ACT 3, SCENE 3: Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.


CLEOPATRA: Where is the fellow?

ALEXAS:                    Half afeard to come.

CLEOPATRA: Go to, go to.

[Enter the Messenger as before]

Come hither, sir.

ALEXAS:                     Good majesty,
Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you
But when you are well pleased.                                                              [5]

CLEOPATRA:                That Herod's head
I'll have: but how, when Antony is gone
Through whom I might command it? Come thou near.

Messenger:                    Most gracious majesty,--

CLEOPATRA: Didst thou behold Octavia?

Messenger: Ay, dread queen.

CLEOPATRA: Where?                                                                                           [10]

Messenger: Madam, in Rome;
I look'd her in the face, and saw her led
Between her brother and Mark Antony.

CLEOPATRA: Is she as tall as me?

Messenger:                She is not, madam.

CLEOPATRA: Didst hear her speak? is she shrill-tongued or low?             [15]

Messenger: Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voiced.

CLEOPATRA: That's not so good: he cannot like her long.

CHARMIAN: Like her! O Isis! 'tis impossible.

CLEOPATRA: I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue, and dwarfish!
What majesty is in her gait? Remember,                                             [20]
If e'er thou look'dst on majesty.

Messenger:                     She creeps:
Her motion and her station are as one;
She shows a body rather than a life,
A statue than a breather.

CLEOPATRA:                Is this certain?

Messenger: Or I have no observance.                                                                 [25]

CHARMIAN:           Three in Egypt
Cannot make better note.

CLEOPATRA:           He's very knowing;
I do perceive't: there's nothing in her yet:
The fellow has good judgment.

CHARMIAN:           Excellent.

CLEOPATRA: Guess at her years, I prithee.

Messenger:                Madam,
She was a widow,--                                                                                   [30]

CLEOPATRA:                Widow! Charmian, hark.

Messenger: And I do think she's thirty.

CLEOPATRA: Bear'st thou her face in mind? is't long or round?

Messenger: Round even to faultiness.

CLEOPATRA: For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.
Her hair, what colour?                                                                              [35]

Messenger: Brown, madam: and her forehead
As low as she would wish it.

CLEOPATRA:               There's gold for thee.
Thou must not take my former sharpness ill:
I will employ thee back again; I find thee
Most fit for business: go make thee ready;                                            [40]
Our letters are prepared.

[Exit Messenger]

CHARMIAN:           A proper man.

CLEOPATRA: Indeed, he is so: I repent me much
That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,
This creature's no such thing.

CHARMIAN:           Nothing, madam.

CLEOPATRA: The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.             [45]

CHARMIAN: Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,
And serving you so long!

CLEOPATRA: I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian:
But 'tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me
Where I will write. All may be well enough.                                      [50]

CHARMIAN: I warrant you, madam.


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