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Enter CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , and IRAS
CLEOPATRA , CHARMIAN , and IRAS enter.

CLEOPATRA

My desolation does begin to make
A better life. Tis paltry to be Caesar.
Not being Fortune, hes but Fortunes knave,
A minister of her will. And it is great
5 To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
Which sleeps and never palates more the dung,
The beggars nurse, and Caesars.

CLEOPATRA

Being alone has helped me better understand my life. Its pathetic to be Caesar. He cant be Fortune; hes only Fortunes errand boy. It would be a great deed to commit suicidethat act which ends all other things, which makes all accidents and changes stop. Which causes you to sleep, and takes you away from earthly concerns.
Enter PROCULEIUS
PROCULEIUS enters.

PROCULEIUS

Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
10 And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou meanst to have him grant thee.

PROCULEIUS

Caesar greets the Queen of Egypt and asks that you consider what you will ask from him.

CLEOPATRA

Whats thy name?

CLEOPATRA

Whats your name?

PROCULEIUS

My name is Proculeius.

PROCULEIUS

My name is Proculeius.

CLEOPATRA

Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
I do not greatly care to be deceived,
15 That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
To give me conquered Egypt for my son,
20 He gives me so much of mine own as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.

CLEOPATRA

Antony told me about you. He said you were a man I could trust. But I dont worry about being deceived because I dont need to trust. If your master wants a queen to beg from him, you should tell him that a queen will beg for no less than a kingdom.
If he will grant me conquered Egypt, so that I may give it to my son, I will kneel to him with thanks.

PROCULEIUS

Be of good cheer.
Youre falln into a princely hand. Fear nothing.
Make your full reference freely to my lord,
Who is so full of grace that it flows over
25 On all that need. Let me report to him
Your sweet dependency, and you shall find
A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness
Where he for grace is kneeled to.

PROCULEIUS

Be content. Youre in the charge of an honorable man. Dont be afraid. You can ask for anything from my lord. His generosity flows to anyone in need. If I can tell him that you have submitted to him sweetly, hell request your assistance in finding ways in which he can support you.

CLEOPATRA

Pray you, tell him
I am his fortunes vassal, and I send him
30 The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
Look him i th face.

CLEOPATRA

Please tell him I have surrendered to his fortune. I give up to him the glory he has won. Im learning every hour how to be subservient. Id be happy to meet with him in person.

PROCULEIUS

This Ill report, dear lady.
Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
Of him that caused it.

PROCULEIUS

Ill tell him all of this, dear lady. Be at ease. I know hes sorry for your situation, especially since he caused it.
GALLUS and Roman soldiers enter from behind and take CLEOPATRA prisoner
GALLUS enters with soldiers. They seize CLEOPATRA .

GALLUS

35 You see how easily she may be surprised.
(to the soldiers) Guard her till Caesar come.

GALLUS

(toPROCULEIUS) See how easy it was to capture her? (to soldiers) Guard her until Caesar arrives.

IRAS

Royal Queen!

IRAS

Your majesty!

CHARMIAN

O Cleopatra! Thou art taken, Queen.

CHARMIAN

Oh, Cleopatra! Youve been betrayed, my Queen!
CLEOPATRA draws a dagger
CLEOPATRA pulls out a knife.

CLEOPATRA

Quick, quick, good hands.

CLEOPATRA

Quick, quick good hands!
PROCULEIUS seizes the dagger
She tries to stab herself, but PROCULEIUS seizes the dagger.

PROCULEIUS

Hold, worthy lady, hold!
Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
40 Relieved but not betrayed.

PROCULEIUS

Stop, brave lady, stop! Dont do such a shameful thing to yourself. Weve rescued you from yourself. We have not betrayed you.

CLEOPATRA

What, of death too,
That rids our dogs of languish?

CLEOPATRA

What, am I being denied death, as well? The thing which even dogs are given, to rid them of their suffering?

PROCULEIUS

Cleopatra,
Do not abuse my masters bounty by
Th undoing of yourself. Let the world see
His nobleness well acted, which your death
45 Will never let come forth.

PROCULEIUS

Dont insult my masters generosity by killing yourself. The world will see how noble he is by the way he treats you. Your death would prevent that.

