excusable, that and thousands more
1689 Of semblable import—but he hath waged
1690 New wars ’gainst Pompey; made his will and read it
1691 5 To public ear;
1692 Spoke scantly of me; when perforce he could not
1693 But pay me terms of honor, cold and sickly
1694 He vented ⌜them,⌝ most narrow measure lent me;
1695 When the best hint was given him, he not ⌜took ’t,⌝
1696 10 Or did it from his teeth.
OCTAVIA 1697 O, my good lord,
1699 Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,
1700 If this division chance, ne’er stood between,
1701 15 Praying for both parts.
1702 The good gods will mock me presently
1703 When I shall pray “O, bless my lord and husband!”
1704 Undo that prayer by crying out as loud
1705 “O, bless my brother!” Husband win, win brother
1706 20 Prays and destroys the prayer; no midway
1707 ’Twixt these extremes at all.
ANTONY 1708 Gentle Octavia,
1709 Let your best love draw to that point which seeks
1710 Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honor,
1711 25 I lose myself; better I were not yours
1712 Than ⌜yours⌝ so branchless. But, as you requested,
1713 Yourself shall go between ’s. The meantime, lady,
1714 I’ll raise the preparation of a war
1715 Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste,
1716 30 So your desires are yours.
OCTAVIA 1717 Thanks to my lord.
1718 The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak,
1719 ⌜Your⌝ reconciler. Wars ’twixt you twain would be
1720 As if the world should cleave, and that slain men
1721 35 Should solder up the rift.
1722 When it appears to you where this begins,
1723 Turn your displeasure that way, for our faults
1724 Can never be so equal that your love
1725 Can equally move with them. Provide your going;
1726 40 Choose your own company, and command what cost
1727 Your heart ⌜has⌝ mind to.