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How I am wronged, my justice and revenge One look, one kind farewell: oh, iron heart! Will cry so loud within me, that my pity Let all the gods look down and judge betwixt us, Will not be heard for either.
If he did ever love! Dol. Heaven has but
Ant. No more. Alexas !
Dol. A perjured villain !
Cleo. Oh, 'twas his plot; his ruinous design As if there were degrees in infinite,
To engage you in my love by jealousy. And infinite would rather want perfection, Hear him; confront himn with me; let him speak. Than punish to extent.
Ant. I have, I have. Ant. I can forgive
Cleo. And if he clear me notA foe, but not a mistress and a friend :
Ant. Your creature ! one, who hangs upon Treason is there in its most horrid shape,
your smiles, Where trust is greatest; and the soul resigned Watches your eye, to say or unsay Is stabbed by its own guards. I'll hear no more: Whate'er you please. I am not to be moved. Hence from my sight for ever!
Cleo. Then must we part? farewell, my cruel Cleo. How? for ever!
lord ! I cannot go one moment from your sight, The appearance is against me; and I go, And must I go for ever?
Unjustified, for ever from your sight.
The wide world o'er, a helpless banished woman, I'll never strive against, but die pleased
Must I weep too? that calls them innocent.
Live, but live wretched; ’tis but just you should, Ant. I must not hear you;
Who made me so: live from each other's sight; I have a fool within me takes your part, Let me not hear you meet. Set all the earth But honour stops my ears.
And all the seas betwixt your sundered loyes; Cleo. For pity hear me !
View nothing common but the sun and skies. Would you cast off a slave, who followed you, Now all take several ways, Who crouched beneath your spurn? He has no And each your own sad fate with mine deplore, pity!
That you were false, and I could trust no more. See, if he gives one tear to my departure,
SCENE I.- The Temple.
Enter ALEXAS. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARmion, and Iras.
Iras Help, oh, Alexas, help! Char. Be just, heaven! such virtue, punished The queen grows desperate, her soul struggles in thus,
Cleo. Let me go.
Oh for a little breath to vent my rage! And had not power to keep it. Oh, the curse Give, give me way, and let me loose upon him. Of doating on, even wben I find it dotage! Alex. Yes, I deserve it for my ill timed truth. Bear witness, gods! you heard him bid me go; Was it for me to prop You, whom he mocked, with imprecating vows, The ruins of a falling majesty, Of promised faith—I'll die, I will not bear it. To place myself beneath the mighty flaw, You may hold me
Thus to be crushed and pounded into atoms, (She pulls out her dagger, and they hold her. By its o’erwhelming weight? Tis too presuming But I can keep my breath; I can die inward, For subjects to preserve that wilful power, And choke this love.
Which courts its own destruction.
Cleo. I would reason
Cleo. Be more plain! More calmly with you. Did you not o'errule Say whence thou camest! though Fate is in thy And force my plain, direct, and open love
face, Into these crooked paths of jealousy?
Which from thy haggard eyes looks wildly out, Now what's the event ? Octavia is removed, And threatens ere thou speakest. But Cleopatra banished. Thou, thou villain, Ser. I came from Pharos, Hast pushed my boat to open sea, to prove, From viewing (spare me, and imagine it) At my sad cost, if thou canst steer it back. Qur land's last hope, your navyIt cannot be; I am lost too far; I am ruined : Cleo. Vanquished? Hence! thou impostor, traitor, monster, devil- Ser. No; I can no more: thou and my griefs have sunk They fought not. Me down so low, that I want voice to curse thee. Cleo. Then they fled. Aler. Suppose some ship-wrecked seaman near
Ser. Nor that : I saw, the shore,
With Antony, your well-appointed fleet Dropping and faint with climbing up the cliff, Row out, and thrice he waved his hand on high, If, from above, some charitable hand
And thrice, with cheerful cries, they shouted back: Pull him to safety, hazarding himself
'Twas then false Fortune, like a fawning strumpet, To draw the other's weight, would he look back About to leave the bankrupt prodigal, And curse him for his pains ? The case is yours; With a dissembled smile would kiss at parting, But one step more, and you have gained the And flatter to the last : the well-timed oars height.
Now dipped from every bark, now sipoothly run Cleo. Sunk, never more to rise.
