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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
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much. Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
MARDIAN, an Eunuch,Attendants on Cleopatra. SELEUCUS,
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
OCTAVIA, Sister to Cæsar, and Wife to Antony.
Enter an Attendant.
Att. News, my good lord, from Rome. Grates me; the sum. Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, 'Do this, or this; Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that; Perform 't, or else we damn thee.'
Ant. How, my love! Cleo. Perchance! nay, and most like; You must not stay here longer; your dismission Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony. Where's Fulvia's process? Cæsar's I would
Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager; else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The mes
Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man; the nobleness of life Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair
Embracing. And such a twain can do 't, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless.
Cleo. Excellent falsehood! 40 | Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, Why did he marry Fulvia and not love her? and widow them all; let me have a child at I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage; Will be himself. find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names; prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
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 charge his horns with garlands.
Sooth. Your will?
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.
Show him your hand.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly;
Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of for tune 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. 0! let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee; and let her die too, and
Char. Is this the man? Is't you, sir, that give him a worse; and let worse follow worse,
till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee! Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to wine 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. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Sooth. You shall be more beloving than be.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Char. Good now, some excellent fortune!
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.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to night, shall be-drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitfal prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how? but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him. barbus !
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither.
Alex. Here, at your service. My lord approaches.
Enter ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants.
Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the
Ant. Against my brother Lucius?
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.
This is stiff news, hath with his Parthian force
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,—
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general
Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;
With such full license as both truth and malice
First Att. The man from Sicyon, is there such
Second Att. He stays upon your will.
Exit Second Messenger.
I must from this encha ting queen break off;
Gives a letter.
Eno. What's your pleasure, sir? Ant. I must with haste from hence. Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. 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 almanacs can report: this cannot be cun. ning 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.
Eno. Fulvia !
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it 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.
Enter another Messenger. Eno. And the business you have broached What are you? here cannot be without you; especially that Second Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead. of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your Where died she? abode.
Second Mess. In Sicyon :
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
Do strongly speak to us, but the letters too
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
Eno. I shall do 't.
SCENE III-The Same.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and
Cleo. Where is he? Char.
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,
You do not hold the method to enforce
Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.
10 Char. Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:
In time we hate that which we often fear.
Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou should'st know
There were a heart in Egypt.
Ant. Hear me, queen; The strong necessity of time commands Our services awhile, but my full heart Remains in use with you. Our Italy Shines o'er with civil swords; Sextus Pompeius Makes his approaches to the port of Rome; Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love; the condemn'd
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
| Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten; And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge By any desperate change. My more particular, And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvia's death.
Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?
Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
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. By the fire That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war 70 As thou affect'st. Cleo. Cut my lace, Charmian, come; But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well; So Antony loves.
My precious queen, forbear, And give true evidence to his love which stands An honourable trial.
So Fulvia told me. I prithee, turn aside and weep for her; Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene Of excellent dissembling, and let it look Like perfect honour.
You'll heat my blood: no more. so Cleo. You can do better yet, but this is meetly. Ant. Now, by my sword,
And target. Still he mends;
Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
But that your royalty Holds idleness your subject, I should take you For idleness itself.
"Tis sweating labour
To bear such idleness so near the heart
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Enter a Messenger.
Here's more news.
Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Our separation so abides and flies,
SCENE IV.-Rome. A Room in CESAR's House.
Enter OCTAVIUS CESAR, LEPIDUS, and
Caes. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth
It is not Cæsar's natural wise to hate
This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
A man who is the abstract of all faults