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Friends of Antony.
Friends of Cæsar.
Friends of Pompey.
on Cleopatra. A Soothsayer. A Clown.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, dispersed in several Parts of the Roman Empire.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's Palace.
Enter DEMETRIUS and Philo.
Philo. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure.
Those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glowed like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front. His captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper; And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a gypsy's lust. Look, where they come ! Flourish. Enter Antony and CLEOPATRA, with their
Trains; Eunuchs fanning her. Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transformed
strumpet's fool: behold and see. Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much. Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned. Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
Enter an Attendant.
The sum. Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony.
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; or, who knows
Ant. How, my love!
Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.Where's Fulvia's process ? Cæsar's, I would say?-Both ?Call in the messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager; else so thy cheek pays shame, When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers.
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch
But stirred by Cleopatra.-
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fie wrangling queen!
[Exeunt Ant. and Cleo., with their Train. Dem. Is Cæsar 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.
I'm full sorry,
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.
Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing 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 gar ds!
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
Show him your hand.
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. Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and proved 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; I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
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. 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.
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, fiftyfold 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 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 accordingly!
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do it.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he, the queen. .
No, lady. Cleo.
Was he not here? Char. No, madam.