CLEO. And 'tis my wish,
Now he is lost for whom alone I lived.
|My sight grows dim, and every object dances,||470|
They could not sink beneath a rival's scorn:
But now she's gone, they faint.
ALEX. Mine have had leisure
|To recollect their strength, and furnish counsel,||475|
CLEO. Vain promiser!
Lead me, my Charmion; nay, your hand too, Iras:
My grief has weight enough to sink you both.
Conduct me to some solitary chamber,
|And draw the curtains round;||480|
There I till death will his unkindness weep;
As harmless infants moan themselves asleep.
DOLA. Why would you shift it from yourself on
Can you not tell her you must part?
ANT. I cannot.
I could pull out an eye, and bid it go,
And t'other should not weep. O Dolabella,
|How many deaths are in this word 'depart!'||5|
And I should melt till I were lost again.
DOLA. Then let Ventidius;
He's rough by nature.
|ANT. Oh, he'll speak too harshly;||10|
DOLA. Nature has cast me in so soft a mould,
That but to hear a story feigned for pleasure
Of some sad lover's death, moistens my eyes,
|And robs me of my manhood. I should speak||15|
ANT. Therefore -- therefore
Thou only, thou art fit; think thyself me,
And when thou speak'st (but let it first be long),
|Take off the edge from every sharper sound,||20|
DOLA. What you have said so sinks into my soul,
That, if I must speak, I shall speak just so.
ANT. I leave you then to your sad task. Fare
(Goes to the door, and comes back.)
Let her be told, I'll make her peace with mine:
Her crown and dignity shall be preserved,
If I have pow'r with Cæsar. ----- Oh, be sure
To think on that.
|DOLA. Fear not, I will remember.||30|
(ANTONY goes again to the door, and comes back.)
ANT. And tell her, too, how much I was con-strained;
I did not this, but with extremest force:
Desire her not to hate my memory,
For I stiff cherish hers; -- insist on that.
DOLA. Trust me, I'll not forget it.
|ANT. Then that's all.||35|
Wilt thou forgive my fondness this once more?
Tell her, though we shall never meet again,
If I should hear she took another love,
The news would break my heart. Now I must go;
|For every time I have returned, I feel||40|
DORA. Men are but children of a larger growth;
Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
|And full as craving too, and full as vain;||45|
But, like a mole in earth, busy and blind,
Works all her folly up, and casts it outward
|To the world's open view: thus I discovered,||50|
Enter VENTIUS above.
VENT. Alone? and talking to himself? concerned
Perhaps my guess is right; he loved her once,
And may pursue it still.
|DOLA. O friendship! friendship!||55|
And if I win, undone mere madness all.
And yet th' occasion's fair. What injury
|To him, to wear the robe which he throws by?||60|
VENT. None, none at all. This happens as I wish, To ruin her yet more with Antony.
Enter CLEOPATRA, talking with ALEXAS; CHARMION,
IRAS, on the other side.
DOLA. She comes! What charms have sorrow
on that face!
Sorrow seems pleased to dwell with so much sweet-ness;
|Yet, now and then, a melancholy smile||65|
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Publication information: Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan. Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor. Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,.. Place of publication: Boston; New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 100.
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