SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and Attendants.]
Give me some music,--music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
The music, ho!
Let it alone; let's to billiards:
My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.
As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
As with a woman.--Come, you'll play with me, sir?
As well as I can, madam.
And when good will is show'd, though't come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:--
Give me mine angle,--we'll to the river. There,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say 'Ah ha! You're caught.'
'Twas merry when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
That time?--O times!--
I laughed him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan.
[Enter a MESSENGER.]
O! from Italy!--
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress;
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss,--a hand that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
First, madam, he's well.
Why, there's more gold.
But, sirrah, mark, we use
To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
Be free and healthful,--why so tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.
Will't please you hear me?
I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Madam, he's well.
And friends with Caesar.
Th'art an honest man.
Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam,--
I do not like 'but yet', it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon 'but yet'!
'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.
For what good turn?
For the best turn i' the bed.
I am pale, Charmian.
Madam, he's married to Octavia.
The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down.]
Good madam, patience.
What say you?--Hence,
[Strikes him again.]
Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[She hales him up and down.]
Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in ling'ring pickle.
I that do bring the news made not the match.
Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.
He's married, madam.
Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.
[Draws a dagger.]
Nay, then I'll run.--
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
The man is innocent.
Some innocents scape not the thunderbolt.--
Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
Turn all to serpents!--Call the slave again:--
Though I am mad, I will not bite him:--call!
He is afear'd to come.
I will not hurt him.
These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause.
[Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger.]
Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves when they be felt.
I have done my duty.
Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do
If thou again say 'Yes.'
He's married, madam.
The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still!
Should I lie, madam?
O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scal'd snakes! Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
I crave your highness' pardon.
He is married?
Take no offence that I would not offend you:
To punish me for what you make me do
Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.
O, that his fault should make a knave of thee
That art not what tho'rt sure of!--Get thee hence:
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em!
Good your highness, patience.
In praising Antony I have disprais'd Caesar.
Many times, madam.
I am paid for't now.
Lead me from hence;
I faint:--O Iras, Charmian!--'tis no matter.--
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination; let him not leave out
The colour of her hair:--bring me word quickly.
Let him for ever go:--let him not, Charmian--
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
T'other way he's a Mars.--[To MARDIAN] Bid you Alexas
Bring me word how tall she is.--Pity me, Charmian,
But do not speak to me.--Lead me to my chamber.