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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.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him 11
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool; behold and see.

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,


A Soothsayer.

A Clown.

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE.-In several parts of the Roman Empire.

CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.

OCTAVIA, Sister to Cæsar, and Wife to Antony.
Attendants on Cleopatra.

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

say? both?

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.
Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference

There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?

Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd.
No messenger; but thine, and all alone,
To-night we'll wander through the streets and

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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.

Alex. Soothsayer!

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.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Wrinkles forbid !


Char. Pray then, foresee me one.

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Char. He means in flesh.


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,

know things?

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.
Char. Hush!

Sooth. You shall be more beloving than be.

Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him.

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.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

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?

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Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden


A Roman thought hath struck him. barbus !


Eno. Madam!

Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither.
Where's Alexas?

Alex. Here, at your service. My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants.
Cleo. We will not look upon him; go with us.
IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and

Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the

Ant. Against my brother Lucius?
Mess. Ay:

But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force
'gainst Cæsar,


Whose better issue in the war, from Italy
Upon the first encounter drave them.
Well, what worst?
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the


Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.
On ;
Things that are past are done with me. 'Tis
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.



This is stiff news, hath with his Parthian force
Extended Asia; from Euphrates
His conquering banner shook from Syria
To Lydia and to Ionia: whilst-

Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,—
Mess. O my lord.

Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general

Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my

With such full license as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. O! then we bring forth

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First Att. The man from Sicyon, is there such

an one?

Second Att. He stays upon your will.

Let him appear.
These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose myself in dotage.

Forbear me.


Exit Second Messenger.
There's a great spirit gone. Thus did I desire it:
What our contempts do often hurl from us
We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become
The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
The hand could pluck her back that shov'd
her on.

I must from this encha ting queen break off;
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
My idleness doth hatch. How now! Enobarbus !

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.

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Ant. Fulvia is dead.

Eno. Fulvia !

Ant. Dead.

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 :
Her length of sickness, with what else more
Importeth thee to know, this bears.


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 leave 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 in 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

Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.

Eno. I shall do 't.




Another Room.



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,
Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick : quick, and return.
Char. Madam, methinks if you did love him

You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

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.

10 Char. Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:

In time we hate that which we often fear.

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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
Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd


| 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?
Ant. She's dead, my queen.

Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils she awak'd; at the last, best,
See when and where she died.


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;
But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.

Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd, but there's not it;
That you know well: something it is I would,—
O my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.



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
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me when they do not
Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,


And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel victory, and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!

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Enter a Messenger.

Here's more news.
Mess. Thy biddings have been done, and every
Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report
How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea,
And it appears he is belov'd of those
That only have fear'd Cæsar; to the ports
The discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.

I should have known no less. 40
It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he which is was wish'd until he were;
And the ebb'd man, ne'erlov'd till ne'er worth love,
Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This common

Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
Let us go. Come; To rot itself with motion.
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Make the sea serve them, which they ear and

Our separation so abides and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.


SCENE IV.-Rome. A Room in CESAR's House.


Caes. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth

It is not Cæsar's natural wise to hate
Our great competitor. From Alexandria

This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel; is not more man-like
Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: you shall
find there

A man who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.

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