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Mess. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my mistress,
Confined in all she has (her monument),
Bid her have good heart:
She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
Mess. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit.
SCENE II.-Alexandria. A Room in the Monument.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS. Cleo. My desolation does begin to make A better life. 'Tis paltry to be Cæsar: Not being fortune, he 's but fortune's knave; A minister of her will. And it is great To do that thing that ends all other deeds; Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change; Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung, The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.
Enter, to the gates of the Monument, PROCULEIUS, GALLUS, and Soldiers.
Pro. Cæsar sends greeting to the Queen of
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Most sovereign creature,—
Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his reared arm Crested the world: his voice was propertied As all the tunéd spheres, and that to friends; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was a rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in 't; an autumn 't was, That grew the more by reaping: his delights Were dolphin-like; they shewed his back above The element they lived in: in his livery Walked crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropped from his pocket.
A benefit in this change: but if you seek
Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Cleo. And may through all the world: 't is yours; and we,
Your 'scutcheons and your signs of conquest,
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord::
Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra. Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,
I am possessed of: 't is exactly valued;
Cleo. This is my treasurer: let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
To myself nothing.-Speak the truth, Seleucus.
I had rather seel my lips than, to my peril,
Good queen, let us entreat you.
To one so meek, that mine own servant should
As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites
Beneath the fall I have.-Pr'y thee, go hence; [TO SELEUCUS.
Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance :-wert thou a
Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus. [Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are
For things that others do; and when we fall,
Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,
Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear queen;
For we intend so to dispose you as
Cæs. Not so: adieu. [Exeunt CESAR and Train.
Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
Enter one of the Guard.
Guard. Here is a rural fellow
That will not be denied your highness' presence: He brings you figs.
Cleo. Let him come in. [Exit Guard].-How
May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a basket.
Guard. This is the man.
Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.- [Exit Guard. Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there, That kills and pains not?
Clown. Truly I have him: but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal: those that do die of it, do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't?
Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honesty how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt; truly she makes a very good report o' the worm: but he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is most fallible,—the worm's an odd worm.
Immortal longings in me: now no more
To praise my noble act: I hear him mock
I give to baser life.-So; have you done?
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain: that I
The gods themselves do weep!
Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too :
[Applying another asp to her arm. What should I stay- [Falls on a bed, and dies. Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies A lass unparalleled.-Downy windows, close; And golden Phoebus never be beheld Of eyes again so royal!-Your crown 's awry: I'll mend it, and then play.
Enter the Guard, rushing in. 1st Guard. Where is the queen? Char. Speak softly; wake her not. 1st Guard. Cæsar hath sent