CLEOPATRA

Where art thou, Death?
Come hither, come! Come, come and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars!

CLEOPATRA

Where are you, Death? Come here. Come, and you can have a queen. One queen is worth more than a whole number of babies and beggars, your cheapest conquests.

PROCULEIUS

Oh, temperance, lady!

PROCULEIUS

Oh, control yourself, lady!

CLEOPATRA

Sir, I will eat no meat, Ill not drink, sir.
If idle talk will once be necessary,
Ill not sleep neither. This mortal house Ill ruin,
Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
Will not wait pinioned at your masters court,
Nor once be chastised with the sober eye
Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up
55 And show me to the shouting varletry
Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
Be gentle grave unto me. Rather on Nilus mud
Lay me stark naked and let the waterflies
Blow me into abhorring. Rather make
60 My countrys high pyramides my gibbet
And hang me up in chains!

CLEOPATRA

Sir, I wont eat. I wont drink. And dont expect me to talk. I wont sleep either. Ill destroy my body. Let Caesar do whatever he wants. Youd better understand that I wont wait till Im chained up in your masters court, and I wont let myself be scolded even once by dull Octavia. Shall I let them exhibit me to the shouting mobs of Rome?
Id rather die in a ditch in Egypt, and make it my gentle grave. Id rather lie in the Nile mud with flies laying their eggs in me, making me disgusting. Id rather be hung in chains from one of our pyramids!

PROCULEIUS

You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
Find cause in Caesar.

PROCULEIUS

Youre letting yourself get carried away with these horrible thoughts. Youll see that Caesar is giving you no reason to do so.
Enter DOLABELLA
DOLABELLA enters.

DOLABELLA

Proculeius,
What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
65 And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
Ill take her to my guard.

DOLABELLA

Proculeius, Caesar has heard about what youve done here and has sent for you. Ill take the Queen into my custody.

PROCULEIUS

So, Dolabella,
It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.
(toCLEOPATRA) To Caesar I will speak what you shall please,
If youll employ me to him.

PROCULEIUS

So be it, Dolabella. Caesars thanks are my greatest reward. Be kind to her. (toCLEOPATRA) Ill relay to Caesar any request you want to give me.

CLEOPATRA

Say I would die.

CLEOPATRA

Tell him Id like to die.
Exit PROCULEIUS PROCULEIUS exits.

DOLABELLA

70 Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?

DOLABELLA

Have you heard of me, most noble Empress?

CLEOPATRA

I cannot tell.

CLEOPATRA

I dont remember.

DOLABELLA

Assuredly you know me.

DOLABELLA

Im sure youve heard of me.

CLEOPATRA

No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams.
75 Is t not your trick?

CLEOPATRA

It doesnt matter what Ive heard or known. You must be the one who laughs when boys or women tell you their dreams. Isnt that your habit?

DOLABELLA

I understand not, madam.

DOLABELLA

I dont know what you mean, madam.

CLEOPATRA

I dreamt there was an emperor Antony.
Oh, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!

CLEOPATRA

I dreamed about an emperor called Antony. Oh, I wish I could sleep again, so I could have another dream like that!

DOLABELLA

If it might please ye

DOLABELLA

If youd like

CLEOPATRA

His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck
A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted
The little O, the earth.

CLEOPATRA

Authority radiated from his face, and his presence brought knowledge and order to the people of earth.

DOLABELLA

Most sovereign creature

DOLABELLA

Your majesty

CLEOPATRA

His legs bestrid the ocean. His reared arm
Crested the world. His voice was propertied
As all the tund spheres, and that to friends.
85 But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in t, an autumn twas
That grew the more by reaping. His delights
Were dolphinlike; they showed his back above
90 The element they lived in. In his livery
Walked crowns and crownets. Realms and islands were
As plates dropped from his pocket.

CLEOPATRA

His power extended from one shore to the other, as if he straddled the ocean with his legs. When he raised his arm in command, the world trembled. He spoke exquisitely to his friends, but when he wanted to terrify the world, his voice was like thunder. There was no end to his generosity. The more he gave, the more he wanted to give. His amusements showed another side of him, one detached from his world of responsibility and duty. Kings and noblemen served him. Kingdoms and provinces dropped from his pockets like loose change.

