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Waged equal with him'.
Agr. A rarer spirit never
Did steer humanity: but you, gods, will give us
Some faults to make us men. Cæsar is touch'd.
Mec. When such a spacious mirror's set before 5
He needs must see himself.
Cas. O Antony!
I have follow'd thee to this ;-But we do lance
Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce
Have shewn to thee such a declining day,
Or look on thine; we could not stall together
In the whole world: But yet let me lament,
With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
That thou, my brother, my competitor
In top of all design, my mate in empire,
Friend and companion in the front of war,
The arm of mine own body, and the heart
Where mine his thoughts did kindle,-that our
Unreconciliable, should divide
Our equalness to this.-Hear me, good friends,-
But I will tell you at some meeter season;
Enter an Ægyptian.
The business of this man looks out of him,
We'll hear him what he says.-Whence are you?
Egypt. A poor Ægyptian yet: The queen my
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.
Confin'd in all she has, her monument,
Of thy intents desires instruction;
That she preparedly may frame herself
To the way she's forc'd to.
Cas. Bid her have good heart;
She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honourably and how kindly we
Determine for her: for Cæsar cannot live
To be ungentle.
Agypt. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit.
Cas. Come hither, Proculeius; Go, and say,
We purpose her no shame: give her what com-40
Cas. Let him alone, for I remember now
How he's employ'd; he shall in time be ready.
Go with me to my tent; where you shall see
How hardly I was drawn into this war;
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, and Iras.
Cleo. My desolation does begin to make
A better life: 'Tis paltry to be Cæsar;
10 Not being fortune, he's but fortune's knave3,
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,
15 The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.-
Enter, below, Proculeius, Gallus, &c.
Pro. Cæsar sends greeting to the queen of
And bids thee study on what fair demands
20 Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.
Cleo. What's thy name?
Pro. My name is Proculeius.
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but
I do not greatly care to be deceiv'd,
That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom: if he please
30 To give me conquer'd Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own, as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.
Pro. Be of good cheer;
You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing:
35 Make your full reference freely to my lord,
Who is so full of grace, that it flows over
On all that need: Let me report to him
Your sweet dependency; and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid' for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneel'd to.
Cleo. Pray you, tell him
I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him The greatness he has got". I hourly learn A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly 45 Look him i' the face.
Pro. This I'll report, dear lady.
Have comfort; for, I know your plight is pity'd
Of him that caus'd it.
Pro. Cæsar, I shall.
[Exit Proculeius. Cas. Gallus, go you along.Where's Dola-Aside.] You see how easily she may be surpriz'd; bella, [Here Gallus and guard ascend the moTo second Proculeius? nument, and enter behind. Guard her, 'till Cæsar come. Iras. Royal queen!
Char. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen!
Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.
[Drawing a dagger. Proculeius rushes in, and disarms the Queen.
1i. e. his taints and honours were an equal match; were opposed to each other in just proportions, like the counterparts of a wager. That is, should have made us, in our equality of fortune, disagree to a pitch like this, that one of us must die. 3 i. e. the servant of fortune. 4 *í. e. Voluntary death produces a state which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use of which Cæsar and the beggar are on a level. Praying in aid is a law term, used for a petition made in a court of justice for the calling in of help from another that hath an interest in the cause in question. I allow him to be my conqueror.
Do not abuse our master's bounty, by
The undoing of yourself: let the world see
His nobleness well acted, which your death
Will never let come forth.
Cleo. Where art thou, death? [queen 10 Come hither, come! come, come, and take a Worth many babes and beggars!
Pro. O, temperance, lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir;
If idle talk will once be necessary1,
I'll not sleep neither: This mortal house I'll ruin,
Do Cæsar what he can. Know, sir, that I
Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;
Nor once be chastis'd with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,'
And shew me to the shouting varletry
Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave unto me! rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring! rather make
My country's high pyramides my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains!