To meet the foe; and soon indeed they met, Aler. Octavia's gone, and Dolabella banished. But not as foes. In few, we saw their caps Beheve me, madam, Antony is yours :
On either side thrown up: the Egyptian gallies, His heart was never lost, but started off
Received like friends, past through, and fell beTo jealousy, love's last retreat, and covert,
hind Where it lies hid in shades, watchful in silence, The Roman rear; and now they all come forward, And listening for the sound, that calls it back. And ride within the port. Some other, any man, 'tis so advanced,
Cleo. Enough, Serapion; May perfect this unfinished work, which I I have heard my doom. This needed not, you (Unhappy only to myself) have left
gods! So easy to his hand.
When I lost Antony, your work was done. Cleo. Look well thou dost, else
'Tis but superfluous malice. Where's my lord? Aler. Else what your silence threatens—An- How bears he this last blow? tony
Ser. His fury cannot be expressed by words: Is mounted up the Pharos, from whose turret Thrice he attempted headlong to have fallen He stands surveying our Egyptian gallies Full on his foes, and aimed at Cæsar's galley : Engaged with Cæsar's 'fleet: now death or con- Withheld, he raves on you, cries he's betrayed.
Should he now find you If the first happen, fate acquits my promise;
Alex. Shun bim, seek your safety, If we o'ercome, the conqueror is yours.
Till you can clear your innocence. (A distant shout within.
Cleo. I'll stay. Char. Have comfort, madam : did you mark Aler. You must not; haste you to the monu
that shout? [Second shout nearer. ment, Iraş. Hark! they redouble it.
While I make speed to Cæsar.
Cleo. Cæsar! no;
Aler, I can work him
To spare your life, and let this madman perish.
Cleo. Base fawning wretch! wouldst thou beEnter SERAPION.
tray him too? Ser. Where, where's the queen?
Hence froin my sight! I will not hear a traitor :
Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me:
Ser. Retire; you must not see Antony.
He, who began this mischief, Egypt has been; the latest hour is come. 'Tis just he tempt the danger: let him clear you; The queen of nations from her ancient seat And since he offered you his servile tongue Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss :
To gain a poor precarious life from Cæsar, Time has unrolled her glories to the last, Let him expose that fawning eloquence, And now closed up the volume.
And spcak to Antony. .
Aler. Oh heavens! I dare not:
Ant. They're enough. I meet my certain death.
We'll not divide our stars, but side by side Cleo. Slave, thou deservest it.
Fight emulous, and with malicious cyes Not that I fear my lord will I avoid him; Survey each other's acts : so every death I know him noble: when he banished me, Thou givest, I'll take on me as a just debt, And thought me false, he scorned to take my life: And pay thee back a soul. But I'll be justified, and then die with him. Vent. Now you shall see I love you. Not a Aler. On! pity me, and let me follow you !
word Cleo. To death, if thou stir hence. Speak, if Of chiding more. By my few hours of life, thou canst,
I am so pleased with this brave Roman fate, Now for thy life, which basely thou wouldst save, That I would not be Cæsar to outlive you ! While mine I prize at this. Come, good Serapion. When we put off this flesh, and mount together,
Ereunt Cleo. Ser. Char. and Iras. | I shall be shewn to all the ethereal crowd, Aler. Oh, that I less could fear to lose this .Lo! this is he, who died with Antony ! being,
Ant. Who knows but we may pierce through Which, like a snow-ball in my coward hand,
all their troops, The more 'tis grasped the faster melts away, And reach my veterans yet? Tis worth the Poor reason! what a wretched aid art thou !
tempting For still, in spite of thee,
To o'erleap this gulf of fate,
Enter ALEXAS, trembling.
Vent. See, see that villain! Ant. Which way? where? (Within. See Cleopatra stamped upon that face, Vent. This leads to the monument. (Within. With all her cunning, all her arts of falsehood! Aler. Ah me! I hear him: yet I'm unprepared : How she looks out through those dissembling My gift of lying's gone; And this court-devil, which I so oft have raised, How he has set his countenance for deceit, Forsakes me at my need. I dare not stay, And promises a lie before he speaks ! Yet cannot go far hence. (Exit. Let me dispatch him first.
Alex. Oh, spare me, spare me!
Ant. Hold; he's not worth your killing. On
Vent, Curse on this treacherous train ! No syllable to justify thy queen; Their soil and heaven infect them all with base- Save thy base tongue its office. ness,
Aler. Sir, she's gone
By love or you.
