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Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
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
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names: Pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to night, shall be-drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. Even as the overflowing Nilus presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?
Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wiv'd, so it is a deadly sorrow. to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Aler. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he, the queen.
Cleo. Saw you my lord?
Char. No, madam.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
Was he not here?
A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,Eno. Madam.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Alexas?
Alex. Here, madam, at your service.—My lord approaches.
Enter Antony, with a Messenger, and Attendants.
But soon that war had end, and the time's state Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Mes. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.—
Things, that are past, are done, with me.-"Tis
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, Extended Asia from Euphrates;
His conquering banner shook, from Syria
To Lydia, and to Ionia;
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,-
O, my lord! Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general
Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome:
Is as our earing. Fare thee well a-while.
Mes. At your noble pleasure.
Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there.
1 Att. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such an one?
2 Att. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear.— These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Enter another Messenger.
Or lose myself in dotage.-What are you? 2 Mes. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
2 Mes. In Sicyon:
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [gives a letter. Forbear me.[Exit Messenger.
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
Where died she?
I must from this enchanting queen break off;
Eno. What's your pleasure, sir?
Ant. I must with haste from hence.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteem'd nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.