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A foe, but not a mistress and a friend: Treason is there in its most horrid shape, Where trust is greatest; and the soul resigned

Is stabbed by its own guards. I'll hear no more: Hence from my sight for ever!

Cleo. How? for ever!

I cannot go one moment from your sight,
And must I go for ever?

My joys, my only joys, are centred here:
What place have I to go to? my own kingdom?
That I have lost for you; or to the Romans?
They hate me for your sake: or must I wander
The wide world o'er, a helpless banished woman,
Banished for love of you, banished from you;
Ay, there's the banishment! Oh, hear me, hear


With strictest justice, for I beg no favour,
And, if I have offended you, then kill me,
But do not banish me!

Ant. I must not hear you;

I have a fool within me takes your part,
But honour stops my ears.

Cleo. For pity hear me !

Would you cast off a slave, who followed you, Who crouched beneath your spurn? He has no pity!

See, if he gives one tear to my departure,

One look, one kind farewell: oh, iron heart!
Let all the gods look down and judge betwixt us,
If he did ever love!

Ant. No more. Alexas!

Dol. A perjured villain!

Ant. to Cleo. Your Alexas! yours!

Cleo. Oh, 'twas his plot; his ruinous design To engage you in my love by jealousy.

Hear him; confront him with me; let him speak. Ant. I have, I have.

Cleo. And if he clear me not

Ant. Your creature! one, who hangs upon

your smiles,

Watches your eye, to say or unsay

Whate'er you please. I am not to be moved. Cleo. Then must we part? farewell, my cruel lord!


appearance is against me; and I go,
Unjustified, for ever from your sight.
How I have loved, you know; how yet I love,
My only comfort is, I know, myself:

I love you more, even now you are unkind,
Than when you loved me most; so well, so truly,
I'll never strive against, but die pleased
To think you once were mine.

Ant. Good Heaven! they weep at parting.
Must I weep too? that calls them innocent.
I must not weep; and yet I must, to think,
That I must not forgive-

Live, but live wretched; 'tis but just you should,
Who made me so: live from each other's sight;
Let me not hear you meet. Set all the earth
And all the seas betwixt your sundered loyes;
View nothing common but the sun and skies.
Now all take several ways,

And each your own sad fate with mine deplore, That you were false, and I could trust no more. [Exeunt severally.


SCENE I-The Temple.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS. Char. Be just, heaven! such virtue, punished thus,

Will make us think, that chance rules all above, And shuffles, with a random hand, the lots, Which man is forced to draw.

Cleo. I could tear out these eyes, that gained his heart,

And had not power to keep it. Oh, the curse
Of doating on, even when I find it dotage!
Bear witness, gods! you heard him bid me go;
You, whom he mocked, with imprecating vows,
Of promised faith--I'll die, I will not bear it.
You may hold me-

[She pulls out her dagger, and they hold her. But I can keep my breath; I can die inward, And choke this love.


Iras Help, oh, Alexas, help!

The queen grows desperate, her soul struggles in her,

With all the agonies of love and rage,
And strives to force its passage.

Cleo. Let me go.

Art thou there, traitor !-Oh,

Oh for a little breath to vent my rage!
Give, give me way, and let me loose upon him.
Alex. Yes, I deserve it for my ill timed truth.
Was it for me to prop

The ruins of a falling majesty,

To place myself beneath the mighty flaw,
Thus to be crushed and pounded into atoms,
By its o'erwhelming weight? "Tis too presuming
For subjects to preserve that wilful power,
Which courts its own destruction.

Cleo. I would reason

More calmly with you. Did you not o'errule
And force my plain, direct, and open love
Into these crooked paths of jealousy?
Now what's the event? Octavia is removed,
But Cleopatra banished. Thou, thou villain,
Hast pushed my boat to open sea, to prove,
At my sad cost, if thou canst steer it back.
It cannot be; I am lost too far; I am ruined:
Hence! thou impostor, traitor, monster, devil-
I can no more: thou and my griefs have sunk
Me down so low, that I want voice to curse thee.
Aler. Suppose some ship-wrecked seaman near
the shore,

Dropping and faint with climbing up the cliff,
If, from above, some charitable hand
Pull him to safety, hazarding himself
To draw the other's weight, would he look back
And curse him for his pains? The case is yours;
But one step more, and you have gained the

Cleo. Sunk, never more to rise.

