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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;
Alex. Oh! pity me, and let me follow you!
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,
These two long lovers, soul and body, dread
Vent. This leads to the monument.
And this court-devil, which I so oft have raised,
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;
Vent. The nation is
A possibility of aid and valour?
Is there one god unsworn to my destruction,
The world's one half is yet in Antony,
Vent. There yet remain
Three legions in the town; the last assault
Ant. They're enough.
We'll not divide our stars, but side by side
Vent. Now you shall see I love you. Not a
Of chiding more. By my few hours of life,
Ant. Who knows but we may pierce through
And reach my veterans yet? 'Tis worth the tempting
To o'erleap this gulf of fate,
And leave our wandering destinies behind.
Vent. See, see that villain!
Aler. She snatched her poniard,
Plunged it within her breast; then turned to me;
And buried half within her.
Vent. Heaven be praised!
For all the bribes of life are gone away.
Vent. Would you be taken?
But as a Roman ought; dead, my Ventidius-
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,
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!
As can express my guilt!
Alone upon it: I'm weary of my part.
My torch is out, and the world stands before me,
But that I'll not outlive you. Chuse your death,
Vent. Is it come to this? The gods have been 'Tis scarce worth giving. I could wish indeed
We threw it from us with a better grace,
We might at least thrust out our paws, and wound
Ant. I have thought on it;
Ventidius, you must live.
Vent. I must not, sir.
Ant. Wilt thou not live to speak some good
To stand by my fair fame, and guard the ap
From the ill tongues of men?
Vent. Who shall guard mine
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;
Vent. Thank your kindness!
My queen and thou have got the start of me,
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,
[Rises upon his knees.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS. Cleo. Where is my lord? where is he?
Or am I dead before I knew, and thou The first kind ghost, that meets me? Cleo. Help me seat him!
Send quickly, send for help!
[They place him in a chair.
Ant. I am answered:
Cleo. How is it with you?
Cleo. Too long, ye heavens! you have been cruel to me!
Oh, now be kind, and give me back
Ant. It will not be, my love!
Cleo. 'Tis now too late
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
Cleo. Oh, tell me so again!
And take ten thousand kisses for that wordMy lord! my lord! speak, if you yet have being!
Sign to me if you cannot speak! or cast
Char. Remember, madam,
I have not loved a Roman not to know
What should become his wife-his wife, my Charmion!
To those, that want his mercy: My poor lord
Char. Whatever you resolve,
Iras. I only feared
For you, but more should fear to live without you.
Cleo. Why, now 'tis as it should be. Quick, my friends,
Dispatch! ere this the town's in Cæsar's hands: My lord looks down concerned, and fears my stay,
Lest I should be surprised:
Keep him not waiting for his love too long.
With them the wreath of victory I made
Iras. The aspicks, madam?
[Ex. Char. and Iras.
'Tis sweet to die, when they would force life on
To rush into the dark abode of death
We are now alone, in secrecy and silence,
These pale cold lips-Octavia does not see me ;
Of my immortal love!
Oh, let no impious hand remove you hence,
Iras. Underneath the fruit the aspick lies.
[Putting aside the leaves.
Ser. The queen, where is she? The town is yielded, Cæsar's at the gates. Cleo. He comes too late to invade the rights
Cleo. Already, death, I feel thee in my
I go with such a will to find my lord,
A heavy numbness creeps through every limb,
And lay me on his breast!-Cæsar, thy worst!
Char. Yes, 'tis well done, and like a queen,
Of her great race. I follow her. [Sinks down. Dies.
She has done well: much better thus to die,
Ser. See how the lovers lie in state together,
And went to charm him in another world.
2 Priest. Behold, Serapion, what havoc death While all the storms of fate fly o'er your tomb:
And fame to late posterity shall tell,