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Friends of Antony.
Friends of Cæsar.
Friends of Pompey.
TAURUS, Lieutenant-General to Cæsar.
CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony.
SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius's Army.
EUPHRONIUS, an Ambassador from Antony to Cæsar.
ALEXAS, MARDIAN, SELEUCUS, and DIOMEDES, Attendants
A Soothsayer. A Clown.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
OCTAVIA, Sister to Cæsar, and Wife to Antony.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, dispersed in several Parts of the Roman Empire. (6)
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's Palace.
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.
Philo. NAY, but this dotage of our general's
Have glowed like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Enter an Attendant.
Att. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; or, who knows
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, We stand up peerless.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-
But stirred by Cleopatra.-
Ant. Fie wrangling queen! Whom every thing 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 ANT. and CLEO., with their Train. 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.
I'm full sorry,
That he approves the common liar, who
SCENE II. The same.
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.
Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing 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.
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.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
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'ythee, 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.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be - drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. Char. Even as the o'erflowing 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, fiftyfold 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!
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do it. Eno. Hush! here comes Antony. Char.
Not he, the queen.
Cleo. Saw you my lord?
Char. No, madam.
Was he not here?