Aler. Octavia's gone, and Dolabella banished. Believe me, madam, Antony is yours: His heart was never lost, but started off To jealousy, love's last retreat, and covert, Where it lies hid in shades, watchful in silence, And listening for the sound, that calls it back. Some other, any man, 'tis so advanced, May perfect this unfinished work, which I (Unhappy only to myself) have left So easy to his hand.

Cleo. Look well thou dost, else—————— Aler. Else what your silence threatens-Antony

Is mounted up the Pharos, from whose turret He stands surveying our Egyptian gallies Engaged with Cæsar's fleet: now death or conquest!

If the first happen, fate acquits my promise; If we o'ercome, the conqueror is yours. [A distant shout within.

Char. Have comfort, madam: did you mark that shout? [Second shout nearer. Iras. Hark! they redouble it.

Aler. Tis from the port;

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Ser. No; They fought not.

Cleo. Then they fled.

Ser. Nor that: I saw,

With Antony, your well-appointed fleet
Row out, and thrice he waved his hand on high,
And thrice, with cheerful cries, they shouted back:
'Twas then false Fortune, like a fawning strumpet,
About to leave the bankrupt prodigal,
With a dissembled smile would kiss at parting,
And flatter to the last : the well-timed oars
Now dipped from every bark, now smoothly run
To meet the foe; and soon indeed they met,
But not as foes. In few, we saw their caps
On either side thrown up: the Egyptian gallies,
Received like friends, past through, and fell be-


The Roman rear; and now they all come forward, And ride within the port.

Cleo. Enough, Serapion;

I have heard my doom. This needed not, you gods!

When I lost Antony, your work was done. 'Tis but superfluous malice. Where's my lord? How bears he this last blow?

Ser. His fury cannot be expressed by words: Thrice he attempted headlong to have fallen Full on his foes, and aimed at Cæsar's galley: Withheld, he raves on you, cries he's betrayed. Should he now find you

Alex. Shun him, seek your safety, Till you can clear your innocence. Cleo. I'll stay.

Alex. You must not; haste you to the monu-

While I make speed to Cæsar.
Cleo. Cæsar! no;

The loudness shows it near. Good news, kind I have no business with him.


Cleo. Osiris make it so!


Ser. Where, where's the queen?

Aler. How frightfully the holy coward stares! As if not yet recovered of the assault, When all his gods, and what's more dear to him, His offerings, were at stake.

Ser. Oh, horror, horror!

Egypt has been; the latest hour is come.
The queen of nations from her ancient seat
Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss:
Time has unrolled her glories to the last,
And now closed up the volume.

Alex, I can work him

To spare your life, and let this madman perish. Cleo. Base fawning wretch! wouldst thou betray him too?

Hence from my sight! I will not hear a traitor :
'Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us.
Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me:
But haste, each moment's precious.

Ser. Retire; you must not see Antony.
He, who began this mischief,

'Tis just he tempt the danger: let him clear you;
And since he offered you his servile tongue
To gain a poor precarious life from Cæsar,
Let him expose that fawning eloquence,
And speak to Antony.

Alex. Oh heavens! I dare not:

I meet my certain death.

Cleo. Slave, thou deservest it.

Not that I fear my lord will I avoid him;
I know him noble: when he banished me,
And thought me false, he scorned to take my life:
But I'll be justified, and then die with him.

Alex. Oh! pity me, and let me follow you! Cleo. To death, if thou stir hence. Speak, if thou canst,

Now for thy life, which basely thou wouldst save, While mine I prize at this. Come, good Serapion. [Exeunt Cleo. Ser. Char, and Iras. Alex. Oh, that I less could fear to lose this being,

Which, like a snow-ball in my coward hand,
The more 'tis grasped the faster melts away.
Poor reason! what a wretched aid art thou!
For still, in spite of thee,

These two long lovers, soul and body, dread
Their final separation. Let me think;
What can I say to save myself from death?
No matter what becomes of Cleopatra.
Ant. Which way? where?

[Within. [Within.

Vent. This leads to the monument.
Aler. Ah me! I hear him: yet I'm unprepared:
My gift of lying's gone;

And this court-devil, which I so oft have raised,
Forsakes me at my need. I dare not stay,
Yet cannot go far hence.


Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS. Ant. Oh, happy Cæsar! thou hast men to lead. Think not 'tis thou hast conquered Antony, But Rome has conquered Egypt. I'm betrayed. Vent. Curse on this treacherous train!

