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Have shown to thee such a declining day,
Or look on thine; we could not stall together
In the whole world : But yet let me lament,
With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
That thou, my brother, my competitor
In top of all design, my mate in empire,
Friend and companion in the front of war,
The arm of mine own body, and the heart
Where mine his thoughts? did kindle,—that our

stars,
Unreconciliable, should divide
Our equalness to this.—Hear me, good friends,
But I will tell you at some meeter season ;

Enter a Messenger.
The business of this man looks out of him,
We'll hear him what he says.-Whence are you ?
Mess. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my

mistress,
Confin'd in all she has, her monument,
Of thy intents desires instruction ;
That she preparedly may frame herself
To the way she's forced to.
Cras.

Bid her have good heart;
She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honourable and how kindly we
Determine for her: for Cæsar cannot live
To be ungentle.

Mess. So the gods preserve thee! (Exit.

that is curable by scarifying, we use the lancet; and if we neglect to do so, we are destroyed by it. Antony was to me a disease; and by his being cut off

, I am made whole. We could not both have lived in the world together. Malone.

his thoughts -] His is here used for its. 3 Our equalress to this.] That is, should have made us, in our equality of fortune, disagree to a pitch like this, that one of us must die.

Cas. Come hither, Proculeius ; Go, and say, We

purpose her no shame: give her what comforts The quality of her passion shall require ; Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke She do defeat us : for her life in Rome Would be eternal in our triumph: Go, And, with your speediest, bring us what she says, And how you find of her. Pro.

Cæsar, I shall. Erit Proculeius. Cæs. Gallus, go you along:- Where's Dolabella, To second Proculeius?

[Exit GALLUS.

Dolabella!
Cæs. Let him alone, for I remember now
How he's employed ; he shall in time be ready.
Go with me to my tent; where you

shall
How hardly I was drawn into this war;
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
In all my writings : Go with me, and see
What I can show in this.

[Exeunt.

Agr. Mec.

see

SCENE II.

Alexandria. A Room in the Monument.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and Iras.
Cleo. My desolation does begin to make
A better life: 'Tis paltry to be Cæsar;
Not being fortune, he's but fortune's knave,
A minister of her will; And it is great
To do that thing that ends all other deeds ;
Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change;
Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.

S

- fortune's knave,] The servant of fortune.

And it is great, &c.] The difficulty of the passage, if any difficulty there be, arises only from this, that the act of suicide,

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Enter, to the Gates of the Monument, PROCULEIUS,

GALLUS, and Soldiers.
Pro. Cæsar sends greeting to the queen of Egypt;
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.
Cleo. [Within.]

What's thy name?
Pro. My name is Proculeius.
Cleo. [Within.]

Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you ; but
I do not greatly care to be deceiv'd,
That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom : if he please
To give me conquer'd Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own, as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.
Pro.

Be of good cheer;
You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing:
Make your full reference freely to my lord,
Who is so full of grace, that it flows over
On all that need : Let me report to him
Your sweet dependancy : and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneeld to.
Cleo. [Within.]

Pray you, tell him and the state which is the effect of suicide, are confounded. Voluntary death, says she, is an act which bolts up change; it produces a state,

Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,

The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's. Which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use of which Cæsar and the beggar are on a level.

The speech is abrupt, but perturbation in such a state is surely natural. Johnson. 6

- that will pray in aid for kindness,] Praying in aid is a term used for a petition made in a court of justice for the calling in of help from another that hath an interest in the cause in question.

I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
Look him i' the face.
Pro.

This I'll report, dear lady.
Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pitied
Of him that caus'd it.
Gal. You see how easily she may be surpriz’d;
[Here PROCULEIUS, and two of the Guard, ascend

the Monument by a Ladder placed against a Window, and having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the Guard unbar and

open the Gates. Guard her till Cæsar come.

[To PROCULEIUS and the Guard. Exit GALLUS. Iras. Royal queen! Char. O Cleopatra ! thou art taken, queen! Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands. ·

[Drawing a Dagger. Pro.

Hold, worthy lady, hold:

[Seizes and disarms her.
Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
Reliev'd, but not betray'd.
Cleo.

What, of death too
That rids our dogs of languish ?
Pro.

Cleopatra,
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. Cleo.

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

7

send him The greatness he has got.] i. e. her crown which he has won. 8 Worth many babes and baggars!) Why, death, wilt thou not rather seize a queen, than employ thy force upon babes and beggars.

Pro.

0, temperance, lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir;
If idle talk will once be necessary,
I'll not sleep 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 chástis'd with the sober

eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
And show me to the shouting varletry
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 !
Pro.

You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
Find cause in Cæsar.

Enter DOLABELLA.
Dol.

Proculeius,
What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows,
And he hath sent for thee: as for the queen,
I'll take her to my guard.
Pro.

So, Dolabella,
It shall content me best : be gentle to her.
To Cæsar I will speak what you shall please,

[To CLEOPATRA. If you'll employ me to him. Cleo.

Say, I would die. (Exeunt PROCULEIUS, and Soldiers. Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me? Cleo. I cannot tell. Dol.

Assuredly, you know me. Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard, or known.

will once be necessary,] Once may mean sometimes.

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