« ForrigeFortsett »
Take in that kingdom and en franchise that;
How, my love!
Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Excellent falsehood !
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
[Exeunt Ant. and CLEO., with their Trains.
I am full sorry That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! [E.reunt. SCENE II.-ALEXANDRIA. Another Room in CLEOPATRA'S
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must charge his horns with garlands!
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
Enter ENOBARBUS. Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all : let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
fortune Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then belike my children shall have no names :pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be— drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?
Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend!—Alexas,— come, his fortune, his fortune!-0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her
die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Iris, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Alex. Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't!
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he; the queen.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
[Exeunt Cleo., Eno., CHAR., IRAS, ALEX.,
and Soothsayer. Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger 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? Me88. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.—On:Things that are past are done with me.—'Tis thus; Who
tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,-
O, my lord!
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there! 1 Att. The man from Sicyon,-is there such an one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant.
Let him appear.
Enter a second Messenger.
What are you?
2 Msess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she?
[Gives a letter. Ant.
[Exit second Messenger.
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.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: 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 twenty times upon far 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 pure 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. 0, 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.