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And, to be less than wife to you, disdained Lingered behind with her. I hear, my lord, Their lawful passion.

You make conditions for her, Ant. 'Tis but truth.

And would include her treaty: wond'rous proofs Aler. And yet, though love and your unmatch- of love to me! ed desert

Ant. Are you my friend, Ventidius ?
Have drawn her from the due regard of honour, Or are you turned a Dolabella too,
At last heaven opened her unwilling eyes And let this fury loose?
To see the wrong she offered fair Octavia,

Vent. Oh, be advised,
Whose boly bed she lawlessly usurped :

Sweet madam! and retire. The sad effects of this unprosperous war

Oct. Yes, I will go, but never to return; Confirmed those pious thoughts.

You shall no more be haunted with this fury. Vent. (Aside.) Oh, wheel you there? My lord, my lord! love will not always last, Observe him now; the man begins to mend, When urged with long unkindness and disdain. And talk substantial reason.-Fear not, eunuch; Take her again, whom you prefer to me ; The emperor has given thee leave to speak. She stays but to be called. Poor cozened man !

Aler. Else had I never dared to offend his ears Let a feigned parting give her back your heart, With what the last necessity has urged

Which a feigned love first got; for injured me, On my forsaken mistress : yet I must not Though my just sense of wrongs forbid my stay, Presume to say, her heart is wholly altered. My duty shall be yours. Ant. No; dare not for thy life! I charge thee, To the dear pledges of our former love dare not

My tenderness and care shall be transferred, Pronounce that fatal word !

And they shall cheer by turns my widowed nights. Oct. Must I bear this ? Good heaven, afford So take my last farewell! for I despair me patience!

[ Aside. To have you whole, and scorn to take you half. Vent. On, sweet eunuch! my dear half man,

(Erit. proceed!

Vent. I combat heaven, which blasts my best Aler. Yet Dolabella

designs! Has loved her long; he, next my godlike lord,

My last attempt must be to win her back ; Deserves her best; and should she meet his pas. But oh! I fear, in vain.

[Erit. sion, Rejected, as she is, by him she loved

Ant. Why was I framed with this plain honest Ant. Hence from my sight, for I can bear no

heart, more!

Which knows not to disguise its griefs and weakLet furies drag thee quick to hell! let all

ness, The longer damn'd have rest ! each torturing I should have kept the mighty anguish in,

But bears its workings outward to the world? hand Do thou employ till Cleopatra comes,

And forced a smile at Cleopatra's falsehood;. Then join thou too, and help to torture her!

Octavia had believed it, and had staid. (Erit Alexas, thrust out by Antony. But I am made a shallow-forded stream, Oct. 'Tis not well!

Seen to the bottom, all my clearness scorned, Indeed, my lord, 'tis much unkind to me,

Andall my faults exposed. See, where he comes, To shew this passion, this extreme concerộment,

Enter DOLABELLA, For an abandoned, faithless prostitute. Ant. Octavia, leave me!' I am much disor-Who has profaned the sacred name of friend, dered !

And worn it into vileness ! Leave me, I say !

With how secure a brow and specious form Oct. My lord !

He gilds the secret villain! Sure that face Ant. I bid you leave me.

Was meant for honesty, but heaven mismatchVent. Obey him, madam; best withdraw a

ed it, while,

And furnished treason out with nature's pomp, And see how this will work.

To make its work more easy.
Oct. Wherein have I offended you, my lord, Dol. O my friend!
That I am bid to leave you ? am I false

Ant. Well, Dolabella, you performed my Or infamous ? am I a Cleopatra?

message? Were I she,

Dol. I did, unwillingly. Base as she is, you would not bid me leave you, Ant. Unwillingly! But hang upon my neck, take slight excuses, Was it so hard for you to bear our parting? And fawn upon my falsehood.

You should have wished it.
Ant. 'Tis too much,

Dol, Why!
Too much, Octavia ! I am prest with sorrows, Ant. Because you love me;
Too heavy to be borne, and you add more! And she received my message with as true,
I would retire, and recollect what's left

With as unfeigned a sorrow as you brought it? Of man within, to aid me.

Dol. She loves you even to madness.
Oct. You would mourn

Ant. Oh! I know it.
In private for your love, who has betrayed you. You, Dolabella, do not better know
You did but half return to me; your kindness, How much she loves me. And should I

Forsake this beauty, this all perfect creature ? He, who next hell best knew it, he avowed it. Dol. I could not, were she mine.

