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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 unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
Sit laureld 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.
An Apartment in Cæsar's House.
Enter Octavius Cæsar, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, It is not Cæsar'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 Ptolemy More womanly than he: hardly gave audience, or Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: You shall find
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 purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.
Cas. 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 tippling 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 soils, 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,
And so rebel to judgment.
Enter a Messenger. Lep. Here's more news. Mess. Thy biddings have been done ; and every hour, Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea; And it appears, he is belov'd of those That only have fear'd Cæsar : to the ports The discontents repair, and men's reports Give him much wrong'd.
Cæs. I should have known no less :It hath been taught us from the primal state, That he, which is, was wish’d, untill he were ; And the ebb’d man, ne'er lov'd, till ne'er worth love, Comes dear’d, by being lack’d. This common body, Like a vagabond flag upon the stream, Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide, To rot itself with motion.
Mess. Cæsar, I bring thee word, Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates, Make the sea serve them ; which they ear and wound With keels of every kind: Many hot inroads
They make in Italy; the borders maritime
Lack blood to think on't, and Aush youth revolt:
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
Taken as seen ; for Pompey's naine strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.
Leave thy lascivious wassals. When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer : Thou didst drink
The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle
Which beasts would cough at : thy palate then did
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
Which some did die to look on: And all this
(It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now,)
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
So much as lank'd not.
Lep. It is pity of him.
Cas. Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome: 'Tis time we twain
Did shew ourselves i' the field; and, to that end,
Assemble we immediate council : Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.
Lep. To-morrow, Cæsar,
I shall be furnish’d to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able,
To 'front this present time.
Cæs. Till which encounter, It is my business too. Farewell. Lep. Farewell, my lord : What you shall know mean
time Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir, Tò let me be partaker.
Cas. Doubt not, sir ; I knew it for my bond.
Enter CleOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and Mardian.
Cleo. Ha, ha —
Give me to drink mandragora.
Char. Why, madam ?
Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time, My Antony is away.
Char. You think of him
Cleo. O, treason !
Char. Madam, I trust, not so.
Cleo. Thou, eunuch ! Mardian !
Mar. What's your highness' pleasure ?
Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing ; I take no pleasure
In aught an eunuch has : 'Tis well for thee,
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections ?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.