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Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS, with others

ANTONY

He will not fight with me, Domitius?

ANTONY

He won't fight me in single combat, Domitius?

ENOBARBUS

No.

ENOBARBUS

No.

ANTONY

Why should he not?

ANTONY

Why not?

ENOBARBUS

He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,He is twenty men to one.

ENOBARBUS

He estimates that, being twenty times better off than you, his forces outnumber yours twenty to one.

ANTONY

Tomorrow, soldier, By sea and land I’ll fight. Or I will live Or bathe my dying honor in the blood Shall make it live again. Woo’t thou fight well?

ANTONY

Tomorrow, soldier, I'll fight by land and by sea. Either I'll come out alive, or I will restore my ruined reputation by dying honorably in battle. Will you fight bravely? 

ENOBARBUS

I’ll strike and cry, “Take all.”

ENOBARBUS

I'll strike and cry, "Winner take all!"

ANTONY

Well said. Come on!Call forth my household servants.

ANTONY

Well said. Come on! Call my household servants.

Enter three or four SERVITORS

Let’s tonightBe bounteous at our meal.

Let's be generous with the food at tonight's meal.

Greeting them one by one

Give me thy hand. Thou hast been rightly honest.—So hast thou,— Thou,—and thou,—and thou. You have served me well, And kings have been your fellows.

Give me your hand. You have been very honest So have you—you—and you—and you. You have served me well, and you have had kings for your companions.

CLEOPATRA

[aside to ENOBARBUS] What means this?

CLEOPATRA

[So only ENOBARBUS can hear] Why is Antony acting like this? 

ENOBARBUS

[aside to CLEOPATRA] ’Tis one of those odd tricks whichsorrow shootsOut of the mind.

ENOBARBUS

[So only CLEOPATRA can hear] It's one of his odd quirks that show he is upset.

ANTONY

[To another SERVITOR] And thou art honest too. I wish I could be made so many men, And all of you clapped up together in An Antony, that I might do you service So good as you have done.

ANTONY

[To another SERVANT] And you are honest too. I wish that I could be divided up into men just like you, and all of you combined to make one Antony, so I could serve you as well as you have served me.

ALL THE SERVITORS

The gods forbid!

ALL THE SERVANTS

God forbid!

ANTONY

Well, my good fellows, wait on me tonight. Scant not my cups, and make as much of me As when mine empire was your fellow too, And suffered my command.

ANTONY

Well, my good fellows, wait on me at dinner tonight. Don't skimp when you pour my wine, and treat me as reverently as you did when my empire was also my servant, like you, and obeyed my commands. 

CLEOPATRA

[aside to ENOBARBUS] What does he mean?

CLEOPATRA

[So only ENOBARBUS can hear] What does he mean?

ENOBARBUS

[aside to CLEOPATRA] To make his followers weep.

ENOBARBUS

[To CLEOPATRA] He means to make his servants weep.

ANTONY

[To the SERVITORS] Tend me tonight. May be it is the period of your duty. Haply you shall not see me more, or if, A mangled shadow. Perchance tomorrow You’ll serve another master. I look on you As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends, I turn you not away, but, like a master Married to your good service, stay till death. Tend me tonight two hours, I ask no more, And the gods yield you for ’t!

ANTONY

[To the SERVANTS] Take care of me tonight. It may be the last time you do so. It may be that you will not see me anymore, or if you do, that you'll see only my disfigured ghost. Perhaps tomorrow you'll serve another master. I look upon you as if I were saying goodbye. My honest friends, I'm not turning you away. Rather, I will stay with you until death, like a master who is attached to your faithful service. Take care of me tonight, I ask no more, and may the gods bless you for it!

ENOBARBUS

What mean you, sir, To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep, And I, an ass, am onion-eyed. For shame, Transform us not to women.

ENOBARBUS

What do you mean, sir, upsetting them like this? Look, they weep, and I, like an ass, have watery eyes too. For shame, don't make us as emotional as women. 

ANTONY

Ho, ho, ho! Now the witch take me if I meant it thus! Grace grow where those drops fall! My hearty friends, You take me in too dolorous a sense, For I spake to you for your comfort, did desire you To burn this night with torches. Know, my hearts, I hope well of tomorrow, and will lead you Where rather I’ll expect victorious life Than death and honor. Let’s to supper, come, And drown consideration.

ANTONY

Ha, ha, ha! Curse me if I meant to do that! May the gods bless the men for weeping! My tender-hearted friends, I didn't mean to make you so upset. I spoke to comfort you, I asked you to keep the night bright by burning torches. You should know, my dear friends, that I have high hopes for tomorrow, and I will lead you to a battlefield where I expect to live victoriously rather than die honorably. Let's go to supper, come, and drink away our cares. 

Exeunt

Antony and cleopatra
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Maria devlin
About the Translator: Maria Devlin

Maria Devlin received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Harvard University, where she specialized in Renaissance drama. She has worked as a bibliographical and editorial assistant for The Norton Anthology of English Literature and for The Norton Shakespeare. She is currently working with Stephen Greenblatt to design online courses on Shakespeare, including the modules "Hamlet's Ghost" and "Shylock's Bond" offered through HarvardX. She is writing a book on Renaissance comedy.

Maria Devlin wishes to credit the following sources, which she consulted extensively in composing her translations and annotations:

William Shakespeare. The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition. Eds. Gary Taylor et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

William Shakespeare. The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed. Eds. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York: W.W. Norton& Company, Inc., 2016.