Why do I seek a proof beyond yourself! Ant. And yet you first

(To Dol. Persuaded me. How came you altered since ? You, whom I sent to bear my last farewell,

Dol. I said at first I was not fit to go: Returned to plead her stay.
I could not hear her sighs, and see her tears, Dol. What shall I answer?
But pity must prevail ; and so perhaps

If to have loved be guilt, then I have sinned;
It may again with you; for I have promised, But if to have repented of that love
That she should take her last farewell; and see, Can wash away my crime, I have repented;
She comes to claim my word.

Yet, if I have offended past forgiveness,

Let her not suffer : she is innocent.

Cleo. Ah, what will not a woman do, who Ant, False Dolabella !

loves ! Dol. What's false, my lord!

What means will she refuse to keep that heart, Ant. Why Dolabella's false;

Where all her joys are placed ! 'Twas I encou. And Cleopatra's false; both false and faithless.

raged, Draw near, you well-joined wickedness, you ser- 'Twas I blew up the fire, that scorched his soul, pents,

To make you jealous, and by that regain you: Whom I have in my kindly bosom warmed, But all in vain ; I could not counterfeit: Till I am stung to death!

In spite of all the dams, my love broke o'er, Dol. My lord, have I

And drowned my heart again : Fate took the oca Deserved to be thus used ?

casion, Cleo. Can heaven prepare

And thus one minute's feigning has destroyed A newer torment can it find a curse

My whole life's truth. Beyond our separation ?

Ant. Thin cobwebs, arts of falsehood, Ant. Yes, if fate

Seen and broke through at first. Be just, much greater : Heaven should be inge- Dol. Forgive your mistress. nious

Cleo. Forgive your friend. In punishing such crimes. The rolling stone Ant. You have convinced yourselves; And gnawing vulture were slight pains, invented You plead each other's cause. What witness have When Jove was young, and no examples known

you, Of mighty ills; but you have ripened sin That you but meant to raise my jealousy? To such a monstrous growth, 'twill pose the gods Cleo. Ourselves and heaven. To find an equal torture. Two, two such! Ant. Guilt witnesses for guilt! Hence, love Oh, there's no farther name ; two such to me,

and friendship! To me, who locked my soul within your breasts, You have no longer place in human breasts ; Had no desires, no joys, no life but you; These two have driven you out: avoid my sight! When half the globe was mine, I gave it you I would not kill the man whom I have loved, In dowry with my heart: I had no use,

And cannot hurt the woman; but avoid me! No fruit, of all but you : a friend and mistress I do not know how long I can be tame; Was what the world could give. Oh, Cleopatra! For, if I stay one minute more to think Oh, Dolabella ! how could you betray

How I am wronged, my justice and revenge This tender heart, which, with an infant fond. Will cry so loud within me, that my pity ness,

Will not be heard for either. Lay lulled betwixt your bosoms, and there slept Dol. Heaven has but Secure of injured faith?

Our sorrows for our sins, and then delights Dol. If she has wronged you,

To pardon erring man; sweet mercy seems Heaven, hell, and you revenge it!

Its darling attribute, which limits justice, Ant. If she has wronged me!

As if there were degrees in infinite, Thou wouldst evade thy part of guilt: but swear And infinite would rather want perfection, Thou lov'st not her.

Than punish to extent. Dol. Not so as I love you.

Ant. I can forgive Ant. Not so ? Swear, swear, I say, thou dost A foe, but not a mistress and a friend: not love her.

Treason is there in its most horrid shape, Dol. No more than friendship will allow, Where trust is greatest; and the soul resigned Ant. No more!

Is stabbed by its own guards. I'll hear no more: Friendship allows thee nothing: thou art perju- llence from my sight for ever! red

Cleo. How? for ever! And yet thou didst not swear thou lov'st her not; I cannot go one moment from your sight, But not so much, no more. Oh, trifling hypo- And must I go for ever? crite!

My joys, my only joys, are centered here: Who dar'st not own to her thou dost not love, What place have I to go to? my own kingdom? Nor own to me thou dost! Ventidius heard it, That I have lost for you; or to the Romans? Octavia saw it.

