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my reach.

Then, like a burning vessel set adrift,

Cleo. In the first place,
You'll send hiin down amain before the wind, I am to be forsaken; is it not so?
To fire the heart of jealous Antony.

Dol. I wish I could not answer to that quesCleo. Can I do this? ah, no! my love's so true,

tion. That I can neither bide it, where it is,

Cleo. Then pass it over, because it troubles you; Nor show it, where it is not. Nature meant me I should have been more grieved another time. A wife, a silly, harmless household dove, Next, I am to lose my kingdon-Farewell, Egypt! Fond without art, and kind without deceit; Yet is there any more? But fortune, that has inade a inistress of ine, Dol. Madam, I fear Has thrust me out to the wide world, unfurnished Your too deep sense of grief has turned your Of falsehood to be happy. Aler. Force yourself;

Cleo. No, no, I am not run mad; I can bear The event will be, your lover will return

fortune; Doubly desirous to possess the good,

And love inay be expelled by other love, Which once he feared to lose.

As poisons are by poisons. Cleo. I must attempt it;

Dol. -You overjoy me, madam, But oh, with what regret!

To tind your griefs so moderately borne. [Erit Aler. She comes up to Dolabella. You have the worst: all are not false like him. Vent. So now the scene draws near; they're in Cleo. No, heaven forbid they should !

Dol. Some men are constant. Cleo. to Dol. Discoursing with my women! Cleo. And constancy deserves reward, that is Might not I

certain. Share in your entertainment?

Dol. Deserves it not, but give it leave to hope. Char. You have been

Vent. I'll swear thou hast my leave. I have The subject of it, madam.

enough: Cleo. How! and how ?

But how to manage this ! Well, I'll consider. Iras. Such praises of your beauty!

[Exit. Cleo. Mere poetry :

Dol. I came prepared Your Roman wits, your Gallus and Tibullus, To tell you heavy news; news, which I thought Have taught you this from Cytheris and Delia. Would fright the blood from your pale cheeks to Dol. Those Roman wits have never been in hear; Egypt.

But you have met it with a chearfulness, Cytheris and Delia else had been unsung: That makes my task more easy; and my tongne, I, who have seen-had I been born a poet, Which on another's message was employed, Should cbuse a nobler name,

Would gladly speak its own. ('leo. You flatter me;

Cleo. Hold, Dolabella.
But it is your nation's vice: all of your country First tell me, were you chosen by my lord,
Are flatterers, and all false. Your friend is like Or sought you this employment?

Dol. He picked me out, and, as his bosom-
I am sure he sent you not to speak these words. friend,
Dol. No, madam; yet he sent me

lle charged me with his words. Cleo. Well, he sent you

Cleo. The message then Dol. On a less pleasing errand.

I know was tender, and each accent smooth, Cleo. How ! less pleasing?

To mollify that rugged word ‘Depart! Less to yourself or me?

Dol. Oh! you mistake: he chose the harshest Dol. Madam, to both;

words: For you must mourn, and I must grieve to cause With fiery eyes, and with contracted brows, it.

He coined his face in the severest stamp, Cleo. You, Charmion, and your fellow, stand And fury shook his fabric like an earthquake: at distance.

He heaved for vent, and burst, like bellowing Hold up, my spirits ! [Aside.]-Well, now your Etna, mournful matter,

In sounds scarce human, 'Hence, away for ever! For I am prepared, perhaps can guess it too. "Let her begone, the blot of my renown, Dol. I wish you would, for 'tis a thankless And bane of all my hopes !

otřice To tell ill news; and I, of all your sex,

[All the time of this speech Cleopatra seems Most fear displeasing you,

more and more concerned, till she sinks quite Cleo. Of all your sex,

down. I soonest could forgive you, if you should. “Let her be driven, as far as men can think, Vent. Most delicate advances ! Woman! wo- From man's commerce : she'll poison to the cenman!

tre. Dear, damned unconstant sex!

Cleo. Oh, I can bear no more! [Fuints.

go on.

you seen

Dol. Help, help! Oh wretch! oh cursed, cur- | Would you indeed! the pretty hand in earnest ? sed wretch!

Aside. Char. Help! chafe her temples, Iras.

Dol. I will, for this reward : [Takes her hand, Iras. Bend, bend her forward quickly.

-Draw it not back; Char. Heaven be praised,

'Tis all I e'er will beg. She comes again!

Vent. They turn upon us. Cleo, Oh, let him not reproach me!