Pro. You do extend
Dol. Most sovereign creature,
Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean; his rear'd arra
Crested the world: his voice was property'd
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
5 But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas,
That grew the more by reaping: His delights
Were dolphin-like; they shew'd his back above
The element they liv'd in: In his livery [were
Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands
As plates dropt from his pocket.
[man Cleo. Think you there was, or might be, such a 15 As this I dreani'd of?
Dol. Gentle madam, no.
Cleo. You lye, up to the hearing of the gods.
But, if there be, or ever were one such,
It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuff
20 To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite *.
Dol. Hear me, good madam:
Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it 25 As answering to the weight: 'Would I might never O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that shoots
My very heart at root.
Cleo. I thank you, sir.
30 Know you, what Cæsar means to do with me? Dol. I am loth to tell you what I would you 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.
All. Make way there,-Cæsar.
Enter Cæsar, Gallus, Mecenas, Proculeius, and
pray you, rise; rise, Ægypt.
Cleo. Sir, the gods
Dol. Assuredly, you know me.
Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard or 45|I known. [dreams; You laugh, when boys, or women, tell their Is't not your trick?
Dol. I understand not, madam.
Cleo. I dream'd, there was an emperor Antony
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
Dol. If it might please you,
Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck [lighted 55 A sun, and moon; which kept their course, and The little O, the earth,
Cas. Which is the queen of Egypt?
Dol. It is the emperor, madam. [Cleo. kneels.
Cæs. Arise, you shall not kneel:
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
Cas. 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.
Cleo. 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 sham'd our sex.
Cæs. Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than enforce:
If you apply yourself to our intents,
1 Once may mean sometimes.-The meaning of Cleopatra seems to be this: If idle talking be sometimes necessary to the prolongation of life, why I will not sleep, for fear of talking idly in my sleep. 2i. e. the little orb or circle. Plates probably mean, silver money. The word piece is a term appropriated to works of art. Here Nature and Fancy produce each their piece, and the piece done by Nature had the preference.-Antony was in reality past the size of dreaming; he was more by Nature than Fancy could present in sleep. "To project a cause is to represent à cause; to project it well, is to plan or contrive a scheme of defence.
Cleo. Be it known, that we, the greatest, are
For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits' in our names,
5 Are therefore to be pitied.
(Which towards you are most gentle) you shall find
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: 'tis
yours; and we
Your'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest,shall 10
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Cas. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and
I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued;
Not petty things admitted.-Where's Seleucus
Sel. Here, madam.
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.
Cas. Not so: Adieu.
Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my
Upon his peril, that I have reserv'd
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.
I had rather seel my lips', than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.
Cleo. What have I kept back?
Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made Cas. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleo. See, Casar! O, behold,
How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours ;30
And, should we shift estates, yours will be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild :-O slave, of no more trust
Than love that's hir'd!-What, goest thou back?
Putwe 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 thingsthatmerchantssold. Therefore becheer'd;
Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear
Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes,
Though they had wings: Slave, soul-less villain,
O rarely base?!
Cas. Good queen, let us intreat you.
Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; 40
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 had reserv'd,
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'ythee, go hence;
Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits [man, 55
Through the ashes of my chance: Wert thou a
Thou would'st have mercy on me.
Cas. Forbear, Seleucus. [Exit Seleucus.
[Exeunt Cæsar, and his train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
Be noble to myself: But hark thee, Charmian.
Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.
Cleo. Hie thee again:
have spoke already, and it is provided: Go put it to the haste.
Char. Madam, I will.
Dol. Where is the queen?
Char. Behold, sir.
Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your com-
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this: Casar 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 perform'd
Your pleasure, and my promise.
I shall remain your debtor.
Dol. I your servant.
45 Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. Now, Iras, what think'st thou ?
Thou, an Ægyptian puppet, shalt be shewn
50 In Rome, as well as 1: 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 forc'd to drink their vapour,
Iras. The gods forbid !
