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Enter Dercetas, with the sword of Antony.
What is't thou say'st?
He is dead, Cæsar;
Cæsar, I shall. [Exit Pro.
And citizens to their dens :-The death of Antony How hardly I was drawn into this war;
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
Look you sad, friends?
His taints and honours
Waged equal with him.
He needs must see himself.
Enter a Messenger.
The business of this man looks out of him,
To the way she's forced to.
Confin'd in all she has, her monument,
Mess. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit.
Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
SCENE II.-Alexandria. A room in the monument. Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, and Iras.
Cleo. My desolation does begin to make
Pro. Cæsar sends greeting to the queen of
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Pro. My name is Proculeius.
I have follow'd thee to this :-But we do lance
That have no use for trusting. If your master
Unreconciliable, should divide
Make your full reference freely to my lord,
Your sweet dependancy; and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid for kindness,
Pray you, tell him
Look him i'the face.
Enter, to the gates of the monument, Proculeius,
What's thy name?
This I'll report, dear lady. Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pitied Of him that caus'd it.
Gal. You see how easily she may be surpris'd;
Cleo. Where art thou, death? Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen Worth many babes and beggars!
O, temperance, lady! Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir; If idle talk will once be necessary, 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 show me to the shouting varletry2 Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt Be gentle grave to 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!
You do extend These thoughts of horror further than you shall Find cause in Cæsar.
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 quail3 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 liv'd in: In his livery Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands
Hear me, good madam: Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it 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.
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,—
Though he be honourable,-
I know it.
Within. Make way there,-Cæsar.
Enter Cæsar, Gallus, Proculeius, Mæcenas, Seleucus, and Attendants. Which is the queen
Cœs. Of Egypt? Dol.
'Tis the emperor, madam. [Cleo. kneels. Arise,
You shall not kneel
I understand not, madam. Cleo. I dream'd, there was an emperor Antony;-If O, such another sleep, that I might see But such another man!
pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.
Cœs. Take to you no hard thoughts:
Sole sir o'the world, cannot project5 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.
(Which towards you are most gentle,) you shall
A benefit in this change; but if you seek
(4) Silver money. (5) Shape or form.
Cleo. And may, through all the world: 'tis [[Our care and pity is so much upon you,
Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall
Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord,
I had rather seel! my lips, than, to my peril,
Cas. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleo. See, Cæsar! O, behold, How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would 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? thou shalt
Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes,
Good queen, let us entreat you. Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That, thou vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honour of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should Parcels the sum of my disgraces by Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar, That I some lady trifles have 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,5 and Octavia,6 to induce Their mediation; must I be unfolded With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me Beneath the fall I have. Pr'ythee, go hence; [To Seleucus. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance:-Wert thou a
Not so: Adieu. [Exeunt Cæsar, and his train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
O the good gods! Cleo. Nay, that is 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 ?
Show me, my women, like a queen ;---Go fetch
To play till dooms-day-Bring our crown and all.
(10) Lively. (11) Female characters were played by boys. (12) Job of work.
Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instru[Exit Guard. 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.
This is the man. Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [Exit Guard. Hast thou the pretty worm2 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, for his biting is immortal; those, that do die of it, do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't? Clown. Very many, men and women too. heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died 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 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. Cleo. Farewell. [Clown sets down the basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.3
Cleo. Ay, ay; farewell.
Clown. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted, 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, 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, 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 of the [Exit. Re-enter Iras, with a robe, crown, &c.
Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
I give to baser life.-So,-have you done?
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,
The gods themselves do weep!
(2) Serpent. (3) Act according to his nature.
O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too :-
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
Speak softly, wake her not. 1 Guard. Cæsar hath sentChar.
Too slow a messenger. [Applies the asp. O, come; apace, despatch: I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's beguil'd.
2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;call him.
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. Ah, soldier!
Dol. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.
(4) Make haste.
(5) Unpolitic, to leave me to myself.
On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
O noble weakness!
1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these
Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves
(1) Graceful appearance. (2) Tried experiments.
A pair so famous. High events as these
This play keeps curiosity always busy, and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick fig-succession of one personage to another, call the mind forward without intermission, from the first act to the last. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the frequent changes of the scene; for, except the feminine arts, some of which are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not easily miss what he desired to find, has discovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice. But I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others: the most tumid speech in the play is that which Cæsar makes to Octavia.
The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connection or care of disposition.