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I have follow'd thee to this;-but we do lance
Diseases in our bodies: I must perforce
Have shewn to thee such a declining day,
Or look on thine; we could not stall together
In the whole world: but yet let me lament,
With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
That thou, my brother, my competitor
In top of all design, my mate in empire,
Friend and companion in the front of war,
The arm of mine own body, and the heart

Where mine his thoughts did kindle,-that our stars,
Unreconcilable, should divide A

Our equalness to this.-Hear me, good friends,-
But I will tell you at some meeter season:

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SCENE II-ALEXANDRIA. A Room in the Monument.

Cleo. My desolation does begin to make
A better life. Tis paltry to be Cæsar;
Not being Fortune, he's but Fortune's knave,
A minister of her will: and it is great
To do that thing that ends all other deeds;
Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change;
Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.

Enter, to the gates of the monument, PROCULEIUS,
GALLUS, and Soldiers."

Pro. Cæsar sends greeting to the queen of Egypt;
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.

Cleo. [Within.] What's thy name?

Pro. My name is Proculeius.

Cleo. [Within] Antony

Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but

I do not greatly care to be deceived,

That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him
That majesty, to keep decorum, must

No less beg than a kingdom: if he please
To give me conquer'd Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own, as I

Will kneel to him with thanks.

Pro. Be of good cheer;

You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing: Make your full reference freely to my lord,

Who is so full of grace, that it flows over

On all that need: let me report to him
Your sweet dependancy; and you shall find
A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneel'd to

Cleo. [Within.] Pray you, tell him

I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly

Look him i' the face.

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Do not abuse my master's bounty, by

The undoing of yourself: let the world see

His nobleness well acted, which your death
Will never let come forth.

Cleo. Where art thou, death?

Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen Worth many babes and beggars!

Pro. O, temperance, lady!

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Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, Sir; If idle talk will once be necessary,

I'll not sleep neither: this mortal house I'll ruin,

Do Cæsar what he can. Know, Sir, that I

Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;

Nor once be chastised with the sober eye

Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,

And shew me to the shouting varletry

Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave to me! rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring! rather make
My country's high pyramides my gibbet, 2
And hang me up in chains!

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What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows, And he hath sent for thee: as for the queen, I'll take her to my guard.

Pro. So, Dolabella,

It shall content me best: be gentle to her.[To CLEO.] To Cæsar I will speak what you shall please, If you'll employ me to him."

Cleo. Say, I would die.

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[Exeunt PROCULEIUS and Soldiers. Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me? Cleo. I cannot tell.

Dol. Assuredly, you know me.

Cleo. No matter, Sir, what I have heard or known. You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams; Is 't not your trick?

Dol. I understand not, Madam.

Cleo. I dream'd there was an emperor Antony:-
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!

Dol. If it might please you,

Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck

A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted The little O, the earth.

Dol. Most sovereign creature,

Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
Crested the world: his voice was propertier
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,

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Dol. Gentle Madam, no.

Cleo. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
But, if there be, or ever were, one such,

It's past the size of dreaming: nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

Dol. Hear me, good Madam.

Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it

As answering to the weight: would I might never
O'ertake pursued success, but I do feel,

By the rebound of yours, a grief that shoots
My very heart at root.

Cleo. I thank you, Sir.

Know you what Cæsar means to do with me?

Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew. Cleo. Nay, pray you, Sir,

Dol. Though he be honourable,

Cleo. He'll lead me, then, in triumph?

Dol. Madam, he will;

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Cæs. Cleopatra, know

We will extenuate rather than enforce:

If you apply yourself to our intents,

(Which towards you are most gentle,) you shall find À benefit in this change; but if you seek

To lay on me a cruelty, by taking

Antony's course, you cave

Of my good purposes, and put your children t
To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave.

Cleo. And may, through all the world: 'tis yours; and we

Your scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
Cas. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued,
Not petty things admitted.-Where 's Seleucus?
Sel. Here, Madam.

Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved

To myself nothing.-Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Sel. Madam,

I had rather seal my lips than, to my peril,

Speak that which is not.

Cleo. What have I kept back?

Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made known. Cas. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve

Your wisdom in the deed.

Cleo. See, Cæsar! O, behold,

How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours;
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does

Even make me wild :-O slave, of no more trust

Than love that's hired I-What, goest thou back? thou


Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings: slave, soulless villain, dog!

O rarely base!

Cæs. Good queen, let us entreat you.

Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is his,— That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,

Doing the honour of thy lordliness

To one so meek, that mine own servant shou:
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady trifles have reserved,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal; and say
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce

Their mediation; must I be unfolded

With one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me Beneath the fall I have.-[To SEL.] Pr'ythee, go hence; Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits

Through the ashes of my chance:-wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus.


Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are mis


For things that others do; and, when we fall,

We answer others' merits in our name,—
Are therefore to be pitied.

Cæs. Cleopatra,

Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged, Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,

Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe

Caesar's no merchant, to make prize with you

Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheerd;
Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear queen,
For we intend so to dispose you, as

Yourself shall give us counsel Feed, and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; and so, adieu.

Cleo. My master, and my lord!

Cas. Not so. Adíeu. [Exeunt CESAR and his train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian. [not [Whispers CHARMIAN. Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the dark.

Cleo. Hie thee again:

I have spoke already, and it is provided;

Go, put it to the haste.

Char. Madam, I will.


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Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command, Which my love makes religion to obey,

I tell you this: Cæsar through Syria

Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before:
Make your best use of this: I have perform'd
Your pleasure and my promise.

Cleo. Dolabella,

I shall remain your debtor.
Dol. I your servant.

Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit DOL] Now, Iras,
what think'st thou?

Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shewn
In Rome, as well as I: mechanic slaves,
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapour.

Iras. The gods forbid!

Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers Ballad us out o' tune: the quick comedians Extemporally will stage us, and present

Our Alexandrian revels; Antony

Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see

Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness

I' the posture of a whore.

Iras. O, the good gods!

Cleo. Nay, that is certain.

Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nail.

Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleo. Why, that's the way

To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.-Now, Charmian?—


Shew me, my women, like a queen :-go fetah My best attires;-I am again for Cydnus,

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Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument

[Exit Guard.

May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me: now from head to foot

I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a basket. Guard. This is the man.

Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.

Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?

[Exit Guard.

Clown. Truly I have him: but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him. for his biting is immortal; those that do die of it do seldom or never


Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on 't? Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt.-truly, she makes a very good report o' the worm. But he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by half that they do: but this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm. Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell.

Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm.
Cleo. Farewell.

[Clown sets down the basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

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Re-enter IRAS, with a robe, crown, &c.
Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me: now no more
The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip:-
Yare, yare, good Iras; quick.-Methinks I hear
Antony call; I see him rouse himself

To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men

To excuse their after wrath:-Husband, I come:
Now to that name my courage prove my title!

I am fire and air; my other elements

I give to baser life.-So,-have you done?
Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian;-Iras, iong farewell.
[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies.
Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,

Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world

It is not worth leave-taking.

Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say The gods themselves do weep!

Cleo. This proves me base:

If she first meet the curled Antony,

He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss, Which is my heaven to have.-Come, mortal wretch, [To an asp, which she applies to her bimist.

Be angry, and despatch. O, couldst thou speak, That I might hear thee call great Cæsar ass Unpolicied!

Char. O eastern star!

Cleo. Peace, peace!

Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,

That sucks the nurse asleep?

Char O, break! O, break!

Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too. [Applying another asp to her arm. What should I stay[Falls on a bed, and dies. Char. In this vile world?-So, fare thee well.Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies A lass unparallel'd.-Downy windows, close; And golden Phoebus never be beheld Of eyes again so royal!-Your crown's awry; I'll mend it, and then play

Enter the Guard, rushing in.

1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char. Speak softly, wake her not. 1 Guard. Cæsar hath sentChar. Too slow a messenger.O, come apace, despatch. I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's [him.


[Applies the asp.

2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;-call 1 Guard. What work is here?-Charmian, is this well Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess [done! Descended of so many royal kings. a Ah, soldier!


Dol. How goes it here?

2 Guard. All dead.

Dol. Cæsar, thy thoughts

Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou So sought'st to hinder.

Within. A way there! way for Cæsar!

Re-enter CESAR and Attendants.

Dol. O, Sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.

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Cæs. Bravest at the last: She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal, Took her own way. The manner of their deaths? I do not see them bleed.

Dol. Who was last with them?


1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs; This was his basket.

Cas. Poison'd, then.

1 Guard. O Cæsar,

This Charminn lived but now; she stood and spake:
I found her trimming up the diadem

On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropp'd.

Cas. O noble weakness!

If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony

In her strong toil of grace.

Dol. Here, on her breast,

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There is a vent of blood, and something blown:
The like is on her arm.

1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these fig-leaves Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves Upon the caves of Nile.

Cas. Most probable


That so she died; for her physician tells me, She hath pursued conclusions infinite

Of easy ways to die.-Take up her bed; And bear her women from the monument:

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She shall be buried by her Antony:

No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them: and their story is
No less in pity than his glory which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall,
In solemn show, attend this funeral;
And then to Rome.-Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great stemnity.

