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Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothi. say:
'Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot firaich inine ear. Prythee tell her but a workyday fortune.
Sooth. Your foriunes are alike.
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. as, -Come, his fortune ; his fortune. - -0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, fweet Ilis, I beseech thee; and let her die too, and give hiin a worle ; and let worse follow worst, till the worst · of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold 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 the prayer of the people ! for as it is a heart-breaking to see a handfome man loose-wiv'd, so it is a deadly forrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; therefore, dear Ifis, keep decorum, and fortune hiin accordingly.
Alex. Lo, now ! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
SC E N E III.
Enter Cleopatra. Eno. Hush ! here comes Antony. Char. Not he, the Queen. Cleo. Saw you my Lord! E10. No, Lady. Cleo. Was he not here? Char. No, Madam. Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus
[Exeunt. Mel. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius?
Mel.Ay. But soon that war had end, and the tine's state Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst
Cesar; Whose better issue in the war, from Italy Upon the first encounter drave them. Ant. Well, what worst? Meff. 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
Mell. Labienus (this is stiff news)
Ant. Antony, thou wouldīt say-
Extended, is a law term, which fignifics seized upon.
When our quick winds ly still *; and our ill, told
Mell. At your noble pleasure.
[Exit first Melenger. Attend. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear.
Enter another Mefinger, with a letter.
2 Mel. Fulvia thy wife is dead. Ant. Where died she?
2 Mej. In Sicyon. Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter.
Ant. Forbear me. [Exit fecond Messenger. There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I delire it. What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again : the present pleasure, By revolution lowring, does become The opposite of itself; she's good, being gone ; The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on. I must from this enchanting Queen break off. Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus ?
Enter Enobarbus. Eno. What's your pleasure, Sir? Ant. I must with haste from hence. Eno. Why then we kill all our women ;, we fee
• We fhould read minds. The sense is this, While the active principle within us lyes immerged in Roth and luxury, we bring forth vices in stead of virtues, weeds instead of flowers and fruits : but the laying before us our ill condition plainly and honefily is, as it were, the first cuiture of the mind, which gives hopes of a future harvest. This he says to encourage the melenger to luce nothing from him. Harturtop.
how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone. Eno. Under a compelling occasion let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though between them and a great cause, they should be elteem'd nothing.. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: 1 do think there is mettle in cath, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such celerity in dying
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, Sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters, fighs and tears, they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if it beg the makes a show'r of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. Oh, Sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work, which not to have been bless’d withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, Sir, give the gods a thankful facrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earih, comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case were to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation, your old smock brings forth a new petticoat. And, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this forrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
En. And the business you have broach'd here,
cannot be without you ; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the Queen, And get her leave to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak t us ; but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius Hath giv'n the dare to Cæfar, and commands The Empire of the sea. Our slipp’ry people, Whose love is never link'd to the deserver Till his deserts are past, begin to throw Pompey the great and all his dignities Upon his son; who high in name and pow'r, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main foldier ; whofe quality going on, The sides o'th' world may danger. Much is breeding; Which, like the courser's hair *, harh yet but life, And not a ferpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, To such whole place is under us, requires Our quick remove t from hence. Eno. I'll do't.
S CE N E IV. Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Alexas, and Iras. Cleo. Where is he? Char. I did not fee him since. Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he
does I did not send you.-If you find him sad,
Alludes to an old idle notion, that the hair of 2 horse, dropt into corrupted water, will turn to an animal. Pape. t I believe we should read,
Their quick remove from hence. i.e. Tell our design of going away to those who being by their places obliged to attend us, must remove in haitc.