Their soil and heaven infect them all with base


And their young souls come tainted to the world, With the first breath they draw.

Ant. The original villain sure no god created; He was a bastard of the Sun by Nile; Aped into man with all his mother's mud Crusted about his soul.

Vent. The nation is

One universal traitor, and their queen
The very spirit and extract of them all.
Ant. Is there yet left

A possibility of aid and valour?

Is there one god unsworn to my destruction,
The least unmortgaged hope? for, if there be,
Methinks I cannot fall beneath the fate
Of such a boy as Cæsar.

The world's one half is yet in Antony,
And from each limb of it, that's hew'd away,
The soul comes back to me.

Vent. There yet remain

Three legions in the town; the last assault
Lopt off the rest. If death be your design,
As I must wish it now, these are sufficient
To make a heap about us of dead foes,
An honest pile for burial.

Ant. They're enough.

We'll not divide our stars, but side by side
Fight emulous, and with malicious eyes
Survey each other's acts: so every death
Thou givest, I'll take on me as a just debt,
And pay
thee back a soul.

Vent. Now you shall see I love you. Not a word

Of chiding more. By my few hours of life,
I am so pleased with this brave Roman fate,
That I would not be Cæsar to outlive you!
When we put off this flesh, and mount together,
I shall be shewn to all the ethereal crowd,
'Lo! this is he, who died with Antony!

Ant. Who knows but we may pierce through
all their troops,

And reach my veterans yet? "Tis worth the tempting

To o'erleap this gulf of fate,

And leave our wandering destinies behind.
Enter ALEXAS, trembling.

Vent. See, see that villain!
See Cleopatra stamped upon that face,
With all her cunning, all her arts of falsehood!
How she looks out through those dissembling


How he has set his countenance for deceit,
And promises a lie before he speaks!
Let me dispatch him first.


Aler. Oh, spare me, spare me! Ant. Hold; he's not worth your killing. On thy life, (Which thou mayest keep, because I scorn to take it)

No syllable to justify thy queen;
Save thy base tongue its office.

Alex. Sir, she's gone

Where she shall never be molested more,
By love or you.

Ant Fled to her Dolabella!
Die, traitor! I revoke my promise; die!
[Going to kill him.
Alex. Oh, hold; she is not Яed.
Ant. She is; my eyes

Are open to her falsehood. My whole life
Has been a golden dream of love and friendship;
But now I wake, I'm like a merchant roused
From soft repose, to see his vessel sinking
And all his wealth cast o'er. Ungrateful woman!
Who followed me but as the swallow summer,
Hatching her young ones in my kindly beams,
Singing her flatteries to my morning wake;
But now my winter comes, she spreads her wings,
And seeks the spring of Cæsar.

Alex. Think not so;

Her fortunes have in all things mixed with yours: Had she betrayed her naval force to Rome, How easily might she have gone to Cæsar; Secure by such a bribe?

Vent. She sent it first, To be more welcome after.

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Aler. She snatched her poniard,
And, ere we could prevent the fatal blow,
Plunged it within her breast; then turned to me;
Go, bear my lord,' said she, 'my last farewell,
And ask him if he yet suspect my faith.'
More she was saying, but death rushed betwixt.
She half pronounced your name with her last

And buried half within her.

Vent. Heaven be praised!

Ant. Why, let him enter:
He's welcome now.

Vent. What lethargy has crept into your soul?
Ant. 'Tis but a scorn of life, and just desire
To free myself from bondage.
Vent. Do it bravely.

Ant. I will, but not by fighting. Oh, Venti-

What should I fight for now? my queen is dead:
I was but great for her: my power, my empire,
Were but my merchandise to buy her love,
And conquered kings my factors. Now she's

Let Cæsar take the world

An empty circle, since the jewel's gone,

Which made it worth my strife: my being's nau


For all the bribes of life are gone away.

Vent. Would you be taken?
Ant. Yes, I would be taken;

But as a Roman ought; dead, my Ventidius-
For I'll convey my soul from Cæsar's reach,
And lay down life myself. 'Tis time the world

Ant. Then art thou innocent, my poor dear Should have a lord, and know, whom to obey. love!

And art thou dead?

We two have kept its homage in suspense,
And bent the globe, on whose each side we trod,

Oh, those two words! their sound should be di- Till it was dinted inwards. Let him walk


Hadst thou been false and died, or hadst thou

And hadst been true-But innocence and death!
This shows not well above. Then what am I?
The murderer of this truth, this innocence!
Thoughts cannot form themselves in words so

As can express my guilt!

