Antony and Cleopatra | Act 1, Scene 3 | Royal Shakespeare Company


Where is he?
I did not see him since. See where he is, who’s with him, what he does:
I did not send you: if you find him sad, Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: quick, and return. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce The like from him.
What should I do, I do not? In each thing give him way, cross him in nothing.
Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.
Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear: In time we hate that which we often fear.
Here comes Antony. I am sick and sullen.
I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose, Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest queen,– Pray you, stand further from me.
What’s the matter? I know, by that same eye, there’s some good
news. What says the married woman? You may go:
Would she had never given you leave to come! Let her not say ’tis I that keep you here:
I have no power upon you; hers you are. The gods best know,–
O, never was there queen So mightily betray’d! yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted. Cleopatra,
Why should I think you can be mine and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing! Most sweet queen,–
Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going, But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
Then was the time for words: no going then; Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows’ bent; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven: they are so still, Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn’d the greatest liar. How now, lady!
I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know There were a heart in Egypt.
Hear me, queen: The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile; but my full heart Remains in use with you.

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