Act IV


Enter Antony and Dolabella.

Dola. Why would you shift it from yourself on me?
Can you not tell her, you must part?

Ant. I cannot.
I could pull out an eye, and bid it go,
And t’other should not weep. O Dolabella,
How many deaths are in this word, Depart!
I dare not trust my tongue to tell her so:
One look of hers would thaw me into tears,
And I should melt, till I were lost again.

Dola. Then let Ventidius;
He’s rough by nature.

Ant. Oh, he’ll speak too harshly;
He’ll kill her with the news: Thou, only thou.

Dola. Nature has cast me in so soft a mould,
That but to hear a story, feigned for pleasure,
Of some sad lover’s death, moistens my eyes,
And robs me of my manhood. I should speak
So faintly, with such fear to grieve her heart,
She’d not believe it earnest.

Ant. Therefore,—therefore
Thou only, thou art fit: Think thyself me;
And when thou speak’st (but let it first be long),
Take off the edge from every sharper sound,
And let our parting be as gently made,
As other loves begin: Wilt thou do this?

Dola. What you have said so sinks into my soul,
That, if I must speak, I shall speak just so.

Ant. I leave you then to your sad task: Farewell.
I sent her word to meet you.

Goes to the door, and comes back.

I forgot;
Let her be told, I’ll make her peace with mine:
Her crown and dignity shall be preserved,
If I have power with Cæsar.—Oh, be sure
To think on that.

Dola. Fear not, I will remember.

[Antony goes again to the door, and comes back.

Ant. And tell her, too, how much I was constrained;
I did not this, but with extremest force:
Desire her not to hate my memory,
For I still cherish hers;—insist on that.

Dola. Trust me, I’ll not forget it.

Ant. Then that’s all.

[Goes out, and returns again

Wilt thou forgive my fondness this once more?
Tell her, though we shall never meet again,
If I should hear she took another love,
The news would break my heart.—Now I must go;
For every time I have returned, I feel
My soul more tender; and my next command
Would be, to bid her stay, and ruin both.


Dola. Men are but children of a larger growth;
Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
And full as craving too, and full as vain;
And yet the soul, shut up in her dark room,
Viewing so clear abroad, at home sees nothing;
But, like a mole in earth, busy and blind,
Works all her folly up, and casts it outward
To the world’s open view: Thus I discovered,
And blamed the love of ruined Antony;
Yet wish that I were he, to be so ruined.

Enter Ventidius above.

Vent. Alone, and talking to himself? concerned too?
Perhaps my guess is right; he loved her once,
And may pursue it still.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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