They hate me for your sake: or must I wander Cleo. They are enemies. .

The wide world o’er, a helpless banished woe sint. Alexas is not so; he, he confest it;


Banished for love of you, banished from you; Watches your eye, to say or to unsay Ay, there's the banishment! Oh, hear me, hear Whate'er you please. I am not to be moved. me,

Cleo. Then must we part? farewell, my cruel With strictest justice, for I beg no favour,

lord ! And, if I have offended you, then kill me, The appearance is against me; and I go, But do not banish me!

Unjustified, for ever from your sight. Ant. I must not hear you;

How I have loved, you know; how yet I love, I have a fool within me takes your part,

My only comfort is I know myself: But honour stops my ears.

I love you more, even now you are unkind, Cleo. For pity hear me!

Than when you loved me most; so well, so truly, Would you cast off a slave, who followed you, I'll never strive against it, but die pleased Who crouched beneath your spurn? He has no To think you once were mine. pity!

Ant. Good Heaven! they weep at parting. See, if he gives one tear to my departure, Must I weep too? that calls them innocent. One look, one kind' farewell : oh, iron heart ! I must not weep; and yet I must, to think, Let all the gods look down and judge betwixt us, That I must not forgiveIf he did ever love!

Live, but live wretched ; 'tis but just you should, Ant. No more. Alexas !

Who made me so: live from each other's sight; Dol. A perjured villain!

Let me not hear you meet. Set all the earth Ant. (TO CLEO.) Your Alexas ! yours ! And all the seas betwixt your sundered loves;

Cleo. Oh, 'twas his plot; his ruinous design View nothing common but the sun and skies. To engage you in my love by jealousy.

Now all take several ways, Hear him ; confront him with me; let him speak. And each your own sad fate with mine deplore, Ant. I have, I have.

That you were false, and I could trust no more. Cleo. And if he clear me not

(Ereunt sevcrally. Ant. Your creature ! one, who hangs upon

your smiles,


The ruins of a falling majesty,
SCENE I.—The Temple.

To place myself beneath the mighty flaw,

Thus to be crushed and pounded into atoms, Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS.

By its o'erwhelming weight? 'Tis too presuming Char. Be juster, heaven! such virtue, punished for subjects to preserve that wilful power, thus,

Which courts its own destruction. Will make us think, that chance rules all above, Cleo. I would reason And shuffles, with a random hand, the lots, More calmly with you. Did you not o'errule Which man is forced to draw,

And force my plain, direct, and open love Cleo. I could tear out these eyes, that gained Into these crooked paths of jealousy? his heart,

Now what's the event? Octavia is removed, And had not power to keep it. Oh, the curse But Cleopatra's banished. Thou, thou villain, Of doating on, even when I find it dotage ! Hast pushed my boat to open sea, to prove, Bear witness, gods! you heard him bid me go; At my sad cost, if thou canst steer it back. You, whom he mocked, with imprecating vows, It cannot be; I am lost too far; I am ruined: Of promised faith-I'll die, I will not bear it. Hence! thou impostor, traitor, monster, devil You may hold me

I can no more: thou and my griefs have sunk (She pulls out her dugger, and they hold her. Me down so low, that I want voice to curse thee. But I can keep my breath; I can die inward, Aler. Suppose some shipwrecked seaman near And choke this love.

the shore,

Dropping and faint with climbing up the cliff, Enter ALEXAS.

If from above, some charitable hand Iras. Help, oh, Alexas, help!

Pull him to safety, hazarding himself The queen grows desperate, her soul struggles in To draw the other's weight, would he look back her,

And curse him for his pains ? The case is yours ; With all the agonies of love and rage,

But one step more, and you have gained the And strives to force its passage.

height. Cleo. Let me go

Cleo, Sunk, never more to rise. Art thou there, traitor!-Oh,

Aler. Octavia's gone, and Dolabella banished. Oh for a little breath to vent my rage !

Believe me, madam, Antony is yours; Give, give me way, and let me loose upon him. His heart was never lost, but started off

Aler. Yes, I deserve it for my ill-timed truth. To jealousy, love's last retreat and covert, Was it for me to prop

Where it lies hid in shades, watchful in silence,

And listening for the sound, that calls it back. I have heard my doom. This needed not, you gods!
Some other, any man, 'tis so advancedl, When I lost Antony, your work was done;
May perfect this unfinished work, which I "Tis hut superfluous malice. Where's my lord?
(Unhappy only to myself) have left

How bears he this last blow?
So easy to his hand.

