ACT II. SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and Attendants.]
Give me some music, — music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
The music, ho!
Let it alone; let's to billiards:
My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.
As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
As with a woman. — Come, you'll play with me, sir?
As well as I can, madam.
And when good will is show'd, though't come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now: —
Give me mine angle, — we'll to the river. There,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say 'Ah ha! You're caught.'
'Twas merry when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
That time? — O times! —
I laughed him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan.
[Enter a MESSENGER.]
O! from Italy! —
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
Madam, madam, —
Antony's dead! —
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress;
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss, — a hand that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
First, madam, he's well.
Why, there's more gold.
But, sirrah, mark, we use
To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
Be free and healthful, — why so tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.
Will't please you hear me?
I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.
Madam, he's well.
And friends with Caesar.
Th'art an honest man.
Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam, —
I do not like 'but yet', it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon 'but yet'!
'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.
For what good turn?
For the best turn i' the bed.
I am pale, Charmian.
Madam, he's married to Octavia.
The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down.]
Good madam, patience.