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ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

ACT THE FIRST.

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.

Enter an ATTEND ANT.

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;
both 2
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!
[Calling.
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 ;

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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 :
[Ereunt severally.

-

SCENE II,

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
Pro, Ay:

But soon that war had end; and the time’s state
Made friends of them, joining their force gainst
Caesar;
Whose better issue in the war from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.
Ant. Well,
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.
Pro. Labienus
Hath, with his Parthian force, extended Asia.
His conquering banner from Euphrates shook,
From Syria to Lydia, and Ionia;
Whilst
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say—
Pro. O, my lord
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general
tongue;
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 :

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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 !

Enter 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

is dead.

Eno. Fulvia!

Ant. Dead.

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.

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