Imatges de pÓgina

Proc. Be of good cheer;

You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing:
Make your full reference freely to my lord,
Who is so full of grace, that it flows over
On all that need: Let me report to him
Your sweet dependency; and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneel'd to.

Cleo. Pray you, tell him

I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
Look him i' the face.

Proc. This I'll report, dear lady.

Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pity'd
Of him that caus'd it. Fare you well.

Enter into the Monument, from behind, Proculeius and Soldiers, hastily.

Iras. O, royal queen!

Char. O Cleopatra ! thou art taken, queen!

Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.

[Drawing a Dagger.

Proc. Hold, worthy lady, hold: [Staying her. Do not yourself such wrong; who are in this

Reliev'd, but not betray'd.

Cleo. What, of death too,

That rids our dogs of languish?

Proc. Cleopatra,

Do not abuse my master's bounty, by

The undoing of yourself: let the world see

- His nobleness well acted, which

Will never let come forth.

Cleo. Where art thou, death?

your death

Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen Worth many babes and beggars!

Proc. O, temperance, lady.

Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat; I'll not drink, sir:

If idle talk will once be necessary,

I'll not speak neither: this mortal house I'll ruin,
Do Cæsar what he can. Know, sir, that I
Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;
Nor once be chastis'd with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And show me to the shouting varletry

Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave unto me; rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring; rather make
My country's high pyramides my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains.

Proc. You do extend

These thoughts of horror farther than you
Find cause for it in Cæsar.

Enter Dolabella.

Dol. Proculeius,


What thou hast done, thy master Cæsar knows,
And he hath sent for thee: as for the queen,
I'll take her to my guard.

Proc. So, Dolabella,

It shall content me best: be gentle to her.
To Cæsar I will speak what you shall please,
If you'll employ me to him.

Cleo. Say, I would die.

[Exeunt Proculeius, and Soldiers.

Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me?
Cleo. I cannot tell.

Dol. Assuredly you have.

Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard, or known. You laugh, when boys, or women, tell their dreams; Is't not your trick?

Dol. I understand not, madam.

Cleo. I dreamt there was an Emperor Antony!— Oh! such another sleep! that I might see

But such another man!

Dol. If it might please you,—

Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck

A sun and moon; which kept their course, and lighted

The little O o'the earth.

Dol. Most sovereign creature,—

Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean; his rear'd arm
Crested the world: his voice was property'd
As all the tuned spheres, when that to friends;
But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas,
That grew the more by reaping: His delights
Were dolphin like; they show'd his back above
The element they liv'd in:—In his livery

Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands


As plates dropt from his pocket.

Dol. Cleopatra,—

Cleo. Think you there was, or might be, such a man, As this I dreamt of.

Dol. Gentle madam, no.

Cleo. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
But, if there be, or ever were, one such,

It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy; yet to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

Dol. Hear me, good madam:

Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
As answering to the weight: 'Would I might never
O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel,

By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
My very heart at root.

Cleo. I thank you, sir.

Know you, what Cæsar means to do with me?

Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you


Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir.

Dol. Though he be honourable,—

Cleo. He'll lead me in triumph?

Dol. Madam, he will; I know it.

Enter CESAR, and Train of Romans, and Seleucus.

Oct. Which is the Queen of Egypt?
Dol. It is the emperor, madam.
Oct. Arise, you shall not kneel:

I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.

[To C eopa ra, rais

ng er. Cleo. ir, the gods

Will have it thus; my master and my lord
I must obey.

Oct. Take to you no hard thoughts:
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance.

Cleo. Sole sir o'the world,

I cannot project mine own cause so well

To make it clear; but do confess, I have

Been laden with like frailties, which before
Have often sham'd our sex.

Oct. Cleopatra, know,

We will extenuate rather than enforce:

If you apply yourself to our intents,

(Which towards you are most gentle) you shall find A benefit in this change: but if you seek

To lay on me a cruelty, by taking

Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes, and put your children
To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave.

Cleo. And may through all the world: 'tis yours;

and we

Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord, Oct. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possest of: 'tis exactly valued;

Not petty things omitted.

Wher 's Se eucus?

Sel. He e, madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord,

Upon his peril, that I have reserv'd

To myself nothing.—Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Sel. Madam,

I had rather seal my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.

Cleo. What have I kept back?

Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made known.

Oct. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve Your wisdom in the deed.

Cleo. See, Cæsar! O, behold,

How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours;
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does

E'en make me wild:—O slave, of no more trust
Than love that's hir'd! What, go'st thou back? thou


Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings: Slave! soulless villain! dog!

O rarely base!

[Flying at him. Oct. Good queen, let us intreat you. [Interposing. Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That thou vouchsafing here to visit me,

Doing the honour of thy lordiness

To one so mean, that mine own servant should

Parcel the sum of my disgraces by

Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar
That I some lady trifles have reserv'd,

« AnteriorContinua »