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OCTAVIUS CÆSAR, Triumvirs.
M. ÆMIL. LEPIDUS,
Friends to ANTONY,
Friends to CÆSAR
MENECRATES, Friends to POMPEY.
TAURUS, Licutenant-General to CÆSAR.
CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to ANTONY.
Silius, an Officer under VENTIDIUS.
EUPHRONIUS, Embassador from Antony to CÆSAR.
ALEXAS, MARDIAN, SELEUCUS, and DIOMEDES, Allendo.nts on
A Soothsayer. A Clown.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
OCTAVIA, Sister to CÆSAR, and Wife to ANTONY.
} Attendants on CLEOPATRA.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE,-In several Parts of the ROMAN EMPIRE
SCENE J.-ALEXANDRIA. A Room in CLEOPATRA's Palace
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.
Phi. Nay, but this dotage of our general's
O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust. [Flourish within.] Look, where they
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
[come: The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool : behold and see.
Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning her.
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov’d.
Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
Enter an Attendant.
Att. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Grates me :—the sum.
Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, “Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that ;
Perform’t, or else we damn thee.”
How, my love!
Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like,-
You must not stay here longer; your dismission
Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.-
Where's Fulvia's process? Cæsar's, I would say ? Both ?
Call in the messengers.—As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame,
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messengers !
Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
Is to do thus; [Embracing,] when such a mutual pair.
And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.
Excellent falsehood !
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love herk
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh :
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now : what sport to-night?
Clio. Hear the embassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes,—to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admird!
No messenger; but thine, and all alone,
To-night we'll wander through the streets, and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it :-speak not to us.
(Exeunt Ant. and Cleo. with their train Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
I am full sorry
That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy.
SCENE II.-ALEXANDRIA. Another Room in the Palace.
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.
Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost
most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to
the queen? O! that I knew this husband, which, you say, must
charge his horns with garlands !
Alex. Soothsayer !
Enter a Soothsayer.
Sooth. Your will ?
Char. Is this the man -Is't you, Sir, that know things!
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.
Show him your hand.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough Cleopatra's
health to drink.
Char. Good Sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Pray, then, foresee me one.
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Char. He means, in flesh.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Wrinkles forbid !
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. Hush !
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than belov'd.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
silex. Nay, hear him.
Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all : let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen, and proved a fairer former fortune,
Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names :-prythee,
how many boys and wenches must I have ?