Page images

Who is so full of grace that it flows over
On all that need : Let me report to him
Your sweet dependency: and you shall find
A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneel'd to.
Cleo. [Within.]

Pray you, tell him
I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
Look him i' the face.

This I 'll report, dear lady. Have comfort; for I know your plight is pitied Of him that caus d it. Gal. You see how easily she may be surpris'd; [Here PROCULEIUS and two of the Guard ascend

the Monument by a ladder placed against a window, and, having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the Guard unbar and

open the gates. Guard her till Cæsar come.

[ To Pro. and the Guard. Exit GALLUS.
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 ?

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.

Where art thou, Death?


Come hither, come ! come, come, and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars !

0, 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 chastis'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 unto me! rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring ! rather make
My country's high pyramidesø my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains !

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


What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows,
And he hath sent for thee : for the queen,
I 'll take her to my guard.

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. a Johnson explains this, we think correctly, "I will not eat, and, if it will be necessary now for once to waste a moment in idle talk of my purpose, I will not sleep neither."

Pyramides—the Latin plural of pyramid; used as a qua: drisyllable.

Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me?
Cleo. I cannot tell.

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 ?

I understand not, madam.
Cleo. I dreamt there was an emperor Antony ;-
0, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man !

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 0, the earth.

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 't was, 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


As plates a dropp'd from his pocket.

Cleopatra -
Cleo. Think you there was, or might be, such a man
As this I dreamt of?

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

a Plates. Pieces of silver money were called plates.

An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

Hear me, good madam;
Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
As answering to the weight: 'Would I might never
O'ertake pursued success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that shoots
My very heart at root.

I thank you, sir.
know you what Cæsar means to do with me?

Dol. I am loth to tell you what I would you knew.
Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,-

Though he be honourable,-
Cleo. He 'll lead me then in triumph ?

Madam, he will; I know it.

Within. Make way there,—Cæsar! Enter CÆSAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECÆNAS,

SELEUCUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. Which is the queen of Egypt?
Dol. 'T is the emperor, madam. (Cleopatra kneels,

Cæs. Arise, you shall not kneel :-
I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.

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

Cæs. 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.

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.


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 : 't is yours;

and we

Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord. Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels, I am possess d of: ’t is 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 seal my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.

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.

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,

« PreviousContinue »