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Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.
Phi. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper ; And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come ! Flourish. Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Trains; Eunuchs fanning her.
TAURUS, lieutenant-general to Cæsar.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
CANIDIUS, lieutenant-general to Antony.
SILIUS, an officer in Ventidius's army.
A Soothsayer. A Clown.
SCENE, -dispersed; in several parts of the Roman Empire.
friends of Pompey.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
OCTAVIA, sister to Cæsar, and wife to Antony. CHARMIAN and IRAS, attendants on Cleopatra.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
SCENE II. - The same. Another Room. Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands!
Sooth. Your will?
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy, A little I can read.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot sooth
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful I'm full sorry, prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. — Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Char. Is this the man? Is't you, sir, that know cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike my children shall have no names: Pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch. Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night,
- drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it? Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas, come, his fortune, his fortune. — O, let beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I
worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a
Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Cleo. Saw you my lord?
Char. No, madam.
Not he, the queen.
Was he not here?
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the | I must from this enchanting queen break off;
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,—
My idleness doth hatch.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's
Eno. What's your pleasure, sir?
Alex. Here, madam, at your service.
Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants.
Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward. On: Things, that are past, are done with me. thus:
Antony, thou would'st say, O, my lord! Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general
Enter another Messenger. Or lose myself in dotage. What are you? 2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead. Ant.
tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome : Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick winds lie still; and our ills told us, Is as our caring. Fare thee well a while.
Mess. At your noble pleasure. [Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon. - Is there such an one?
2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant. Let him appear, · These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Where died she?
- How now! Enobarbus!
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove. Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented; this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat: - and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, And get her love to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too Of many our contriving friends Rome Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands The empire of the sea: our slippery people (Whose love is never link'd to the deserver, Till his deserts are past,) begin to throw Pompey the great, and all his dignities, Upon his son; who, high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main soldier: whose quality, going on, The sides o'the world may danger: Much is breeding,
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS. Cleo. Where is he?
I did not see him since. Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he does : I did not send you ; · If you find him sad, Say, I am dancing; if in mirth, report That I am sudden sick: Quick, and return.
[Exit ALEX. Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
What should I do, I do not? Char. In each thing give him way, cross him in nothing.
Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him.
Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, forbear; In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick, and sullen. Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my pur
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest queen, Cleo. Pray you, stand further from me. Ani. What's the matter? Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.
What says the married woman? - You may go; 'Would, she had never given you leave to come! Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here,
I have no power upon you; hers you are.
O, never was there queen
Cleo. Why should I think, you can be mine, and true,
Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing!
Most sweet queen, Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
How now, lady! Cleo. I would, I had thy inches; thou should'st know, There were a heart in Egypt.
Hear me, queen :
The strong necessity of time commands
Breeds scrupulous faction: The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
Can Fulvia die?
It does from childishness:
Cleo. O most false love! Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see, In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know The purposes I bear; which are, or cease, As you shall give the advice: Now, by the fire, That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence, Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war, As thou affect'st.
Cleo. Cut my lace, Charmian, come; →→ But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well: So Antony loves. Ant. My precious queen, forbear; And give true evidence to his love, which stands An honourable trial.
Here's more news. Mess. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,
Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report
I should have known no less:
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Than what he chooses.
Cæs. You are too indulgent: Let us grant, it is
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
(As his composure must be rare indeed,
Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet must
Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
To let me be partaker.
Doubt not, sir;
[Exeunt. SCENE V.-Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Enter a Messenger.
Leave thy lascivious wassels. When thou once
Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
Till which encounter, Farewell.
It is my business too.
Lep. Farewell, my lord: What you shall know mean time
Cleo. Charmian, —
Cleo. Ha, ha!
Give me to drink mandragora.
You think of him
In aught an eunuch has: 'Tis well for thee,
Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing But what indeed is honest to be done :