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The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion-cloth-of-gold of tissue-
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
Agr.

O, rare for Antony! 210
Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely* frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense *Readily.
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i’ the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too
And made a gap in nature.
Agr.

Rare Egyptian! Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her, Invited her to supper: she replied, It should be better he became her guest; Which she entreated: our courteous Antony, Whom ne'er the word of 'No'woman heard speak, Being barber'd ten tim o'er, goes to the feast, And for his ordinary pays his heart

230 For what his eyes eat only. Agr.

Royal wench!
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed:
He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.
Eno.

I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Eno. Never; he will not:

*Wanton,

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale

240 Her infinite variety: other women cloy The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies: for vilest things Become themselves in her; that the holy priests Bless her when she is riggish.*

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle The heart of Antony, Octavia is A blessed lottery* to him. Agr.

Let us go. Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest 249 Whilst

you

abide here. Eno. Humbly, sir, I thank you. [Exeunt.

*Allotment.

SCENE III.
The same.

Cæsar's house.
Enter ANTONY, CÆSAR, OCTAVIA between them, and

Attendants. Ant. The world and my great office will some

times
Divide me from your bosom.
Ofta.

All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
Ant.

Good night, sir, My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
I have not kept my square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.
Good night, sir.
Cæs. Good night. [Exeunt Cæsar and Ottavia.

Enter Soothsayer. Ant. Now, sirrah; you do wish yourself in

Egypt? Sooth. Would I had never come from thence,

nor you Thither!

Ant. If you can, your reason ?
Sooth.

I see it in
My motion, have it not in my tongue: but yet
Hie you to Egypt again.
Ant.

Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's or mine?

IO 20

Sooth. Cæsar's. Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side: Thy demon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel Becomes a fear, as being o'erpower'd: therefore Make space enough between you. Ant.

Speak this no more. Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to

thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre

thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 'tis noble.
Ant.
Get thee gone:

30 Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:

[Exit Soothsayer. He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap, He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him; And in our sports my better cunning faints Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds; His cocks do win the battle still of mine, When it is all to nought; and his quails ever Beat mine, inhoop'd,* at odds. I will to Egypt: And though I make this marriage for my peace, l' the east my pleasure lies.

Enter VENTIDIUS.

O, come, Ventidius, 40 You must to Parthia: your commission's ready; Follow me, and receive 't.

[Exeunt.

*Enclosed.

SCENE IV. The same. A street. Enter LEPIDUS, MECÆNAS, and AGRIPPA. Lep. Trouble yourselves no further: pray you,

hasten
Your generals after.
Agr.

Sir, Mark Antony
Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we 'll follow.

}

Lep. Till I shall see you in your soldier's

dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.
Mec.

We shall,
As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount
Before you, Lepidus.
Lep.

Your way is shorter;
My purposes do draw me much about:
You'll win two days upon me.
Agr.

Sir, good success! Lep. Farewell.

[Exeunt. 10 SCENE V. Alexandria. Cleopatra's palace. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and

ALEXAS. Cleo. Give me some music; music, moody food Of us that trade in love. Attend

The music, ho! Enter MARDIAN the Eunuch. Cleo. Let it alone; let's to billiards: come,

Charmian. Char. My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.

Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me,

sir ? Mar. As well as I can, madam. Cleo. And when good will is show'd, though 't

come too short, The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now: Give me mine angle; we'll to the river: there, My music playing far off, I will betray Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up, I'll think them every one an Antony, And say 'Ah, ha! you ’re caught.' Char.

'Twas merry when You wager'd on your angling; when your diver Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he With fervency drew up.

II 20

Cleo.

That time,-0 times! I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn, Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed; Then put my tires* and mantles on him, whilst

*Head-dress. I wore his sword Philippan. Enter a Messenger.

0, from Italy!
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren,
Mess,

Madam, madam,
Cleo. Antonius dead!—If thou say so, villain,
Thou kill'st thy mistress: but well and free,
If thou so yield* him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss; a hand that kings *Report.
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

30 Mess. First, madam, he is well. Cleo.

Why, there's more gold.
But, sirrah, mark, we use
To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.

Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Cleo.

Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
Be free and healthful,—so tart a favour* *Countenance.
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a Fury crown'd with
snakes,

40 Not like a formalt man.

Man in his senses. Mess.

Will’t please you hear me? Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee ere thou

speak'st:
Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Mess.

Madam, he 's well.
Cleo.

Well said.
Mess. And friends with Cæsar.
Cleo.

Thou 'rt an honest man.

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