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Vent. Was ever such a strife of sullen hon-| Even to thy brother's camp. Both scorn to be obliged.
[our! Oct. All there are yours. Dol. Oh! she has touch'd him in the tenderest part.
Enter Alexas hastily. See how he reddens with despight and shame
Alex. The queen, my mistress, Sir, and To be out-done in generosity!
yours Ant. Octavia, I have heard you, and must
Ant. 'l'is past. Octavia, you shall stay this praise
night; The greatness of your soul;
To-morrow, Cæsar and we are one. But cannot yield to what you have proposed : (Exit, leading
Oct.; Dol. and the Children follox. For I can ne'er be conquer'd but by love; Vent. There's news or you; Run, my ofAnd you do all for duty. You would free me,
ficious eunuch, And would be dropp'd at Athens ; was't not Be sure to be the first; haste forward : so ?
Haste, my dear eunuch, haste. [Exeunt. Oct. It was, my lord.
Ant. Then I must be obliged,
SCENE I.-A Saloon.
Enter ANTON Y and DOLABELLA
on me ? life,
Can you not tell her you must part ? And owed it to my duty, not my love.
Ant. I cannot. Ant. Therefore you love me not.
I could pull out an eye, and bid it go, Oct. Therefore, my lord,
And t'other should not weep. O Dolabella, I should not love you.
How many deaths are in this word depart! Ant. Therefore you would leave me. I dare not trust my tongue to tell her so: Oct. And therefore I should leave you-If I One look of hers would thaw me into tears, could.
And I should melt till I were lost again.
Ant. O Dolabella! which way shall I turn ? He'll kill her with the news: thou, only thou. I find a secret yielding in my soul;
Dol. Nature has cast me in so soft a mould, But Cleopatra, who would die with me, That I should speak Must she be left? Pity pleads for Octavia, So faintly; with such fear to grieve her heart, But does it not plead more for Cleopatra ! She'd not believe it earnest.
Vent. Justice and pity both plead for Octa- Ant. Therefore ; therefore, For Cleopatra, neither.
[via ; Thou only, thou art fit: think thyself me, One would be ruin'd with you ; but she first And when thou speak’st (but let it first be Had ruin'd you; the other you have ruin'd,
long) And yet she would preserve you.
Take off the edge from every sharper sound, In every thing their merits are unequal. And let our parting be as gently made Ant. () my distracted soul !
As other loves begin. Wilt thou do this? Oct. Sweet Heaven, compose it.
Dol. What you have said, so sinks into my Come, come, my lord, if I can pardon you,
soul, Methinks you should accept it. Look on That, if I must speak, I shall speak just so. these;
[glected Ant. I leave you then to your sad task, fareAre they not yours? Or stand they thus ne
well. As they are mine? Go to him, children, go, I sent her word to meet you. Kneel to him, take him by the hand, speak to
[Goes to the door, comes back. him;
I forgot ; You, Agrippina, hang upon his arms,
Let her be told, I'll make her peace with mine: And you, Antonia, clasp about his waist : Her crown and dignity shall be preserved, If he will shake you off, if he will dash you If I have power with Cæsar-Obe sure Against the pavement, you must bear it, chil. To think on that. dren
Dol. Fear not, I will remember. For you are mine, and I was born to suffer. Ant. And tell her, too, how much I was [Children go to him, fc.
constrain'd; Vent. Was ever sight so moving! Emperor! I did not this but with extremest force. Dol, Friend!
Desire her not to hate my memory, Oct. Husband !
For I still cherish hers; -insist on that. Both Child Father!
Dol. Trust me, I'll pot forget it. Ant. I am vanquish'd : take me,
Ant. Then that's all. Octavia; take me, children; share me all.
[Goes and returns again. [Embracing. Wilt thou forgive my fondness this once more? I've been a thriftless debtor to your loves, Tell her, though we shall never meet again, And run out much in riot, from your stock; If I should hear she took another love, But all shall be amended.
The news would break my heart--Now I Oct. O bless'd hour!
must go ; Dol. O happy change!
For every time I have returned I feel Vent. My joy stops at my tongue !
My soul more tender; and my next command Ant. [To Oct.) This is thy triumph: lead me would be to bid her stay, and ruin both. where thou wilt.
