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SCENE I, Alexandria. The Interior of CLEOPATRA’s Palace.
Enter CANIDIUs and PHILO.
Can. Nay, but this dotage of our general 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 of his breast, disowns all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan,
To cool a gipsy's passions. Look, they come: . [Flourish.
Enter ANTony, CLEOPATRA, and their Train. Eunuchs fanning her.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a wanton's fool. Behold!
Cle. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon’d.
Cle. I’ll set a bourn how far to be beloved.
Ant. Then must thou needs find out new Heaven, new earth.
Attend. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Ant. Grates me:—The sum ?
Cle. Nay, hear them, Antony.
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesar 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,”
Ant. How, my love
Cle. Perchance,—nay, and most like,
You must not stay here longer; your dismission
Is come from Caesar; therefore, hear it, Antony.—
Where’s Fulvia's process 2 Caesar's, I would say;
Call in the messengers.—As I am Egypt’s queen,
Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine
Is Caesar's homager: so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall ! Here is my space:
Kingdoms are clay; the nobleness of life
Is, to do thus. [Kisses her hand.
Cle. Excellent falsehood
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her 2
I seem the fool I am not ; Antony
Will be himself.
Ant. Now, for the love of Love, and his 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?
Cle. Hear the ambassadors.
Ant. 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 admired
No messenger but thine. Come, come, my queen 1–
Speak not to us. [To the ATTEND ANT.
[Ereunt ANTony, CLEOPATRA, and Train.
Philo. Triumphant lady!-But, since messengers,
From many his contriving friends, in Rome,
Petition his return, now Antony
Must leave her utterly.
Can. Never; he will not.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: Other women clo
The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry,
Where most she satisfies.
Philo. I am full sorry that he so approves
The common liar, who, we oft have heard,
Thus speaks of him at Rome. But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy :
Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA's Palace.
Enter ANTony; PRoculeius following.
Pro. Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the field,
Ant. Against my brother Lucius 2
But soon that war had end; and the time’s state
Made friends of them, joining their force gainst
Whose better issue in the war from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.
What worst 2
Pro. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward. On ;
Things that are past are done, with me. 'Tis thus;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him, as he flatter’d.
Hath, with his Parthian force, extended Asia.
His conquering banner from Euphrates shook,
From Syria to Lydia, and Ionia;
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say—
Pro. O, my lord
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general
Name Cleopatra as she’s call’d in Rome:
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunt my faults,
With such full licence as both truth and malice,
Have power to utter.
From Sicyon how the news 2 Speak there.
Pro. The man from Sicyon.—Is there such a one?
Attend. [Without..] He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear:—And fare thee well awhile,
Pro. At your noble pleasure. [Exit.
Ant. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose myself in dotage.
Enter a MESSENGER.
What are you?
Mes. Fulvia, thy wife, is dead.
Ant. Where died she
Mes. In Sicyon :
Her length of sickness, with what else, more serious,
Importeth thee to know, this tells. [Gives a letter.
Ant. Forbear me [Exit MEssenger.
There's a great spirit gone! thus did I desire it:
What our contempts do often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again: She’s good, being lost :
The hand could pluck her back, that forced her on.
I must from this enchanting queen break off;
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus !
Eno. What's your pleasure, sir?
Ant. I must hence; hence with haste.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. 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. ... Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly. I have seen her die twenty times, upon a far p00rer occasion.
Ant. She is cunning, past man's thought. Fulvia
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then were the case to be lamented:—the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose: I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the queen.
Say, our pleasure, -
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick removal hence.
Eno. I shall do’t. [Exeunt.