« AnteriorContinuar »
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
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,
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
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.-Pry’thee, 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 heaven 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 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!
Aler. 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.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought had struck him.-Enobarbus,
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 Atten
dants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. 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 Cæ
sar; Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, Upon the first encounter, drave them.
Ant. Well, What worst?
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On: Things, that are past, are done, with me.-Tis thus;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news ? Speak there. 1st Att. The man from Sicyon.--Is there such an one? 2d Att. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear:
Enter another Messenger.
2d Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
2d Mess. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives 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.-How now ! Enobarbus !
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 tempest than almanacks can report: this