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The triple pillar of the world transform’d
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Enter an ATTENDANT.
Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Ant. How, my love!
Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like,
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide arch|
Cleo. Excellent Falsehood !
Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Ant. Fie, wrangling queen!
[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their train. * Bound, limit.
Offends. I Subdue, conquer. $ Summons. Wide spread.
Dem. Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, He comes too short of that great property Which still should go with Antony.
Dem. I'm full sorry, That he approves the common liar, * who? Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-The same. Another Room. Enter CHARMJAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a SOOTHSAYER. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen ? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands!
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
Char. Good Sir, give me good fortune.
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 fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names:t Prythee, how many boys and wenches must I have ?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile 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. * Confirms fame, rumour.
† Shall be bastards.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. "
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Prythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it ?
Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thce! 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 Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Ísis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people ! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accord
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do’t.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Enter CLEOPATRA. .
Cleo. He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden
Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and Attendants.
[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS,
CHARMIAN, SOOTHSAYER, and Attendants.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On:
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue;
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news ? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.—Is there such a one ? 2 Att. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear,-
Enter another MESSENGER.
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead. Ant. Where died she ?
2 Mess. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears.
Gives a letter. Ant. Forbear I me.
Exit MESSENGER. There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us. We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone; The hand could § pluck her back, that shoved 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!
* Seized. + Tilling. I. e. withdraw. Could here means would.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see 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 esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment:* I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a 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, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. 0, Sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, Sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; 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 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 sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broach'd in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
* For much less matter. † Expedition. #Love's Icave.)