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Before you, Lepidus.
Your way is shorter;
Sir, good success!
A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and ALEXAS.
Cleo. Give me some music, music, moody food
The music, ho!
Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd,
Mar. As well as I can, madam.
7 Tawney-finn'd-] Theobald altered Tawney-fine, of all the folios, into “ Tawney-finn’d,” aud the change seems required.
'Twas merry, when
That time,-0 times !
Enter a Messenger.
O! from Italy?-
Mess. First, madam, he is well.
Why, there's more gold.
Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will ;
Will't please you hear me? Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere tbou speak'st: Cleo.
Yet, if thou say, Antony lives, 'tis well;
Madam, he's well.
Well said. Mess. And friends with Cæsar. Cleo.
Thou’rt an honest man. Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever. Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me. Mess.
But yet, madam,Cleo. I do not like “but yet,” it does allay The good precedence; fie upon “but yet!” “But yet” is as a gaoler to bring forth Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend, Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear, The good and bad together. He's friends with Cæsar; In state of health, thou say’st; and, thou say’st, free.
Mess. Free, madam ? no; I made no such report :
For what good turn?
I am pale, Charmian.
[Strikes him down. Mess. Good madam, patience. Cleo.
What say you ?-Hence,
[Strikes him again. Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls before me: I'll unhair thy head.
She hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in lingering pickle. Mess.
Gracious madam, I, that do bring the news, made not the match.
Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud : the blow thou hadst
He's married, madam.
[Draws a Dagger. Mess.
Nay, then I'll run.What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
[Exit. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself: The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunder-bolt.-
Char. He is afeard to come.
I will not hurt him.-
Though it be honest, it is never good
Is he married ?
He 's married, madam.
still ? Mess. Should I lie, madam ? Cleo.
0! I would, thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerg’d, and made
Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
He is married ?
Cleo. O! that his fault should make a knave of thee, That art not! What! thou’rt sure of 8 ?—Get thee
hence: The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome, Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand, And be undone by 'em!
[Exit Messenger. Char.
Good your highness, patience. Cleo. In praising Antony, I have disprais'd Cæsar. Char. Many times, madam. Cleo.
I am paid for't now. Lead me from hence; I faint. O Iras! Charmian !—Tis no matter.— Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him Report the feature of Octavia, her years, Her inclination, let him not leave out The colour of her hair: bring me word quickly.
[Exit ALEXAS. Let him for ever go :-let him not-Charmian, Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
80! that his fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not! What! thou’rt sure of ?] Our punctuation of this disputed passage is that of Monck Mason ; but he wished also to read, “ What! thou’rt sure of 't?”-a slight change, indeed, but as it is not absolutely necessary, we do not carry our variation from the old copies farther than changing the pointing : in the folio, 1623, it stands,
“O that his fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not what thou’rt sure of.” This, it must be admitted, is far from intelligible. By the words “ What! thou’rt sure of ?” Cleopatra intends to inquire of the messenger once more, whether he is certain of the tidings he has brought. The meaning of the first part of the passage, as we have given it, is very evident.