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Octavius Cæsar, Triumvirs.
M. Æmil. Lepidus,
Friends of Antony.
Friends to Casar.
Menecrates, Friends of Pompey.
Taurus, Lieutenant-General to Cæsar.
Canidius, Lieutenant-General to Antony.
Silius, an Officer in Ventidius's army.
An Ambassador from Antony to Cæsar.
Alexas, Mardian, Seleucus, and Diomedes; Attendants
A Soothsayer. A Clown.
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
Octavia, Sister to Cesar, and Wife to Antony.
} Attendants on Cleopatra.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
Scene, dispersed; in several parts of the Roman Empire.
A ROOM IN CLEOPATRA'S PALACE.
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.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
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
Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
Ant. Then must thou needs find out new hea-
ven, new earth.
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.
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-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.—The messen
gers. Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt! and the wide
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.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night?
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
note The qualities of people. Come, my queen; Last night you did desire it:-Speak not to us.
[Exeunt Ant. and Cleop. with their train. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz’d so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!
Enter Charmian, Iras, Aleras, 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?
Char. Is this the mani—Is't you, sir, that know
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read.
Show him your hand.
Enter Enobarbus. .
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Char. He means, in flesh.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Wrinkles forbid !
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than belov'd.