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Charmian. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Charmian. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Soothsayer. You shall outlive the lady whom you
Charmian. O excellent! I love long life better than
figs. Soothsayer. You have seen and proved a fairer for
Charmian. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Enobarbus. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be-drunk to bed.
Charmian. Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Charmian. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-0, let him marry, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave. Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, ņ beseech thee!
9 An Egyptian goddess.
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! Dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Not he, the queen.
No, lady, Cleopatra.
Was he not here? Charmian. No, madam.
Cleopatra. He was disposed to mirth; but on a sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.--Enobarbus.
proaches. Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and ATTENDANTS. Cleopatra. We will not look upon him; Go with us. [Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS,
CHARMIAN, SOOTHSAYER, and ATTENDANTS. Messenger. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Antony. Against my brother Lucius?
Messenger. 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. Antony.
Well, What worst?
Messenger. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Antony. When it concerns the fool, or coward.—On: 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. Messenger.
(This is stiff news) hath with his Parthian force.
Antony. Antony, thou wouldst say-
O, my lord! Antony. Speak to me home, mince not the general
power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick windsa lie still; and our ills told us, Is as our earing:8 Fare thee well a while. Messenger. At your noble pleasure.
Exit. Antony. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Attendant. The man from Sicyon.—Is there such an
one? 2 Attendant. He stays upon your will. Antony.
Let him appear, These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Enter another MESSENGER. Or lose myself in dotage.—What are you?
2 Messenger. Fulvia thy wife is dead. Antony.
Where died she? 2 Messenger. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a Letter. Antony.
[Exit MESSENGER There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone; 1 Over-run.
2 In some editions minds. 3 Tilling, ploughing; prepares us to produce good seed.
The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on.
Enter ENOBARBUS. Enobarbus. What's your pleasure, sir? Antony. I must with haste from hence.
Enobarbus. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Antony. I must be gone.
Enobarbus. Under compelling occasion, let women die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment.
Antony. She is cunning past man's thought.
Enobarbus. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Antony. 'Would I had never seen her!
Enobarbus. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Antony. Fulvia is dead.
Enobarbus. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn
out, there are others to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented; this grief is crowned with consolation; and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.
Antony. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
Enobarbus. And the business you have broached here, cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Antony. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we propose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, And get her loves to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak to us: but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands The empire of the sea : our slippery people (Whose love is never link'd to the deserver, Till his deserts are past,) begin to throw Pompey the great, and all his dignities, Upon his son; who, high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main soldier: whose quality, going on, The sides o' the world may danger: Much is breeding, Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life, And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, To such whose place is under us, requires Our quick remove from hence. Enobarbus. I shall do't.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.
I did not see him since.