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1 Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess is a thing Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her (I mean, that married her,-alack, good man!— And therefore banish'd) is a creature such As, to seek through the regions of the earth

For one his like, there would be something failing
In him that should compare. I do not think
So fair an outward, and such stuff within,
Endows a man but he.

2 Gent. You speak him far.

1 Gent. 1 do extend him, Sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold

His measure duly.

2 Gent. What's his name and birth?

1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root: his father

Was call'd Sicilius, who did join his honour,

Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;
But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
He served with glory and admired success.

So gain'd the sur-addition, Leonatus:

And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who, in the wars o' the time,

Died with their swords in hand: for which their father
(Then old and fond of issue) took such sorrow,
That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceased
As he was born. The king he takes the babe
To his protection; calls him Posthumus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber:
Puts him to all the learnings that his time
Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as 'twas minister'd; and
In his spring became a harvest: lived in court,
(Which rare it is to do,) most praised, most loved:
A sample to the youngest; to the more mature,
A glass that feated them; and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards: to his mistress,
For whom he now is banish'd,-her own price
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue
By her election may be truly read
What kind of man he is.

2 Gent. I honour him

Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king?

1 Gent. His only child.

He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing,
Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old,

I' the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stolen; and to this hour no guess in knowledge
Which way they went.

2 Gent. How long is this ago?

1 Gent. Some twenty years.

2 Gent. That a king's children should be so conveyed!

So slackly guarded! and the search so slow,

That could not trace them!

1 Gent. Howsoe'er 'tis strange,

Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,

Yet is it true, Sir.

2 Gent. I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear: here comes the gentleman,

The queen, and princess.

SCENE II.-The same.


Enter the QUEen, Posthumus, and IMOGEN.

Queen. No, be assured, you shall not find me, daughter, After the slander of most step-mothers,

Evil-eyed unto you: you are my prisoner, but
Your jailer shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint.-For you, Posthumus,

So soon as I can win the offended king,

I will be known your advocate: marry, yet

The fire of rage is in him; and 'twere good
You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

Post. Please your highness,

I will from hence to-day.

Queen. You know the peril.

I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying

The pangs of barr'd affections; though the king
Hath charged you should not speak together.


Imo. O Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant Can tickle where she wounds!-My dearest husband, I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing (Always reserved my holy duty) what His rage can do on me: you must be gone; And I shall here abide the hourly shot Of angry eyes; not comforted to live, But that there is this jewel in the world, That I may see again.

Post. My queen! my mistress!

O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man! I will remain
The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth:
My residence in Rome at one Philario's;
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter: thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send,
Though ink be made of gall.

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But he does buy my injuries, to be friends; Pavs dear for my offences.

Post. Should we be taking leave

As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow.
Imo. Nay, stay a little:


Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love;
This diamond was my mother's: take it, heart;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.

Post. How! how! another?-

You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death-Remain thou here

Myself by with a needle, that I might prick [Exit. The goer back.-Why came you from your master? Pis. On his command: he would not suffer me To bring him to the haven: left these notes

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Of what commands I should be subject to, When it pleased you to employ me.

Queen. This hath been

Your faithful servant: I dare lay mine honour, He will remain so.

Pis. I humbly thank your highness.

Queen. Pray, walk a while.

Imo. [To Pis.] About some half hour hence,

I pray you, speak with me: you shall, at least,
Go see my lord aboard: for this time, leave me. [Exeunt

SOENE III-A Public Place.

Enter CLOTEN and two Lords.

1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: where air comes out, air comes in: there's none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.

Clo. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it-Have I hurt him?

2 Lord. [Aside] No, faith; not so much as his pa. tience.

1 Lord. Hurt him! his body's a passable carcase, if he be not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.

2 Lord. [Aside.] His steel was in debt; it went o' the backside the town.

Clo. The villain would not stand me.

2 Lord [Aside] No; but he fled forward still, toward your face. 1 Lord. Stand you! You have land enough of your own but he added to your having-gave you some ground.

2 Lord. [Aside.] As many inches as you have oceans. Puppies!

Clo. I would they had not come between us.

2 Lord. [Aside] So would I, till you had measured how long a fool you were upon the ground.

Clo. And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!

2 Lord. [Aside.] If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damned.

1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together: she's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit.

2 Lord [Aside.] She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her.

Clo. Come, I'll to my chamber: would there had been some hurt done!

2 Lord. [Aside.] I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt.

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