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The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home : Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands
The empire of the sea : our slippery people
(Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
Till his deserts are past) begin to throw
Pompey the great, and all his dignities,
Upon his son ; who, high in name and power,
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
For the main soldier : whose quality, going on,
The sides o' the world may danger : Much is breeding,
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.
Eno. I shall do 't.
SCENE III. Enter CLEOPATRA, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas. Cleo. Where is he? Char.
I did not see him since.
Cleo. See where he is, who 's with him, what be
I did not send you :-If you find him sad,
Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: Quick, and return.
Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.
What should I do I do not ? Char. In each thing give him way, cross him in
nothing. Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him.
Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, forbear; In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick and sullen.
Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose.—
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest queen,
Cleo. Pray you, stand farther from me.
What 's the matter?
Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there 's some good
What says the married woman ?-You may go ;
'Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say 't is I that keep you here,
I have no power upon you; hers you are.
Ant. The gods best know,—
0, never was there queen
So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,
I saw the treasons planted.
Cleo. Why should I think you can be mine, and
Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing!
Most sweet queen,-
Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
But bid farewell, and go : when you sued staying,
Then was the time for words : No going then ;-
Eternity was in our lips and eyes ;
Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven : They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.
Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
Hear me, queen : The strong necessity of time commands Our services a while; but my full heart Remains in use with you. Our Italy Shines o'er with civil swords : Sextus Pompeius Makes his approaches to the port of Rome: Equality of two domestic powers Breeds scrupulous faction: The hated, grown to strength, Are newly grown to love: the condemn’d Pompey, Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace Into the hearts of such as have not thriy'd Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten; And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge By any desperate change: My more particular, And that which most with you should safemy going, Is Fulvia's death. Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me free.
It does from childishness :
-Can Fulvia die?
Ant. She 's dead, my queen :
Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils b she awak’d; at the last, best;
See when and where she died.
O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see,
In Fulvia's death how mine receiv'd shall be.
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice: By the fire
a Safe-render safe.
b Garboils- disorders, commotions.
Tbat quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence,
Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war
As thou affect'st,
Cut my lace, Charmian, coine;-
But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.
My precious queen, forbear;
And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.
So Fulvia told me.
I prithee, turn aside, and weep for her ;
Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt: * Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Like perfect honour.
You 'll heat my blood : no more.
Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Ant. Now, by my sword,
And target,-Still he mends;
But this is not the best : Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.
I 'll leave you, lady.
Cleo. Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part,- but that 's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd, but there's not it;
That you know well : Something it is I would,
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.
But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.
*T is sweating labour
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
* Egypt--the queen of Egypt.
Eye well to you: Your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
Sit laurel a victory, and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet !
Let us go. Come :
Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
SCENE IV.-Rome. An Apartment in Cæsar's
House. Enter Octavius CÆSAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate
One great competitor : from Alexandria
This is the news: He fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel : is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he: hardly gave audience,
Or vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: You shall
A man who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.
I must not think there are
Evils enow to darken all his goodness :
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.
Cæs. You are too indulgent: Let 's grant it is not Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
a Laurel. The use of the substantive adjectively was a pecu. liarity of the poetry of Shakspere's time, which has been revived with advantage in our own day.