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Vent. My lord ?

Vent. Your Cleopatra, Ant. A word in private.

Dolabella's Cleopatra, When saw you Dolabella?

Every man's Cleopatra. Vent. Now, my lord.

Ant. 'Tis false. He parted hence, and Cleopatra with him.

Vent. I do not lie, my lord. Ant. Speak softly; 'twas by my command he is this so strange ? should mistresses be left, went,

And not provide against a time of change? To bear my last farewell.

You know she's not much used to lonely nights. Vent. It looked indeed

Ant. I'll think no more of it. Like your farewell.

I know 'tis false, and see the plot betwixt you. Ant. More softly-My farewell !

You need not have gone this way, Octavia; What secrct meaning have you in these words, What harms it you, that Cleopatra's just? Of my farewel?' He did it by my order.

She's mine no more. I see and I forgive; Vent. Then he obeyed your order, I suppose. Urge it no farther, love.

(Aloud. Oct. Are you concerned, You bid him do it with all gentleness,

That she's found false? All kindness, and all-love.

Ant. I should be, were it so ; Ant. How she mourned !

For, though 'tis past, I would not, that the world The poor forsaken creature !

Should tax my former choice; that I loved one Vent. She took it as she ought; she bore your Of so light note; but I forgive you both. parting,

Vent. What has my age deserved, that you As she did Cæsar's, as she would another's,

should think Were a new love to come.

I would abuse your ears with perjury? Ant. Thou dost belie her,

If heaven be true, she's false. Most basely and maliciously belie her.

Ant. Though heaven and earth Vent. I thought not to displease you : I have should witness it, I'll not believe her tainted. done.

Vent. I'll bring you, then, a witness Oct. You seem disturbed, my lord. (Coming up. From hell, to prove her so. Nay, go not back, Ant. A very trifle.

[Seeing Aleras just entering, and starting back. Retire, my love.

For stay you must and shall. Vent. It was indeed a trifle.

Alex. What means my lord ? He sent

Vent. To make you do what inost you hate, Ant. No more. Look how thou disobey'st me;

speak truth. Thy life shall answer it.

[Angrily. You are of Cleopatra's private counsel, Oct. Theu 'tis no trifle.

Of her bed counsel, her lascivious hours, Vent. (To Oct.] 'Tis less; a very nothing : Arc conscious of each nightly change she makes, you too saw it

And watch her as Chaldeans do the moon, As well as I, and therefore 'tis no secret. Can tell what signs she passes through what day. Ant. She saw it!

Aler. My noble lord! Vent. Yes; she saw young Dolabella

Vent. My most illustrious pandar! Ant. Young Dolabella !

No fine set speech, no cadence, no turned periods, Vent. Young? I think him young,

But a plain homespun truth, is what I ask : And handsome too; and so do others think him. I did myself o'erhear your queen make love But what of that? he went by your command, To Dolabella : speak, for I will know, Indeed, 'tis probable, with some kind message, By your confession, what more passed betwixt For she received it graciously : She smiled;

them, And then he grew familiar with her hand, How near the business draws to your employment, Squeezed it, and worried it with ravenous kisses; | And when the happy hour? She blushed, and sighed, and smiled, and blushed Ant. Speak truth, Alexas; whether it offend again;

Or please Ventidius, care not. Justify At last she took occasion to talk softly,

Thy injured queen from malice: dare his worst. And brought her cheek up close, and leaned on Oct. (Aside.] See how he gives him courage, his,

how he fears At which he whispered kisses back on hers; To find her false, and shuts his eyes to truth, And then she cryed aloud, ' that constancy Willing to be misled! Should be rewarded ! - This I saw and heard. Alex. As far as love may plead for woman's Ant. What woman was it, whom you heard frailty, and saw

Urged by desert and greatness of the lover, So playful with my friend?

So far, divine Octavia, may my queen Not Cleopatra?

Stand even excused to you for loving him, Vent. Even she, my lord.

Who is your lord; so far from brave Ventidius Ant. My Cleopatra !

May her past actions hope a fair report,

Ant. 'Tis well and truly spoken : Mark, Oct. Wherein have I offended you, my lord, Ventidius.