[Exit. Dol. Men are but children of a larger Cleo. [To Dol.] Discoursing with my wogrowth,
men! might not I Our appetites as apt to change as theirs, Share in your entertainment ? And full as craving too, and full as vain;
Char. You have been And yet the soul, shut up in her dark room, The subject of it, Madam. Viewing so clear abroad, at home sees noth- Cleo. How! and how ! ing;
Iras. Such praises of your beauty! But, like a mole in earth, busy and blind, Cleo. Mere poetry. Works all her folly up, and casts it outward Your Roman wits, your Gallus and Tibulelus, To the world's open view: thus I discover'd, Have taught you this from Cytheris and Delia. And blamed the love of ruined Antony;
Dol. Those Roman wits bave never been in Yet wish that I were he, to be so ruin'd.
Cytheris and Delia else had been unsung : Enter VENTIDIUS above.
1, who have seen- -had I been born a poet,
Should choose a nobler name. Vent. Alone, and talking to himself! con- Cleo. You flatter me, cern'd' too!
But'tis your nation's vice; all of your country Perhaps my guess is right; he loved her once, Are flatierers, and all false. Your friend's like And may pursue it still.
you. Dol. O friendship! friendship!
I'm sure he sent you not to speak these words. Ill canst thou answer this; and reason, worse: Dol. No, Madam; yet he sent meUnfaithful in th' attempt ; bopeless to win; Cleo. Well, he sent youAnd, if I win, undone. Mere madness all. Dol. Of a less pleasing errand. And, yet th' occasion fair. What injury Cleo. How less pleasing ? To him, to wear the robe which he throws by ? Less to yourself, or me? Vent. None, none at all. This happens as I Dol. Madam, to both; wish,
For you must mourn, and I must grieve to To ruin ber yet more with Antony.
Cleo. You Charmion and your fellow, stand Enter Cleo. with ALEX. CHAR, and Iras, on
at distance. the other side,
Hold up, my spirits. [Aside.)- -Well, now
your mournful matter; Dol. She comes ! what charms have sorrow For I'm prepared, perhaps can guess it, too. on that face!
(sweetness; Dol. I wish you would; for 'tis a thankless Sorrow seems pleased to dwell with so much
Cleo. Of all your sex, Vent. If she should love him too! her I soonest would forgive you, if you should. eunuch there!
Vent. Most delicate advances! woman! That porc'pisce bodes ill weather. Draw,
woman ! draw nearer,
Dear, damn'd, inconstant sex ! Sweet devil, that I may hear.
Cleo. In the first place, Alex. Believe me ; try
I am to be forsaken ; is't not so ? [DOL. goes over to Char. and IRAS. Dol. I wish I could not answer to that ques. To make him jealous; jealousy is like
tion. A polish'd glass held to the lips when life's ia Cleo. Then pass it o'er, because it troubles doubt:
(Eg. pt. If there be breath, 'twill catch the damp and Next, I'm to lose my kingdom- -Farewell,
Cleo. I grant you jealousy's a proof of love, Yet, is there any more? But 'tis a weak and unavailing medicine; Dol. Madam, I fear Alex. "Tis your last remedy, and strongest Your too deep sense of grief, has turn'd your
too: And then this Dolabella, who so fit
Cleo. No, no, I'm not run mad; I can bear To practise on? he's handsome, valiant, young, fortune; And looks as he were laid for nature's bait, And love may be expell’d by other love, To catch weak women's eyes.
As poisons are by poisons. He stands already more than half suspected Dol. -You o'erjoy me, Madam, Of loving you: the least kind word or glance, To find your griefs so moderately borne, You give this youth, will kindle him with You've heard the worst; all are not false like love :
him. Then like a burning vessel set adrift,
Cleo. No; Heaven forbid they should.
Cleo. And constancy deserves reward, that's Cleo. Can I do this ? Ah, no; my love's so
Dol. Deserves it not; but give it leave to hope. That I can neither hide it where it is,
Vent. I'll swear thou hast my leave. I have Nor show it where it is not.
[Exit. Alex. Force yourself.
Dol. I came prepared, Th' event will be, your lover will return To tell you heavy news; news, which I thought Doubly desirous to possess the good
Would fright the blood from your pale cheeks Which once he fear'd to lose.
to hear; Cleo. I must attempt it:
But you have met it with a cheerfulness But oh! with what regret!
That makes my task more easy; and my [Exit ALEX. she comes up to DoL.
tongue, Vent. So now the scene draws near; they're Which on another's message was employ'd, in my reach.
Would gladly speak its own.
Cleo. Hold, Dolabella.
Vent. They turn upon us. First tell me, were you chosen by my lord ? Seem not to have observed them, and go on. Or sought you this employment ?