Die, traitor! I revoke my promise ; die !
[Going to kill hin. Crusted about his soul.
Alex. Oh, hold; she is not ded. Vent. The nation is
Ant. She is; my eyes One universal traitor, and their queen
Are open to her falsehood. My whole life The very spirit and extract of them all.
Has been a golden dream of love and friendship; Ant. Is there yet left
But now I wake, I'm like a merchant roused A possibility of aid and valour?
From soft repose, to see his vessel sinking Is there one god unsworn to my destruction, And all his wealth cast o'er. Ungrateful woman! The least unmortgaged hope? for, if there be, Who followed me but as the swallow summer, Methinks I cannot fall beneath the fate
Hatching her young ones in my kindly beams, Of such a boy as Cæsar.
Singing her Hatteries to my morning wake; The world's one half is yet in Antony,
But now my winter comes, she spreads her wings, And from each limb of it, that's bew'd away, And seeks the spring of Cæsar. The soul comes back to me.
Aler. Think not so; Vent. There yet remain
Her fortunes have in all things mixed with yours: Three legions in the town; the last assault Had she betrayed her naval force to Rome, Lopt off the rest. If death be your design, How easily might she have gone to Cæsar; As I must wish it now, these are sufficient Secure by such a bribe? To make a heap about us of dead foes,
Vent. She sent it first, An honest pile for burial,
To be more welcome after.
Ant. 'Tis too plain,
Ant. Why, let him enter : Else would she have appeared to clear herself. He's welcome now.
Alex. Too fatally she has; she could not bear Vent. What lethargy has crept into your soul? To be accused by you, but shut herself
Ant. 'Tis but a scorn of life, and just desire Within her monument, looked down and sighed, ro free myself from bondage. While from her unchanged face the silent tears Vent. Do it bravely. Dropt, as they had not leave, but stole their part- Ant. I will, but not by fighting. Oh, Ventiing.
dius, Some undistinguished words she inly murmured; What should I fight for now? my queen is dead: At last she raised her eyes, and with such looks I was but great for her: my power, my empire, As dying Lucrece cast
Were but my merchandise to buy her love, Ant. My heart forebodes
And conquered kings my factors. Now she's Vent. All for the best. Go on.
dead, Aler. She snatched her poniard,
Let Cæsar take the world And, ere we could prevent the fatal blow, An empty circle, since the jewel's gone, Plunged it within her breast; then turned to me; Which made it worth my strife: my being's nauGo, bear my lord,' said she, my last farewell,
seous, And ask him if he yet suspect my faith.
For all the bribes of life are gone away.
But as a Roman ought; dead, my Ventidius And buried half within her.
For I'll convey my soul from Cæsar's reach, Vent. Heaven be praised !
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!
We two have kept its homage in suspense, And art thou dead?
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 vided.
Alone upon it: I'm weary of my part. Hadst thou been false and died, or hadst thou My torch is out, and the world stands before me, lived
Like a black desert at the approach of night : And hadst been true-But innocence and death! I'll lay me down and stray no farther on. This shows not well above. Then what am I? Vent, I could be grieved, The murderer of this truth, this innocence! But that I'll not outlive you. Chuse your death, Thoughts cannot form themselves in words so For I have seen him in such various shapes, horrid
I care not which I take : I'm only troubled As can express my guilt!
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,
We threw it from us with a better grace, And thus you thank them for it.
That, like two lions taken in the toils, Ant. (To Aler.] Why stay'st thou here? We might at least thrust out our paws, and wound Is it for thee to spy upon my soul,
The hunters, that enclose us. And see its inward mourning ? Get thee hence! Ant. I have thought on it; Thou art not worthy to behold what now Ventidius, you must live. Becomes a Roman emperor to perform.
Vent. I must not, sir. Aler. He loves her still;
Aside. Ant. Wilt thou not live to speak some good His grief betrays it. Good! the joy to find
of me? She's yet alive completes the reconcilement : To stand by my fair fame, and guard the apI have saved myself and her. But oh! the Ro- proaches mans !
From the ill tongues of men? Fate comes too fast upon my wit,
Vent. Who shall guard mine Hunts me too hard, and meets me at each double. For living after you?
