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Cleo. Let it alone; let us to billiards :—come, i Charmian. i I'll none now :- l Give me mine angle,—we'll to the river: there,` My music playing far off, I will betray Tawny-finn'd hshes: my bended hook shall pierce Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up, I'll think them every one an Antony, And say, Ah, ha! you're caught. Char'. 'Twas merry, when You wager'd on your angling; when your diver Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he With fervency drew up. Cleo. That some times! I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn, Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed; Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst I wore his sword Philippan. O, from Italy ;
Rain thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Cleo. Well, go to, I will; But there's no goodness in thy face: If Antony Be free, and healthful, why so tart a favour To trumpet such good tidings? If not well, Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes, Not like a formal man.
Mess. Wilt please you hear me?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st: Yet if thou say, Antony lives, is well, Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him, I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail Rich pearls upon thee.
Mess. Madam, he's well,
Cleo. Well said.
Mess. And friends with Caesar.
Cleo. Thou'rt an honest man.
Mess. Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Mark thee a fortune from me.
Mess. But yet, madam,—
Cleo. I do not like " but yet," it does allay The good precedence; fie upon " but yet:" "But yet' is as a gaoler, to bring forth Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend, Pour out thy pack of matter to mine ear, The good and bad together: He's friends with Caesar; In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Mess. Free, madam? no; I made no such report. He's bound unto Octavia.
Cleo. I am pale, Charmian.
Mess. Madam, he's marry'd to Octavia.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down.
Mess. Good madam, patience.
Cleo. What say you? [Striking him again.] Hence, Horrible villain! or I'll'spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[Hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in. brine, Smarting in ling'ring pickle!
Mess. Gracious madam,
Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
Mess. He's marry'd, madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.
[Draws a Dagger.
Mess. Nay, then I'll run:—
Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself; The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.— Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents !—Call the slave again; Though I am mad, I will not bite him; call.
Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him:—
Though it be honest, it is never good
Mess. I have but done my duty.
Cleo. Is he marry'd?
Mess. He's marry'd madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still i
Mess. Should I lie, madam?
Cleo. O, I would thou didst,
Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
Cleo. He is marry'd?
Mess. Take no offence, that I would not offend you: To punish me for what you make me do, Seems much unequal: He's marry'd to Octavia.
Cleo. O, that his fault should make a knave of thee, That say'st but what thou art sure of! Get thee hence: The merchandize, which thou hast brought from
Rome, Are all too dear for me; lie they upon thy hand, And be undone by them! [Exit Messenger.
Char. Good your highness, patience.
Cleo. In praising Antony, I have disprais'd Casar,
Char. Many times, madam.
Cleo. I'm pay'd for't now.
I faint; O Iras, Charmian,—Tis no matter:—
Bring me word, how tall she is.—Pity me, Char
mian, But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.
Enter Octavius Caesar, Mecaenas, and Agrippa.
Oct. Contemning Rome, he did all this: And once, In Alexandria,—here's the manner of it,— I'the market place, on a tribunal silver'd, Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold, Were publicly enthron'd: at the feet, sat Cessation, whom they call my father's son; And all the unlawful issue, that their lust Since then hath made between them. Unto her He gave the'stablishmeht of Egypt; made her Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia, Absolute queen.
Mec. This in the public eye?
Oct. I'the common show-place, where they exercise. , His sons he there proclaim'd, the kings of kings: Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia, He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia: She In the habiliments of the goddess Isis That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience, As 'tis reported, so.