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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
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.
Enter CESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECENAS,
Cæs. Which is the Queen of Egypt?
Dol. It is the emperor, madam.
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:
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
As plates dropped from his pocket.
Cleo. Think you there was or might be such
As this I dreamed of?
Gentle madam, no.
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus: my master and my lord
Take to you no hard thoughts:
Sole sir o' the world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
We will extenuate rather than enforce.
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
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,
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.
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;
Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits
Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus. [Exit SELEUCUS.
For things that others do; and when we fall,
We answer others' merits in our name:
Not what you have reserved, nor what acknow-
Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear
For we intend so to dispose you as
Cæs. Not so: adieu. [Exeunt CESAR and Train.
Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
Hie thee again :
I have spoke already, and it is provided.
Madam, I will.
Dol. Where is the queen?
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
I shall remain your debtor.
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
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.
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
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 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,
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
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
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!
Dol. How goes it here?