(They enter, Dol. He pick'd me out; and as his bosom. Dol. Saw you the emperor, Ventidius? friend,
Vent. No. He charged me with his words.
I sought him; but I heard that he was private. Clep. The message then
None with him, but Hipparchus bis freedman. I know was tender, and each accent smooth, Dol. Know you his business ? To mollify that rugged word Depart.
Vent. Giving him instructions, Dob Oh! you mistake; he chose the harsh- | And letters to his brother Cæsar. est words;
Dol. Well, he must be found. He coin'd his face in the severest stamp,
(Exit Dol and Cleo. And fury shook his fabric like an earthquake ; Oct. Most glorious impudence ! He heaved for vent, and burst like bellowing Vent. She look'd, methought, Ætna,
[ever ; | As she would say, take your old man, Octavia, In sounds scarce human, “ Hence, away for Thank you, I'm better here. Let her begone, the blot of my renown, Well, but what use And bane of all bopes.
Maké we of this discovery? [AU the time of this speech CLEOPATRA seems Oct. Let it die.
raore and more concerned, till she sinks Vent. I pity Dolabella; but she's dangerous: quite down.
And, Antony Let her be driven as far as men can think Must needs have some remains of passion still, From man's commerce; she'll poison to the Which may ferment into a worse relapse centre."
If now not fully cured.But see he comes Cleo. Oh, I can bear no more. [Faints. Dol. Help, help! O wretch ! cursed, cor
Enter ANTONY. sed! wretch ! What have I done!
Ant. Octavia, I was looking for you, my love: Char. Heaven be praised,
What, are your letters ready? I have given She comes again.
My last instructions. Cleo. Why have you brought me back to
Oct. Mine, my lord, are written. this loathed being,
[Drawing him aside Th' abode of falsehood, violated vows,
Ant. Ventidius! And injured love ? For pity, let me go;
Vent. My lord ? For, if there be a place of long repose,
Ant. A word in private. I'm sure I want it. Unkind, unkind.
When saw you Dolabella? Dol. Believe me 'tis against myself I speak, He parted hence, and Cleopatra with him.
Vent. Now, my lord,
(Kneeling. That sure deserves belief ; I injured bim;
Ant. Speak softly. 'Twas by my command My friend ne'er spoke those words. Oh, had
he went, you seen
To bear my last farewell. How often he came back, and every time
Vent. It look'd, indeed,
[Aloud. With something more obliging and more kind,
Like your farewell. To add to what he said ; what dear farewells,
Ant. More softly-My farewell ! How almost vanquish'd by his love he parted, What secret meaning have you in those words And lean'd to what unwillingly he left;
Of my farewell! He did it by my order. I, traitor as I was, for love of you, [false !)
Vent. Then he obey'd your order, I suppose ? (But what can you not do, who made me
Aloud. I forged that lie ; for whose forgiveness kneels You bid him do it with all gentleness, This self-accused, self-punished criminal.
All kindness and all--love. Cleo. With how much ease believe we what
Ant. How she mourn'a! we wish!
The poor forsaken creature ! Rise, Dolabella; if you have been guilty,
Vent. She took it as she ought; she bore I have contributed, and too much love
your parting Has made me guilty too.
As she did Cæsar's, as she would another's, The advance of kindness which I made, was
Were a new love to come. To call back fleeting love by jealousy;
Ant. Thou dost belie her;
[Aloud. But 'twould not last. Oh! rather let me lose, Most basely, most maliciously belie her. Than so ignobly trifle with his heart.
Vent. I thought not to displease you ; 1 have Dol. I find your breast fenced round from
done. human reach,
Oct. You seem disturb'd, my lord. Transparent as a rock of solid crystal;
(Coming up. Seen through but never pierced.
Ant. A very trifle. Cleo. Could you dot beg
Retire, my love. An hour's admittance to his private ear,
Vent. It was indeed a trifle.
Ant. No more. Look how thou disobey'st me;
Oct. Then 'tis no trifle.
Vent. (To Oct.] 'Tis less, a very nothing:
you too saw it, Vent. From whence you may discover-0, As well as I, and therefore 'tis no secret. sweet, sweet!
Ant. She saw it! Would you indeed ? the pretty hand in earnest? Vent. Yes: she saw young DolabellaDol. I will, for this reward. (Takes her hand. Ant. Young Dolabella-Draw it not back,
Vent. Young, I think him young, ”Tis all I e'er will beg.
And handsome too; and so do others think him.
