Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Antony and Cleopatra > Act I, scene II

Jump to: the first appearance of you_shall_be_more_beloving_than_beloved.




	[Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer]

CHARMIAN: Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas,
	almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer
	that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew
	this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns
	with garlands!

ALEXAS: Soothsayer!

Soothsayer: Your will?

CHARMIAN: Is this the man? Is't you, sir, that know things?

Soothsayer: In nature's infinite book of secrecy
	A little I can read.

ALEXAS: Show him your hand.

	[Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough
	Cleopatra's health to drink.

CHARMIAN: Good sir, give me good fortune.

Soothsayer: I make not, but foresee.

CHARMIAN: Pray, then, foresee me one.

Soothsayer: You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

CHARMIAN: He means in flesh.

IRAS: No, you shall paint when you are old.

CHARMIAN: Wrinkles forbid!

ALEXAS: Vex not his prescience; be attentive.

CHARMIAN: Hush!

Soothsayer: You shall be more beloving than beloved.

CHARMIAN: I had rather heat my liver with drinking.

ALEXAS: Nay, hear him.

CHARMIAN: Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married
	to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all:
	let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry
	may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius
	Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.

Soothsayer: You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

CHARMIAN: O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Soothsayer: You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
	Than that which is to approach.

CHARMIAN: Then belike my children shall have no names:
	prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

Soothsayer: If every of your wishes had a womb.
	And fertile every wish, a million.

CHARMIAN: Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

ALEXAS: You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

CHARMIAN: Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

ALEXAS: We'll know all our fortunes.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall
	be--drunk to bed.

IRAS: There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

CHARMIAN: E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

IRAS: Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

CHARMIAN: Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful
	prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee,
	tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Soothsayer: Your fortunes are alike.

IRAS: But how, but how? give me particulars.

Soothsayer: I have said.

IRAS: Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

CHARMIAN: Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than
	I, where would you choose it?

IRAS: Not in my husband's nose.

CHARMIAN: Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,--come,
	his fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a woman
	that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! and let
	her die too, and give him a worse! and let worst
	follow worse, till the worst of all follow him
	laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good
	Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a
	matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

IRAS: Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people!
	for, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man
	loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a
	foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep
	decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

CHARMIAN: Amen.

ALEXAS: Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me a
	cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but
	they'ld do't!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Hush! here comes Antony.

CHARMIAN: Not he; the queen.

	[Enter CLEOPATRA]

CLEOPATRA: Saw you my lord?

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS:                   No, lady.

CLEOPATRA: Was he not here?

CHARMIAN: No, madam.

CLEOPATRA: He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden
	A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Madam?

CLEOPATRA: Seek him, and bring him hither.
	Where's Alexas?

ALEXAS: Here, at your service. My lord approaches.

CLEOPATRA: We will not look upon him: go with us.

	[Exeunt]

	[Enter MARK ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants]

Messenger: Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

MARK ANTONY: Against my brother Lucius?

Messenger: Ay:
	But soon that war had end, and the time's state
	Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst Caesar;
	Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
	Upon the first encounter, drave them.

MARK ANTONY: Well, what worst?

Messenger: The nature of bad news infects the teller.

MARK ANTONY: When it concerns the fool or coward. On:
	Things that are past are done with me. 'Tis thus:
	Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
	I hear him as he flatter'd.

Messenger: Labienus--
	This is stiff news--hath, with his Parthian force,
	Extended Asia from Euphrates;
	His conquering banner shook from Syria
	To Lydia and to Ionia; Whilst--

MARK ANTONY: Antony, thou wouldst say,--

Messenger: O, my lord!

MARK ANTONY: Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue:
	Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;
	Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults
	With such full licence as both truth and malice
	Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds,
	When our quick minds lie still; and our ills told us
	Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.

Messenger: At your noble pleasure.

	[Exit]

MARK ANTONY: From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!

First Attendant: The man from Sicyon,--is there such an one?

Second Attendant: He stays upon your will.

MARK ANTONY: Let him appear.
	These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
	Or lose myself in dotage.

	[Enter another Messenger]

		    What are you?

Second Messenger: Fulvia thy wife is dead.

MARK ANTONY: Where died she?

Second Messenger: In Sicyon:
	Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
	Importeth thee to know, this bears.

	[Gives a letter]

MARK ANTONY: Forbear me.

	[Exit Second Messenger]

	There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
	What our contempt doth often hurl from us,
	We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
	By revolution lowering, does become
	The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
	The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on.
	I must from this enchanting queen break off:
	Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
	My idleness doth hatch. How now! Enobarbus!

	[Re-enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: What's your pleasure, sir?

MARK ANTONY: I must with haste from hence.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Why, then, we kill all our women:
	we see how mortal an unkindness is to them;
	if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

MARK ANTONY: I must be gone.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Under a compelling occasion, let women die; it were
	pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between
	them and a great cause, they should be esteemed
	nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of
	this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty
	times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is
	mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon
	her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

MARK ANTONY: She is cunning past man's thought.

	[Exit ALEXAS]

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but
	the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her
	winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater
	storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this
	cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a
	shower of rain as well as Jove.

MARK ANTONY: Would I had never seen her.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece
	of work; which not to have been blest withal would
	have discredited your travel.

MARK ANTONY: Fulvia is dead.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Sir?

MARK ANTONY: Fulvia is dead.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Fulvia!

MARK ANTONY: Dead.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When
	it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man
	from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth;
	comforting therein, that when old robes are worn
	out, there are members to make new. If there were
	no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut,
	and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned
	with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new
	petticoat: and indeed the tears live in an onion
	that should water this sorrow.

MARK ANTONY: The business she hath broached in the state
	Cannot endure my absence.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: And the business you have broached here cannot be
	without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which
	wholly depends on your abode.

MARK ANTONY: No more light answers. Let our officers
	Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
	The cause of our expedience to the queen,
	And get her leave to part. For not alone
	The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
	Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
	Of many our contriving friends in Rome
	Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius
	Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
	The empire of the sea: our slippery people,
	Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
	Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
	Pompey the Great and all his dignities
	Upon his son; who, high in name and power,
	Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
	For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
	The sides o' the world may danger: much is breeding,
	Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
	And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
	To such whose place is under us, requires
	Our quick remove from hence.

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: I shall do't.

	[Exeunt]




	ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA






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