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It's past the size of dreaming; nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy; yet to imagine
An Antony were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.
Hear me, good madam. 100
Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
As answering to the weight: would I might never
O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
My very heart at root.
I thank you, sir.
Know you what Cæsar means to do with me?
Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you
Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,-
Though he be honourable,-
Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph?
Dol. Madam, he will; I know 't.
Make way there!-Cæsar! 110
Enter CESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECE-
NAS, SELEUCUS, and Attendants.
Caes. Which is the Queen of Egypt?
Dol. It is the emperor, madam.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild. O 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
Though they had wings: slave, soulless villain,
O rarely base!
Good queen, let us entreat you.
Cleo. O Cæsar! what a wounding shame is this,
That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honour of thy lordliness
To one so meek, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy. Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady trifles have reserv'd,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
CLEOPATRA kneels. Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
Their mediation; must I be unfolded
With one that I have bred? The gods! it
Caes. 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.
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.
We will extenuate rather than enforce :
If you apply yourself to our intents,
Which towards you are most gentle, you shall
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 130
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: 'tis
yours; and we,
Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
Caes. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,
I am possess'd of: 'tis 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.
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
Thou would'st have mercy on me.
Beneath the fall I have. To SELEUCUS. Prithee,
Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
Through the ashes of my chance. Wert thou a
Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.
Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg'd,
Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be 't yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be
Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. Exit DOLABELLA.
Now, Iras, what think'st thou ?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I; mechanic slaves
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths, 210
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapour.
The gods forbid!
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy
Will catch at us, like strumpets, and scald rimers
Ballad us out o' tune; the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels. Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I' the posture of a whore.
O the good gods! 220
Cleo. Nay, that's certain.
Iras. I'll never see't; for I am sure my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.
Cleo. Why, that's the way To fool their preparation, and to conquer Their most absurd intents.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?
Clown. Truly I have him; but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those that do die of it do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Rememberest thou any that have died on't?
Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday; a very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honesty; how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt. Truly, she makes a very good report o' the worm, but he that will believe all that they say shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is most fallible, the
Re-enter IRAS with a robe, crown, etc. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me; now no more
The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip.
Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear
Antony call; I see him rouse himself
To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men
To excuse their after wrath: husband, I come:
Now to that name my courage prove my title!
I am fire and air; my other elements
I give to baser life. So; have you done!
Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell.
Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies.
Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lie still!
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
It is not worth leave-taking.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,
The gods themselves do weep.
Cleo. This proves me base: If she first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss | To see perform'd the dreaded act which thou
Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou So sought'st to hinder.
Within. A way there!-A way for Cæsar!
Re-enter CESAR and all his Train.
Dol. O sir, you are too sure an augurer;
That you did fear is done.
To the asp, which she applies to her breast.
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie; poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch. O! could'st thou speak,
That I might hear thee call great Cæsar ass 310
O eastern star !
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
O, break! O, break! Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,
O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too.
Applying another asp to her arm.
What should I stay-
Char. In this wide world? So, fare thee well.
Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparallel'd. Downy windows, close;
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
Of eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry ;
I'll mend it, and then play.
Too slow a messenger.
Applies an asp.
O! come apace, dispatch; I partly feel thee.
First Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well;
Cæsar 's beguil'd.
Second Guard. There's Dolabella sent from
Cæsar; call him.
First Guard. What work is here! Charmian,
is this well done?
Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
O noble weakness!
If they had swallow'd poison 'twould appear
By external swelling; but she looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.
Enter the Guard, rushing in. First Guard. Where is the queen? Dol. Here, on her breast, Char. Speak softly; wake her not. There is a vent of blood, and something blown ; First Guard. Cæsar hath sentThe like is on her arm. Char.
First Guard. This is an aspic's trail; and these
Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.
Bravest at the last, She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal, Took her own way. The manner of their deaths? I do not see them bleed.
Cæsar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this; thyself art coming
Who was last with them? First Guard. A simple countryman that brought her figs :
This was his basket.
