ACT 1 SCENE 5: Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.


CLEOPATRA: Charmian!


Give me to drink mandragora.

CHARMIAN:                           Why, madam?

CLEOPATRA: That I might sleep out this great gap of time                         [5]
My Antony is away.

CHARMIAN:                           You think of him too much.

CLEOPATRA: O, 'tis treason!

CHARMIAN:                           Madam, I trust, not so.

CLEOPATRA: Thou, eunuch Mardian!

MARDIAN:                           What's your highness' pleasure?

CLEOPATRA: Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure
In aught an eunuch has: 'tis well for thee,                                           [10]
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?

MARDIAN: Yes, gracious madam.


MARDIAN: Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing                                [15]
But what indeed is honest to be done:
Yet have I fierce affections, and think
What Venus did with Mars.

CLEOPATRA:                           O Charmian,
Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he?
Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?                                               [20]
O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely, horse! for wot'st thou whom thou movest?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men. He's speaking now,
Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?'                            [25]
For so he calls me: now I feed myself
With most delicious poison. Think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
When thou wast here above the ground, I was                                  [30]
A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey
Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect and die
With looking on his life.


ALEXAS:                           Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

CLEOPATRA: How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!                            [35]
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
With his tinct gilded thee.
How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

ALEXAS: Last thing he did, dear queen,
He kiss'd,--the last of many doubled kisses,                                   [40]
This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my heart.

CLEOPATRA: Mine ear must pluck it thence.

ALEXAS:                           'Good friend,' quoth he,
'Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends
This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot,
To mend the petty present, I will piece                                                 [45]
Her opulent throne with kingdoms; all the East,
Say thou, shall call her mistress.' So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed,
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb'd by him.                                                                    [50]

CLEOPATRA:                           What, was he sad or merry?

ALEXAS: Like to the time o' the year between the extremes
Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.

CLEOPATRA: O well-divided disposition! Note him,
Note him good Charmian, 'tis the man; but note him:
He was not sad, for he would shine on those                                      [55]
That make their looks by his; he was not merry,
Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay
In Egypt with his joy; but between both:
O heavenly mingle! Be'st thou sad or merry,
The violence of either thee becomes,                                                    [60]
So does it no man else. Met'st thou my posts?

ALEXAS: Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Why do you send so thick?

CLEOPATRA:                           Who's born that day
When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.                                      [65]
Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Caesar so?

CHARMIAN:                           O that brave Caesar!

CLEOPATRA: Be choked with such another emphasis!
Say, the brave Antony.

CHARMIAN:                           The valiant Caesar!

CLEOPATRA: By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,                                        [70]
If thou with Caesar paragon again
My man of men.

CHARMIAN:                           By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.

CLEOPATRA:                           My salad days,
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;                                                  [75]
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.


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