Antony

Verse- intercut
 

 
 
Antony. Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done,
And we must sleep.
[To MARDIAN]
That thou depart'st hence safe,
Does pay thy labour richly; go.
[Exit MARDIAN]
Off, pluck off:
The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep
The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides!
Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
Crack thy frail case! Apace, Eros, apace.
No more a soldier: bruised pieces, go;
You have been nobly borne. From me awhile.
[Exit EROS]
I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length is torture: since the torch is out,
Lie down, and stray no farther: now all labour
Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles
Itself with strength: seal then, and all is done.
Eros!.I come, my queen:.Eros!.Stay for me:
Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:
Dido and her AEneas shall want troops,
And all the haunt be ours. Come, Eros, Eros!

[Re-enter EROS]

Eros. What would my lord?


Antony. Since Cleopatra died,
I have lived in such dishonour, that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quarter'd the world, and o'er green Neptune's back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
The courage of a woman; less noble mind
Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
'I am conqueror of myself.' Thou art sworn, Eros,
That, when the exigent should come, which now
Is come indeed, when I should see behind me
The inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that, on my command,
Thou then wouldst kill me: do't; the time is come:
Thou strikest not me, 'tis Caesar thou defeat'st.
Put colour in thy cheek.

Eros. The gods withhold me!
Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
Though enemy, lost aim, and could not?


Antony. Eros,
Wouldst thou be window'd in great Rome and see
Thy master thus with pleach'd arms, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel'd seat
Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued?

Eros. I would not see't.

Antony. Come, then; for with a wound I must be cured.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.

Eros. O, sir, pardon me!

Antony. When I did make thee free, sworest thou not then
To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once;
Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurposed. Draw, and come.

Eros. Turn from me, then, that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.


Antony. Lo thee!

[Turning from him]

Eros. My sword is drawn.

Antony. Then let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.

Eros. My dear master,
My captain, and my emperor, let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.


Antony. 'Tis said, man; and farewell.

Eros. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

Antony. Now, Eros.

Eros. Why, there then: thus I do escape the sorrow
Of Antony's death.


[Kills himself]

Antony. Thrice-nobler than myself!
Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros
Have by their brave instruction got upon me
A nobleness in record: but I will be
A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
As to a lover's bed. Come, then; and, Eros,
Thy master dies thy scholar: to do thus
[Falling on his sword]
I learn'd of thee. How! not dead? not dead?
The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

 


 

 








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