Oct. What quick eyes has guilt! Why have you brought me back to this loathed Vent. Seem not to have observed them, and

being, The abode of falsehood, violated vows And injured love! For pity let me go;

They enter. For, if there be a place of long repose,

Dol. Saw you the emperor, Ventidius? I am sure I want it . My disdainful lord

Vent. No; Can never break that quiet, nor awake

I sought him, but I heard, that he was private, The sleeping soul with hollowing in my tomb None with him but Hipparchus, his freed man. Such words as fright her hence. Unkind! un- Dol. Know you his business? kind!

Vent. Giving him instructions Dol. Believe me 'tis against myself I speak; And letters to his brother, Cæsar,

[Kneeling. Dol. Well, That sure deserves belief. I injured him; He must be found. [Exeunt Dolabella and My friend ne'er spoke these words. Oh! had


Oct. Most glorious impudence ! Ilow often he came back, and every time

Vent, She looked, methought, With something more obliging and inore kind As she would say, "Take your old man, Octavia; To add to what he said; what dear farewells,

Thank you,

I am better here,'
How almost vanquished by his love he parted, Well, but what use
And leaned to what unwillingly he left: Make we of this discovery
I, traitor as I was, for love of you,

Oct. Let it die. (But what can you not do, who made me false !) Vent. I pity Dolabella! but she is dangerous; I forged that lie, for whose forgiveness kneels Her


power beyond Thessalian charms This self-accused, self-punished, criminal. To draw the moon from heaven; for eloquence Cleo. With how much ease believe we what The sea-green Sirens taught her voice their fatwe wish!

tery; Rise, Dolabella; if you have been guilty, And, while she speaks, night steals upon the day, I have contributed, and too much love

Unmarked of those, that hear: then she's so Has made me guilty too.

charming, The advance of kindness, which I made, was Age buds at sight of her, and swells to youth: feigned,

The holy priests gaze on her when she smiles, To call back fleeting love by jealousy;

And with heaved hands, forgetting gravity, But it would not last! Oh! rather let me lose, They bless her wanton eyes : even I, who hate Than so ignobly trifle with, his heart.

her, Dol. I find your breast fenced round from hu- With a malignant joy behold such beauty, man reach,

And, while I curse, desire it. Antony Transparent as a rock of solid crystal,

Must needs have some remains of passion still, Seen through, but never pierced. My friend, my which may ferment into a worse relapse, friend!

If now not fully cured—But see, he comes What endless treasure hast thou thrown away, I know this minute And scattered. like an infant, in the occan With Cæsar he is endeavouring her peace. Vain sums of wealth, which none can gather Oct. You have prevailed—but for a farther thence !


(Walks off: Cleo. Could you not beg

I'll prove how he will relish this discovery. An hour's admittance to his private ear? What, make a strumpet's peace! it swells my Like one, who wanders through long barren wilds, heart : And yet foreknows no hospitable inn

It must not, shall not be, Is near to succour hunger,

Vent. His guards appear. Eats his fill before his painful march,

Let me begin, and you shall second me.
So would I feed a while my famished eyes

Before we part, for I have far to go,
If death be far, and never must return.

Ant. Octavia, I was looking for you, my love,

What, are your letters ready? I have given VENTIDIUS, with OCTAVIA, behind.

My last instructions. l'ent. From whence you may discover-Oh, Oct. Mine, my lord, are written. sweet, sweet!

Ant. Ventidius! [Drawing him aside. 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 secret meaning have you in these words, What harms it you, that Cleopatra's just ? Of • my farewel?' He did it by iny 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. l'ent. It was indeed a trifc.

Aler. What means my lord ? He sent,

Vent. To make you do what most 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. Then 'tis no trifle.

Of her bed counsel, her lascivious hours, Vent. (To Oct.] 'Tis less; a very nothing : Are 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, Ilow near the business draws to your employment, Squeczed 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 Aler. 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.

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

That I am bid to leave you ? am † false Aler. 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 hid 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
Aler. And yet, though love and your unmatch- Lingered bebind 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 just 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 meet his


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!

[Erit Alexas, 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 !

cones, Oct. My lord!

Ant, I bid you leave me.
Vent. Obey him, madam ; best withdraw Who has profaned the sacred name of friend,

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

With how secure a brow and specious form

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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 ine! Ant. Well, Dolabella, you performed my Thou wouldst evade thy part of guilt: but swear message?

Thou lavest 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 much 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 oce A 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, much 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, wbo 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 duwry with iny heart: I had no use, These two have driven you out: avoid my sight! Vo 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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