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Cleo. Pray you tell him,
I am his fortunes vassal, and I bend to
The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
Look him i' th'face.
Pro. This I'll report, dear Lady.
Have comfort, for I know your plight is pity'd
Of him that caus'd it.
Gall. You see how easily she may be surpriz'd.
[They enter the Monument by a ladder,
Pro. Guard her 'till Cæfar come.
Iras. Oh royal Queen,
Cbar. Oh Cleopatra, thou art taken, Queen.
Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands. [Drawing a daggera
Pro. Hold, worthy Lady, hold :
Do not your self such wrong, who are in this
Reliev'd, but not betray'd.
Cleo. What, of death too, that ride our dogs of languish?
Pro. Do not abuse my master's bounty, by
Th’undoing of your self : let the world see
His nobleness well acted, which your death
Will never let come forth.
Cleo. Where art thou, death?
Come hither, come : oh come, and take a Queen
Worth many babes and beggars.
Pro. Oh, temperance, Lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, Sir:
If idle talk will once be accessary,
I'll not sleep neither. This mortal house I'll ruin,
Do Cæfar what he can. Know, Sir, that I
Will not wait pin'on'd at your master's Court,
Nor once be chaftis’d with the fober eye
Of dull Ostavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And shew me to the shouting varletry
Of cens’ring Rome? rather a ditch in Ægypt
Be gentle grave to me! rather on Nilus mud
Lay me stark-naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring! rather make
My country's highest Pyranid my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains !
Pro. You do extend
These thoughts of horrour further than you shall
Find cause in Cæsar.
What thou hast done my master Cæfar knows,
And he hath sent for thee : as for the Queen,
I'll take her to my guard.
Pro. So, Dolabella,
It Dall content me best; be gentle to her :
To Cæfar I will speak what you shall please, [To Cleopatra.
If you'll employ me to him.
Cleo. Say, I would die. (Exeunt Proculeius and Gallus,
Dol. Most noble Empress, you have heard of me.
Cleo. I cannot tell.
Dol. Assuredly you know me.
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 Emp'ror Antony ;
Oh such another Neep, that I might see
But such another man !
Dol. If it might please ye
Cleo. His face was as the heav'ns, and therein stuck A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted The little orb o'th' earth.
Dol. Most sovereign creature —
Cleo. His legs beftrid the ocean, his rear'd arm
Crested the world : his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends :
But when he meant to quail, and shake the orb,
He was as ratling 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 shew'd their back above
The element they liv’d in; in his livery
Walk'd crowns and coronets, realms and islands were
As plates dropt from his pocket,
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 fize of dreaming : nature wants stuff
To vye strange forms with fancy ; yet to form
An Antony, were nature's prize 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.
Dol, Hear me, good Madam :
Your lofs is as your self, great ; and you bear it
As answ'ring to the weight: would I might never
O’er-take pursu'd success, but I do feel
By the rebound of yours, a grief that shoots
My very heart at root.
Cleo. I thank you, Sir.
Know you what Cæfar means to do with me?
Dol. I'm loth to tell you what I would you knew.
Cleo. Nay, pray you, Sir.
Dol. Though he be honourable.
Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph ?
Del. Madam, he will,
All. Make way there --- Cæfar.
Enter Cæsar, Gallus, Mecænas, Proculeius, and Attendants,
Cal. Which is the Queen of Ægyp: ?
Dol. It is the Emperor, Madam. [Cleo, kneels.
Cæs. Arise, you shall not kneel:
I pray you rise, rise, Ægypt.
Cleo. Sir, the Gods
Will have it thus ; my master and my lord
I must obey.
Cæf. Take to you no hard thoughts :
The record of what injuries you did uś,
Though written in our Aesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance,
Cles, Sole Sir o'th' world,
I cannot parget mine own cause so well
To make it clear, but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which before
Have often tham'd our sex.
Cæf. Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than inforce :
If you apply your self to our intents,
(Which tow'rds you are most gentle) you shall find
A benefit in this change ; but if you feek
To lay on me a cruelty by taking
Antony's course, you shall bereave your self
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 conqueft, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good Lord,
Caf. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of mony, plate, and jewels
I am pofseft of — 'tis exactly valued,
Not petty things omitted—where's Saleucus ?
Sel. Here, Madam,
Cleo. This is my treasurer, let him speak, my Lord,
Upon his peril, that I have referv'd
To my self nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus,
Sel. 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
Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ; I approve / Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleo. Cæfar ! behold How pomp is follow'd: mine will now be yours, And should we shift estates, yours would be mine, Th'ingratitude of this Seleucus do's Ev'n make me wild. O lave, of no more trust Than love that's hir'd. What, goeft thou back ? thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee: but I'll carch thine eyes : Though they had wings, Slave, soul-less villain, dog, rarely base!
Caf. Good Queen, let us intreat you.
Cleo. O Cæfar, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honour of thy lordliness
To one fo-weak, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæfar,
That I some lady-triftes have reserv'd,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal ; and say
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Otavia, to induce
Their mediation, must I be unfolded
=; By one that I have bred ? the Gods ! it smites me
Beneath the fall I have. Pr’ythee go hence,
Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits
Through th' ashes of mischance :
wert thou a man,
Thou would'At have mercy on me.
Cæf. Forbear, Seleucus.
Cleo. Be’t known, that we the greatest are mis-thought
For things that others do ; and when we fall,
We pander others merits with our names,
Are therefore to be pitied.
Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg’d,
Put we i' th' roll of conquest, fill be't yours : ] Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe
Cæsar's no merchant to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd, by! Make not your thoughts your poison ; no, dear Queen,
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Your self shall give us counsel : feed, and Neep.
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend, and so adieu.
Cleo. My master, and my Lord !
Caf. Not fo: adieu. [Exeunt Cæsar, and bis Train,
Lleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
Be noble to my felf. But hark thee, Cbarmian. [Whispers.