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Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him. 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 prov'd 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,
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 overflowing Nilus presageth
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."
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
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, 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-wiv’d, so it is a deadly sorrow. to behold. a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly! Char. Amen.
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.
Not he, the queen.
Was he not here? Char. No, madam. Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sud
den A Roman thought hath 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 Attendants. Mes. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?
Mes. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.
Things, that are past, are done, with me.- 'Tis
To Lydia, and to Ionia; · Whilst
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,—
O, my lord!
tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's call’d in Rome: Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick winds lie still; and our ills told
us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well a-while. Mes. At your noble pleasure.
Let him appear.-
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mes. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she? 2 Mes. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [gives a letter. Ant.
[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!
· Enter 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 esteem'd 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.