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Friends to

Friends of

SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius'

an Ambassador
from Antony to Cæsar.
and DIOMEDES, Attendants on


CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt. OCTAVIA, Sister to Cæsar, and Wife to Antony.


CHARMIAN, Attendants on Cleu-


SCENE, dispersed; in several Parts of the Roman Empire.


SCENE I-Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA's Palace. Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.

Phil. Nay, but this dotage of our general's,

O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,

That o'er the files and musters of the war

Have glow'd like plaited 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 on his breast, reneges* all temper;

And is become the bellows, and the fan,

To cool a gypsy's lust. Look where they come !

Flourish. Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Trains; Eunuchs fanning her.

Take but good note, and you shall see in him

* Renounces.

The triple pillar of the world transform'd

Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

Ani. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon❜d.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn* how far to be beloved.

Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.


Att. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Gratest me:-The sum ?


Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:

Fulvia, perchance is angry: Or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar 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!

Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like,

You must not stay here longer, your dismission

Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.

Where's Fulvia's process!§ Cæsar's, I would say ?-Both ?—
Call in the messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Cæsar's homager; else 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: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind
On pain of punishment, the world to weet, T
We stand up peeriess.

Cleo. Excellent Falsehood!

Why did we marry Fulvia, and not love her ?-
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony

Will be himself.

Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.

Now, for the love of Love, and her 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?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

Ant. Fie, wrangling queen!

Whom everything becomes, to chide, to laugh,

To weep; whose every passion fully strives

To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!

No messenger; but thine and all alone,

To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;

Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.

[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their train.

*Bound, limit. Summons.

† Offends.

Wide spread.

+ Subdue, conquer. To wit. ** Consume.

Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius prized so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
Dem. I'm full sorry,

That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!


SCENE II-The same. Another Room.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands!

Alex. Soothsayer.

Sooth. Your will?

Char. Is this the man ?-Is't you, Sir, that know things?
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,

A little I can read.

Alex. Show him your hand.


Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough, Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good Sir, give me good fortune.

Sooth. I make not, but foresee.

Char. Pray then, foresee me one.

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Char. He means, in flesh.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

Char. Wrinkles forbid !

Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.

Char. Hush!

Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Char. I had rather eat my liver with drinking.

Alex. Nay, hear him.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune

Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names:† Pr’y

thee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,

And fertile every wish, a million.

Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

* Confirms fame, rumour.

† Shall be bastards.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall bedrunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Char. Even as the overflowing Nilus presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.

Sooth. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.

Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.

Char. Not he, the queen.


Cleo. Saw you my lord?

Eno. No, lady.

Cleo. Was he not here ?

Char. No, madam.

Cleo. He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,

Eno. Madam.

Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Alexas?
Alex. Here, madam, at your service.-My lord approaches.
Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and Attendants.
Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us.

Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?

Mess. Ay:

But soon that war had end, and the time's state

Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst Cæsar;
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,

Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Ant. Well,

What worst?

Mess. 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.

Mess. Labienus

(This is stiff news) hath with his Parthian force, Extended* Asia from Euphrates;

His conquering banner shook, from Syria

To Lydia, and to Ionia;


Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,

Mess. 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 license, as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds,
When our quick winds líe still; and our ills told us,"
Is as our earing. † Fare thee well a while.

Mess. At your noble pleasure.

Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there.

1 Att. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such a one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will.

Ant. Let him appear,

These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,

Enter another MESSENGER.

Or lose myself in dotage.-What are you?

2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Ant. Where died she?

2 Mess. In Sicyon:

Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears.

Ant. Forbear me.


[Gives a letter. [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; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become

The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;

The hand could § pluck her back, that shoved 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!
* Seized. † Tilling.

I. e. withdraw. § Could here means would,

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