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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 project? 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 À 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 : Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of 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 possessed 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
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Sel. Madam,
I had rather seel? my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.
Cleo.

What have I kept back ?

and we

conquest, shall

1 To project is to delineate, to shape, to form. 2 To seei hawks was the technical term for sewing up their eyes.

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 followed! Mine will now

Mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild. O 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! 1 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 honor of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should Parcel 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 3 friends withal ; and say, Some nobler token I have kept apart For Livia, and Octavia, to induce Their mediation ; must I be unfolded With 4 one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me Beneath the fall I have. Priythee, go hence;

[To SELEUCUS. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance. S—Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me. Cæs.

Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit SELEUCUS.

2

1 i, e. base in an uncommon degree.

2 “ That this fellow should add one more parcel or item to the sum of my disgraces, namely, his own malice.” 3 i. e. common, ordinary. 4 With is here used with the power of by. 5 i. e. fortune.

2

Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are mis

thought
For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits ' in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.
Cæs.

Cleopatra,
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 make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheered;
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.

Re-enter DOLABELLA.
Dol. Where is the queen ?
Char.

Behold, sir. [Exit CHARMIAN. Cleo.

Dolabella? Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command, Which my love makes religion to obey,

1 i. e. we answer for that which others have merited by their transgressions.

2 “Be not a prisoner in imagination.”

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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 performed
Your pleasure, and my promise.
Cleo. Dolabella,

I shall remain your debtor.
Dol.

I

your servant.
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit Dol.] Now,

Iras, what think'st thou ?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt 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 unclouded,
And forced to drink their

vapor. Iras.

The gods forbid !
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o’tune; the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandria revels. Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy? my greatness
I’the posture of a whore.
Iras.

O the good gods!
Cleo. Nay, that is certain.

Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.
Cleo.

Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd' intents.-Now, Charmian ?-

1

1 i. e. the lively or quick-witted comedians.

2 It has been already observed that the parts of females were played by boys on our ancient stage. 3 Absurd here means unmeet, unfitting, unreasonable.

Enter CHARMIAN.
Show me, my women, like a queen.-Go fetch
My best attires ;-I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony :-Sirrah,' Iras, go.-
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch, indeed.
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till doomsday.-Bring our crown and all.
Wherefore's this noise ? [Exit Iras. A noise within.

Enter one of the Guard.
Guard.

Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be denied your highness' presence;
He brings you figs.
Cleo. Let him come in. How? poor an instrument

[Exit Guard.
May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
I am marble-constant; now the fleeting : moon
No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, with a Clown, bringing a basket.
Guard.

This is the man.
Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.

[Exit Guard.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?

Clown. Truly I have him; but I would not be the

1 Sirrah was not anciently an appellation either reproachful or in-
jurious; being applied, with a sort of playful kindness, to children, friends,
and servants, and what may seem more extraordinary, as in the present
case, to women. It is nothing more than the exclamation, Sir, ha! and
we sometimes find it in its primitive form, “ A syr a, there said you wel.”
The Heus tu of Plautus is rendered, by an old translator, Ha Sirra.

2 The first folio has What poor an instrument."
3 Fleeting, or flitting, is changeable, inconstant.

4 Worm is used by our old writers to signify a serpent. The word is
pure Saxon, and is still used in the north in the same sense. The worm
of Nile was the asp of the ancients, which Dr. Shaw says is wholly
unknown to us.

1

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