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(Which towards you are most gentle), you shall find
A benefit in this change; but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty, by taking
Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes, and put your children
To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
If thereon you rely. I'll take my

leave. Cleo. And may, through all the world: 'tis yours :

and we

Your ’scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.

Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra 16.

Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued; Not petty things admitted.- Where's Seleucus?

Sel. Here, madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reservd
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleueus.

Sel. Madam,
I had rather seel 17 my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.

What have I kept back? Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made

Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ! I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.

See, Cæsar! O, behold How pomp

is follow'd ! mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.

16 Cæsar afterwards says :

• For we intend so to dispose you, as

Yourself shall give us counsel. 17 Close up my lips as effectually as the eyes of a hawk are closed. To seel hawks was the technical term for sewing up

their eyes.

The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild :-0 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,
Though they had wings: Slave, soul-less villain, dog!
O rarely base 18 !


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
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy 19! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady trifles have reserv’d,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern 20 friends withal: and say,
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia, and Octavia, to induce
Their mediation; must I be unfolded

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 man, Thou would'st have mercy on me. Cæs.

Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit SELEUCUS. 18 i. e. base in an uncommon degree.

That this fellow should add one more parcel or item to the sum of my disgraces, namely his own malice.'

20 i. e. common, ordinary. See vol. iii. p. 256, note 1, and p. 331, note 26.

21 With is here used with the power of by. See vol. i. p. 254, note 4.

22 i. e, fortune. · Begone, or I shall exert that royal spirit which I had in my prosperity, in spite of the imbecility of my

With 21





Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are mis

For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits 23 in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.

Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg’d,
Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd;
Make not your thoughts your prisons 24: no, dear

For we intend so to dispose you, as
Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; And so adieu.
Cleo. My master,


lord! Cas.

Not so: Adieu. [Exeunt CÆSAR, and his Train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I

should not Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers CHARMIAN. present weak condition.' Chaucer has a similar image in his Canterbury Tales, v. 3180:

• Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.' And Gray in his Country Churchyard :

• E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.' He however refers to Petrarch as his original :

* Ch' i' veggio nel pensier, dolce mio foco
Fredda una lingua, e duo begli occhi chiusi
Rimaner dopo noi pien di faville.'

Sonetto 170, Ed. Comiana, 1732. 23 i. e. we answer for that which others have merited by their transgressions.

24 7 Be not a prisoner in imagination, when in reality you are free.'

Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.

Hie thee again :
I have spoke already, and it is provided;
Go, put it to the haste.

Madam, I will.


Dol. Where is the queen?

Behold, sir. [Exit CHARMIAN.

Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your comma
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this : Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with


children will he send before:
Make your best use of this: I have perform’d
Your pleasure, and my promise.

I shall remain




servant. Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar. Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit Dol.] Now,

Iras, what think'st thou?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shall be shown
In Rome, as well as I: mechanick slaves
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their


The gods forbid ! Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: Saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers Ballad us out o'tune: the quick 25 comedians

25 i. e. the lively or quick-witted comedians. See Act i. Sc. 2, note 26,

Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy 20 my greatness
I'the posture of a whore.

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.

Why that's the way To fool their preparation, and to conquer Their most absurd 27 intents.—Now, Charmian ?

Enter CHARMIAN. Show me, my women, like a queen ;-Go fetch My best attires ;-I am again for Cydnus, To meet Mark Antony :-Sirrah, Iras, go.Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch indeed: And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee

leave To play till doomsday.—Bring our crown and all: Wherefore's this noise?

[Exit IRAS. A Noise within. 26 It has been already observed that the parts of females were played by boys on our ancient stage. Nash, in bis Pierce Pennilesse, makes it a subject of exultation that ' our players are not as the players beyond sea, that have whores and common courtesans to play women's parts.' To obviate the impropriety of men representing women, T. Goff, in his Tragedy of the Raging Turk, 1631, has no female character.

27 Absurd here means unmeet, unfitting, unreasonable.

28 Sirrah was not anciently an appellation either reproachful or injurious; being applied, with a sort of playful kindness, to children, friends, and servants, and what may seem more extraordinary, as in the present case, to women. It is nothing more than the exclamation Sir ha! and we sometimes find it in its primitive form, ' A syr a, there said you wel.'— Confutation of Nicholas Shaxton, 1546. The Heus tu of Plautus is rendered by an old translator Ha Sirru. In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, one gentlewoman says to another, Sirrah, why dost thou not marry?

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