DOLABELLA

Cleopatra

DOLABELLA

Cleopatra

CLEOPATRA

Think you there was or might be such a man
As this I dreamt of?

CLEOPATRA

Do you think there ever was, or could there ever be, a man such as the one I dreamed about?

DOLABELLA

Gentle madam, no.

DOLABELLA

No, gentle madam.

CLEOPATRA

95 You lie up to the hearing of the gods.
But if there be nor ever were one such,
Its past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy, yet t imagine
An Antony were natures piece gainst fancy,
100 Condemning shadows quite.

CLEOPATRA

The gods can hear you lying! But if there ever were such a man, simple dreams could never contain his greatness. When it comes to creating fantastical things, the natural world cannot compete with imagination. And yet, if the natural world could create something like Antony, it would have a masterpiece to rival anything fantasy might construct. Antony would easily outshine all imaginary beings.

DOLABELLA

Hear me, good madam.
Your loss is as yourself, great, and you bear it
As answering to the weight. Would I might never
Oertake pursued success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
105 My very heart at root.

DOLABELLA

Listen to me, madam. You are a remarkable person and your loss is equally remarkable. You are responding appropriately to the greatness of that loss. I hope I never achieve success if I dont feel some of your heartbroken grief right now.

CLEOPATRA

I thank you, sir.
Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

CLEOPATRA

Thank you, sir. Do you know what Caesar intends to do with me?

DOLABELLA

I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.

DOLABELLA

Im reluctant to tell you what I wish you knew.

CLEOPATRA

Nay, pray you, sir.

CLEOPATRA

Please, sir

DOLABELLA

Though he be honorable

DOLABELLA

Though he is honorable

CLEOPATRA

Hell lead me, then, in triumph.

CLEOPATRA

Hell still parade me through Rome as a trophy of war.

DOLABELLA

110 Madam, he will. I know t.

DOLABELLA

I know he will, madam.
Flourish. Enter CAESAR , PROCULEIUS , GALLUS , MAECENAS , and other ATTENDANTS
Trumpets sound a royal fanfare. CAESAR , PROCULEIUS , GALLUS , MAECENAS , and other ATTENDANTS enter.

ATTENDANTS

Make way there! Caesar!

ATTENDANTS

Stand aside for Caesar.

CAESAR

Which is the Queen of Egypt?

CAESAR

Which of these ladies is the Queen of Egypt?

DOLABELLA

(toCLEOPATRA) It is the Emperor, madam.

DOLABELLA

(toCLEOPATRA) Its the Emperor, madam.
CLEOPATRA kneels
CLEOPATRA kneels.

CAESAR

Arise, you shall not kneel.
115 I pray you, rise. Rise, Egypt.

CAESAR

Arise. You need not kneel to me. Please rise, Queen.

CLEOPATRA

Sir, the gods
Will have it thus. My master and my lord
I must obey.

CLEOPATRA

The gods have ordained it to be like this, sir. You are my lord and master. I must obey.
CLEOPATRA stands
CLEOPATRA stands up.

CAESAR

Take to you no hard thoughts.
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
120 As things but done by chance.

CAESAR

Dont think I blame you. Whatever injuries I received in the war, I put down to the fortunes of war.

CLEOPATRA

Sole sir o th world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear, but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which before
Have often shamed our sex.

CLEOPATRA

You are now the sole lord of the entire world. I cant explain my cause very clearly. I must admit to having the weaknesses that all women are accused of.

CAESAR

Cleopatra, know
125 We will extenuate rather than enforce.
If you apply yourself to our intents,
Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find
A benefit in this change, but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty by taking
130 Antonys course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes and put your children
To that destruction which Ill guard them from
If thereon you rely. Ill take my leave.

CAESAR

Cleopatra, understand that, rather than emphasize our power over you, we will soften if you accept our intentions, which are very compassionate toward you. Your acceptance will benefit you, but if you try to make me look cruel by committing suicide as Antony did, I wont be so generous.
Your children will be destroyed, a fate your submission will save them from. Ill leave you now.

