Page images

I'll take her to my guard,

Pro. So, Dolabella, It shall content me best; be gentle to her. To Cæfar I will speak what you shall please, [70 Cleo, If you'll employ me to him. Cleo. Say, I would die. [Exe. 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 dream'd there was an Emp'ror Antony :
Oh such another sleep, that I might see
But such acother man !

Dol. If it might please ye.

Cleo. His face was as the heav'ns; and therein luck A fun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted The little O o'ch' earth.

Dol. Most sovereign creature !

Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean; his rear'd arm Crested the world; his voice was propertied As all the tuned fpheres, when 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 shew'd their back above The element they liv'd in ; in his livery Walk'd crowns and coronets, realms and illánds were As plates dropp'd from his pocket.

Dol, Cleopatra

Cleo. Think you there was or might be such a man As this I dream'd of?

Dol. Gentle Madam, no.

Cleo. You lie up to the hearing of the gods; But if there be, or ever were one such, ?Tis past the fize of dreaming: Nature wants Nuff lo vie strange forms with Fancy; yet t'imagine An Antony, were Nature's prize 'gainst Fanctis, Condemning shadows quite.


Dol. Hear me, good Madam.
Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it,
As answ'ring to the weight. Would I might never
O'ertake pursu'd Succefs, but I do feel,
By the rebound of your's, 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'm lóth to tell you what I would you knew.
Cleo. Nay, pray you, Sir.
Dol. Though he be honourablement
Cleo. He'll lead me in triumph?
Dol. Madam, he will, I know't,
All. Make way there, Cæfar.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Enter Cæfar, Gallus, Mecænas, Proculeius, and At

Caf. Which is the Queen of Ægypt?
Dol. It is the Emperor, Madani. [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

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,

Gleo. Sole Sir o'th' world,
I cannot procter mine own cause fo well
To make it clear ; but do confess, I have
Been laden with like frailties, which before
Have often sham'd our sex,

C&f. Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than inforce.
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 fhall bereave yourself

Of my good purposes, and put your children
To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
If thereon you rely. I'll take


leave. Cleo. And may through all the world : ’tis your's ;

and we,

Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good Lord..
Gål. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
I am poffefs'd of _-'tis exactly valued,
Not petty things omitted - Where's Seleucus ?

Sel. Here, Madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer ; let him speak, my Lord, Upon his peril, that i have reserv'd To myselt nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Sel. Madam, I had rather feal 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.

Caf. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ; I approve
Your wisdom in tbe deed,

Cleo. See, Cæsar! Oh, bebold How pomp is follow'd: mine will now be your's, And, Thould we shift estates, your's would be mine; Th’ingratitude of this Seleucus does Ev'n make me wild. Oh llave ! of no more trust Than love that's bird - What, goeft thou back ?

thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee : but Ill.catch thine eyes, Though they had wings. Slave, foul-less villain, dog, O rarely bale!

Cæs. Good Queen, let us intreat you.

Cleo. O Cæfar, what a wounding thame is this,
That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honour of thy lordliness
To one so weak, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Ajdition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady-trifles have reserv'd,
Inmoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
Some ncbler token I have kept apart

For Livia and Odavia, to induce
Their mediation, mult 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 iny spirits
Through th' ashes of my chance: wert thou a man,
Thou would'st have mercy on me.

Gaf. Forbear, Seleucus.

Cles Be't known, that we, the greatest, are mis. For things that others do And when we fall, [thought We answer. Others' merits, in our names Are therefore to be.picied.

Cay. Cleopatra,
Not what you have reservd, nor what acknowledg'd,
Put we i'th' roll of conquest, fill be't your's;
Beitow it at your pleasure, and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant to make prize with you
Of things that merchants fold. Therefore be cheer'd;
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 fo adieu.

Cleo. My Master and my Lord?
Cæf. Not so:-adieu. [Exçunt Cæfar and his traini

Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me,
7 hat I should not be noble to myself.
kut hark thee, Charmian,

[Whispers Charmian, Iras. Finish, good Lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the da:k.

Cleo. Hie thee again.
Live fpoka already, and it is provided ;
Go put it to the halte.
Char. Madam, I will.

[Exit Charm.
Enter Dolabella.
Dol. Where is the Queen,
Char, Behold, Sir.
Gleo. Dolabella.
Dol, Madam, as thereto sworn, by your command,

Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this : Cæfar through Syria
Intends his journey, and within three days
You with your children will be send before :
Make your best use of this. I have perform'd :
Your pleasure and my promise. .

Cleo. Dolabella,
Ifhall remain your debtor.

Dól. I your servant.
Adieu, good Queen; I must attend on Cæfar[Exit.

Cleo. Farewel, and thanks. Now, Iras, what think'st Thou, an Ægyptian puppet, shalt be thewn [thou? In Rome as well as 1: mechanic flaves, With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths, Rank of grois diet, shall we be inclouded, And forc'd to drink their vapour.

Iras. The gods forbid !

Gleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: saucy lictors
Will catch at us like strumpets, and Itallid rhimers
Ballad us out-o'-tune. The quick comedians
Extemp'rally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels : Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth; and I shall fee:
Soine squeaking Cleopatra greatness
P'th' posture of a whore.

Iras. O the good gods!
Cleo. Nay, that's certain.

Iras. I'll never fee it; for I'm sure my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes,

Cleo. Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer.
Their molt assurd intents. Now, Charmian,

'Enter Charmian.
Shew me, my, women, like a Queen: go fetch :
My belt attires. I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Murk Antony. Sirrah Iras, go
Now, Noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed ;
And when thou'ít done this chare, I'll give thee leave :

Heretofore the parts of women were acted on the stage by boys;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »