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Dol.

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

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

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. Cleo.

I thank you, sir. Know

you what Cæsar means to do with me?
Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,-
Dol.

Though he be honorable,
Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph ?
Dol.

Madam, he will ; I know it.

Within. Make way there !-Cæsar !

Enter CÆSAR, Gallus, PROCULEIUS, MECENAS,

SELEUCUS, and Attendants. Cæs.

Which is the queen Of Egypt? Dol. 'Tis the emperor, madam.

[CLEOPATRA kneels. Cæs.

Arise,
You shall not kneel.
I

pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.
Cleo.

Sir, the gods

which are round, flat pieces of silver money, perhaps without any stamp or impress.

i To vie here has its metaphorical sense of to contend in rivalry.

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.
Cleo.

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 shamed our sex.
Cæs.

Cleopatra, know,
We will extenuate rather than enforce.
If

you apply yourself to our intents,
(Which towards you are most gentle,) you shall find
À 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 ; 'tis 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 possessed 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 reserved
To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Sel. Madam,
I had rather seel? my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.
Cleo.

What have I kept back ?

1 To project is to delineate, to shape, to form. 2 To seei bawks was the technical term for sewing up their eyes.

Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made

known.
Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ; 1 approve
Your wisdom in the deed.
Cleo.

See, Cæsar! O behold
How pomp is followed! Mine will now be

yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild. Oslave, of no more trust Than love that's hired !—What, goest thou back; thou

shalt Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog ! O rarely base! 1 Cæs.

Good queen, let us entreat you. Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honor 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 reserved, Immoment toys, things of such dignity As we greet modern 3 friends withal ; and say, Some nobler token I have kept apart For Livia, and Octavia, to induce Their mediation ; must I be unfolded With 4 one that I have bred? The gods! it smites me Beneath the fall I have. Pr’ythee, go hence ;

[To SELEUCUS. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance. 5-Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me. Cæs.

Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known that we, the greatest, are mis

1 i. e. base in an uncommon degree.

2 “ That this fellow should add one more parcel or item to the sum of my disgraces, namely, his own malice.3 i. e. common, ordinary. 4 With is here used with the power of by. 5 i. e. fortune.

thought
For things that others do ; and, when we fall,
We answer others' merits' in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.
Cæs.

Cleopatra,
Not what you have reserved, nor what acknowledged,
Put we i’the roll of conquest : still be it yours;
Bestow it at your pleasure ; and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheered;
Make not your thoughts your prisons :? no, dear

queen,
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; and so adieu.

Cleo. My master, and my lord !
Cæs.

Not so; adieu.

[Exeunt CÆSAR and his Train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I

should not Be noble to myself; but hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers CHARMIAN.
Irns. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.
Cleo.

Hie thee again.
I have spoke already, and it is provided ;
Go, put it to the haste.
Char.

Madam, I will.

Re-enter DOLABELLA.
Dol. Where is the queen ?
Char.

Behold, sir. [Exit CHARMIAN. Cleo.

Dolabella? Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command, Which

my

love makes religion to obey,

1 i. e. we answer for that which others have merited by their transgressions.

2 “Be not a prisoner in imagination.”

I tell you this. Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before :
Make your best use of this; I have performed
Your pleasure, and my promise.
Cleo. Dolabella,

I shall remain your debtor.
Dol.

I your servant.
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit Dol.] 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,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be unclouded,
And forced to drink their vapor.
Iras.

The gods forbid !
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o’tune; the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandria revels. Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy? my greatness
I'the posture of a whore.
Iras.

O the good gods !
Cleo. Nay, that is certain.

Iras. I'll never see it; 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.—Now, Charmian ?-

1 i. e. the lively or quick-witted comedians.

2 It has been already observed that the parts of females were played by boys on our ancient stage.

3 Absurd here means unmeet, unfitting, unreasonable.

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