Ser. His fury cannot be expressed by words: Cleo. Look well thou dost, else.

Thrice he attempted headlong to have fallen Aler. Else, what your silence threatens.--An- Full on his foes, and aimed at Cæsar's galley : tony

Withheld, he raves on you, cries he's betrayed. Is mounted up the Pharos, from whose turret Should he now find youHe stands surveying our Egyptian gallies

Aler. Shun him, seek your safety, Engaged with Cæsar's fleet; now death or con- Till you can clear your innocence. quest !

Cieo. I'll stay. If the first happen, fate acquits my promise; Aler. You must not ; haste you to your moIf we o'ercome, the conqueror is yours.

nument, (A distant shout within. While I make speed to Cæsar. Char. Have comfort, madam : did you mark

Cleo. Cæsar! no; that shout? (Second shout nearer. I have no business with him. Iras. Hark! they redouble it.

Aler. I can work him Aler. 'Tis from the port;

To spare your life, and let this madman perish. The loudness shews it near. Good news, kind Cleo. Base fawning wretch! wouldst thou beHeavens!

tray him too! Cloo. Osiris make it so!

Henee from my sight! I will not hear a traitor :

'Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us. Enter SERAPION.

Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me:
Ser. Where, where's the queen ?

But haste, each moment's precious.
Aler. How frightfully the holy coward stares ! Ser. Retire; you must not see Antony.
As if not yet recovered of the assault,

He, who began this mischief,
When all his gods, and what's more dear to him, 'Tis just he tempt the danger: let him clear you;
His offerings, were at stake.

And since he offer'd you his servile tongue Ser. Oh, horror, horror!

To gain a poor precarious life from Cæsar, Egypt has been; our latest hour is come, Let

him expose that fawning eloquence,
The queen of nations from her ancient seat And speak to Antony.
Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss :

Aler. Oh heavens! I dare not ;
Time has unrolled her glories to the last, I meet my certain death.
And now closed up the volume.

Cleo. Slave, thou deserv'st it.
Cleo. Be more plain!

Not that I fear my lord, will I avoid him ; Say whence thou camest ! though fate is in thy I know him noble: when he banished me, face,

And thought me false, be scorned to take my life: Which from thy haggard eyes looks wildly out, But I'll be justified, and then die with him. And threatens ere thou speakest.

Aler. Oh! pity me, and let me follow you ! Ser. I came from Pharos,

Clev. To death, if thou stir hence. Speak if From viewing (spare me, and imagine it)

thou canst, Our land's last hope, your navy

Now for thy life, which basely thou wouldst save, Cleo. Vanquished?

While mine I prize at this. Comc, good Serapion, Ser. No;

(Exeunt CLEO. SER. CHAR. and TRAS. They fought not.

Aler. Oh, that I less could fear to lose this Cleo. Then they fled,

being, Ser. Nor that; I saw,

Which, like'a snow-ball in my coward hand, With Antony, your well-appointed fleet The more 'tis grasped the faster melts away. Row out, and thrice he waved his hand on high, Poor reason ! what a wretched aid art thou ! And thrice, with cheerful cries, they shouted For still, in spite of thee, back:

These two long lovers, soul and body, dread 'Twas then false Fortune, like a fawning strumpet, Their final separation. Let me think; About to leave the bankrupt prodigal,

What can I say to save myself from death! With a dissembled smile would kiss at parting, No matter what becomes of Cleopatra. And flatter to the last : the well-timed oars Ant. Which way? where? (Within, Now dipped from every bark, now smoothly run Vent. This leads to the monument. [Within. To meet the foe; and soon indeed they met, Aler. Ah me! I hear him: yet I'm unprepar'd: But not as foes. In few, we saw their caps My gift of lying's gone; On either side thrown up: the Egyptian gallies, and this court-devil, which I so oft have raised, Received like friends, past through, and fell be- Forsakes me at my need. I dare not stay, hind Yet cannot go far hence.

(Erit. The Roman rear; and now they all come forward, And ride within the port.

