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Enter Antony, and Cleopatra, her Ladies ; the Train, with
Eunuchs fanning ber.
Take but good Note; and you shall see him,
The tripple Pillar of the World, transform'd
Into a Strumpet's Fool. Behold and see.
Cleo. If it be Love indeed, tell me how much?
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
Ant. Then must thou needs find out new Heav'n, new Earth.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes News, my good Lord, from Rome.
Ant. Rate me the Sum.
Cleo. Nay, hear them Antony.
Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows,
If the scarce-bearded Cefar have not sent
His powerful Mandate to you. Do this, or this ;
Take in that Kingdom, and infranchise that ;
Perform't, or elfe
we damn thee.
Axt. How, my Love?
Cleo. Perchance, nay, and most like,
You must not ftay here tonger, your dismission
Is come from Casar, therefore hear it Antony.
Where's Fluvia's Process ? Cefar's I would say, both?
Call in the Mesfengers; as I am Ægypt's Queen,
Thou blushest Antony, and that blood of thine
Is Cæfar's Homager : else so thy Cheeks pay Shame,
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. The Messengers.
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide Arch
Of the rais'd 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.
Cleo. Excellent Fallhood !
Why did he 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 his 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 every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every Passion fully strives
To make it self in thee fair and admir'd.
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 defire it. Speak not to us.
[Exeunt with their Train. Dem. Is Cefar with Antonius priz’d so Night?
Phil. Sir, fomecimes when he is not Antony, He comes too short of that great Property Which till should go with Antony.
Dem. I am full forry, that he approves the common Liar, who thus speaks of him at Rome ; but I will hope of better Deeds to morrow. Reft you happy.
[Exeunt. Enter Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a
Soothsayer. Char. L. Alexas, fweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the Soothsayer that you iprais'd to th' Queen? Oh ! that I knew this Hufband, which you say, must change his Horns with Garlands.
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. Shew him your Hand.
Eno. Bring in the Banquet quickly: Winc enough, Cleopatra's Health to drink.
Char. Good Sir, give me good Fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but forefee.
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 Patience, be attentive.
Char. Hush !
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved. i.
Char. I had rather heat 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 fifcy, to whom Herod of Fewry may do Homage. Find me to marry me with Ołtavius Casar, and Companion me with my Mistress. Sooth. You shall out-live the Lady whom you ferve. Char. Oh 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 ; Prithee how many Boys and Wenches must I have ?
Sooth. If every of your Wishes had a Womb, And foretel 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.
Char. Nay come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our Fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our Fortunes to night, shall be to go drunk to Bed.
Iras. There's a Palm presages Chastity, if nothing else. Char. E'en as the o'erflowing Nylus 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. Prithee tell her but a Workyday 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 bett:r than the ?
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of Fortune better than I ; where would you chuse it ?
Iras. Not in my Husband's Nose,
Char. Our worser thoughts Heav'ns mend.
Alex. Come, his Fortune, his Fortune. Oh 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 Ifis, hear me this Prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more Weight; good Ilis, I beseech thee.
Char. Amen, dear Goddess, hear that Prayer of the People. For, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome Man loose-wiv'd, 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
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 dispos'd to Mirth, but on the sudden
A Roman thought had struck him. Enobarbus.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither ; where's Alexas ?
Alex. Here at your Service, my Lord approaches.
Enter Antony with a Messenger and Attendants.
Cleo. We will not look upon him ; go with us. [Exeunt. .
Mes. Fulvia thy Wife, first came into the Field.
Ant. Against my Brother Lucius ?
Mes. Ay, but soon that War had end, and the times state
Made Friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Casar,
Whose better Isse in the War of Italy,
Upon the first encounter drave them.
Ant. Well, what worst ?
Mes. 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 lye Death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.
Mes. Labienus, this is stiff News,
Hath, with his Parthian Force, extended Afia ;
From Euphrates his conquering
Banner Thook, from Syria to Lydia,
And to lonia, whilft
Ant. Antony thou would'st say.
Mef. Oh, my Lord.
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general Tongue,
Name Cleopatra as she is callid 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. Oh then we bring forth Weeds,
When our quick Winds lye still, and our ills told us
Is as our Earing; fare thee well a while.
Mes. At your Noble Pleasure.
Ant. From Scicion how the News ? fpeak there.
Mef. The Man from Scicion, is there such an one?
Artend. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him'appear;
I hese strong Ægyptian Fetters I must break,
Or lose my self in Dotage. What are you?
Enter another Messenger with a Letter.
2 Mes. Fulvia thy Wife is dead.
Ant. Where died she?
2 Mef. In Scicion, 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 it,
What our Contempts do often hurl from us.
We wish it Hours again, the present Pleasure,
By revolution lowring, does become
The opposite of it self ; she's good being gone,
The Hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on.
I must from this Ægyptian Queen break off.
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know
My idleacls doth hatch. How now Enobarbus ?