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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.


Enter CHARMIAN, IRAs, ALEXAS, and a SOOTHSAYER. 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.

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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 lie 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.

There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire
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;


[Gives a letter. [Exit MESSENGER.


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.


Eno. What's your pleasure, Sir?

Ant. I must with haste from hence.

Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; 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; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment:* I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.

Eno. Alack, Sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.

Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!

Eno. O, Sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.

Ant. Fulvia is dead.

Eno. Sir?

Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Fulvia ?

Ant. Dead.

Eno. Why, Sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:-and indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow. Ant. The business she hath broach'd in the state, Cannot endure my absence.

Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.

Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the queen,
And get her love to part. For not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands
+ Expedition.

For much less matter.

Love's leave.)

The empire of the sea: our slippery people
(Whose love is never link'd to the deserver,
Till his deserts are past,) begin to throw
Pompey the great, and all his dignities,
Upon his son; who, high in name and power,
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
The sides o' the world may danger: Much is breeding,
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires

Our quick remove from hence.

Eno. I shall do't.



Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS. Cleo. Where is he?

Char. I did not see him since.

Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he does : I did not send you; t-If you find him sad,

Say, I am dancing; if in mirth, report

That I am sudden sick: Quick, and return


Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,

You do not hold the method to enforce

The like from him.

Cleo. What should I do, I do not?

Char. In each thing give him way, cross him in nothing.
Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him.
Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish forbear;

In time we hate that which we often fear.

But here comes Antony.


Cleo. I am sick, and sullen.

Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,-
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;

It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature

Will not sustain it.

Ant. Now, my dearest queen,—

Cleo. Pray you, stand further from me.

Ant. What's the matter?

Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.

What says the married woman ?-You may go ?

'Would, she had never given you leave to come!

Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here,

I have no power upon you: hers you are.

Ant. The gods best know,—

Cleo. O, never was there queen

So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,

I saw the treasons planted.

* It was once thought that the hair of a horse, dropped into corrupt

water, became an animal.

† I. e. seem as though I did not send you

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