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SCENE

V.

Changes to the Palace in Alexandria.

7

GIVE

Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras and Alexas.
Cleo, IVE me some musick: mulick, moody

food
Of us that trade in love
Omnes. The musick, hoa !

Enter Mardian the Eunuch.
Cleo. Let it alone, let's to billiards : come, Cbar-

mian.
Char. My arm is fore, best play with Mardian.

Cleo. As well a woman with an Eunuch play'd,
As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me,

Sir?
Mar. As well as I can, Madam.
Cleo. And when good will is shew'd, tho't come

too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now.
Give me mine angle, we'll to th' river, there,
My musick playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd filh; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, ah, ha! you're caught.

Char. 'Twas merry, when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a falt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.

Cleo. That time!-oh times!
I laught him out of patience, and that night
I laught him into patience; and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed :

Then

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s Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilft
I wore his sword Philippan. Oh, from Italy;

Enter a Messenger.
Ram thou thy faithful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.

Mes. Madam! Madam!

Cleo. Antony's dead?
If thou say fo, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress :
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My blueft veins to kiss : a hand, that Kings
Have lipt, and trembled kissing.

Mes. First, Madam, he is well.

Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, firrah, mark, To say, the dead are well: bring it to that, The gold, I give thee, will I melt and pour Down thy ill-uttering throat.

Mef. Good Madam, hear me.

Cleo. Well, go to, I will: But there's no goodness in thy face. If Antony Be free and healthful; why fo tart a favour To trumpet such good tidings ? if not well, Thou should'st come like a fury crown'd with

snakes, Not like a formal man?

Mef. Will’t please you hear me?

Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st; Yet, if thou say Antony lives, 'tis well, Or friends with Cæfar, or not captive to him, 5 Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilf

I wore his sword Philippan.-) This is finely imagined. The speaker is supposed to do this in imitation of Omphale, in her treatment of Hercules the great ancestor of Antony.

6 Not like a formal man.] Formal, for ordinary.

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? I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.

Mes. Madam, he's well.
Cleo. Well said.
Mef. And friends with Cæfar.
Cleo. Thou’rt an honest man.
Mes. Cæfar and he, are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune fram me.
Mes. But yet, Madam

Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does allay
* The good precedence; fie upon but yet :
But yet is as a jaylor to bring forth
Some monstrous Malefactor. Pr’ychee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Cæfar,
In state of health, thou say'st; and thou say'st, free.

Mes. Free, Madam! no: I made no such report. He's bound unto Otavia.

Cleo. For what good turn?
Mes. For the best turn i'th' bed.
Cleo. I am pale, Charmian.
Mef. Madam, he's married to Oétavia.
Cleo. The most infectious peftilence upon thee !

[Strikes bim down. Mes. Good Madam, patience. Cleo. What say you ?

[Strikes bim. 7 I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail

Rich pearls upon thea.] That is, I will give thee a kingdom ; it being the eastern ceremony, at the coronation of their Kings, to powder them with gold-dus and feed-pearl: so Milton,

-the

gorgeous East with liberal band Showers on her Kings barbaric pearl and gold. In the life of Timur-bec or Tamerlane written by a Persian contemporary author, are the following words, as tranflated by Monfieur Petit de la Croix, in the account there given of his coronation, Book ii. chap. !. Les Princes du sang royal & les Emirs repandirent à pleines mains fur ju téte quantitè d'or & de pierreries selon la coûtume. 8 The good precedence ;-] Precedence, for precedent.

Hence,

Hence, horrible villain, or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:

[She bales bim up and down. Thou shalt be whipt with

wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in lingring pickle.

Mef. Gracious Madam,
I, that do bring the news, made not the match.

Cleo. Say, 'cis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud : the blow, thou had'st,
Shall make chy peace, for moving me to rage ;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.

Mes. He's married, Madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.

[Draws a dagger.
Mef. Nay, then I'll run :
What mean you, Madam? I have made no fault.[Exit.
Char. Good Madam, keep your self within your

self, The man is innocent.

Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt Melt Ægypt into Nile; and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents! call the Nave again ; Though I am mad, I will not bite him; call.

Char. He is afraid to come,

Cleo. I will not hurt him.
These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaņer than myself: since I myself
Have given myself the cause. Come hither, Sir.

Re-enter the Messenger.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: give to a gracious message
An host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.

Mes. I have done my duty.
Cleo. Is he married ?

I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If you again fay, Yes.

Mes. He's married, Madam.
Cleo. The Gods confound thee! dost thou hold

there still ?
Mes. Should I lie, Madam?

Cleo. Oh, I would, thou didit;
So half my Ægypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scald snakes! go, get thee hence,
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly: he is married?

Mes. I crave your Highness' pardon.
Cleo. He is married?
Mes. Take no offence, that I would not offend

you;
To punish me for what you make me do,
Seems much unequal: he's married to Ottavia,
Cleo. Oh, that his fault should make a knave of

thee,
(a) That say'st but what thou’rt sure of! -Get thee

hence,
The merchandises, thou haft brought from Rome,
Are all too dear for me:
Lye they upon thy hand, and be undone by 'em!

(Exit Mes:
Char. Good your Highness, patience.
Cleo. In praising Antony, I have difprais’d Cæfar.
Char. Many times, Madam.
Cleo. I am paid for it now: lead me from hence,
I faint; oh Iras, Charmian'tis no matter.
Go to the fellow, good Alexas, bid him
Report the feature of Ottavia, her years,
Her inclination, let him not leave out

The colour of her hair. Bring me word quickly,
Let him for ever go let him nót, Charmian;

((a) That say'A but what-Oxford Editor. Vulg. That art not what]

Though

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