But what of that? He went by your command, Have drawn her from the due regard of honIndeed 'tis probable, with some kind message ;
our, For she received it graciously: she smiled : At last, Heaven open'd her unwilling eyes And then he grew familiar with her hand, To see the wrongs she offer'd fair Octavia, Squeezed it, and worried it with ravenous Whose holy bed she lawlessly usurp'd. kisses ;
The sad effects of this unprosperous war, She blush'd, and sigh’d, and smiled, and Confirm'd those pious thoughts. blush'd again;
Vent. (Aside.] Oh, wheel you there? At last took occasion to talk softly.
Observe him now; the man begins to mend. And then she cried aloud, That constancy And talk substantial reason. Fear not, euShould be rewarded-This I saw and heard.
nuch. Ant. What woman was it, whom you beard The emperor has given thee leave to speak. and saw
Alex. Else bad I never dared ľ offeod his So playful with my friend? Not Cleopatra ?
With what the last necessity has urged Vent. Even she, my lord !
On my forsaken mistress ; yet I must not Ant. My Cleopatra ?
Presume to say her heart is wholly alter'd. Vent. Your Cleopatra;
Ant. No, dare not for thy life, I charge Dolabella's Cleopatra.
theé, dare Every man's Cleopatra.
Not pronounce that fatal word. Ant. "Tis false.
Oct. Must I bear this? Good Heaven af. I know 'tis false, and see the plot betwixt you.
ford me patience !
[Aside. Vent. What has my age deserved, that you Vent. On, sweet eunuch ; my dear half should think
man, proceed. I would abuse your ears with perjury?
Alex. Yet Dolabella If Heaven be true, she's false.
Has loved her long ; be, next my god-like Ant. Though Heaven and earth
(passion, Should witness it, I'll pot believe her tainted. Deserves her best ; and should she meet his Vent. I'll bring you then a witness
Rejected, as she is, by him she lovedFrom hell to prove her so. Nay, go not back ; Ant. Hence, from my sight, for I can bear [Seeing ALEXAs just entering, and starting
no more! back.
Let furies drag thee quick to hell! each torFor stay you must and shall.
turing hand Alex. What means my lord ?
Do thou employ, till Cleopatra comes, Vent. To make you do what most you hate ; | Then join thou too, and help to torture her. speak truih.
Oct. 'Tis not well! Alex. My noble lord.
Indeed, my lord, 'tis much unkind to me, Vent. My most illustrious pander,
To show this passion, this extreme concernNo fine set speech, no cadence, no íurn'd pe
For an abandon'd, faithless prostitute. But a plain home-spun truth, is what I ask : Ant. Octavia, leave me! I am much disI did, myself, o'erhear your queen make love Leave me, I say !
(order'd ! To Dolabella. Speak; for I will know,
Oct. My lord !
(ment ; Oct. Yes, I will go; but never to return. How near the business draws to your einploy- My lord, my lord, love will not always last, And when the happy hour.
When urged with long unkindness and disAnt. Speak truth, Alexas, whether it offend
dain. Or please Ventidins, care pot. Justify Take her again whom you prefer to me; Thy injured queen 'froin malice. Dare his She stays but to be call'd. Poor cozen'd man: worst.
Let a feigo'd parting give her back your heart, Alex. As far as love may plead for woman's Which a feign'd love first got; for injured frailty
me, Urged by desert and greatness of the lover; Though my just sense of wrongs forbid my stay, So far, divine Octavia, may my, queen
My duty shall be yours. Stand even excused to you for loving him, To the dear pledges of our former love, Who is your lord : so far from brave Venti- My tenderness and care shall be transferr’d, dius,
And they shall cheer by turns my widow'd May her past actions hope a fair report.
nights! Ant. "Tis well and truly spoken ; mark, So take my last farewell! for I despair Ventidius.
To have you whole, and scorn to take you Alex. To you, most noble emperor, her
[Exit. strong passion
Vent. I combat Heaven, which blasis my Stands not excused, but wholly justified.
best designs ! Her beauty's charms alone, without her crown, My last attempt must be to win her back; From Ind and Meroe drew the distant vows But, oh! I fear in vain.
[Erit. Of sighing kings; and at her feet were laid Ant. Why was I framed with this plain, The sceptres of the earth, exposed on heaps,
honest heart, To choose where she wonld reign;
Which knows not to disguise its griefs and She thought a Roman only could deserve her;
weakness, And, of all Romans, only Antony.
But bears its workings outward to the world? And, to be less than wife to you, disdain'd I should have kept the mighty anguish in, Their lawful passion.
