And never look behind! 435 Down on thy knees, blasphemer as thou art, And ask forgiveness of wronged innocence.
VENT. I'll rather die, than take it. Will you go?
ANT. Go! whither? Go from all that's excellent?
Faith, honor, virtue, all good things forbid 440 That I should go from her, who sets my love Above the price of kingdoms. Give, you gods,
Give to your boy, your Cæsar,
This rattle of a globe to play withal,
This gewgaw world, and put him cheaply off: 445 I'll not be pleased with less than Cleopatra.
CLEO. She['s] wholly yours. My heart's so full
That I shall do some wild extravagance
Of love, in public; and the foolish world,
Which knows not tenderness, will think me
VENT. O women! women! women! all the gods
Have not such pow'r of doing good to man,
As you of doing harm. Exit.
ANT. Our men are armed.
Unbar the gate that looks to Cæsar's camp;
I would revenge the treachery he meant me; 455 And long security makes conquest easy. I'm eager to return before I go;
For, all the pleasures I have known beat thick
On my remembrance. How I long for night!
That both the sweets of mutual love may try, 460
And once triúmph o'er Cæsar [ere] we die.
At one door, enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, IRAS, and
ALEXAS, a train of Egyptians: at the other, ANTONYand Romans. The entrance on both sides is prepared by music, The trumpets first sounding an ANTONY'S part, then answered by timbrels, etc., on CLEOPATRA'S. CHARMION and IRAS hold a laurel wreath betwixt them. A dance of Egyptians. After the ceremony, CLEOPATRA crowns ANTONY,
ANT. I thought how those white arms would fold
And strain me close, and melt me into love;
So pleased with that sweet image, I sprung forwards,
And added all my strength to every blow.
CLEO. Come to me, come, my soldier, to my
arms! 5 You've been too long away from my embraces; But, when I have you fast, and all my own,
With broken murmurs, and with amorous sighs,
I'll say, you were unkind, and punish you,
And mark you red with many an eager kiss. 10
ANT. My brighter Venus!
CLEO. O my greater Mars!
ANT. Thou join'st us well, my love!
Suppose me come from the Phlegræan plains,1
Where gasping giants lay, cleft by my sword,
And mountain-tops pared off each other blow, 15 To bury those I slew. Receive me, goddess! Let Cæsar spread his subtile nets, like Vulcan;
In thy embraces I would be beheld
By heav'n and earth at once;
And make their envy what they meant their
sport. 20 Let those who took us blush; I would love on With awful state, regardless of their frowns,
As their superior god.
There's no satiety of love in thee;
Enjoyed, thou still art-new; perpetual spring 25 Is in thy arms; the ripened fruit but falls, And blossoms rise to fill its empty place;
And I grow rich by giving.
Enter VENTIDIUS, and stands apart.
ALEX. Oh, now the danger's past, your general
He joins not in your joys, nor minds your triumphs; 30 But, with contracted brows, looks frowning on, As envying your success.
ANT. Now, on my soul, he loves me; truly loves
He never flattered me in any vice,
But awes me with his virtue: ev'n this minute, 35 Methinks, he has a right of chiding me. Lead to the temple: I'll avoid his presence;
It checks too strong upon me.
Exeunt the rest. As ANTONYis going, VENTEDIUS pulls him by the robe.
ANT. (looking back). 'Tis the old argument; I pr'ythee, spare me.
VENT. But this one hearing, emperor.
ANT. Let go 40 My robe; or, by my father Hercules2 --
VENT. By Hercules his father, that's yet greater,
I bring you somewhat you would wish to know.
ANT. Thou see'st we are observed; attend me
And I'll return. Exit. 45