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Iras. Royal queen!
Char. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen!
Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.

[Drawing a Dagger. Pro. Hold, worthy lady, hold :

[Seizes and disarms her. Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this Reliev'd, but not betray'd.

Cleo. What, of death too,
That rids our dogs of languish ?

Pro. Cleopatra,
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!

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 chástis’d with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And show 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,

And hang me up in chains !

Pro. You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall ·
Find cause in Cæsar.

Enter DOLABELLA,
Dol. Proculeius,
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 Cæsar I will speak what you shall please,

[To CLEOPATRA. If you'll employ me to him. Cleo. Say, I would die.

[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 propertied As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas, That grew the more by reaping : His delights Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above The element they liv'd in: In his livery Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands were As plates dropp'd from his pocket.

Dol. Cleopatra,—

Cleo. Think you, there was, or might be, such a man As this I dream'd of ?

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
Oertake pursu'd 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: I know it.

Within. Make way there,-Cæsar,

Enter CÆSAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECÆNAS, SE

LEUCUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. Which is the queen
Of Egypt?
Dol. 'Tis the emperor, madam.

[Cleopatra kneels.
Cæs. Arise,
You shall not kneel :-
I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.

Cleo. Sir, the gods
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
I must obey.

Cas. Take to you no hard thoughts:
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance.

Cleo. Sole sir o'the world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear; but do confess, I have
Been laden with like frailties, which before
Have often sham'd our sex.

Cas. Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than enforce:
If you apply yourself to our intents,
(Which towards you are most gentle,) you shall find
A benefit in this change; but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty, by taking

Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes, and put your children
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 reserv’d
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Sel. Madam,
I had rather seel 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.

Cæs. 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 :-0 slave, of no more trust Than love that's hir’d !-What, goest thou back? thou

shalt Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings : Slave, soul-less villain, dog!

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