|The Life of Marcus Antonius||Antony and Cleopatra|
| And, designing himself [Antony] to go from Taenarus
into Africa, he gave one of the merchant ships, laden with a large sum
of money, and vessels of silver and gold of great value, belonging
to the royal collections, to his friends, desiring them to share it
amongst them, and provide for their own safety. They refusing his
kindness with tears in their eyes, he comforted them with all the
goodness and humanity imaginable, entreating them to leave him, and
wrote letters in their behalf to Theophilus, his steward, at
Corinth, that he would provide for their security, and keep them
concealed till such time as they could make their peace with Caesar.
Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon't;
It is ashamed to bear me! Friends, come hither:
I am so lated in the world, that I
Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly,
And make your peace with Caesar.
Fly! not we.
I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
I have myself resolved upon a course
Which has no need of you; be gone:
My treasure's in the harbour, take it. O,
I follow'd that I blush to look upon:
My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doting. Friends, be gone: you shall
Have letters from me to some friends that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint
Which my despair proclaims; let that be left
Which leaves itself: to the sea-side straightway:
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little: pray you now:
Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command,
Therefore I pray you: I'll see you by and by.