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And such a twain can do 't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless.

Cleo.

Excellent falsehood!

Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony

Will be himself.

Ant.

But stirr'd by Cleopatra.

Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,

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Let's not confound the time with conference harsh wave

There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now. What sport to-night?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

Ant.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!
No messenger but thine; and all alone

To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it. Speak not to us.

[Exeunt Ant. and Cleo. with their train.
Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius prized so slight ?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.

Dem.

50

I am full sorry

60

That he approves the common liar, who

Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope

Of better deeds to-morrow.

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Rest you happy!

[Exeunt.

58. that great property, that peculiar greatness.

60. approves, confirms.

VOL. IX

273

T

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1.13.

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SCENE II. The same.

Another room.

Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen ? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands !

Alex. Soothsayer!
Sooth. Your will?

Char. Is this the man?

things?

Is 't you, sir, that know

Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.

Alex.

Show him your hand.

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Enter ENOBARBUS.

Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.

Sooth. I make not, but foresee.

Char. Pray, then, foresee me one.

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Char. He means in flesh.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

Char. Wrinkles forbid !

Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. Hush!

Sooth. You shall be more beloving than beloved.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and

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widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you

serve.

Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune

Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then belike my children shall have no names: prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.

Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch. Alex. You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes to-night shall be drunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Char. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.

40. for a witch, i.e. as being 55. worky-day, i.e. ordinary, a wizard, and hence privileged

mediocre.

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40

50

to utter home-truths.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

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Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! and let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though 70 thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make 80 me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they 'ld do 't!

Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.

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Cleo.

Char. No, madam.

Was he not here?

Cleo. He was disposed to mirth; but on the

sudden

A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!
Eno. Madam ?

Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's
Alexas?

Alex. Here, at your service. My lord ap-
proaches.

Cleo. We will not look upon him: go with us.

[Exeunt.

Enter ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants.

Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Ant. Against my brother Lucius?

Mess. Ay:

But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst

Cæsar ;

Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,

Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Ant.

90

Antony

Explain

Well, what worst ?
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward. On:100
Things that are past are done with me. 'Tis thus ;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.

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This is stiff news-hath, with his Parthian force,
Extended Asia from Euphrates;

92. Fulvia thy wife, Antony was Fulvia's third husband; he divorced her in order to marry Cleopatra. Failing to incite Augustus Cæsar against Antony,

she joined with Antony's brother
Lucius against Augustus.
She
failed in all her intrigues, and
finally died of a broken heart.

Antony

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