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Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the Queen,
And get her leave to part: for not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us, but the letters, too,
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
The empire of the sea: our slippery people
(Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
Till his deserts are past) begin to throw
Pompey the great, and all his dignities,
Upon his son: who, high in name and power,
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up'
For the main soldier; whose quality, going on,
The sides o? th' world may danger. Much is breeding,
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.
Eno. I shall do it. [Exeunt.
Enter Cleopatra, Charmlajst, Iras, and Alexas.
Cleo. Where is he?
Char. I did not see him since.
Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he does: I did not send you. — 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.
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 r
Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news. What says the married woman ? — You may go: Would she had never given you leave to come! Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here, I have no power upon you; hers you are.
Ant, The gods best know, —
Cleo. 0, never was there Queen
So mightily betray'd; yet at the first
Ant. Cleopatra, —
VOL. XII. B
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 sued staying, Then was the time for words; no going then: Eternity wTas 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, Art turn'd the greatest liar.
Ant. How now, lady!
Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou should'st know, There were a heart in Egypt.
Ant. Hear me, Queen.
The strong necessity of time commands
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.
Cleo. O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
Cleo. Cut my lace, Charmian, come. —
But let it be.—-I am quickly ill, and well,
Ant. My precious Queen, forbear;
And give true credence to his love, which stands
Cleo. So Fulvia told me.
I pr'ythee, turn aside, and weep for her;
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, Charmiaru
Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
Cleo. Courteous lord, one word
Sir, you and I must part,-—but that's not it:
Ant. But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
Cleo. 'Tis sweating labour
To bear such idleness so near the heart,
Ant. Let us go. Come;
Our separation so abides, and flies,
Rome. An Apartment in Cjesar's House.
Enter Octavius Caesar, Lepidus, and Attendants. Ccesar. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,