Imatges de pÓgina
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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 dreamed there was an emperor Antony.
O, 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, the earth.

Dol.

Most sovereign creature,Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his reared 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 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 showed his back above The element they lived in. In his livery Walked crowns, and crownets; realms and islands were As plates dropped from his pocket.

Dol.

Cleopatra,

Cleo. Think you, there was, or might be, such a man As this I dreamed 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 pursued 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 Cæsar means to do with me? Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew. Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,

Dol.

Though he be honorable,Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph?

Dol.

I know it.

Within. Make way there!- Cæsar!

Madam, he will;

Enter CESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECENAS, SELEUCUS, and Attendants.

Cæs.

Of Egypt?

Dol.

Cæs.

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Which is the queen

'Tis the emperor, madam. [CLEOpatra kneels. Arise,

You shall not kneel.

I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.

Cleo.
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
I must obey.
Cæs.
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 shamed our sex.

Cæs.

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'll rely. I'll take my leave.

Cleopatra, know,

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. Caes. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra. Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possessed of: 'tis exactly valued; Not petty things admitted.-Where's Seleucus?

Sel. Here, madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved

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

I had rather seel 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.
See, Cæsar! O behold
How pomp is followed! mine will now be yours;
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does

Even make me wild. O slave, of no more trust
Than love that's hired!-What, goest thou back; thou shalt
Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes,
Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
O rarely base!

Cæs.

Good queen, let us entreat you.
Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this;
That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honor of thy lordliness

To one so meek, 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 reserved,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
Their mediation; must I be unfolded

With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me Beneath the fall I have. Pr'ythee, go hence;

[To SELEUCUS.

Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
Through the ashes of my chance.-Wert thou a man,
Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

Cæs.

Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought For things that others do; and, when we fall, We answer others' merits in our name,

Are therefore to be pitied.

Cæs.

Cleopatra,

Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,
Put we i'the roll of conquest: still be it yours;
Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheered;

Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear queen,
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; and so adieu.
Cleo. My master, and my lord!
Cæs.

Not so; adieu.

[Exeunt CESAR and his Train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not Be noble to myself; but hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers CHARMIAN. Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the dark.

Cleo.

Hie thee again. I have spoke already, and it is provided; Go, put it to the haste.

Char.

Madam, I will.

Re-enter DOLABELLA.

Dol. Where is the queen?

Char.

Cleo.

Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this. Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before:
Make your best use of this; I have performed
Your pleasure, and my promise.

Behold, sir. [Exit CHARMIAN.
Dolabella?

Cleo.

I shall remain your debtor.
Dol.

Dolabella,

I your servant. Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.

Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit DoL.] Now, Iras, what think'st thou?

Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I; mechanic slaves,
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapor.

Iras.
The gods forbid !
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o' tune; the quick comedians.
Extemporally will stage us, and present

Our Alexandrian revels. Antony

Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I' the posture of a whore.

Iras.

O the good gods!

Cleo. Nay, that is certain.
Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleo.
Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.- Now, Charmian?-
Enter CHARMIAN.

Show me, my women, like a queen.-Go fetch
My best attires;-I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony:-Sirrah, Iras, go.-
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch, indeed.
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till doomsday.- Bring our crown and all.
Wherefore's this noise? [Exit IRAS. A noise within.

Enter one of the Guard.

Guard.
Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be denied your highness' presence;
He brings you figs.

Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument

[Exit Guard.

May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, with a Clown, bringing a basket.
Guard.
This is the man.
Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?

[Exit Guard.

Clown. Truly I have him; but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those that do die of it, do seldom or never recover.

Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't?

Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday; a very honest woman, but something given to lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty; how she died of the biting of it,

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