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The music, ho!
Enter MARDIAN. Cleo. Let it alone; let's to billiards : Come, Charmian.
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't come too
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:-
Give me mine angle, -we'll to the river: there,
My music 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.
'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.
• 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. .
Enter a Messenger.
O! from Italy!-
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
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.
First, madam, he's well.
Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah, mark, we use
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.
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 shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.
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.
Madam, he's well.
Mess. And friends with Cæsar.
Thou’rt an honest man.
Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam,-
Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon but yet!
But yet is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr’ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Cæsar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Mess. Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.
For what good turn?
Mess. For the best turn i' the bed.
I am pale, Charmian.
Mess. Madam, he's married to Octavia.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down. Mess. Good madam, patience. Cleo.
What say you?-Hence,
Strikes him again. Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head :
[She hales him up and down Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine, Smarting in ling'ring pickle. Mess.
Gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match.
Cleo. Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee, And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadsten
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.
He's married, madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long. [l'raws a dagger.
Mess. Nay, then I'll run.What mean you, madam? I have made no fault. [Exit.
Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents scape not the thunderbolt.
Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures-
Turn all to serpents !-Call the slave again :
Though I am mad, I will not bite him :-call.
Char. He is afear'd to come.
I will not hurt him.
These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause.
Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger.
Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news : give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves when they be felt.
I have done my duty.
Cleo. Is he married ?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do
If thou again say Yes.
He is married, madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still !
Mess. Should I lie, madam?
O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scald snakes! Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
He is married?
Mess. Take no offence that I would not offend you :
To punish me for what you make me do
Seems much unequal: he is married to Octavia.
Cleo.. O that his fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not what thou’rt sure of !–Get thee hence:
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em!
Cleo. In praising Antony I have disprais'd Cæsar.
Char. Many times, madam.
I am paid for't now.
Lead me from hence;
I faint:40 Iras, Charmian!—'tis no matter. -
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination, let him not leave out
The colour of her hair :—bring me word quickly.
Let him for ever go :—let him not-Charmian,
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
T'other way he's a Mars.—Bid you Alexas (To MARDIAN.
Bring me word how tall she is. — Pity me, Charmian,
But do not speak to me.—Lead me to my chamber. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-Near Misenum.
Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one side, with drum
and trumpet: at the other, CÆSAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS,
ENOBARBUS, MECÆNAS, with Soldiers marching.
Pom. Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
And we shall talk before we fight.
That first we come to words; and therefore have we
Our written purposes before us sent;
Which, if thou hast consider'd, let us know
If’twill tie up thy discontented sword,
And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
That else must perish here.
To you all three,
The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods, I do not know
Wherefore my father should revengers want,
Having a son and friends; since Julius Cæsar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was't
That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire; and what
Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol, but that they would
Have one man but a man? And that is it
Hath made me rig my navy; at whose burden
The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.
Take your time.
Ant. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails;
We'll speak with thee at sea: at land thou know'st
How much we do o'er-count thee.
At land, indeed,
Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house:
But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in't as thou mayst.
Be pleas'd to tell us,-
For this is from the present, -how you take
The offers we have sent you.
There's the point.
Ant. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
What it is worth embrac'd.
And what may follow,
To try a larger fortune.
You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon,
To part with unhack'd edges, and bear back
Our targes undinted.
Cæs., Ant., and Lep. That's our offer.
I came before you here a man prepar'd
To take this offer: but Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience:—though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know,
When Cæsar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily, and did find
Her welcome friendly.
I have heard it, Pompey;
And am well studied for a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.
Let me have your hand :
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
Ant. The beds i' the east are soft; and, thanks to you,
That call’d me, timelier than my purpose, hither;
For I have gain'd by it.
Since I saw you last
There is a change upon you.
Well, I know not