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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 mis-

tress,
Confined in all she has, her monument,
Of thy intents desires instruction ;
That she preparedly may frame herself
To the way she's forced to.
Cæs.

Bid her have good heart;
She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honorable 3 and how kindly we
Determine for her; for Cæsar cannot live
To be ungentle.
Mess.
So the gods preserve thee !

[Exit. Cæs. 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. [Exit ProCuleius. Cæs. Gallus, go you along.–Where's Dolabella, To second Proculeius ?

[E.cit Gallus. Agr. Mec.

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 see

1 That is, should have made us, in our equality of fortune, disagree, to a pitch like this, that one of us must die.

2 i. e. “yet a subject of the queen of Egypt.” 3 It has been before observed that the termination ble was anciently often used for bly.

4 “ If I send her in triumph to Rome, her memory and my glory will be eternal."

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.

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.3

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 deceived,
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 conquered Egypt for my son,

1 The Poet here has attempted to exhibit at once the outside and the inside of a building.

2 Servant.

3 Voluntary death (says Cleopatra) is an act which bolts up change ; it produces a state which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use of which Cæsar and the beggar are on a level.

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 dependency; and you shall find
A conqueror, that will pray in aid 2 for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneeled to.
Cleo. [Within.]

Pray you, tell him
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 caused it. Gal. You see how easily she may be surprised ; [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.

| Mason would change as I, to and I; but I have shown in another place that as was used by Shakspeare and his contemporaries for that.

2 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.

3 By these words, Cleopatra means—“ In yielding to him, I only give him that honor which he himself achieved.”

4 There is no stage direction in the old copy ; that which is now inserted is formed on the old translation of Plutarch.

Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
Relieved, but not betrayed.
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 ! Pro.

O, 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 pinioned at your master's court; Nor once be chastised 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.

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Enter DOLABELLA.
Dol.

Proculeius,
What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows,

1 It should be remembered that once is used as once for all by Shakspeare. The meaning of this line, which is evidently parenthetical, appears to be, « Once for all, if idle talk be necessary about my purposes.".

2 Pyramides is so written and used as a quadrisyllable by Sandys and by Drayton.

For the queen,

And he hath sent for thee. For the
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.
You laugh, when boys or women tell their dreams;
Is’t not your trick ?
Dol.

I understand not, madam.
Cleo. I dreamed there was an emperor Antony.
0, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
Dol.

If it might please you,
Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck
A sun and moon; which kept their course, and lighted
The little 0, the earth.
Dol.

Most sovereign creature, Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean : his reared arm Crested the world ; 2 his voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas, That grew the more by reaping. His delights Were dolphin-like; they showed his back above The element they lived in. In his livery Walked crowns, and crownets; realms and islands were As plates 3 dropped from his pocket.

1 Shakspeare uses O for an orb or circle.

2 Dr. Percy thinks that “this is an allusion to some of the old crests in heraldry, where a raised arm on a wreath was mounted on the helmet.” To crest is to surmount.

3 Plates means silver money. In heraldry, the roundlets in an escutcheon, if or, or yellow, are called besants ; if argents, or white, plates, VOL. VI.

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