Cleo. My desolation does begin to make A better life: Tis paltry to be Caesar: Not being Fortune, hee's but Fortunes knaue, A minister of her will: and it is great To do that thing that ends all other deeds, Which shackles accedents, and bolts vp change; Which sleepes, and neuer pallates more the dung, The beggers Nurse, and Caesars. Enter Proculeius.

Pro. Caesar sends greeting to the Queene of Egypt, And bids thee study on what faire demands Thou mean'st to haue him grant thee

Cleo. What's thy name? Pro. My name is Proculeius

Cleo. Anthony Did tell me of you, bad me trust you, but I do not greatly care to be deceiu'd That haue no vse for trusting. If your Master Would haue a Queene his begger, you must tell him, That Maiesty to keepe decorum, must No lesse begge then a Kingdome: If he please To giue me conquer'd Egypt for my Sonne, He giues me so much of mine owne, as I Will kneele to him with thankes

Pro. Be of good cheere: Y'are falne into a Princely hand, feare nothing, Make your full reference freely to my Lord, Who is so full of Grace, that it flowes ouer On all that neede. Let me report to him Your sweet dependancie, and you shall finde A Conqueror that will pray in ayde for kindnesse, Where he for grace is kneel'd too

Cleo. Pray you tell him, I am his Fortunes Vassall, and I send him The Greatnesse he has got. I hourely learne A Doctrine of Obedience, and would gladly Looke him i'th' Face

Pro. This Ile report (deere Lady) Haue comfort, for I know your plight is pittied Of him that caus'd it

Pro. You see how easily she may be surpriz'd: Guard her till Caesar come

Iras. Royall Queene

Char. Oh Cleopatra, thou art taken Queene

Cleo. Quicke, quicke, good hands

Pro. Hold worthy Lady, hold: Doe not your selfe such wrong, who are in this Releeu'd, but not betraid

Cleo. What of death too that rids our dogs of languish Pro. Cleopatra, do not abuse my Masters bounty, by Th' vndoing of your selfe: Let the World see His Noblenesse well acted, which your death Will neuer let come forth

Cleo. Where art thou Death? Come hither come; Come, come, and take a Queene Worth many Babes and Beggers

Pro. Oh temperance Lady

Cleo. Sir, I will eate no meate, Ile not drinke sir, If idle talke will once be necessary Ile not sleepe neither. This mortall house Ile ruine, Do Caesar what he can. Know sir, that I Will not waite pinnion'd at your Masters Court, Nor once be chastic'd with the sober eye Of dull Octauia. Shall they hoyst me vp, And shew me to the showting Varlotarie Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt. Be gentle graue vnto me, rather on Nylus mudde Lay me starke-nak'd, and let the water-Flies Blow me into abhorring; rather make My Countries high pyramides my Gibbet, And hang me vp in Chaines

Pro. You do extend These thoughts of horror further then you shall Finde cause in Caesar. Enter Dolabella.

Dol. Proculeius, What thou hast done, thy Master Caesar knowes, And he hath sent for thee: for the Queene, Ile take her to my Guard

Pro. So Dolabella, It shall content me best: Be gentle to her, To Caesar I will speake, what you shall please, If you'l imploy me to him.

Exit Proculeius

Cleo. Say, I would dye

Dol. Most Noble Empresse, you haue heard of me

Cleo. I cannot tell

Dol. Assuredly you know me

Cleo. No matter sir, what I haue heard or knowne: You laugh when Boyes or Women tell their Dreames, Is't not your tricke? Dol. I vnderstand not, Madam

Cleo. I dreampt there was an Emperor Anthony. Oh such another sleepe, that I might see But such another man

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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