That I am bid to leave you? am Í false Alex. To you, most noble emperor, her strong Or infamous ? am I a Cleopatra? passion

Were I she, Stands not excused, but wholly justified. Base as she is, you would not bid me leave you, Her beauty's charms alone, without her crown, But hang upon my neck, take slight excuses, From Ind and Meroe drew the distant vows

And fawn upon my

falsehood. Of sighing kings, and at her feet were laid

Ant. 'Tis too much, The sceptres of the earth, exposed on heaps, Too much, Octavia! I am prest with sorrows, To chuse where she would reign ;

Too heavy to be borne, and you add more! She thought a Roman only could deserve her, I would retire, and recollect what's left And, of all Romans, only Antony;

Of man within, to aid me. And, to be less than wife to you, disdained

Oct. You would mourn Their lawful passion.

In private for your love, who has betrayed you. Ant. 'Tis but truth.

You did but half return to me; your kindness Alex. And yet, though love and your unmatch- Lingered behind with her. I hear, my lord, ed desert

You make conditions for her, Have drawn her from the due regard of honour, And would include her treaty: wondrous proofs At last heaven opened her unwilling eyes Of love to me! To see the wrongs, she offered fair Octavia, Ant. Are you my friend, Ventidius? Whose holy bed she lawlessly usurped :

Or are you turned a Dolabella too, The sad effects of this unprosperous war

And let this fury loose? Confirmed those pious thoughts.

Vent. Oh, be advised, Vent. [Aside.] Oh, wheel you there?

Sweet madam! and retire. Observe him now; the man begins to mend, Oct. Yes, I will go, but never to return; And talk substantial reason. Fear not, eunuch; You shall no more be haunted with this fury. The emperor has given thee leave to speak. My lord, my lord ! love will not always last,

Aler. Else had I never dared to offend his ears When urged with long unkindness and disdain. With what the last necessity has urged

Take her again, whom you prefer to me; On my forsaken mistress ; yet I must not She stays but to be called. 'Poor cozened man! Presume to say, her heart is wholly altered. Let a feigned parting give her back your heart, Ant. No, dare not for thy life! I charge thee, which a feigned love first got; for injured me, dare not

Though my jast sense of wrongs forbid my stay, Pronounce that fatal word !

My duty shall be yours. Oct. Must I bear this? Good heaven! afford To the dear pledges of our former love me patience!

[Aside. My tenderness and care shall be transferred, Vent. Oh, sweet eunuch! my dear half man, And they shall cheer by turns my widowed proceed!

nights. Aler. Yet Dolabella

So take my last farewell ! for I despair Has loved her long; he, next my godlike lord, To have you whole, and scorn to take you half. Deserves her best; and should she ineet his

[Erit. passion,

Vent. I combat heaven, which blasts my best Rejected, as she is, by him she loved

designs! Ant. Hence from my sight, for I can bear no My last attempt must be to win her back; more! But oh! I fear in vain.

[Erit. Let furies drag thee quick to hell! each torturing Ant. Why was I framed with this plain honest hand

heart, Do thou employ till Cleopatra comes,

Which knows not to disguise its griefs and weakThen join thou too, and help to torture her!

ness, [E.rit Aleras, thrust out by Antony. But bears its workings outward to the world? Oct. Tis not well!

I should have kept the mighty anguish in, Indeed, my lord, 'tis much unkind to me, And forced a smile at Cleopatra's falsehood; To shew this passion, this extreme concernment, Octavia had believed it, and had staid. For an abandoned, faithless prostitute.

But I am made a shallow-forded stream, Ant. Octavia, leave me! I am much disorder- Seen to the bottom, all my clearness scorned, ed !

And all my faults exposed.--See, where he Leave me, I say !

comes, Oct. My lord! Ant, I bid

Enter DOLABELLA. leave me.

you Vent, Obey hin, madam ; best withdraw Who has profaned the sacred name of friend, awhile,

And worn it into vileness ! And see how this will work.