CLEOPATRA

And may, through all the world! Tis yours, and we,
Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.

CLEOPATRA

You may do whatever you want in the world. Its yours, and you may hang us, your trophies of war, anywhere you like. Here, my good lord.
She gives him a scroll
She hands him a list.

CAESAR

You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.

CAESAR

You shall advise me in everything having to do with Cleopatra.

CLEOPATRA

This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
I am possessed of. Tis exactly valued,
140 Not petty things admitted. Wheres Seleucus?

CLEOPATRA

This is the inventory of the money, silverware, dishes, and jewels that are still in my possession. Its an exact list. Not even trivial things were left out. Wheres Seleucus?
Enter SELEUCUS
SELEUCUS enters.

SELEUCUS

Here, madam.

SELEUCUS

Here, madam.

CLEOPATRA

This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,
Upon his peril, that I have reserved
To myself nothing.Speak the truth, Seleucus.

CLEOPATRA

This is my treasurer. My lord, he will swear on his life that I havent kept a thing.Tell the truth, Seleucus.

SELEUCUS

145 Madam, I had rather seal my lips
Than to my peril speak that which is not.

SELEUCUS

Madam, Id rather sew my lips shut than tell a lie when my life depends upon it.

CLEOPATRA

What have I kept back?

CLEOPATRA

What did I keep for myself?

SELEUCUS

Enough to purchase what you have made known.

SELEUCUS

Enough to buy everything you have declared.

CAESAR

Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve
150 Your wisdom in the deed.

CAESAR

No, dont be ashamed, Cleopatra. Youre very prudent to set a little aside.

CLEOPATRA

See, Caesar! Oh, behold
How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours,
And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
Even make me wild. (toSELEUCUS) O slave, of no more trust
155 Than love thats hired!
What, goest thou back? Thou shalt
Go back, I warrant thee! But Ill catch thine eyes,
Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
Oh, rarely base!

CLEOPATRA

Look around you, Caesar. Oh, just see what happens after the pageantry is over! What is mine will be yours now. If we were to change places, what is yours would be mine. Seleucus ingratitude makes me wild. (toSELEUCUS) Oh, you slave! I cant trust you any more than a prostitute.
What are you doing? Cringing away? Ill give you a good reason to cringe, I promise you. Ill scratch out your eyes, even if they could fly. You slave! Soulless villain! Dog! Oh, that was unbelievably low!

CAESAR

Good Queen, let us entreat you

CAESAR

Good Queen, let me implore you

CLEOPATRA

O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
160 That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,
Doing the honor of thy lordliness
To one so meek, that mine own servant should
Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
165 That I some lady trifles have reserved,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal, and say
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
170 Their mediation, must I be unfolded
With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
Beneath the fall I have. (toSELEUCUS) Prithee, go hence,
Or I shall show the cinders of my spirit
Through th ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
175 Thou wouldst have mercy on me.

CLEOPATRA

Oh, Caesar, I am so ashamed. You condescended to visit me here, honoring my humble self with your lordly presence. And one of my own servants increases my disgrace by adding his envy! Suppose, good Caesar, that I have saved a few feminine trifles, some unimportant trinkets. These have worth only as gifts to friends. And suppose I have kept a few more expensive gifts aside for

Livia

Octavius Caesars wife

Livia
and Octavia, to solicit their good wishes. Must I then be exposed by a person Ive supported? By the gods! It adds another blow to the many I have already. (toSELEUCUS) Please leave, or Ill show you whats left of my spirit since my fortune was ruined. If you were a real man, you would have had mercy on me.

CAESAR

Forbear, Seleucus.

CAESAR

Leave, Seleucus.
Exit SELEUCUS SELEUCUS exits.

CLEOPATRA

Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do, and when we fall
We answer others merits in our name,
Are therefore to be pitied.

CLEOPATRA

You should also know that as head of state, we are often blamed for the crimes of others. And though we may fall, we are still responsible for their offenses. I am therefore to be pitied.

CAESAR

Cleopatra,
Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged
Put we i th roll of conquest. Still be t yours.
Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe
Caesars no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheered.
Make not your thoughts your prison. No, dear Queen,
For we intend so to dispose you as
Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed and sleep.
Our care and pity is so much upon you
That we remain your friend. And so, adieu.

