Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

CLEOPATRA.
Say I would die.

[Exeunt PROCULEIUS and Soldiers.]

DOLABELLA.
Most noble empress, you have heard of me?

CLEOPATRA.
I cannot tell.

DOLABELLA.
Assuredly you know me.

CLEOPATRA.
No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
Is't not your trick?

DOLABELLA.
I understand not, madam.

CLEOPATRA.
I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony: —
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!

DOLABELLA.
If it might please you, —

CLEOPATRA.
His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck
A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
The little O, the earth.

DOLABELLA.
Most sovereign creature, —

CLEOPATRA.
His legs bestrid the ocean; his rear'd arm
Crested the world: his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
The element they liv'd in: in his livery
Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropp'd from his pocket.

DOLABELLA.
Cleopatra, —

CLEOPATRA.
Think you there was or might be such a man
As this I dream'd of?

DOLABELLA.
Gentle madam, no.

CLEOPATRA.
You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
But if there be, or ever were, one such,
It's past the size of dreaming: nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy: yet to imagine
An Antony were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

DOLABELLA.
Hear me, good madam.
Your loss is, as yourself, great; and you bear it
As answering to the weight: would I might never
O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel,
By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
My very heart at root.

CLEOPATRA.
I thank you, sir.
Know you what Caesar means to do with me?

DOLABELLA.
I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.

CLEOPATRA.
Nay, pray you, sir, —

DOLABELLA.
Though he be honourable, —

CLEOPATRA.
He'll lead me, then, in triumph?

DOLABELLA.
Madam, he will;
I know it.

[Flourish within.]

[Within.] Make way there, — Caesar!

[Enter CAESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MAECENAS, SELEUCUS, and
Attendants.]

CAESAR.
Which is the queen of Egypt?

DOLABELLA.
It is the emperor, madam.

[CLEOPATRA kneels.]

CAESAR.
Arise, you shall not kneel: —
I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.

CLEOPATRA.
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
I must obey.

CAESAR.
Take to you no hard thoughts;
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
As things but done by chance.

CLEOPATRA.
Sole sir o' the world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear: but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which before
Have often sham'd our sex.

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