[Erit. Ant. Say, I command it. Vent. Would she had died a little sooner Vent. If we die well, our deaths will speak though,
themselves, Before Octavia went; you might have treated; And need no living witness. Now 'twill look tame, and would not be received. Ant. Thou hast loved me, Come, rouse yourself, and let's die warm to And fain I would reward thee. I must die; gether.
Kill me, and take the merit of my death, Art. I will not fight; there's no more work for To make thee friends with Cæsar. war;
Vent. Thank your kindness! The business of my angry hours is done.
You said I loved you, and in recompense Vent. Cæsar is at your gate.
You bid me turn a traitor! Did I think
You would have used me thus ! that I should Char. There he lies, die
And dead Ventidius by him. With a hard thought of you!
Cleo. My fears were prophets ! I am come too Ant. Forgive me, Roman.
late! Since I have heard of Cleopatra's death, Oh, that accursed Alexas ! [Runs to him. My reason bears no rule upon my tongue,
Ant. Art thou living?
Cleo. Help me seat him !
Send quickly, send for help! Ant. Kill me first,
(They place him in a chair. And then die thou; for 'tis but just thou serve Ant. I am answered : Thy friend before thyself.
We live both. Sit thee down, my Cleopatra ! Vent. Give me your hand
I'll make the most I can of life, to stay We soon shall meet again. Now, farewell, em- A moment more with thee. peror!
[Embrace. Cleo. How is it with you? Methinks that word's too cold to be my last : Ant. 'Tis, as with a man Since death sweeps all distinctions, farewell, Removing in a hurry; all packed up friend!
But one dear jewel, that his haste forgot, That's all
And he for that returns upon the spur; I will not make a business of a trile
So I come back for thee. And yet I cannot look on you and kill you : Cleo. Too long, ye heavens ! you have been Pray turn your face.
cruel to me? Ånt. I do: strike home; be sure.
Oh, now be kind, and give me back Vent. Home as my sword will reach.
His fleeting life!
(Kills himself Ant. It will not be, my love! Ant. Oh, thou mistakest !
I keep my soul by force. That wound was none of thine; give it me back : Say but thou art not false ! Thou robbest me of my death.
Cleo. 'Tis now too late Vent. I do indeed;
To say I'm true; I'll prove it and die with you, But think, 'tis the first time I e'er deceived you, Unknown to me Alexas feigned my death, If that may plead my pardon. And you, gods! Which, when I knew, I hasted to prevent Forgive me, if you will; for I die perjured, This fatal consequence. My fleet betrayed Rather than kill my friend.
(Dies. Both you and me. Ant. Farewell ! ever my leader, even in Ant. And Dolabelladeath!
Cleo. Scarce esteemed before he loved, but My queen and thou have got the start of me,
hated now. And I'm the lag of honour.-Gone so soon! Ant. Enough! my life's not long enough for Is death no more! He used him carelessly,
more. With a familiar kindness; ere he knocked, Thou say'st, thou wilt come after: I believe thee; Ran to the door, and took him in his arms, For I can now believe whate'er thou say'st, As who should say, you're welcome at all hours, That we may part more kindly. A friend need give no warning-Books had spoil
Cleo. I will come; ed him,
Doubt not, my life! I'll come, and quickly too! For all the learned are cowards by profession. Cæsar shall triumph o'er no part of thee. 'Tis not worth
Ant. But grieve not, while thou stayest, My further thought; for death, for aught I know, My last disastrous times ! Is but to think no more. Here's to be satisfied. Think we have had a clear and glorious day,
(Falls on his sword. And heaven did kindly to delay the storm, I have missed my heart-Oh, unperforming Just till our close of evening. Ten years love, hand!
And not a moment lost, but all improved Thou never couldst have erred in a worse time. To the utinost joys! What ages have we lived ! My fortune jades me to the last; and death, And now to die each other's! and so dying, Like a great man, takes state, and makes me wait While hand in hand we walk in groves below, For my admittance- [Trampling within. Whole troops of lovers' ghosts shall Aock about us, Some, perhaps, from Cæsar!
And all the train be ours. If he should find me living, and suspect,
Cleo. Your words are like the notes of dying That I played booty with my life! I'll mend
swans, My work ere they can reach me.
Too sweet to last. Were there so many hours (Rises upon his knees. For your unkindness, and not one for love!
Ant. No, not a minute this one kiss more Enter Cleopatra, Charmion, and Iras.
worth Cleo. Where is my lord? where is he? Than all I leave to Cæsar.