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Sooth. You have seen, and prov'd a fairer former

fortune, Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names. Pr’ythee, 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 !

Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think none but your sheets are privy
to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come ; tell Iras hers.

. Alex, We'll know all our fortunes.

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. Even as

Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. — Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how? but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

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 thee : 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 Isis, I beseech thee!

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people ; for, as it is a heart-breaking to see handsome man loose-wiv’d, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded : therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly !

Char. Amen.

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.

Not he, the Queen.



Cleo. Saw you my lord ?
Eno. No, lady.
Cleo. Was he not here?
Char. No, madam.
Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth ; but on the sud-

A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus,

Eno. Madam.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's

Alexas ?
Alex. Here, at your service. — My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him : go with us. Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS,

CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and Attendants. Messenger. Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the




Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?

Mess. Ay:
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst

Whose better issue in the war, from Italy
Upon the first encounter drave them.

Well, what worst? Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.

Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.
Things, that are past, are done, with me. - 'Tis

thus ;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.

(This is stiff news,) hath with his Parthian force
Extended Asia from Euphrates ;
His conquering banner shook from Syria
To Lydia, and to Ionia ; whilst

Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,
Mess. O, my lord !
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general

Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunt my faults
With such full license, as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. . 0, then we bring forth

weeds, When our quick minds lie still ; and our ills told us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure.

[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon, ho, the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.

Is there such an one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will.


Let him appear. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, Or lose myself in dotage.

Enter another Messenger.

What are you? 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. [Giving a letter. Ant.

Forbear 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 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. — Ho! Enobarbus!


Eno. What's your pleasure, sir ?
Ant. I must with haste from hence.

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 almanacs 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. O, 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. Sir ?
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Fulvia !
Ant. 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 shews 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 crown'd 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 broached in the State Cannot endure my absence.

Eno. 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

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