Alone upon it: I'm weary of my part.
My torch is out, and the world stands before me,
Like a black desert at the approach of night:
I'll lay me down and stray no farther on.
Vent. I could be grieved,

But that I'll not outlive you. Chuse your death,
For I have seen him in such various shapes,
I care not which I take: I'm only troubled
The life I bear is worn to such a rag,

Vent. Is it come to this? The gods have been 'Tis scarce worth giving. I could wish indeed

too gracious,

And thus you thank them for it.

Ant. [To Alex.] Why stay'st thou here?

Is it for thee to spy upon my soul,

And see its inward mourning? Get thee hence!
Thou art not worthy to behold what now
Becomes a Roman emperor to perform.
Aler. He loves her still;


His grief betrays it. Good! the joy to find
She's yet alive completes the reconcilement :

I have saved myself and her. But oh! the Ro-

Fate comes too fast upon my wit,

Hunts me too hard, and meets me at each double.


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We threw it from us with a better grace,
That, like two lions taken in the toils,

We might at least thrust out our paws, and wound
The hunters, that enclose us.

Ant. I have thought on it;

Ventidius, you must live.

Vent. I must not, sir.

Ant. Wilt thou not live to speak some good

of me?

To stand by my fair fame, and guard the ap


From the ill tongues of men?
Vent. Who shall guard mine
For living after you?

Ant. Say, I command it.

Vent. If we die well, our deaths will speak themselves,

And need no living witness.

Ant. Thou hast loved me,

And fain I would reward thee. I must die;
Kill me, and take the merit of my death,
To make thee friends with Cæsar.

Vent. Thank your kindness!
You said I loved you, and in recompense
You bid me turn a traitor! Did I think

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But think, 'tis the first time I e'er deceived you,
If that may plead my pardon. And you, gods!
Forgive me, if you will; for I die perjured,
Rather than kill my friend.
Ant. Farewell ever my leader, even in

My queen and thou have got the start of me,
And I'm the lag of honour.-Gone so soon!
Is death no more! He used him carelessly,
With a familiar kindness; ere he knocked,
Ran to the door, and took him in his arms,
As who should say, you're welcome at all hours,
A friend need give no warning-Books had spoil-
ed him,

For all the learned are cowards by profession.
'Tis not worth

My further thought; for death, for aught I know, Is but to think no more. Here's to be satisfied. [Falls on his sword. I have missed my heart-Oh, unperforming hand!

Thou never couldst have erred in a worse time. My fortune jades me to the last; and death, Like a great man, takes state, and makes me wait For my admittance- [Trampling within.

Some, perhaps, from Cæsar!

If he should find me living, and suspect,
That I played booty with my life! I'll mend
My work ere they can reach me.

[Rises upon his knees.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS. Cleo. Where is my lord? where is he?

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We live both. Sit thee down, my Cleopatra!
I'll make the most I can of life, to stay
A moment more with thee.

Cleo. How is it with you?
Ant. "Tis, as with a man
Removing in a hurry; all packed up
But one dear jewel, that his haste forgot,
And he for that returns upon the spur;
So I come back for thee.

Cleo. Too long, ye heavens! you have been cruel to me!

Oh, now be kind, and give me back
His fleeting life!

Ant. It will not be, my love!
I keep my soul by force.
Say but thou art not false !

Cleo. 'Tis now too late

To say I'm true; I'll prove it and die with you.
Unknown to me Alexas feigned my death,
Which, when I knew, I hasted to prevent
This fatal consequence. My fleet betrayed
Both you and me.

Ant. And Dolabella

Cleo. Scarce esteemed before he loved, but hated now.

Ant. Enough! my life's not long enough for


Thou say'st, thou wilt come after: I believe thee; For I can now believe whate'er thou say'st, That we may part more kindly.

Cleo. I will come;

Doubt not, my life! I'll come, and quickly too! Cæsar shall triumph o'er no part of thee.

Ant. But grieve not, while thou stayest, My last disastrous times! Think we have had a clear and glorious day, And heaven did kindly to delay the storm, Just till our close of evening. Ten years love, And not a moment lost, but all improved To the utmost joys! What ages have we lived! And now to die each other's! and so dying, While hand in hand we walk in groves below, Whole troops of lovers' ghosts shall flock about us, And all the train be ours.

Cleo. Your words are like the notes of dying

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