With how secure a brow and specious form

He gilds the secret villain ! Sure that face Lay lulled betwixt your bosoms, and there slept
Was meant for honesty, but heaven mismatched it, Secure of injured faith?
And furnished treason out with nature's pomp,

Dol. If she has wronged you,
To make its work more easy.

Heaven, hell, and you, revenge it!
Dol. O

my
friend!

Ant. If she has wronged me! Ant. Well, Dolabella, you performed my Thou wouldst evade thy part of guilt: but swear message?

Thou lovest not her. Dol. I did, unwillingly.

Dol. Not so as I love you. Ant. Unwillingly !

Ant. Not so? Swear, swear, I say, thou dost Was it so hard for you to bear our parting?

not love her. You should have wished it.

Dol. No more than friendship will allow. Dol. Why!

Ant. No more! Ant. Because you love me;

Friendship allows thee nothing : thou art perjuAnd she received my message with as true,

redWith as unfeigned a sorrow as you brought it ? And yet

thou didst not swear thou lovest her not; Dol. She loves you even to madness.

But not so much, no more. Oh, trifling hypoAnt. Oh! I know it.

crite! You, Dolabella, do not better know

Who durst not own to her thou dost not love, How mu she loves me. And should I

Nor own to me thou dost ! Ventidius heard it, Forsake this beauty, this all perfect creature ?

Octavia saw it. Dol. I could not, were she mine.

Cleo. They are enemies. Ant. And yet you first

Ant. Alexas is not so; he, he confest it; Persuaded me. How come you altered since ? He, who next hell best knew it, he avowed it.

Dol. I said at first I was not fit to go: Why do I seek a proof beyond yourself? [To Dol. I could not hear her sighs, and see her tears, You, whom I sent to bear my last farewell, But pity must prevail; and so perhaps

Returned to plead her stay. It may again with you; for I have promised, Dol. What shall I answer? That she should take her last farewell; and see, If to have loved be guilt, then I have sinned; She comes to claim my word.

But if to have repented of that love

Can wash away my crime, I have repented; Enter CLEOPATRA,

Yet, if I have offended past forgiveness, Ant. False Dolabella!

Let her not suffer: she is innocent. Dol. What's false, my lord ?

Cleo. Ah, what will not a woman do, who Ant. Why, Dolabella's false,

loves ! And Cleopatra's false; both false and faithless. What means will she refuse to keep that heart, Draw near, you well-joined wickedness, you Where all her joys are placed ! 'Twas I encouserpents,

raged, Whom I have in my kindly bosom warmed, 'Twas I blew up the fire, that scorched his soul, Till I am stung to death!

To make you jealous, and by that regain you: Dol. My lord, have I

But all in vain; I could not counterfeit : Deserved to be thus used ?

In spite of all the dams, my love broke o'er, Cleo. Can heaven prepare

And drowned my heart again : Fate took the ocA newer torment? can it find a curse

casion, Beyond our separation?

And thus one minute's feigning has destroyed Ant. Yes, if fate

My whole life's truth.
Be just, inuch greater : Heaven should be ingeni Ant. Thin cobweb arts of falsehood,

Seen and broke through at first.
In punishing such crimes. The rolling stone Dol. Forgive your mistress.
And gnawing vulture were slight pains, invented Cleo. Forgive your friend.
When Jove was young, and no examples known Ant. You have convinced yourselves;
Of mighty ills; but you have ripened sin You plead each other's cause. What witness have
To such a monstrous growth, 'twill pose the gods you,
To find an equal torture. Two, two such ! That you but meant to raise my jealousy?
Oh, there's no farther name; two such to me, Cleo. Ourselves and heaven.
To me, who locked my soul within your breasts, Ant. Guilt witnesses for guilt! Hence love
Had no desires, no joys, no life, but you;

and friendship! When half the globe was mine, I gave it you You have no longer place in human breasts; In dowry with my heart: I had no use,

These two have driven you out: avoid my sight! No fruit, of all but you : a friend and mistress I would not kill the man, whom I have loved, Was what the world could give. Oh, Cleopatra! And cannot hurt the woman; but avoid me ! Oh, Dolabella ! how could you betray

I do not know how long I can be tame; This tender heart, which, with an infant fondness, For, if I stay one minute more to think Vol. I.