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras; Saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald' rhi
e. close up my lips as effectually as the eyes of a hawk are closed. i. e. base in an uncommon degree. Or fortune. The meaning is, Begone, or I shall exert that royal spirit which I had in my prosperity, in spight of the imbecility of my present weak condition. 4 Merits is in this place taken in an ill sense, for actions meriting censure. Scald was a word of contempt, implying poverty, disease, and filth.
Ballad us out o' tune: the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I' the posture of a whore.
Iras. O the good gods!
Cleo. Nay, that's certain.
*Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes.
Cleo. Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer.
Their most absurd intents.-Now, Charmian !-
[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,
5 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, 10 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 o' the
Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I
Immortal longings in me: Now no more [have
The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip:-
20 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.
[Applying the asp.
Have I the aspick in my lips? Dost fall? [To Irás.
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lye still?
35 If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
It is not worth leave-taking.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I
The gods themselves do weep!
Cleo. This proves me base:
If she first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her; and spend that kiss, Which is my heaven to have.-Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
[To the asp.
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak!
That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass
Shew me, my women, like a queen;-Go fetch 15
My best attires;-I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony :-Sirrah, Iras, go.-
Now, noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed:
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give
Toplay 'till dooms-day.-Bring our crown and all.
Wherefore's this noise? [A noise within.
Enter one of the Guard.
Guard. Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be deny'd your highness' presence; 25
He brings you figs.
Cleo. Let him come in. What a poor instrument
May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's plac'd; 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, 40
for his biting is immortal; those, that do die of
it, do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have dy'd
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 lye:
as a woman should not do, but in the way of ho-
nesty: how she dy'd 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 50
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 of the worm.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind 4.
Cleo. Ay, ay,
Clown. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted,
Char. O eastern star!
Cleo, Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Char. O, break! O, break!
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-
We have before observed, that the parts of women were acted on the stage by boys in our author's time. 2 i. e. inconstant. 3 Worm is the Teutonick word for serpent; and in the Northern counties, the word worm is still given to the serpent species in general. i, e. will act according to his nature. 'i.e. make haste, be nimble, be ready. i. e. an ass without more policy than to leave the means of death within my reach, and thereby deprive his triumph of its noblest decoration.
Char. In this wild world'?-So, fare thee well. Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies A lass unparallel'd.-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. 1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char. Speak softly, wake her not. 1 Guard. Cæsar hath sent
Char. Too slow a messenger.[Charmian applies the asp. O, come; apace, dispatch:-I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach,ho! All's not well: Cæsar's beguil'd. [call him. 15
2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;-
1 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.
Dol. How goes it here? 2 Guard. All dead.
Dol. Who was last with them?
1 Guard. Asimplecountryman, that brought her
This was his basket.
Cas. Poison'd then.
1 Guard. O Cæsar,
This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood, and spake:
I found her trimming up the diadem
On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropp'd.
Dol. Cæsar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming
To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou
So sought'st to hinder.
Enter Cæsar and Attendants.
[Within.] A way there, a way for Cæsar! Dol. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.
Cas. Bravest at the last :
Cas. O noble weakness!-
If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.
Dol. Here, on her breast
There is a vent of blood, and something blown2:
The like is on her arm.
Guard. This is an aspick's trail; and these fig leaves
Have slime upon them, such as the aspick leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.
Cas. Most probable,
That so she dy'd; for her physician tells me,
She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
25 Of easy ways to die.-Take up her bed;
And bear her women from the monument:-
She shall be buried by her Antony:
grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
30 Strike those that make them: and their story is
No less in pity, than his glory, which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall,
In solemn shew, attend this funeral;
And then to Rome.-Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity. [Exeunt omnes.
She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal,
Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths?--35
I do not see them bleed.
1 Mr. Steevens conjectures, that our author may have written vild (i. e. vile according to ancient spelling) for worthless. ? i. e. swoln.