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Mess. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my mistress,

Confined in all she has (her monument),
Of thy intents desires instruction:
That she preparédly may frame herself
To the way she's forced to.


Bid her have good heart:

She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honourable and how kindly we
Determine for her: for Cæsar cannot live
To be ungentle.

Mess. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit.
Cæs. Come hither, Proculeius: go, and say
We purpose her no shame: give her what comforts
The quality of her passion shall require ;
Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
She do defeat us: for her life in Rome
Would be eternal in our triumph. Go;
And, with your speediest, bring us what she says,
And how you find of her.

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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
Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.

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Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,—

Dol. Though he be honourable,—

Cleo. He'll lead me, then, in triumph ?

Dol. Madam, he will: I know it.
Within. Make way there :-Cæsar!

SELEUCUS, and Attendants.


Cæs. Which is the Queen of Egypt?

Dol. It is the emperor, madam.

[CLEOPATRA kneels.

Cæs. Arise; you shall not kneel.—

pray you, rise: rise, Egypt.

Cleo. Say, I would die.

[Exeunt PROCULEIUS and Soldiers.

Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me?

Cleo. I cannot tell.


Assuredly you know me.

Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard or

You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams:
Is 't not your trick?

Dol. I understand not, madam.

Cleo. I dreamed there was an emperor An


O, such another sleep, that I might see

But such another man!


If it might please you,

Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck

A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted

The little O, the earth.


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.



Cleo. Think you there was or might be such

a man

As this I dreamed of?


Gentle madam, no.


Sir, the gods

Will have it thus: my master and my lord
I must obey.


Take to you no hard thoughts:
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance.


Sole sir o' the world,

I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear: but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which before
Have often shamed our sex.


Cleopatra, know

We will extenuate rather than enforce.
If you apply yourself to our intents
(Which towards you are most gentle), you shall


A benefit in this change: but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty, by taking

Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes, and put your children
To that destruction which I'll guard them from
If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave.

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;
Not petty things admitted.-Where's Seleucus?
Sel. Here, madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer: let him speak, my lord,

Upon his peril, that I have reserved

To myself nothing.-Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Sel. Madam,

I had rather seel my lips than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.


What have I kept back?

Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made known.

Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra: I approve Your wisdom in the deed.

See, Cæsar! O, behold

Cleo. How pomp is followed!-mine will now be yours: And, should we shift estates, yours would be


The ingratitude of this Seleucus does

Even make me wild :-O slave, of no more trust Than love that's hired!—What, go'st thou back? thou shalt

Go back, I warrant thee : but I 'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings! Slave, soulless villain, dog!

O rarely base!


Good queen, let us entreat you.
Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honour of thy lordliness

To one so meek, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady trifles have reserved,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity

As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
Some nobler token I have kept apart

For Livia and Octavia, to induce
Their mediation; must I be unfolded

With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites


Beneath the fall I have.-Pr'y thee, go hence;

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,

We answer others' merits in our name:
Are therefore to be pitied.


Not what you have reserved, nor what acknow-

Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure: and believe
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be

Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear

For we intend so to dispose you as
Yourself shall give us counsel.
Feed and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend: and so adieu.
Cleo. My master and my lord!

Cæs. Not so: adieu. [Exeunt CESAR and Train.
Cleo. He words me, girls; he words me, that
I should not

Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
[Whispers CHARMIAN.
Iras. Finish, good lady: the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.


Hie thee again :

I have spoke already, and it is provided.
Go, put it to the haste.


Madam, I will.


Dol. Where is the queen?
Char. Behold, sir.

Cleo. Dolabella?


Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,

Which my love makes religion to obey,

I tell you this: Cæsar through Syria

Intends his journey, and within three days
You with your children will he send before.
Make your best use of this: I have performed
Your pleasure and my promise.


I shall remain your debtor.

I your


Adieu, good queen: I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit DOLABELLA.
Now, Iras, what think'st thou?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shewn
In Rome, as well as I: mechanic slaves,
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view: in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapour.


The gods forbid!

Cleo. Nay, 't is most certain, Iras: saucy lictors Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers Ballad us out o'tune: the quick comedians

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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
poor an instrument

May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

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.

Cleo. Get thee hence: farewell. Clown. I wish you all joy o' the worm. Cleo. Farewell. [Clown sets down the basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

Cleo. Ay, ay: farewell.

Clown. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping of wise people: for indeed there is no goodness in the worm.

Cleo. Take thou no care: it shall be heeded. Clown. Very good: give it nothing, I pray you; for it is not worth the feeding.

Cleo. Will it eat me?

Clown. You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not: but truly these same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women; for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.

Cleo. Well, get thee gone: farewell. Clown. Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy of the [Exit.


Re-enter IRAs, with a robe, crown, &c. Cleo. Give me my robe; put on my crown. I


Immortal longings in me: now no more
The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip.—
Yare, yare, good Iras; quick.—Methinks I hear
Antony call: I see him rouse himself

To praise my noble act: I hear him mock
The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men
To excuse their after-wrath.-Husband, I come:
Now to that name my courage prove my title!
I am fire and air; my other elements

I give to baser life.-So; have you done?
Come, then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian :- Iras, long farewell.
[Kisses them. IRAs falls and dies.
Have I the aspick in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
Which hurts and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
It is not worth leave-taking..

Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain: that I may say,

The gods themselves do weep!


This proves me base : If she first meet the curléd Antony,' He'll make demand of her; and spend that kiss Which is my heaven to have.-Come, thou mortal wretch,

[To the asp, which she applies to her breast. With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,

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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


Peace, peace!

Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?


O break! O break!

Char. Too slow a messenger. [Applies the asp. O come! apace, despatch! I partly feel thee. 1st Guard. Approach, ho! all's not well. Cæsar's beguiled.

2nd Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar:-call him.

1st Guard. What work is here?-Charmian, is this well done?

Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess Descended of so many royal kings. Ah, soldier!


All dead.

Dol. How goes it here?
2nd Guard.


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