Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

CHARMIAN.
Madam, I will.

[Re-enter DOLABELLA.]

DOLABELLA.
Where's the queen?

CHARMIAN.
Behold, sir.

[Exit.]

CLEOPATRA.
Dolabella!

DOLABELLA.
Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
Intends his journey; and within three days
You with your children will he send before:
Make your best use of this: I have perform'd
Your pleasure and my promise.

CLEOPATRA.
Dolabella,
I shall remain your debtor.

DOLABELLA.
I your servant.
Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Caesar.

CLEOPATRA.
Farewell, and thanks.

[Exit DOLABELLA.]

Now, Iras, what think'st thou?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shall be shown
In Rome as well as I: mechanic slaves,
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapour.

IRAS.
The gods forbid!

CLEOPATRA.
Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: — saucy lictors
Will catch at us like strumpets; and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o' tune: the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I' the posture of a whore.

IRAS.
O the good gods!

CLEOPATRA.
Nay, that's certain.

IRAS.
I'll never see't; for I am sure mine nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

CLEOPATRA.
Why, that's the way
To fool their preparation and to conquer
Their most absurd intents.

[Enter CHARMIAN.]

Now, Charmian! —
Show me, my women, like a queen. — Go fetch
My best attires; — I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony: — sirrah, Iras, go. —
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch indeed;
And when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till doomsday. — Bring our crown and all.

[Exit IRAS. A noise within.]

Wherefore's this noise?

[Enter one of the Guard.]

GUARD.
Here is a rural fellow
That will not be denied your highness' presence:
He brings you figs.

CLEOPATRA.
Let him come in.

[Exit Guard.]

What poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution's plac'd, and I have nothing
Of woman in me: now from head to foot
I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

[Re-enter Guard, with Clown bringing a basket.]

GUARD.
This is the man.

CLEOPATRA.
Avoid, and leave him.

[Exit Guard.]

Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there
That kills and pains not?

CLOWN.
Truly, I have him. But I would not be the party that should
desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those that
do die of it do seldom or never recover.

CLEOPATRA.
Remember'st thou any that have died on't?

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