CAESAR

Cleopatra, our conquest wont include either the things you kept back or the ones you listed. Its all still yours. Do whatever you like with it. You can trust that Caesar is not a merchant to haggle with you over your property. So cheer up. Dont be captured by your depressed thoughts. No, dear Queen. We want to follow your own counsel when making arrangements for you. Eat and sleep. I have so much care and pity for you that you could call me friend. And so, good-bye.

CLEOPATRA

190 My master, and my lord!

CLEOPATRA

My master and my lord!

CAESAR

Not so. Adieu.

CAESAR

Not true. Good-bye.
Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR and his train Trumpet flourish. CAESAR and his entourage exit.

CLEOPATRA

He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
Be noble to myself. But, hark thee, Charmian.

CLEOPATRA

Hes trying to talk me into forgetting my nobility, girls. But listen, Charmian.
She whispers to CHARMIAN
She whispers to CHARMIAN .

IRAS

Finish, good lady. The bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.

IRAS

Its time to end it, good lady. The bright day of our lives is over, and now there will only be darkness.

CLEOPATRA

(toCHARMIAN) Hie thee again.
195 I have spoke already, and it is provided.
Go put it to the haste.

CLEOPATRA

(toCHARMIAN) Go out again. Ive already given the order, and it is ready. Hurry with your errand.

CHARMIAN

Madam, I will.

CHARMIAN

I will, madam.
Enter DOLABELLA
DOLABELLA enters.

DOLABELLA

Wheres the Queen?

DOLABELLA

Wheres the Queen?

CHARMIAN

Behold, sir.

CHARMIAN

Look, sir.
Exit She exits.

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella!

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella.

DOLABELLA

Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
200 I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
Intends his journey, and within three days
You with your children will he send before.
Make your best use of this. I have performed
Your pleasure and my promise.

DOLABELLA

Madam, according to my promisewhich my love to you has made a religious vowI tell you that Caesar intends to travel through Syria. Within three days you and your children will be sent ahead. Make the best use of this information you can. I have done your bidding and fulfilled my promise.

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella,
205 I shall remain your debtor.

CLEOPATRA

Dolabella, I will always be in debt to you.

DOLABELLA

I your servant.
Adieu, good Queen. I must attend on Caesar.

DOLABELLA

And I your servant. Good-bye, good Queen. I must go attend Caesar.

CLEOPATRA

Farewell, and thanks.

CLEOPATRA

Farewell, and thanks.
Exit DOLABELLA DOLABELLA exits.
Now, Iras, what thinkst thou?
Thou an Egyptian puppet shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I. Mechanic slaves
210 With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers shall
Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall be enclouded,
And forced to drink their vapor.
Now, Iras, what do you think? You will be exhibited in Rome along with me, like Egyptian puppets. Crude slaves with greasy aprons, rulers, and hammers shall lift us up so everyone can see. Their stinking breath will form a cloud around us, and well be forced to inhale it.

IRAS

The gods forbid!

IRAS

The gods forbid!

CLEOPATRA

Nay, tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o tune. The quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us and present
Our Alexandrian revels. Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
220 Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I th posture of a whore.

CLEOPATRA

No, its certain, Iras. Insolent

lictors

Roman officers who assisted the judge

lictors
will paw us as if we were streetwalkers. Disreputable minstrels will write bawdy songs about us. Hotheaded comedians will stage impromptu impersonations of us and depict the celebrations we had in Alexandria. Antony will be portrayed as a drunk, and Ill see some boy with a squeaking voice play Cleopatra as if I were a whore.

IRAS

Oh, the good gods!

IRAS

Oh, the good gods!

CLEOPATRA

Nay, thats certain.

CLEOPATRA

No, thats the truth.

IRAS

Ill never see t! For I am sure mine nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

IRAS

Ill never see it. I know my nails are stronger than my eyes; Ill scratch them out.

CLEOPATRA

Why, thats the way
225 To fool their preparation and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.

