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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;
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.
Alex. 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
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

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


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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!

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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,

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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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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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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:
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

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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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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
One look! do any thing, that shows you live!
Iras. He is gone too far to hear you,
And this, you see, a lump of senseless clay,
The leavings of a soul.

Char. Remember, madam,
He charged you not to grieve.
Cleo. And I'll obey him.

I have not loved a Roman not to know

What should become his wife-his wife, my Charmion!

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To those, that want his mercy: My poor lord
Made no such covenant with him to spare me,
When he was dead. Yield me to Cæsar's pride!
What! to be led in triumph through the streets,
A spectacle to base plebeian eyes,
While some dejected friend of Antony's,
Close in a corner, shakes his head, and mutters
A secret curse on her, who ruined hin!
I'll none of that.

Char. Whatever you resolve,
I'll follow, even to death.

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.
You, Charmion, bring my crown and richest

With them the wreath of victory I made
(Vain augury!) for him, who now lies dead:
You, Iras, bring the cure of all our ills.

Iras. The aspicks, madam?
Cleo. Must I bid you twice?

[Ex. Char. and Iras.

'Tis sweet to die, when they would force life on


To rush into the dark abode of death
And seize him first! If he be like my love,
He is not frightful sure!

We are now alone, in secrecy and silence,
And is not this like lovers? I may kiss

These pale cold lips-Octavia does not see me ;

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Of my immortal love!

Oh, let no impious hand remove you hence,
But rest for ever here! let Egypt give
His death that peace, which it denied his life!
Reach me the casket.

Iras. Underneath the fruit the aspick lies.
Cleo. Welcome, thou kind deceiver!

[Putting aside the leaves.
Thou best of thieves! who with an easy key
Dost open life, and, unperceived by us,
Even steals us from ourselves, discharging so
Death's dreadful office better than himself,
Touching our limbs so gently into slumber,
That Death stands by, deceived by his own image,
And thinks himself but sleep.


Ser. The queen, where is she? The town is yielded, Cæsar's at the gates. Cleo. He comes too late to invade the rights

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Cleo. Already, death, I feel thee in my

I go with such a will to find my lord,
That we shall quickly meet.

A heavy numbness creeps through every limb,
And now 'tis at my head: my eyelids fall,
And my dear love is vanished in a mist!
Where shall I find him, where? oh! turn me to

And lay me on his breast!-Cæsar, thy worst!
Now part us if thou canst.
[Iras sinks down at her feet and dies, Charmion
stands behind her chair as dressing her head.
Enter SERAPION, two Priests, ALEXAS, bound,

and Egyptians.

Char. Yes, 'tis well done, and like a queen,
the last

Of her great race. I follow her. [Sinks down. Dies.
Alex. 'Tis true,

She has done well: much better thus to die,
Than live to make a holiday in Rome.

Ser. See how the lovers lie in state together,
As they were giving laws to half mankind!
The impression of a smile, left in her face,
Shows she died pleased with him, for whom she

And went to charm him in another world.
Cæsar's just entering; grief has now no leisure.
Secure that villain, as our pledge of safety,
To grace the imperial triumph. Sleep, blest
Secure from human chance, long ages out,

2 Priest. Behold, Serapion, what havoc death While all the storms of fate fly o'er your tomb:

has made!

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And fame to late posterity shall tell,
No lovers lived so great, or died so well.
[Exeunt omnes.

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