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Cleo. He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him. — Enobarbus, –
Alex. Here, madam, at your service. — My lord approaches.
Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him. Go with us.
[Ereunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS,
CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and Attendants. Mess. Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?
Mess. Ay: But soon that war had end, and the time's state Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Cæsar; Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, Upon the first encounter, drave them. Ant.
Well, What worst?
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.— On;
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,
O my lord!
[Erit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.— Is there such a one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant.
Let him appear, These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Enter another Messenger. Or lose myself in dotage.—What are you?
2 Me88. Fulvia, thy wife, is dead. Ant.
Where died she? 2 Mess. In Sicyon : Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter. Ant.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal an unkindness is to them: if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly: I have seen her die
poorer moment I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of true love. We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears, they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth ; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:- and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, And get her love to part. For not alone 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 linked 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.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and ALEXAS.
I did not see him since.
Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he does.-
Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
What should I do, I do not?
Char. Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear: In time we hate that which we often fear.
I am sick and sullen.
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
Now, my dearest queen, -
What's the matter?
Ant. The gods best know,-
0, never was there queen
Cleopatra, Cleo. Why should I think you can be mine, and true, 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! Ant.
Most sweet queen, Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no color 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,
How now, lady!
Hear me, queen ;
Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness.- Can Fulvia die?
Ant. She's dead, my queen.
0, most false love!
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
Cut my lace, Charmian, come;
My precious queen, forbear;
So Fulvia told me.