Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Antony and Cleopatra
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Antony and Cleopatra
 
Act II. Scene III.
 
The Same.  A Room in CÆSAR’S House.
 
Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them; Attendants.
  Ant.  The world and my great office will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.
  Oct.        All which time        5
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
  Ant.        Good night, sir. My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world’s report;
I have not kept my square, but that to come        10
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.
  Oct.  Good night, sir.
  Cæs.  Good night.  [Exeunt CÆSAR and OCTAVIA.
 
Enter Soothsayer.
  Ant.  Now, sirrah; you do wish yourself in Egypt?        15
  Sooth.  Would I had never come from thence, nor you
Thither!
  Ant.  If you can, your reason?
  Sooth.        I see it in
My motion, have it not in my tongue: but yet        20
Hie you to Egypt again.
  Ant.        Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar’s or mine?
  Sooth.  Cæsar’s.
Therefore, O Antony! stay not by his side;        25
Thy demon—that’s thy spirit which keeps thee,—is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar’s is not; but near him thy angel
Becomes a fear, as being o’erpower’d; therefore
Make space enough between you.        30
  Ant.        Speak this no more.
  Sooth.  To none but thee; no more but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game
Thou art sure to lose, and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee ’gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens        35
When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him,
But he away, ’tis noble.
  Ant.        Get thee gone:
Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.  [Exit Soothsayer.        40
He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap
He hath spoken true; the very dice obey him.
And in our sports my better cunning faints
Under his chance; if we draw lots he speeds,
His cocks do win the battle still of mine        45
When it is all to nought, and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop’d, at odds. I will to Egypt;
And though I make this marriage for my peace,
I’ the east my pleasure lies.
 
Enter VENTIDIUS.
        50
        O! come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia; your commission’s ready;
Follow me, and receive ’t.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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