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[Messenger.] Ay, dread queen.
[Cleopatra.] Where?
[Messenger.] In Rome, great queen:

I look'd her in the face, and saw her led

Between her brother and Mark Antony. [Cleopatra.] Is she so tall as I ? [Messenger.] No, not so tall.

[or low? [Cleopatra.] Didst hear her speak ? Is she shrill-tongu'd, [Messenger.] I heard her speak: I think she is low-voic'd. [Cleop.] Charmian, that 's not so well; and yet he cannot,

He cannot like her long. [Charmian.) Like her? O Isis ! It is impossible that he should like her.

[dwarfish! [Cleopatra.] I think so, Charmian ;-dull of tongue and

Now, mind me, fellow : let me know what majesty
Appears in her : first call to mind, if e'er

Thou ha’st look'd on majesty. [Charmian.) Isis defend else!

The man hath seen some majesty, and should know :

Answer the queen, what gait she hath. [Messenger.] She creeps:

Moving or stationary, is as one :
She shows a body rather than a soul;

A statue, than a breathing form.
[Cleopatra.] Is 't true ?
[Messenger.] Or I have no observance.
[Charmian.] None in Egypt,

Bright queen, have better observation
Than this man hath.



[Cleopatra.] I do perceive he's knowing.

There's nothing in her yet: but now, I pry'thee,

Guess at her years :--the fellow has good judgement. [Messenger. She was a widow [Cleopatra.] Widow! Charmian, hark.

Bearst thou her face in mind ? is 't long, or round? [Messenger.] 'Tis round to faultiness. [Cleopatra.] For the most part,

They that are so are foolish.- Now, her hair. [Messenger.] 'Tis brown: and then her forehead is as low

As she can wish it. [Cleopatra.] There's gold for thee. Thou must not take


former sharpness ill :-
I will employ thee back to Rome : I find thee
Most fit for busi’ness : go and make thee ready;
Our letters are prepar'd. [a pause.] Charmian, me

That, after all, the creature's no such thing. [thinks [Charmian.] Nothing, madam. [Cleopatra.] I've one thing more to ask him :

But 'tis no matter ; thou shalt bring him to me
At supper time: all may be well enough:
Now will I go and write: assist me, Charmian.



HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. At the ba of Actium, which was fought in the 721st year of the City, Antony, seeing from his own galley the flight of Cleopatra's, put off in a smaller vessel and followed her, perhaps with the inten


tion of bringing her back; but being received on board her galley, he became, from that moment, a lost man. His army, that lined the shore, expected his return in vain. He proceeded with the queen to Alexandria, and only in fits of despair recovered his former energy. During the winter, he and Cleopatra gave themselves up to dissipation, profusion, and continual riot; making at the same time provision to end their lives so soon as the expected extremity should come. His popular manners and generosity were now exhibited in excess ; and were remembered with poignant self-condemnation by those whose prudence led them to forsake his fortunes. A period soon came to these splendid but miserable days. Octavius, who had intended to winter at Samos, but had been compelled for a short time to return to Italy, nevertheless opened the campaign early in the next year, and pressed upon Antony, till, notwithstanding some successes won by his despair, another disastrous battle at sea brought Antony to the last event of his life. His death, and that of Cleopatra, took place thirty years before the Christian era; and thenceforward Octavius, soon after styled Augustus, was undisputed master of the Roman world.

We have to imagine ourselves present to part of a conversation between Octarius Cæsar, Mecænas, and Agrippa in Cæsar's house at Rome. Cæsar is speaking : [Octavius.] Contemning Rome, he ha's done all this, and In Alexandria, in the market-place,

Himself and Cleopatra thron'd, their chairs
Of gold, and their tribunal silver'd,
Sat i' the public eye : herself appear'd
In the habiliments of the goddess Isis,
In which, as ’tis reported, she had oft
Before given audience : rais’d, though at their feet,
Cæsarion, whom they call my
And all their own unlawful issue, sat.

her there the establishment of Egypt;
Made her of Syria, Cyprus, and of Libya,
The absolute queen; and then proclaim'd their sons,

Assigning rule to each, the kings of kings. (Mecænas.] Let Rome be thus inform'd. LOctavius.] The people know it all, and have receiv'd

His accusations. [Mecænas.] Whom does he accuse ?

father's son,

[Octurius.] Cæsar : because that, having spoil'd in Sicily

Sextus Pompeius, I did not apportion
To him his part o' the isle ; then that I have not
Restor'd some shipping lent me; last, that Lepidus
Has been depos'd; and that I do detain

All his revenue.
[Mecænas.] Sir, this should be answer'd.
[Octavius.] 'Tis done already; messengers are gone

To justify; to claim, on my part, much
For what he claims of me.- Forbear our talk;
The multitude that yonder throng the porch
Are moved by sudden wonder. Who is this,
That draws all eyes, and silences each tongue ?

My sister?
[Octavia.] Hail, O noble Cæsar-hail,

My lord and most dear brother ! (Octavius.] My Octavia !

That ever I should call thee, cast-away! [Octavia.] You have not call’d me so, nor have you cause. [Octarius.] Why have

you stolen upon us thus? You come Like Cæsar's sister: the wife of Antony

Should have an army for her usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way
Should have borne men; and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not; nay, the dust
Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
Rais’d by your popu’lous troops : but you are come
A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented
The outward shows of love: we should have met you
By sea and land, supplying every stage

With an augmented greeting. [Octavia.] Good, my lord,

To come thus was I not constrain'd, but did it
Out of my own free will. My lord, Mark Antony,
Hearing that you prepar'd for war, acquainted

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My grieved ear withal. O Jove of power!
Make me, most weak, most weak, your reconciler.
A war betwixt you twain would be as if
The world should cleave, and men be slain to fill
And solder up the rift. This to prevent,

I begg'd my lord's permission thus to come. [Octavius.] Which soon he granted; for he found you stood

An obstacle between his lusts and him. [Octavia.] Do not say so, my lord. [Octavius.] I ha've eyes upon him;

And his affairs come to me on the wind.
[Octavia.] O my good lord, I pray, believe not all;

Or, if you must believe, yet do not take
Offence for all. A more unhappy lady,
If this division chance, ne'er stood to pray
The gods for blessings. When I've pray'd for you,
O bless

my brother,” I must needs undo
The prayer I made by crying " Bless my husband.”

No midway lies at all 'twixt these extremes.
[Octavius.] Where is he now, Octavia ?
[Octavia.] My lord, in Athens.
[Octavius.] No, my most injur'd sister. Cleopatra

Hath nodded him to her. He ha'th given his empire
Up to a harlot: both of them are levying
The kings o' the earth for war. Here is a list,
A larger list of sceptres than have dar'd

To threaten us before.
[Octavia.] Ah me, most wretched,

To have my heart parted between two friends

That do afflict each other. [Octavius.] Welcome hither!

Your letters have withheld our instant action,
Till we might know how you would shape your course,
Or others shape it for you. Cheer your heart :
Be not you troubled with the time, which drives


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