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llow I am wronged, my justice and revenge One look, one kind farewell : oh, iron heart ! Will cry so loud within me, that my pity Let all the gods look down and judge betwixt us, Will not be heard for either.

If he did ever love! Dol. Heaven has but

Ant. No more. Alexas !
Our sorrow for our sins, and then delights

Dol. A perjured villain !
To pardon erring man; sweet mercy seems Ant. to Cleo. Your Alexas ! yours !
Its darling attribute, which limits justice,

Cleo. Oh, 'twas his plot; his ruinous design As if there were degrees in infinite,

To engage you in my love by jealousy. And infinite would rather want perfection, Hear him ; confront him with me; let him speak. Than punish to extent.

Ant. I have, I have. Ant. I can forgive

Cleo. And if he clear me not A foe, but not a mistress and a friend :

Ant. Your creature ! one, who hangs upon Treason is there in its most horrid shape,

your smiles, Where trust is greatest; and the soul resigned Watches your eye, to say or unsay Is stabbed by its own guards. I'll hear no more : Whate'er you please. I am not to be moved. Hence from my sight for ever!

Cleo. Then must we part? farewell, my cruel Cleo. How? for ever!

lord ! I cannot go onc moment from your sight, The appearance is against me; and I go, And must I go for ever?

Unjustified, for ever from your sight. My joys, my only joys, are centred here : How I have loved, you know; how yet I love, What place have I to go to? my own kingdom? My only comfort is, I know, myself: That I have lost for you; or to the Romans ? I love you more, even now you are unkind, They hate me for your sake: or must I wander Than when you loved me most; so well, so truly, The wide world o'er, a helpless banished woman, I'll never strive against, but die pleased Banished for love of you, banished from you; To think you once were mine. Ay, there's the banishment! Oh, hear me, hear Ant. Good Heaven! they weep at parting.

Must I weep too? that calls thein innocent. With strictest justice, for I beg no favour, I must not weep; and yet I must, to think, And, if I have offended you, then kill me, That I must not forgiveBut do not banish me!

Live, but live wretched; 'tis but just you should, Ant. I must not hear you ;

Who made me so: live from each other's sight; I have a fool within me takes your part, Let me not hear you meet. Set all the earth But honour stops my ears.

And all the seas betwixt your sundered loves ; Cleo. For pity hear me !

View nothing common but the sun and skies. Would you cast off a slave, who followed you, Now all take several ways, Who crouched beneath your spurn? He has no And each your own sad fate with mine deplore,

That you were false, and I could trust no more. See, if he gives one tear to my departure,

[Ercunt severally.

me,

pity!

ACT V.

SCENE I.-- The Temple.

Enter ALEXAS. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and Iras.

Iras. Help, oh, Alexas, help! Char. Be just, heaven! such virtue, punished The queen grows desperate, her soul struggles in thus,

her,
Will make us think, that chance rules all above, With all the agonies of love and rage,
And shuffles, with a random hand, the lots, And strives to force its passage.
Which man is forced to draw.

Cleo. Let me go.
Cleo. I could tear out these eyes, that gained Art thou there, traitor !-Oh,
his heart,

Oh for a little breath to vent my rage ! And had not power to keep it. Oh, the curse Give, give me way, and let me loose upon him. Of doating on, even when I find it dotage ! Alex. Yes, I deserve it for my ill timed truth. Bear witness, gods! you heard hiın bid me go ; Was it for nie to prop You, whom he mocked, with imprecating vows, The ruins of a falling majesty, Of promised faith—I'll die, I will not bear it. To place myself beneath the inighty flaw, You may hold me

Thus to be crushed and pounded into atoms, [She pulls out her dagger, and they hold her. By its o’erwhelming weight? "Tis too presuming But I can keep my breath; I can die inward, For subjects to preserve that wilful power, And choke this love.

Which courts its own destruction.

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Cleo. I would reason

Cleo. Be more plain! More calmly with you. Did you not o'errule Say whence thou camest! though Fate is in thy And force my plain, direct, and open love

face, Into these crooked paths of jealousy?

