Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

FIRST GUARD.
Where's the queen?

CHARMIAN.
Speak softly, wake her not.

FIRST GUARD.
Caesar hath sent, —

CHARMIAN.
Too slow a messenger.

[Applies an asp.]

O, come apace, despatch: I partly feel thee.

FIRST GUARD.
Approach, ho! all's not well: Caesar's beguil'd.

SECOND GUARD.
There's Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.

FIRST GUARD.
What work is here! — Charmian, is this well done?

CHARMIAN.
It is well done, and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
Ah, soldier!

[CHARMIAN dies.]

[Re-enter DOLABELLA.]

DOLABELLA.
How goes it here?

SECOND GUARD.
All dead.

DOLABELLA.
Caesar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this: thyself art coming
To see perform'd the dreaded act which thou
So sought'st to hinder.

[Within.] A way there, a way for Caesar!

[Re-enter CAESAR and his Train.]

DOLABELLA.
O sir, you are too sure an augurer;
That you did fear is done.

CAESAR.
Bravest at the last,
She levell'd at our purposes, and being royal,
Took her own way. — The manner of their deaths?
I do not see them bleed.

DOLABELLA.
Who was last with them?

FIRST GUARD.
A simple countryman that brought her figs.
This was his basket.

CAESAR.
Poison'd then.

FIRST GUARD.
O Caesar,
This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood and spake:
I found her trimming up the diadem
On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropp'd.

CAESAR.
O noble weakness! —
If they had swallow'd poison 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep, —
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.

DOLABELLA.
Here on her breast
There is a vent of blood, and something blown:
The like is on her arm.

FIRST GUARD.
This is an aspic's trail: and these fig-leaves
Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.

CAESAR.
Most probable
That so she died; for her physician tells me
She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed,
And bear her women from the monument: —
She shall be buried by her Antony:
No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them; and their story is
No less in pity than his glory which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
In solemn show attend this funeral;
And then to Rome. — Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity.

[Exeunt.]

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