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Antony and Cleopatra: Act 3 Scene 1
Scene I A plain in Syria.
- [Enter VENTIDIUS as it were in triumph, with SILIUS,
- and other Romans, Officers, and Soldiers; the dead
- body of PACORUS borne before him]
- Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck; and now
- Pleased fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
- Make me revenger. Bear the king's son's body
- Before our army. Thy Pacorus, Orodes,
- Pays this for Marcus Crassus.
- Noble Ventidius,
- Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm,
- The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media,
- Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
- The routed fly: so thy grand captain Antony
- Shall set thee on triumphant chariots and
- Put garlands on thy head.
- O Silius, Silius,
- I have done enough; a lower place, note well,
- May make too great an act: for learn this, Silius;
- Better to leave undone, than by our deed
- Acquire too high a fame when him we serve's away.
- Caesar and Antony have ever won
- More in their officer than person: Sossius,
- One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant,
- For quick accumulation of renown,
- Which he achieved by the minute, lost his favour.
- Who does i' the wars more than his captain can
- Becomes his captain's captain: and ambition,
- The soldier's virtue, rather makes choice of loss,
- Than gain which darkens him.
- I could do more to do Antonius good,
- But 'twould offend him; and in his offence
- Should my performance perish.
- Thou hast, Ventidius,
- Without the which a soldier, and his sword,
- Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony!
- I'll humbly signify what in his name,
- That magical word of war, we have effected;
- How, with his banners and his well-paid ranks,
- The ne'er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
- We have jaded out o' the field.
- Where is he now?
- He purposeth to Athens: whither, with what haste
- The weight we must convey with's will permit,
- We shall appear before him. On there; pass along!