Which from thy haggard eyes looks wildly out,
Now what's the event ? Octavia is removed, And threatens ere thou speakest.
But Cleopatra banished. Thou, thou villain, Ser. I came from Pharos,
Hast pushed my boat to open sea, to prove, From viewing (spare me, and imagine it)
At my sad cost, if thou canst steer it back. Our land's last hope, your navy-
It cannot be ; I am lost too far; I am ruined : Cleo. Vanquished?
Hence! thou impostor, traitor, monster, devil-

Ser. No;
I can no more: thou and my griefs have sunk They fought not.
Me down so low, that I want voice to curse thee. Cleo. Then they fed.
Aler. Suppose some ship-wrecked seaman near Ser. Nor that : I saw,
the shore,

With Antony, your well-appointed fleet
Dropping and faint with climbing up the cliff, Row out, and thrice he waved his hand on high,
If, from above, some charitable hand

And thrice, with cheerful cries, they shouted back: Pull him to safety, hazarding himself

”Twas then false Fortune, like a fawning strumpet, To draw the other's weight, would he look back About to leave the bankrupt prodigal, And curse him for his pains? The case is yours; With a dissembled smile would kiss at parting, But one step more, and you have gained the And flatter to the last : the well-timed oars height.

Now dipped from every bark, now sinoothly run Cleo. Sunk, never more to rise.

To meet the foe; and soon indeed they met, Aler. Octavia's gone, and Dolabella banished. But not as foes. In few, we saw their caps Believe me, madam, Antony is yours :

On either side thrown up: the Egyptian gallics, His heart was never lost, but started off

Received like friends, past through, and fell beTo jealousy, love's last retreat, and covert,

bind Where it lies hid in shades, watchful in silence, The Roman rear; and now they all come forward, And listening for the sound, that calls it back. And ride within the port. Some other, any man, 'tis so advanced,

Cleo. Enough, Serapion; May perfeet this unfinished work, which I I have heard my doom. This necded not, you (Unhappy only to myself) have left

gods ! So easy to his hand.

When I lost Antony, your work was done. Cleo. Look well thou dost, else

'Tis but superfluous malice. Where's my lord? Aler. Else what your silence threatens-An- How bears he this last blow? tony

Ser. His fury cannot be expressed by words:
Is mounted up the Pharos, from whose turret Thrice he attempted headlong to have fallen
He stands surveying our Egyptian gallies Full on his foes, and aimed at Cæsar's galley :
Engaged with Cæsar's feet: now death or con- Withheld, he raves on you, cries he's betrayed,
quest !

Should he now find you-
If the first happen, fate acquits my promise ; Aler. Shun him, seek your safety,
If we o'ercome, the conqueror is yours.

Till you can clear your innocence. [A distant shout within. Ckar. Have comfort, madam : did you mark Aler. You must not; haste you to the monu

that shout! [Second shout nearer. ment, Iras. Hark! they redouble it.

While I make speed to Cæsar.
Aler. Tis from the port ;

Cleo. Cæsar! no;
The loudness shows it ncar. Good news, kind I have no business with him.
Heavens!

Aler. I can work him
Cleo. Osiris make it so!

To spare your life, and let this, madman perish.

Cleo. Base fawning wretch! wouldst thou beEnter SerapioN.

tray liin too! Ser. Where, where's the queen?

Hence from my sight! I will not hear a traitor :
Aler. How frightfully the holy coward stares! 'Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us.
As if not yet recovered of the assault,

Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me:
When all his gods, and what's more dear to him, But haste, each moment's precious.
His otferings, were at stake,

Ser. Retire; you must not see Antony.
Ser. Oh, horror, horror!

He, who began this mischief, Egypt has been; the latest hour is come. 'Tis just he tempt the danger: let him clear you; The queen of nations from her ancient seat And since he offered you his servile tongue Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss :

To gain a poor precarious life from Cæsar, Time has unrolled her glorics to the last, Let him expose that fawning eloquence, And now closed up the volume.

And speak to Antony.

Cleo. I'll stay.

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