Enter ANTONY and V'ENTIDIUS. Clco. Enough, Serapion ;

Ant. Oh, happy Cæsar ! thou hast men to lead :

Think not, 'tis thou hast conquered Antony, Aler. Sir, she's gone
But Rome has conquered Egypt. I'm betray’d. Where she shall never be molested more,
l'ent. Curse on this treacherous train !

By love or you.
Their soil and heaven infect them all with base- Ant. Flei to her Dolabella!

Die, traitor! I revoke my promise; die! And their young souls come tainted to the world,

(Going to kill him. With the first breath they draw.

Aler. Oh, hold; she is not fled.
Ant. The original villain sure no god created; Ant. She is; my eyes
He was a bastard of the Sun by Nile;

Are open to her falsehood. My whole life Aped into man with all his mother's mud Has been a golden dream of love and friendship; Crusted about his soul.

But now I wake, I'm like a merchant roused Vent. The nation is

From soft repose, to see his vessel sinking, One universal traitor, and their queen

And all his wealth cast o'er. Ungrateful woman! The very spirit and extract of them all.

Who followed me but as the swallow summer, Ant. Is there yet left

Hatching her young ones in my kindly beams, A possibility of aid from valour?

Singing her flatteries to my morning wake; Is there one god unsworn to my destruction, But now my winter comes, she spreads her wings, The least unmortgaged hope ? for, if there be, And seeks the spring of Cæsar. Methinks I cannot fall beneath the fate

Aler. Think not so; Of such a boy as Cæsar.

Her fortunes have in all things mixed with yours: The world's one half is yet in Antony,

Had she betrayed her naval force to Rome, And from each limb of it, that's hew'd away, How easily night she have gone to Cæsar, The soul comes back to me.

Secure by such a bribe. Vent. There yet remain

Vent. She sent it first, Three legions in the town; the last assault To be more welcome after. Lopt off the rest. If death be your design Ant. 'Tis too plain, As I must wish it now, these are sufficient Else would she have appeared to clear herself. To make a heap about us of dead foes,

Aler. Too fatally she has ; she could not bear An honest pile for burial.

To be accused by you, but shut herself Ant. They're enough.

Within her monument, looked down and sighed, We'll not divide our stars, but side by side While from her unchanged face the silent tears Fight emuloas, and with malicious eyes

Dropt, as they had not leave, but stole their Survey each other's acts : so every death

parting Thou givest, I'll take on me as a just debt, Some undistinguished words she inly murmured; And pay thee back a soul.

At last she raised her eyes, and with such looks V'ent. Now you shall see I love you. Not a As dying Lucrece castword

Ant. My heart forebodesOf chiding more. By my few hours of life, Vent. All for the best. Go on. I am so pleased with this brave Roman fate, Aler. She snatched her poniard, That I would not be Cæsar to outlive you! And, ere we could prevent the fatal blow, When we put off this flesh, and mount together, Plunged it within her breast; then turned to me; I shall be shewn to all the ethereal crowd, • Go, bear my lord,' said she, my last farewell, • Lo! this is he, who died with Antony !! • And ask him if he yet suspect my faith.' Ant, Who knows but we may pierce through More she was saying, but death rushed betwixt. all their troops,

She half pronounced your name with her last And reach my veterans yet? 'Tis worth the

breath, tempting,

And buried half within her. To o'erleap this gulf of fate,

Vent. Heaven be praised ! And leave our wandering destinies behind. Ant. Then art thou innocent, my poor dear

love! Enter ALEXAS, trembling.

And art thou dead? Vent. See, see that villain!

Oh, those two words! their sound should be diSee Cleopatra stamped upon that face,

vided. With all her cunning, all her arts of falsehood! Hadst thou been false and died, or badst thou How she looks out through those dissembling

lived eyes !

And hadst been true-But innocence and death! How he has set his countenance for deceit, This shows not well above. Then what am I? And promises a lie before he speaks!

The murderer of this truth, this innocence ! Let me dispatch him first.

(Drawing. Thoughts cannot form themselves in words so Aler. Oh, spare me, spare me!

horrid Ant. Hold, he's not worth your killing. On As can express my guilt! thy life,

Vent. Is it come to this? The gods have been (Which thou mayest keep, because I scorn to

too gracious, take it)

And thus you thank them for it. No syllable to justify thy queen ;

Ant. [To Alex.) Why stay'st thou here? Sirve thy base tongue its office.

Is it for thee to spy upon my soul,

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