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That thou, my brother, iny competitor
Enter an Egyptian. The business of this man looks out of him; 50 We'll hear him what he says.
Whence are you? Egyp. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my
Bid her have good heart:
Egyp. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit. 60
Cæs. Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say, We purpose her no shame: give her what comforts 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. Pro.
Cæsar, I shall. [Exit. Cæs. Gallus, go you along. [Exit Gallus.]
In all my writings: go with me, and see
[Exeunt. SCENE II. Alexandria. A room in the monu
ment. 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 dug, The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's. Enter, to the gates of the monument, PROCULEIUS,
GALLUS, and Soldiers. Cæsar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt; And bids thee study on what fair demands Thou mean'st to have him grant thee. Cleo.
What's thy name? Pro. My name is Proculeius. Cleo.
Antony Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but I do not greatly care to be deceived, 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 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;
full reference freely to my lord,
Pray you, tell him
I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
This I'll report, dear lady.
[Here Proculeius and two of the Guard
ascend the monument by a ladder placed against a window, and, having descended, come behind Cleopatra. Some of the Guard
unbar and open the gates. [To Proculeius and the Guard] Guard her till Cæsar come.
[Exit. Iras. Royal queen! Char. 0 Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen. Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.
[Drawing a dagger. Pro.
Hold, worthy lady, hold:
[Seizes and disarms her.
What, of death, too,
Where art thou, death? Come hither, come! come, come, and take a
queen 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 necessary,
50 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 chastised with the sober eye Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up And show me to the shouting varletry* *Rabble
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
60 My country's high pyramides my gibbet, And hang me up in chains! Pro.
You do extend These thoughts of horror further than you shall Find cause in Cæsar.
Enter DOLABELLA. Dol.
Proculeius, What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows, And he hath sent for thee: for the queen, I'll take her to my guard. Pro.
So, Dolabella, It shall content me best: be gentle to her. [To Cleo.] To Cæsar I will speak what you shall
please, If you'll employ me to him. Cleo.
Say, I would die.
[Exeunt Proculeius and Soldiers. Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me? Cleo. I cannot tell. Dol.
Assuredly you know me. Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard or
known. You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams; 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 ye, Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein
stuck A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
80 The little O, the earth. Dol.
Most sovereign creature,Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm Crested the world: his voice was propertied* As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quailt 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 show'd his back above The element they lived : in his livery
90 Walk'd crowns and crownets;$ realms and islands
*Endowed with properties. tCause to quail. As plates dropp'd from his pocket.
Cleopatra! Cleo. Think you there was, or might be, such a man
2Silver money. As this I dream'd of? Dol.
Gentle madam, no. Cleo. You lie, 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 To vie* strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy, Condemning shadows quite.
Hear nie, good madam. 100 Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it As answering to the weight: would I might never O’ertake pursued success, but I do feel, By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites My very heart at root. Cleo.
I thank you, sir. Know you what Cæsar means to do with me? Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you
knew. Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir, Dol.
Though he be honourable, Cleo. He'll lead me, then, in triumph? Dol. Madam, he will; I know 't. [Flourish, and shout within, “Make way there:
Cæsar! Enter CÆSAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECÆNAS,
SELEUCUS, and others of his Train. Cæs. Which is the Queen of Egypt? Dol. It is the emperor, madam.