CLEOPATRA

Why, thats just the way to frustrate their plans and defeat their absurd intentions.
Enter CHARMIAN
CHARMIAN enters.
Now, Charmian!
Show me, my women, like a queen. Go fetch
My best attires. I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony.Sirrah Iras, go.
230 Now, noble Charmian, well dispatch indeed,
And when thou hast done this chare Ill give thee leave
To play till doomsday. (toIRAS) Bring our crown and all.
Now, Charmian! Women, dress me like a queen. Go get my best clothes. I will once again be as fine as when I went to Cydnus to meet Marc Antony.Iras, go.Now, Charmian, well be quick indeed. And after youve done this chore, Ill give you permission to amuse yourself until doomsday. (toIRAS) Bring our crown and all the royal symbols of office.
ExitIRAS. A noise within IRASexits. A noise offstage.
Wherefores this noise?
Whats that noise?
Enter a GUARDSMAN
A GUARDSMAN enters.

GUARDSMAN

Here is a rural fellow
That will not be denied your Highness presence.
235 He brings you figs.

GUARDSMAN

Theres a farmer here who wont leave without seeing your Highness. He has brought you figs.

CLEOPATRA

Let him come in.

CLEOPATRA

Let him come in.
Exit GUARDSMAN The GUARDSMAN exits.
What poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
My resolutions placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
240 I am marble-constant. Now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.
What a poor instrument, that can do such a noble deed! He brings me freedom. My mind is made up. Theres nothing of the weak woman left in me. Now from head to foot Im as firm as marble. Now the inconstant moon has nothing to do with me.
Enter GUARDSMAN , and COUNTRYMAN bringing in a basket
The GUARDSMAN enters with a COUNTRYMAN , who carries a basket.

GUARDSMAN

This is the man.

GUARDSMAN

This is the man.

CLEOPATRA

Avoid, and leave him.

CLEOPATRA

Leave us.
Exit GUARDSMAN The GUARDSMAN exits.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
That kills and pains not?
Do you have in there the pretty snake of the Nile that kills without pain?

COUNTRYMAN

Truly, I have him, but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal. Those that do die of it do seldom or never recover.

COUNTRYMAN

I certainly do have him, but I wouldnt advise you to touch him. His bite is fatal. People who die of it seldom or never recover.

CLEOPATRA

Rememberst thou any that have died on t?

CLEOPATRA

Do you remember anyone who died of it?

COUNTRYMAN

Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterdaya very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honestyhow she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt. Truly, she makes a very good report o th worm. But he that will believe all that they say shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is most falliable, the worms an odd worm.

COUNTRYMAN

Many people, men and women alike. I heard of one just yesterday. She was a very honest woman but rather inclined to liewhich a woman shouldnt do unless shes protecting her reputation. I heard how she died of its bite, how much pain she felt. Indeed, she gives a very good testimony of the snakes power. But if you believe everything they say, you wont be saved by half of what they do. But this is a sure thing: the snakes an odd snake.

CLEOPATRA

Get thee hence, farewell.

CLEOPATRA

You may leave now. Farewell.

COUNTRYMAN

I wish you all joy of the worm.

COUNTRYMAN

I hope you are pleased with the snake.
He sets down his basket
He sets down the basket.

CLEOPATRA

Farewell.

CLEOPATRA

Farewell.

COUNTRYMAN

You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

COUNTRYMAN

You must know that the snake will act according to his nature.

CLEOPATRA

Ay, ay. Farewell.

CLEOPATRA

Yes, yes. Farewell.

COUNTRYMAN

Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping of wise people, for indeed there is no goodness in the worm.

COUNTRYMAN

Listen, the snake is dangerous unless handled by people who are used to him. There isnt any kindness in the snake.

CLEOPATRA

265 Take thou no care. It shall be heeded.

CLEOPATRA

Dont worry; well remember your warnings.

COUNTRYMAN

Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth the feeding.

COUNTRYMAN

Good. Dont feed it, I beg you. Its not worth feeding.

CLEOPATRA

Will it eat me?

CLEOPATRA

Will it eat me?

COUNTRYMAN

You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not. But, truly, these same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women, for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.

COUNTRYMAN

Dont think Im so dumb that I dont know that the devil himself wont eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish fit only for the gods, as long as the devil hasnt prepared the meal. But devils cause a lot of trouble for the gods regarding their women. For every ten women the gods make, the devils ruin five.

