Page images
[blocks in formation]

That rids our dogs of languish?

Do not abuse my master's bounty, by
The undoing of yourself: let the world see
His nobleness well acted, which your death
Will never let come forth.

Where art thou, death?
Come hither, come! come, come, and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars!


O temperance, lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir;
If idle talk will once be necessary,

I'll not sicep neither: This mortal house I'll ruin,
Do Cæsar what he can. Know, sir, that I
Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court;
Nor once be chastis'd with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And show me to the shouting varletry9

Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave to me! rather on Nilus' mud
Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring! rather make
My country's high pyramides my gibbet,
And hang me up in chains!

You do extend

[blocks in formation]

Assuredly, you know me.
Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
You laugh, when boys, or women, tell their dreams,
Is't not your trick?

I understand not, madain.

[blocks in formation]

Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
Cleo. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,

Cleo. I dream'd, there was an emperor An- I am possess'd of: 'tis exactly valued:


O, such another sleep, that I might see

But such another man!
If it might please you,-
Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein


A sun, and moon; which kept their course, and
The little O, the earth.


Most sovereign creature,-
Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
Crested the world: his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quail' and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas,
That grew the more by reaping: His delights
Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
The element they liv'd in: In his livery
Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands


As plates2 dropp'd from his pocket.



Cleo. Think you, there was, or might be, such

a man

As this I dream'd of?


Gentle madam, no.

Cleo. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.

But, if there be, or ever were one such,

No petty things admitted.-Where's Seleucus?
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.
Sel. Madam,

I had rather seel my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.
What have I kept back?
Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made

Cæs. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra ; I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.
See, Cæsar! O, behold,
How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours:
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild :-O slave, 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!
Good queen, let us entreat you.
Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this;
That thou, vouchsating here to visit me,
Doing the honor of thy lordliness

To one so meek, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of

It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuff Addition of his en disgraces by

To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy
Condemning shadows quite.

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.

[blocks in formation]

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,
For Livia, and Octavia, to induce
Some nobler token I have kept apart
Their mediation; must I be unfolded
With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
Beneath the fall I have. Pr'ythee, go hence;

Shape or form.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
Through the ashes of my chance.-Wert thou a

Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

Forbear, Seleucus. [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 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 cheer'd;
Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear

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!
Not so: Adieu.
[Exeunt CESAR 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.
Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.

[blocks in formation]

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 enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapor.
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 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!

Cleo. Nay, that is certain. Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes.


Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.-Now, Charmian ?-

Show me, my women, like a queen-Go fetch
My best attires;-I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony:-Sirrah, Iras, go.-
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch indeed:
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee


[blocks in formation]

That will not be denied your highness' presence; He brings you figs.

Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument [Exit Guard. May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty. My resolution's placed, ard I have nothing Of woman in me: Now from head to foot I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, unth a Clown bringing a Basket. This is the man.


Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [Exit Guard. 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. Remember'st 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 lic; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the biting of it, what pains 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 worm's an odd worm

Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell.

Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm.

Cleo. Farewell. [Clown sets down the Basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

[blocks in formation]

Re-enter IRAS, with a Robe, Crown, &c.
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.-Šo,-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. Post 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 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, Which is my heaven to have. Come, mortal wretch, [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 despatch. O, couldst thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass Unpolicied!3

Char. Cleo.

O eastern star!

Act according to his nature. Unpolitic, to leave me to myself.

Peace, peace!

2 Make haste.

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- Falls on a Bed, and dies.
Char. In this wild 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.

Enter the Guard, rushing in.

1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char. Speak softly, wake her not. 1 Guard. Cæsar hath sentChar. Too slow a messenger. [Applies the Asp. O, come; apace, despatch: I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's beguild.

2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;call him.

1 Guard. What work is here?-Charmian, is

this well done?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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 grace1 Dol.

Here, on her breast, There is a vent of blood, and something blown: The like is on her arm.

1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these fig. leaves

Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves Upon the caves of Nile.


Most probable,
That so she died; for her physician tells me,
She hath pursued 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 clips 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, sce
High order in this great solemnity.

Graceful appearance.

[Exeunt. Enfold.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-Britain. The Garden behind Cymbe- Against the Romans, with Cassibelan:

line's Palace.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gent. You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods!

No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers;
Still seem, as does the king's.
2 Gent.

But what's the matter? 1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his 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 wedded;
Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd: all
Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king
Be touch'd at very heart.

2 Gent.

None but the king?

1 Gent. He, that hath lost her, too: so is the queen, 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.

[blocks in formation]

But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
He serv'd with glory and admir'd success:
So gain'd the sur-addition. Leonatus:
And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who, in the wars o' the time,
Diedwith their swords in hand; for which their father
(Then old and fond of issue) took such sorrow,
That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas'd
As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
To his protection; calls him Posthumus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber:
Puts him to all the learnings that his time
Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as 'twas minister'd; and
In his spring became a harvest: Liv'd in court
(Which rare it is to do) most prais'd, most lov'd=
A sample to the youngest; to the more mature,
A glass that feated them; and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards: to his mistress,
For whom he now is banish'd,-her own price
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue
By her election may be truly read,
What kind of man he is.

I honor him

2 Gent. Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king? 1 Gent. His only child. He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing, Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old, I' the swathing clothes the other, from their

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Ente. the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN. Queen. No, be assured, you shall not find me, daughter,

After the slander of most step-mothers,
Evil-eyed unto you: you are my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthúmus,
So soon as I can win the offended king,

I will be known your advocate mariy, 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.


I will from hence to-day. Queen.

Please your highness,

You know the peril :I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying The pangs of barr'd affections; though the king Hath charged you should not speak together. [Exit QUEEN.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

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!-Remain thou here Putting on the Ring. While sense can keep it on! And sweetest, fairest, As I my poor self did exchange for you, To you so intinite 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. Imo. O, the gods! When shall we see again?

[blocks in formation]

And bless the good remainders of the court!
I am gone.

The gods protect you!

There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.

O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth; thou heapest
A year's age on me!
I beseech you, sir,

Harm not yourself with your vexation; I
Am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rares
Subdues all pangs, all fears.
Past grace? obedience?
Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past



Cym. That might'st have had the sole son of my


Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle, And did avoid a puttock.9

Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne A seat for baseness. Imo.

No; I rather added

A lustre to it.

O thou vile one!


It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:
You bred him as my playfellow; and he is
A man, worth any woman; overbuys me
Almost the sum he pays.


What!-art thou mad?

Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me!-'Would
I were

A neat-herd's daughter! and my Leonatus
Our neighbor shepherd's son!


Re-enter QUEEN.

Thou foolish thing!-
They were again together: you have done
To the QUEEN.

Not after our command. Away with her,
And pen her up.


'Beseech your patience:-Peace, Dear lady daughter, peace:-Sweet sovereign, Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some


[blocks in formation]

To draw upon an exile!-O brave sir!

I would they were in Afric both together;

Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
The goer back.-Why came you from your master?
Pis. On his command: He would not suffer me
To bring him to the haven: left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to,
When it pleas'd you to employ me.
Your faithful servant; I dare lay mine honor,
This hath been
He will remain so.


I humbly thank your highness, Queen. Pray, walk a while. Imo.

About some half hour hence, I pray you speak with me: you shall, at least, Go see my lord aboard: for this time, leave me. [Exeunt.

SCENE III-A public Place.

Enter CLOTEN and two Lords.

1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: Where air comes out, air comes in: there's none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »