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Friends to ANTONY.
Friends to CÆSAR.
Friends to POMPEY.
on CLEOPATRA. A Soothsayer. A Clown.
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
SCENE. -Dispersed; in several parts of the Roman Empire.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
SCENE I.-ALEXANDRIA. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO. Phi. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O’erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy's lust. [Flourish within.] Look where
they come: Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transformid Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see ! Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Trains; Eunuchs
fanning her. Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much. Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd. Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new
Enter an Attendant. Att. News, my good lord, from Rome. Ant.
Grates me :-the sum. Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, Do this or this;
Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that;
How, my love!
Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Excellent falsehood !
But stirr'd by Cleopatra. —
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
[Exeunt Ant. and CLEO., with their Trains.
I am full sorry That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-ALEXANDRIA. Another Room in CLEOPATRA'S
Palace. Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must charge his horns with garlands!
Alex. Soothsayer, -
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
Enter ENOBARBUS. Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
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 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,
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 be drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.–Prythee, 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.
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, fiftyfold 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 Iris, 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? Char. No, madam.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth ; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.—Enobarbus,