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To make a heap about us of dead foes,
An honest pile for burial.

Ant. They're enough.
We'll not divide our stars, but side by side
Fight emulous, and with malicious eyes
Survey each other's acts.
Vent. Now


shall see I love you. By my few hours of life, I am so pleas’d with this brave Roman fate, That I would not be Cæsar to outlive you! When we put off this flesh, and mount together, I shall be shown to all th' etbereal crowd; Lo! this is he who dy'd with Antony, Ant. Who knows but we may pierce thro' all their

And reach my veterans yet? "Tis worth the tempting
To'erleap this gult of fate,
And leave your wand'ring destinies behind,

Enter ALEXAS, trembling.
Vent. See, see that villain! See
How he has set his count'nance for deceit,
And promises a lie before he speaks !
Let me despatch him first.

[Drawing. Ant, Hold; he's not worth your killing. On thy

No syllable to justify thy Queen;
Save thy base tongue its office.

Alex. Sir, she's gone
Where she shall never be molested more
By love or you.

Ant, Fled to her Dolabella!
Die, traitor; I revoke my promise; die.

[Going to kill him, Alex, O, hold ; she is not fled.

Ant. She is; my eyes Are open to her falschood, Ungrateful woman!

Who follow'd me but as the swallow summer,
Hatching her young ones in my kindly beams,
Singing her fatt'ries to my morning wake;
But now my winter comes, she spreads her wings,
And seeks the spring of Cæsar,

Aler. Think not so ;
Her fortunes have in all things mix'd with yours ;
Had she betray'd her naval force to Rome,
How easily might she have gone to Cæsar;
Secure by such a bribe?

Vent. She sent it first,
To be more welcome after.

Ant. "Tis too plain,
Else wou'd she have appear'd to clear herself,

Alex. Too fatally she has: she could not bear
To be accus'd by you, but shut herself
Within her monument, look'd down and sigh’d,
While from her unchang'd face the silent tears
Dropp'd as they had not leave, but stole their parting.
Some undistinguish'd words she inly murmurd;
At last she rais'd her eyes, and with such looks
As dying Lucrece cast-

Ant. My heart forbodes
Vent, All for the best, Go on,

Aler. She snatch'd her poniard,
And, ere we could prevent the fatal blow,
Plung’d it within her breast; then turn'd to me;
Go, bear my lord, said she, my last farewell,
And ask him if he yet suspect my faith.
More she was saying, but death rush'd betwist.
She half pronounc'd your name with her last breath,
And bury'd half within her.
Vent. Heav'n be prais'd !

Ant. Then art thou innocent, my poor, dear love! And art thou dead? 0, those two words! their sound should be divided, Hadst thou been false and dy'd, or hadst thou liv'd And hadst been true-But innocence and death!

This shows not well above. Then what am I?
The murd'rer of this truth, this innocence!
Thoughts cannot form themselves in words so horrid
As can express my guilt!
Vent. Is't come to this ? The gods have been too

And thus you thank them for't.

Ant. Why stay'st thou here? [To Alexas. Thou art not worthy to behold what now Becomes a Roman emp'ror to perform.

[Exit Alexas. Vent. Come, rouse yourself, and let's die warm to

gether. Ant. 0, Ventidius ! What should I fight for now? My queen is dead : I was but great for her; My pow'r, my empire, Were but my merchandise to buy her love, And conquer'd kings my factors. Now she's dead, Let Cæsar take the world

Vent. Would you be taken?

Ant. Yes, I would be taken;
But as a Roman ought, dead, my Ventidius!

Vent. Chuse your death,
For I have seen him in such various shapes,
I care not which I take: I'm only troubled
The life I bear is worn to such a rag
'Tis scarce worth giving. I could wish indeed
We threw it from us with a better grace,
That like two lions taken in the toils
We might at least thrust out our paws and wound
The hunters that enclose us.

Ant. Thou hast lov'd me,
And fain I would reward thee. I must die;
Kill me, and take the merit of my death,
To make thee friends with Cæsar.
Vent. You said I luv'd


and in recompense You bid me turn a traitor! Did I think

You would have us'd me thus! that I should die
With a hard thought of you!

Ant. Forgive me, Roman.
Since I have heard of Cleopatra's death
My reason bears no rule upon my tongue,
But lets my thoughts break all at random out.
I have thought better; do not deny me twice.

Vent. By Heav'n I will not !
Let it not be t'outlive

Ant. Kill me first,
And then die thou; for 'tis but just thou serve
Thy friend before thyself.

Vent. Give me your hand
We soon shall meet again. Now, farewell, em-

[Embrace. Methinks that word's too cold to be


Since death sweeps all distinctions, farewell, friend.
That's all-
I will not make a bus'ness of a trifle-
And yet I cannot look on you and kill you:
Pray turn your face.

Ant. I do: strike home; be sure.
Vent. Home as my sword will reach. (Kills himself.

Ant. O, thou mistak’st !
That wound was none of thine ; give it me back :
Thou robb’st me of my death.

Vent. I do indeed;
But think, 'tis the first time I e'er deceiv'd you,
If that may plead my pardon. And you, gods !
Forgive me if you will; for I die perjur'd
Rather than kill

Ant. Farewell ! ever my leader, ev’n in death!
My queen and thou have got the start of me,
And I'm the lag of honour.-Gone so soon!
Is death no more! He us’d him carelessly
With a familiar kindness, ere he knock'd
Ran to the door and took him in his arms,
As who should say, you're welcome at all hours,

my friend.

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A friend need give no warning-Books had spoil'd

him, For all the learn'd are cowards by profession. 'Tis not worth My further thought; for death, for aught I know, Is but to think no more. Here's to be satisfy'd.

[Falls on his Sword. I've miss'd my heart-0, unperforming hand ! Thou never couldst have err'd in a worse time.

[Trampling within. Some, perhaps, from Cæsar! If he should find me living, and suspect That I play'd booty with my life. I'll mend My work ere they can reach me.

[Rises upon his knees. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS. Cleo. Where is my lord ! where is he!

Char. There he lies, And dead Ventidius by him. Cleo. My fears were prophets ! I am come too

late! Oh, that accurs'd Alexas !

[Runs to him. How is it with you ?

Ant. "Tis as with a man
Removing in a hurry; all pack'd up
But one dear jewel that his haste forgot,
And he for that returns upon


spur; So I come back for thee. Cleo. Too long, ye Heav'ns! you have been cruel

to me!
O, now be kind, and give me back
His fleeting life!

Ant. It will not be, my love !
I keep my soul by force.
Say but thou art not false.

Cleo. 'Tis now too late
To say I'm true; I'll prove it and die with you.

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