CLEOPATRA

275 Well, get thee gone. Farewell.

CLEOPATRA

Well, you can go now. Farewell.

COUNTRYMAN

Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o th worm.

COUNTRYMAN

Yes, truly, I wish you good luck with the snake.
Exit He exits.
Enter IRAS with royal attire
IRAS enters, carrying CLEOPATRA s royal regalia.

CLEOPATRA

Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I have
Immortal longings in me. Now no more
The juice of Egypts grape shall moist this lip.

CLEOPATRA

Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I long to be immortal. I wont drink Egyptian wine again.
The women dress her
CHARMIAN and IRAS begin to dress her.
280 Yare, yare, good Iras, quick. Methinks I hear
Antony call. I see him rouse himself
To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
To excuse their after wrath.Husband, I come!
285 Now to that name my courage prove my title!
I am fire and air, my other elements
I give to baser life.So, have you done?
Come then and take the last warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian. Iras, long farewell.
Quickly, quickly, good Iras, quickly. I think I hear Antony call me. I see him revive himself to praise my noble act. I hear him mock Caesars luck, which the gods give to men in order to balance out their subsequent wrath. Husband, Im coming! Now let my courage prove my title as wife. I am now made of fire and air, and I leave the other elements, earth and water, to this mortal life. So, are you done? Come then, kiss me and take the last bit of warmth from my lips. Good-bye, kind Charmian. Iras, I wont see you again for a long time.
She kisses them. IRAS falls and dies
She kisses them. IRAS collapses and dies.
290 Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lovers pinch,
Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tellst the world
295 It is not worth leave-taking.
Do I have the asps poison on my lips? Did you fall? If you can leave your body so easily, then the touch of death is like a lovers pinch, which hurts but is desired. Do you lie still? If you leave like that, you tell the world that its not worthy of a good-bye.

CHARMIAN

Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
The gods themselves do weep!

CHARMIAN

Clouds, dissolve into rain, so that I could say the gods themselves are weeping!

CLEOPATRA

This proves me base.
If she first meet the curld Antony,
Hell make demand of her and spend that kiss
Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou mortal wretch,

CLEOPATRA

This proves that Im petty: if Iras meets Antony before me, hell want her first and give her the kiss that is my bliss to have.
Come, you deadly villain.
She places an asp on her breast
She puts the snake on her breast.
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool
Be angry and dispatch. Oh, couldst thou speak,
That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
305 Unpolicied!
Separate me from life with your sharp teeth. Poor poisonous fool, be angry and bite. Oh, if you could speak, I might hear you call Caesar an ass whos been outsmarted!

CHARMIAN

O eastern star!

CHARMIAN

Oh, eastern star!

CLEOPATRA

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

CLEOPATRA

Quiet, quiet! Dont you see my baby suckling at my breast so that its nurse will fall asleep?

CHARMIAN

Oh, break! Oh, break!

CHARMIAN

Oh, if my heart would only break!

CLEOPATRA

As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle
O Antony!Nay, I will take thee too.

CLEOPATRA

The poison is as sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentleOh, Antony!No, Ill take you too.
Applying another asp to her arm
She puts another snake on her arm.
310 What should I stay
Why should I stay
Dies
She dies.

CHARMIAN

In this wild world? So, fare thee well.
Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparalleled. Downy windows, close,

CHARMIAN

In this vile world? So, good-bye. Now, Death, you can boast that you have an incomparable girl in your possession. Close, soft eyes.
She closes CLEOPATRA s eyes
She closes CLEOPATRA s eyes.
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
315 Of eyes again so royal! Your crowns awry.
Ill mend it and then play
The sun will never be seen by such royal eyes again. Your crown is crooked. Ill straighten it, then play
Enter the GUARD , rustling in
The GUARDS rush in noisily.

FIRST GUARD

Wheres the Queen?

FIRST GUARD

Wheres the Queen?

CHARMIAN

Speak softly. Wake her not.

CHARMIAN

Speak softly. Dont wake her.

FIRST GUARD

Caesar hath sent

FIRST GUARD

Caesar has sent

CHARMIAN

Too slow a messenger.

