SCENE IAlexandria. A room in Cleopatra's palace.
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.
Nay, but this dotage of our general's
O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust. Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her Ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her. (10)
Look, where they come:
Take but good note, and you shall see in him.
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.
If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved.
Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth. Enter an Attendant.
News, my good lord, from Rome.
Grates me: the sum.
Nay, hear them, Antony: (20)
Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, 'Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
Perform 't, or else we damn thee.'
How, my love !
Perchance! nay, and most like:
You must not stay here longer, your dismission
Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.
Where's Fulvia's process ? Cæsar's I would say ? both ?
Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen, (30)
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers
Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair Embracing.
And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless. (40)
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her ?
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight ?
Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, (50)
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.
Is Cæsar with Antonius prized so slight ?
Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.
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. Rest you happy! Exeunt.