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Pro. My name is Proculeius.
Cleo. [within). Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but
I do not greatly care to be deceived,
That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom: if he please
To give me conquera Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own, as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.
Pro. Be of good cheer;
You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing:
Make your full reverence freely to my lord,
Who is so full of grace, that it flows over
On all that need: Let me report to him
Your sweet dependancy; and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneeld to.
Cleo. [within]. Pray you, tell him
I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
The greatness he has got.* I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
Look him i' the face.
Pro. This I'll report, dear lady.
Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pitied
Of him that caused it.
Gal. You see how easily she may be surprised;
[Here PROCULEIUS, and two of the guard, ascend the
. monument by a ladder placed against a window, and
having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of
the guard unbar and open the gates. Guard her till Cæsar come.
[To PROCULEIUS and the guard. Exit GALLUS. Iras. Royal queen! Char. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen! Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.
[Drawing a dagger. Pro. Hold, worthy lady, hold: Seizes and disarms her. Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this Relieved, but not betray'd.
Cleo. What, of death too,
That rids our dogs of languish ?
Do not abuse my master's bounty, by
The undoing of yourself : let the world see
His nobleness well acted, which your death
Will never let come forth.
Cleo. Where art thou, death ?
Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars !
Pro. O, temperance, lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, Sir ;
If idle talk will once be necessary,
I'll not sleep neither: This mortal house I'll ruin,
Do Cæsar what he can. Know, Sir, that I
Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;
Nor once be chástized with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And show me to the shouting varletry,
Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave to me! rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring ! rather make
My country's high pyramids my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains !
Pro. You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
Find cause in Cæsar.
What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows,
And he hath sent for thee: as for the queen,
I'll take her to my guard.
Pro. So, Dolabella,
It shall content me best: be gentle to her.-
To Cæsar I will speak what you shall please. [To CLEOPATRA.
If you'll employ me to him.
Cleo. Say, I would die. [Exeunt PROCULEIUS, and Soldiers.
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;
Ist not your trick ?
Dol. I understand not, madam.
Cleo. I dream'd, there was an emperor Antony;
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man !
Dol. If it might please you,-
Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck
A sun and moon; which kept their course, and lighted
The little 0, the 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 spheres, and 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 show d his back above
The elemer they lived in: In his livery
Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates * dropp'd from his pocket.
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,
It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy, yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.
Dol. Hear me, good madam :
Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
As answering to the weight: 'Would I might never
O’ertake pursued success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, 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 am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
Cleo. Nay, pray you, Sir,-
Dol. Though he be honourable,-
lead me, then, in triumph ?
Dol. Madam, he will ;
I know it.
Within. Make way there,-Cæsar.
Enter CÆSAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECÆNAS, SELEUCUS,
Cæs. Which is the queen
Dol. 'Tis the emperor, madam.
You shall not kneel :-
I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.
Cleo. Sir, the gods
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
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.
Cleo. Sole Sir o'the world,
I cannot projectt mine own cause so well
To make it clear; but do confess, I have
Been laden with like frailties, which before
Have often shamed our sex.
Cæs. Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than enforce :
If you apply yourself to our intents
(Which towards you are most gentle), you shall find
* Silver money.
† Shape or form.
A benefit in this change; but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty, by taking
Antony's course, you shall 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 my leave.
Cleo. And may, through all the world: 'tis yours: and we
Your ’scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,
I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued;
Not petty things admitted. Where's Seleucus ?
Sel. Here, madam.
Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.
I had rather seel* 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.
Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ; I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleo. See, Cæsar! O, behold, How pomp is followd! mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild:-0 slave, of no more trust Than love that's hired !-What, goest thou back? thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings: Slave, soulless villain, dog ! O rarely base !
Cæs. Good queen, let us entreat you. Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honour of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should Parcelt the sum of my disgraces by Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar, That I some lady trifles have reserved, Immoment toys, things of such dignity As we greet modern I friends withal; and say, Some nobler token I have kept apart For Livia and Octavia, to induce Their mediation ; must I be unfolded With & one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me Beneath the fall I have. Pr’ythee, go hence; [To SELEUCUS. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance :-Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus.
Cleo. Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.
Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,
Put we i’ the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,
Cæsar 's no merchant, to makė prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. 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 so, adieu.
Cleo. My master, and my lord !
Cæs. Not so: Adieu.
[Exeunt CÆSAR, and his train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
[Whispers CHARMIAN. Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the dark.
Cleo. Hie thee again:
I have spoke already, and it is provided;
Go, put it to the haste.
Char. Madam, I will.
Dol. Where is the queen ?
Char. Behold, Sir.
Cleo. Dolabella ?
Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this : Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before:
Make your best use of this: I have perform’d
Your pleasure, and my promise.
I shall remain your debtor.
Dol. I your servant.
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Caesar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit DOLABELLA.] Now, Iras,
what think'st thou ?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shall be shown
In Rome, as well as I: mechanic slaves,
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapour.
Iras. The gods forbid !
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: Saucy lictors