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    Act 1. Scene III

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    SCENE III. The same. Another room.

    Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS
    CLEOPATRA
    Where is he?

    CHARMIAN
    I did not see him since.

    CLEOPATRA
    See where he is, who's with him, what he does:
    I did not send you: if you find him sad,
    Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
    That I am sudden sick: quick, and return.

    Exit ALEXAS

    CHARMIAN
    Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
    You do not hold the method to enforce
    The like from him.

    CLEOPATRA
    What should I do, I do not?

    CHARMIAN
    In each thing give him way, cross him nothing.

    CLEOPATRA
    Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.

    CHARMIAN
    Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:
    In time we hate that which we often fear.
    But here comes Antony.

    Enter MARK ANTONY

    CLEOPATRA
    I am sick and sullen.

    MARK ANTONY
    I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--

    CLEOPATRA
    Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:
    It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
    Will not sustain it.

    MARK ANTONY
    Now, my dearest queen,--

    CLEOPATRA
    Pray you, stand further from me.

    MARK ANTONY
    What's the matter?

    CLEOPATRA
    I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.
    What says the married woman? You may go:
    Would she had never given you leave to come!
    Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here:
    I have no power upon you; hers you are.

    MARK ANTONY
    The gods best know,--

    CLEOPATRA
    O, never was there queen
    So mightily betray'd! yet at the first
    I saw the treasons planted.

    MARK ANTONY
    Cleopatra,--

    CLEOPATRA
    Why should I think you can be mine and true,
    Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
    Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
    To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
    Which break themselves in swearing!

    MARK ANTONY
    Most sweet queen,--

    CLEOPATRA
    Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
    But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
    Then was the time for words: no going then;
    Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
    Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
    But was a race of heaven: they are so still,
    Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
    Art turn'd the greatest liar.

    MARK ANTONY
    How now, lady!

    CLEOPATRA
    I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
    There were a heart in Egypt.

    MARK ANTONY
    Hear me, queen:
    The strong necessity of time commands
    Our services awhile; but my full heart
    Remains in use with you. Our Italy
    Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
    Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
    Equality of two domestic powers
    Breed scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength,
    Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
    Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace,
    Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
    Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
    And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
    By any desperate change: my more particular,
    And that which most with you should safe my going,
    Is Fulvia's death.

    CLEOPATRA
    Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
    It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?

    MARK ANTONY
    She's dead, my queen:
    Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
    The garboils she awaked; at the last, best:
    See when and where she died.

    CLEOPATRA
    O most false love!
    Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
    With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
    In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.

    MARK ANTONY
    Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
    The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
    As you shall give the advice. By the fire
    That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
    Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war
    As thou affect'st.

    CLEOPATRA
    Cut my lace, Charmian, come;
    But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well,
    So Antony loves.

    MARK ANTONY
    My precious queen, forbear;
    And give true evidence to his love, which stands
    An honourable trial.

    CLEOPATRA
    So Fulvia told me.
    I prithee, turn aside and weep for her,
    Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
    Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
    Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
    Life perfect honour.

    MARK ANTONY
    You'll heat my blood: no more.

    CLEOPATRA
    You can do better yet; but this is meetly.

    MARK ANTONY
    Now, by my sword,--

    CLEOPATRA
    And target. Still he mends;
    But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
    How this Herculean Roman does become
    The carriage of his chafe.

    MARK ANTONY
    I'll leave you, lady.

    CLEOPATRA
    Courteous lord, one word.
    Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
    Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;
    That you know well: something it is I would,
    O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
    And I am all forgotten.

    MARK ANTONY
    But that your royalty
    Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
    For idleness itself.

    CLEOPATRA
    'Tis sweating labour
    To bear such idleness so near the heart
    As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
    Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
    Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
    Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly.
    And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
    Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
    Be strew'd before your feet!

    MARK ANTONY
    Let us go. Come;
    Our separation so abides, and flies,
    That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
    And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee. Away!

    Exeunt
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