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Char. Wrinkles forbid !
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.
Sooth. You've seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then belike my children shall have no names :prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have ?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile(6) every wish, a million.
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
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 bedrunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.—Prithee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
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.
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-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded : therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Alex. 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?
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
Eno. Madam ?
Enter Antony with a Messenger and Attendants.
Well, what worst?
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.—On:-
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,—
0, my lord !
Let him appear. -
Enter another Messenger.
What are you?
Where died she?
[Gives a letter. Ant.
Forbear me. [Exit Sec. Mess. 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.
Re-enter ENOBARBUS. (11)
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, (12) let women die : it were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed 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.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. Would I had never seen her!
Eno. 0, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you
indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation ; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat :-and, indeed, the tears live in an onion (13) that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
SCENE III. The same. Another room in the same.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, Iras, and ALEXAS.
I did not see him since.(16)