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Atten. The music, ho !
Cleo. Let it alone; let us to billiards :
I'll none now:
Give me mine angle,—we'll to the river: there,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes: my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, Ah, ha! you're caught.
Char. 'Twas merry, when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
Cleo. That time!—O times !
I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed ;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan. O, from Italy;-
Enter a Messenger.
Rain thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
Mess. Madam, madam,
Cleo. Antony's dead :—If thou say so,
Villain, thou kill'st thy mistress: but well, and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss ; a hand, that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
Mess. First, madam, he is well:
Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah, mark;
To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold, I give tiree, will I melt, and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Cleo. Well, go to, I will; But there's no goodness in thy face : If Antony Be free, and healthful, why so tart a favour To trumpet such good tidings? If not well, Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes, Not like a formal man.
Mess. Wilt please you hear me?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st:
Yet if thou say, Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Mess. Madam, he's well,
Cleo. Well said.
Aless. And friends with Cæsar.
Cleo. Thou'rt an honest man.
Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Mark thee a fortune from me.
Mess. But yet, madam,-
Cleo. I do not like“ but yet," it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon " but yet :"
“ But yer is as a gaoler, to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out thy pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: He's friends with Cæsar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Mess. Free, madam? no; I made no such report. He's bound unto Octavia.
Cleo. I am pale, Charmian.
Mess. Madam, he's marry'd to Octavia.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee !
[Strikes him down. Mess. Good madam, patience.
Cleo. What say you ? [Striking him again.] Hence, Horrible villain! or I'll'spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[Hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in ling'ring pickle!
Mess. Gracious madam,
I, that do bring the news, made not the match.
Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud : the blow thou had'st
Shall make thy peace, for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside 4
Thy modesty can beg.
Mess. He's marry'd, madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.
[Draws a Dagger. Mess. Nay, then I'll run:What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
[Exit Messenger. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself; The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents !—Call the slave again ; Though I am mad, I will not bite him; call.
Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him :-
These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have giv'n myself the cause.—Come hither, sir :
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: Give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.
Mess. I have but done my duty.
Cleo. Is he marry'd ?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If thou again say, yes.
Mess. He's marry'd madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there
Mess. Should I lie, madam?
Cleo. O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scald snakes ! Go, get thee hence;
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is marry'd ?
Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
Cleo. He is marry'd ?
Mess. Take no offence, that I would not offend
To punish me for what you make me do,
Seems much unequal: He's marry'd to Octavia.
Cleo. O, that his fault should make a knave of
thee, That say'st but what thou art sure of! Get thee hence : The merchandize, which thou hast brought from
Are all too dear for me; lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by them ! [Exit Messenger.
Char. Good your highness, patience.
Cleo. In praising Antony, I have disprais'd Cæsar.
Char. Many times, madam.
Cleo. I'm pay'd for't now.
Lead me from hence.
I faint; O Iras, Charmian,— Tis no matter :-
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination; let him not leave out
The colour of her hair: bring me word quickly.-
Let him for ever go :—Let him not, Charmian;
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
The other way's a Mars :—Bid you
Bring me word, how tall she is.—Pity me, Char
mian, But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.
Enter OCTAVIUS CÆSAR, MECENAS, and Agrippa.
Oct. Contemning Rome, he did all this: And once,
In Alexandria,—here's the manner of it,-
I'the market place, on a tribunal silver'd,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold,
Were publicly enthron'd: at the feet, sat
Cæsarion, whom they call my father's son;
And all the unlawful issue, that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the 'stablishmeht of Egypt; made her
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
Mec. This in the public eye?
Oct. I'the common show-place, where they exer-
His sons he there proclaim'd, the kings of kings :
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia,
He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd
Syria, Cilicia, and Phænicia: She
In the habiliments of the goddess Isis
That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience,
As 'tis reported, so.