CHARMIAN

Too slow a messenger.
She applies an asp to herself.
She applies an asp to herself.
Oh, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
Oh, come quickly! I almost feel you.

FIRST GUARD

(calling) Approach, ho! Alls not well. Caesars beguiled.

FIRST GUARD

(calling) Come in. Ho! Alls not well. Caesars been deceived.

SECOND GUARD

Theres Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.

SECOND GUARD

Theres Dolabella, who was sent from Caesar. Call him.
Exit SECOND GUARD The SECOND GUARD exits.

FIRST GUARD

What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

FIRST GUARD

What kind of work is this, Charmian? Is this well done?

CHARMIAN

It is well done and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
325 Ah, soldier!

CHARMIAN

It is well done, and appropriate for a princess who has descended from so many royal kings. Ah, soldier!
CHARMIAN dies
She dies.
Enter DOLABELLA
DOLABELLA enters.

DOLABELLA

How goes it here?

DOLABELLA

Whats going on in here?

SECOND GUARD

All dead.

SECOND GUARD

Theyre all dead.

DOLABELLA

Caesar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming
To see performed the dreaded act which thou
So soughtst to hinder.

DOLABELLA

Caesar, you thought this would happen. Youre coming here yourself to see the dreaded act you had tried to stop.
Enter CAESAR and all his train, marching
CAESAR and his entourage enter, marching.

ALL

330 A way there, a way for Caesar!

ALL

Step aside, step aside for Caesar!

DOLABELLA

O sir, you are too sure an augurer.
That you did fear is done.

DOLABELLA

Oh, sir, you are too good at predicting the future. What you were afraid of has happened.

CAESAR

Bravest at the last,
She leveled at our purposes and, being royal,
335 Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
I do not see them bleed.

CAESAR

She was bravest at the end. She knew what I intended to do with her and, being royal, she took her own way out. How did they die? I dont see any blood.

DOLABELLA

Who was last with them?

DOLABELLA

Who was with them last?

FIRST GUARD

A simple countryman that brought her figs.
This was his basket.

FIRST GUARD

A simple country farmer who brought her figs. This was the basket.

CAESAR

Poisoned, then.

CAESAR

They were poisoned, then.

FIRST GUARD

Oh, Caesar,
This Charmian lived but now. She stood and spake.
340 I found her trimming up the diadem
On her dead mistress. Tremblingly she stood
And on the sudden dropped.

FIRST GUARD

Oh, Caesar, this Charmian lived until a moment ago. She stood and spoke. I found her adjusting the crown on her dead mistress. She stood trembling, then suddenly dropped dead.

CAESAR

Oh, noble weakness!
If they had swallowed poison, twould appear
By external swelling, but she looks like sleep,
345 As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.

CAESAR

Oh, noble weakness! If they had swallowed poison, it would be evident by external swelling. But she looks like shes asleep, as if she would charm another Antony.

DOLABELLA

Here on her breast
There is a vent of blood, and something blown.
The like is on her arm.

DOLABELLA

Here on her breast theres a little bloody mark. Theres a similar mark on her arm.

FIRST GUARD

This is an aspics trail, and these fig leaves
Have slime upon them, such as th aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.

FIRST GUARD

This is an asps trail, and these fig leaves have slime on them, just like the kind that asps deposit on the caves by the Nile.

CAESAR

Most probable
That so she died, for her physician tells me
She hath pursued conclusions infinite
Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed
355 And bear her women from the monument.
She shall be buried by her Antony.
No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them, and their story is
360 No less in pity than his glory which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
In solemn show attend this funeral,
And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity.

CAESAR

Thats probably how she died. Her doctor told me she had searched for an infinite number of easy ways to die. Pick up her bed and carry her ladies out of the tomb. She shall be buried next to her Antony. No other grave on earth shall hold a pair this famous. Momentous events like these strike those that cause them. Antony and Cleopatras story is as pitiable as my military exploits are glorious. Our army shall somberly attend this funeral and then depart for Rome. Come, Dolabella. See that there is a dignified splendor to this great solemnity.
Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies They exit, with the GUARDS carrying CLEOPATRA s bed and the two ladies.