And forced a smile at Cleopatra's falsehood : Ant. 'Tis but truth.
Octavia bad believed it, and had staid. Aler. And yet though love, and your un- But I am made a shallow-forded stream, match'd desert,
Seen to the bottom; all my clearness scorn'd,
And a!l my faults exposed-See where he | You whom I sent to bear my last farewell, comes
Return'd to plead her stay.
Dol. What shall I answer?
If to have loved be guilt, then I have sinn'd;
But if to have repented of that love Who has profaned the sacred name of friend,
Can wash away my crime, I have repented. And worn it into vileness !
Yet, if I have offended past forgiveness, With how secure a brow, and specious form
Let her not suffer: she is innocent. ld He gilds the secret villain ! sure that face
Ant. Thin cobweb art of falsehood, Was meant for honesty ; but Heaven mis-Seen, and broke through at first. match'd it,
Dol. Forgive your mistress. And furnish'd treason out with nature's pomp,
Cleo. Forgive your friend. To make its work more easy.
Ant. I can forgive Well, Dolabella, you perform'd my message ?
A foe; but not a mistress, and a friend : Dol. I did unwillingly.
Treason is there in its most horrid shape, Ant. Unwillingly!
Where trust is greatest. I'll hear no more; Was it so hard for you to bear our parting ?
Hence from my sight, for ever. You should have wish'd it.
Cleo. How ? for ever! Dol. Why?
I cannot go one moment from your sight, Ant. Because you love me.
And must I go for ever? And she received my message, with as trae,
My joys, my only joys are center'd here ; With as unfeign'd a sorrow, as you brought it? What place have i to go to? my own kingDol. She loves you even to madness.
dom? Ant. Oh! I know it.
That I have lost for you; or to the Romans ? You, Dolabella, do not better know
They hate me for your sake. Or must I wanHow much sbe loves me. And should I
der Forsake this beauty, this all perfect creature? The wide world o'er, a helpless, banish'd Dol. I could not, were she mine.
woman? Ant. And yet you first
Banish'd for love of you : banish'd from you ; Persuaded me. How come you alter'd since ? | Ay, there's the banishment! Oh! hear me ; Dol. I said at first I was not fit to go:
hear me, I could not hear her sighs, and see her tears,
With strictest justice ; for I beg no favour; But pity must prevail : and so, perhaps,
And if I have offended you, then kill me, It may again with you; for I have promised
But do not banish me. That she should take her last farewell: and, I have a fool within me takes your part;
Ant. I must not hear you. She comes to claim my word.
But honour stops my ears. I am not to be Enter CLEOPATRA.
moved. Cleo. Then we must part? Farewell, my
cruel lord. Ant. False Dolabella !
Th' appearance is against me; and I go, Dol. What's false, my lord ?
Unjustified, for ever from your sight. Ant. Why, Dolabella's false,
How I have loved, you know; how yet I love, And Cleopatra's false; both false and faith- My only comfort is, I know myself : less.
(serpents I love you more, even now you are unkind, Draw near, you well-join'd wickedness, you Than when you loved me most; so well, so Whom I have in my kindly bosom warm’d,
truly, Till I am stung to death.
I'll never strive against it ; but die pleased Dol. My lord, have I
To think you once were mine. Deserved to be thus used ?
Ant. Good Heaven, they weep at parting. Cleo. Can Heaven prepare A newer torment. Can it find a curse
Must I weep too? That calls them innocent. Beyond our separation ?
I must not weep; and yet I must, to think
That I must not forgiveAnt. Yes, if fate
Live; but live wretched, 'tis but just you Be just, much greater :
should, Two, two such?
Who made me so: live from each other's Oh! there's no further name, two such-to me, To me, who lock'd my soul within your breasts, Let me not hear you meet.
Set all the Had no desires, no joys, no life but you; A friend and mistress,
And all the seas, betwixt your sunder'd loves : Was what the world could give. O Cleopatra! Now, all take several ways;
View nothing common but the sun and skies : () Dolabella ! how could you betray This tender heart, wbich with an infant fond
And each your own sad fate with mine de
That you were false, and I could trust no Lay lulled betwixt your bosoms, and there Secure of injured faith?
(Exeunt severally. Dol, If she has wrong'd you, Heaven, hell, and you revenge it.
SCENE I.-The Temple.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS.
his heart, Why do I seek a proof beyond yourself? And had not power to keep it. Oh, the curse
[To Dol. Of doting on, even when I find it dotage!