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SCENE III.-The same. A Room in CÆSAR's House.
Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them; At
tendants and a Soothsayer. Ant. The world, and my great office, will sometimes Divide me from your bosom.
Octa. All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
Ant. Good night, sir.-My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report :
I have not kept my square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady:-
Octa. Good night, sir.
Cæs. Good night. [Exeunt CÆSAR and Octavia.
Ant. Now, sirrah! you do wish yourself in Egypt ?
Sooth. 'Would I had never come from thence, nor
Ant. If you can, your reason?
Sooth. I see't in
My motion, have it not in my tongue: But yet
Hie you again to Egypt.
Ant. Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's or mine?
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, - -
Where Cæsar is not; but, near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear, as being o'erpower'd; therefore
Make space enough between you.
Ant. Speak this no more.
Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 'tis noble.
Ant. Get thee gone:
Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him :-
He shall to Parthia.—Be it art, or hap,
He hath spoken true: The very dice obey him ;
And, in our sports, my better cunning faints
Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds :
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt:
And though I make this marriage for my peace,
['the east my pleasure lies:-0, come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia ; your commission's ready :
Follow me, and receive it.
Enter LEPIDUS, MECÆNAS, and AGRIPPA. Lep. Trouble yourselves no further : pray you, has
Your generals after.
Agr. Sir, Mark Antony
Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.
Lep. Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.
Mec. We shall,
As I conceive the journey, be at mount
Before you, Lepidus.
Lep. Your way is shorter,
My purposes do draw me much about ;
You'll win two days upon me.
Mec. Agr. Sir, good success !
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.
Cleo. Give me some musick; musick, moody food Of us that trade in love.
Attend. The musick, ho!
Cleo. Let it alone; let us to billiards :
Char. My arm is sore, best play with Mardian.
Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd,
As with a woman ;-Come, you'll play with me, sir?
Mar. As well as I can, madam.
Cleo. And when good will is show'd, though it come
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:-
Give me mine angle,–We'll to the river : there,
My musick playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes ; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, Ah, ha! you're caught.
Char. 'Twas merry, when
You wager'd on your angling: when your diver
Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
Cleo. That time !-0 times ! -
I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
I laugh’d him into patience : and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed ;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan. O! from Italy ;-
Enter a Messenger.
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
Mess. Madam, madam,-
Cleo. Antony's dead ?-
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress:
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss ; a hand, that kings
Have lipp’d, and trembled kissing.
Mess. First, madam, he's well.
Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah, mark;
To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold, I give thee, will I melt, and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Cleo. Well, go to, I will; But there's no goodness in thy face : If Antony Be free, and healthful,-why so tart a favour To trumpet such good tidings ? If not well, Thou should'st come like a fury crown’d with snakes, Not like a formal man.
Mess. Will’t please you hear me?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak’st:
Yet, if thou say, Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Mess. Madam, he's well. .
Cleo. Well said.
Mess. And friends with Cæsar.
Cleo. Thou’rt an honest man.
Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.
Mess. But yet, madam,-
Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does allay
The good precedence; fye upon but yet :
But yet is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Prythee, friend,