This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood and
I found her trimming up the diadem
On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropp'd.
That so she died; for her physician tells me
She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed;
And bear her women from the monument.
She shall be buried by her Antony:
No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them; and their story is
No less in pity than his glory which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
In solemn show attend this funeral,
And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity.
CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
CLOTEN, Son to the Queen by a former Husband.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, a Gentleman, Husband
to Imogen. BELARIUS, a banished Lord, disguised under the name of Morgan. GUIDERIUS, Sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names of Polydore and CadARVIRAGUS, wal, supposed Sons to Morgan. PHILARIO, Friend to Posthumus,Italians. IACHIMO, Friend to Philario,
CAIUS LUCIUS, General of the Roman Forces.
Enter two Gentlemen.
First Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns;
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the king.
But what's the matter? First Gent. His daughter, and the heir of's kingdom, whom
He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, a widow
That late he married, hath referr'd herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She's
Her husband banish'd, she imprison'd; all
Is outward sorrow, though I think the king
Be touch'd at very heart.
None but the king? First Gent. He that hath lost her too; so is the queen,
PISANIO, Servant to Posthumus.
CORNELIUS, a Physician.
A French Gentleman, Friend to Philario.
A Roman Captain.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE.-Sometimes in Britain, sometimes in Italy.
That most desir'd the match; but not a courtier,
Although they wear their faces to the bent
Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowl at.
And why so?
First Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess
is a thing
Too bad for bad report; and he that hath her,
I mean that married her, alack! good man,
Two British Captains.
Two Lords of Cymbeline's Court.
Two Gentlemen of the same.
! And therefore banish'd, is a creature such As, to seek through the regions of the earth SCENE I.-Britain. The Garden of CYMBELINE'S For one his like, there would be something fail
QUEEN, Wife to Cymbeline.
IMOGEN, Daughter to Cymbeline by a former
HELEN, a Lady attending on Imogen.
In him that should compare. I do not think
So fair an outward and such stuff within
Endows a man but he.
You speak him far.
First Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself,
Crush him together rather than unfold
His measure duly.
Second Gent. What's his name and birth! First Gent. I cannot delve him to the root: his father
First Gent. Howsoe'er 'tis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at, Yet is it true, sir. Second Gent.
I do well believe you.
First Gent. We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
The queen, and princess.
Exeunt. Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN. Queen. No, be assur'd you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you; you're my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win the offended king,
I will be known your advocate; marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him, and 'twere good
You lean'd unto his sentence with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.
Please your highness,
Post. I will from hence to-day. Queen. You know the peril : I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying 81 The pangs of barr'd affections, though the king Hath charg'd you should not speak together.
Imo. Dissembling courtesy. How fine this tyrant Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing,
Always reserv'd my holy duty, what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live,
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.
My queen my mistress! O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause To be suspected of more tenderness Than doth become a man. I will remain The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth.
My residence in Rome at one Philario's ;
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter; thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you
Though ink be made of gall.
Be brief I pray you:
If the king come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure. Aside. Yet I'll
To walk this way. I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries to be friends,
Pays dear for my offences.
Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu !
Imo. Nay, stay a little :
Were you but riding forth to air yourself
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love;
This diamond was my mother's; take it, heart,
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.
How how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death! Putting on the ring.
Remain, remain thou here
While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you; for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.
Putting a bracelet on her arm. O the gods!
When shall we see again?
Enter CYMBELINE and Lords.
Alack the king!
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid! hence from
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away!
Thou 'rt poison to my blood.
The gods protect you,
And bless the good remainders of the court!
I am gone.
Imo. There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.
Cym. O disloyal thing, That should'st repair my youth, thou heap'st A year's age on me. Imo. I beseech you, sir, Harm not yourself with your vexation; I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare Subdues all pangs, all fears.
Past grace? obedience? Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.
Cym. That might'st have had the sole son of my queen!
Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle
And did avoid a puttock.
Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have made my throne
A seat for baseness.