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I did not send you—[To Iras.]—If you find him sad,
Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: quick, and return.

[Exit Alexas.
Char. Madam, methinks if you did * love him
dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

Cleo. What should I do, I do not?

Char. In each thing give him way—cross him in

nothing. Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose

him. Char. Tempt him not so too" far: I wish, forbear; In time we hate that which we often fear.

Enter Antony.

But here comes Antony.

Cleo. I am sick, and sullen.

Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose—

Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; It cannot be thus long—the sides of nature Will not sustain it.

Ant. Now, my dearest queen,—»

Cleo. Pray you, stand farther from me.

Ant. What's the matter?

Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news: What says the marry'd woman? You may go; 'Would, she had never giv'n you leave to come! Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here; I have no power upon you; her's you are.

Ant. The gods best know,

Cleo. O, never was there queen
So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,
I saw the treasons planted.

Ant. Cleopatra,

Cleo. Why should I think you can be mine, and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows Which break themselves in swearing!

Ant. Most sweet queen,

Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going; But bid farewell, and go: when you su'd staying, Then was the time for words: No going then; Eternity was in our lips, and eyes; Bliss in our brows bent; none our parts so poor, But was a race of heaven. They are so still; Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world, Artturn'd the greatest liar.

Ant. How now, lady?

Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know, There were a heart in Egypt.

Ant. Hear me, queen: The strong necessity of time commands Our services awhile; but my full heart Remains in use with you. Our Italy Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius Makes his approaches to the port of Rome: Equality of two domestic powers Breeds scrupulous faction: The hated, grown to

strength, Are newly grown to love: the condemned Pompey, Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten; And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge By any desperate change; My more particular, And that which most with you should safe my

going, Is Fulvia's death. Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness: Can Fulvia die ?

Ant. She's dead, my queen:
Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils she awak'd; at the last, best:
See, when, and where she dy'd.

Cleo. O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
In Fulvia's death, how mine shall be receiv'd.

Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advices: By the fire
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
As thou affect'st.

Cleo. Cut my lace, Charmian, come;—
But let it be; I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.

Ant. My precious queen, forbear;
And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.

Cleo. So Fulvia told me.
I prythee turn aside, and weep for her;
Then bid adieu to me, and say, the tears
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling , and let it look
Like perfect honour.

Ant. You'll heat my blood; no more.

Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.

Ant. Now, by my sword,—

Cleo. And target,—still he mends; But this is not the best.—Look, pr'ythee, Charmian, How this Herculean Roman does become The carriage of his chafe.

Ant. I'll leave you, lady.

Cleo. Courteous lord, one word.

Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd,—but there's not it;
That you know well: Something it is I would,—
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all-forgotten.

Ant. But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.

Cleo. Tis sweating labour,
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
Eye well to you: Your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpity'd folly,
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel'd victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!

Ant. Let us go. Come;
Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Away. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Rome.
A Room in Caesar's House.

Enter Octavius Caesar, Lepidus, and their Trains.

Oct. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate One great competitor: From Alexandria

This is the news—He fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel: is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he: hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: You shall find

there
A man, who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.

Lep. I must not think there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness:
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
Than what he chuses.

Oct. You are too indulgent: Let us grant, it is not
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit
And keep the turn of tipling with a slave;
To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
With knaves that smell of sweat: say, this becomes

him; (As his composure must be rare indeed, Whom these things cannot blemish) yet must Antony No way excuse his foils, when we do bear So great weight in his lightness: If he fill'd His vacancy with his voluptuousness, Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones Call on him for't: but, to confound such time,— That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud As his own state and ours,—'tis to be chid As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge, Pawn their experience to their present pleasure, Aiidso rebel to judgment.

Enter a Messenger. J,ep. Here's more news.

Mess. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,

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