Plutarch and Shakespeare Compared

The Life of Marcus Antonius Antony and Cleopatra
The messengers came at full speed, and found the guards apprehensive of nothing; but on opening the doors they saw her [Cleopatra] stone-dead, lying upon a bed of gold, set out in all her royal ornaments. Iras, one of her women, lay dying at her feet, and Charmion, just ready to fall, scarce able to hold up her head, was adjusting her mistress's diadem. And when one that came in said angrily, "Was this well done of your lady, Charmion?" "Extremely well," she answered, "and as became the descendant of so many kings;" and as she said this, she fell down dead by the bedside. Enter the Guard, rushing in
First Guard
Where is the queen?
Speak softly, wake her not.
First Guard
Caesar hath sent--
Too slow a messenger.
Applies an asp
O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
First Guard
Approach, ho! All's not well: Caesar's beguiled.
Second Guard
There's Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.
First Guard
What work is here! Charmian, is this well done?
It is well done, and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
Ah, soldier!



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