Enter Cleopatra, Iras, and Alexas.
Cleo. What shall I do, or whither shall I turn?
Ventidius has oercome, and he will go.
Alex. He goes to fight for you.
Cleo. Then he would see me, ere he went to fight:
Flatter me not: If once he goes, hes lost,
And all my
Alex. Does this weak passion
Become a mighty queen?
Cleo. I am no queen:
Is this to be a queen, to be besieged
By yon insulting Roman, and to wait
hour the victors chain? These ills are small:
For Antony is lost, and I can mourn
For nothing else but him.
Now come, Octavius,
I have no more to lose! prepare thy bands;
Im fit to be a captive: Antony
my mind the fortune of a slave.
Iras. Call reason to assist you.
Cleo. I have none,
And none would have: My loves a noble madness,
Which shows the cause deserved
it. Moderate sorrow
Fits vulgar love, and for a vulgar man:
But I have loved with such transcendent passion,
soared, at first, quite out of reasons view,
And now am lost above it. No, Im proud
Tis thus: Would Antony
could see me now
Think you he would not sigh, though he must leave me?
Sure he would sigh; for he is
And bears a tender heart: I know him well.
Ah, no, I know him not; I knew him once,
Iras. Let it be past with you:
Forget him, madam.
Cleo. Never, never, Iras.
He once was mine; and once, though now tis gone,
Leaves a faint image of possession
Alex. Think him inconstant, cruel, and ungrateful.
Cleo. I cannot: If I could, those thoughts were vain.
Faithless, ungrateful, cruel, though he be,
I still must
Now, what news, my Charmion?
Will he be kind? and will he not forsake me?
Am I to live, or die?nay,
do I live?
Or am I dead? for when he gave his answer,
Fate took the word, and then I lived or died.
Char. I found him, madam
Cleo. A long speech preparing?
If thou bringst comfort, haste, and give it me,
For never was more need.
Iras. I know he loves you.
Cleo. Had he been kind, her eyes had told me so,
Before her tongue could speak it: Now she studies,
soften what he said; but give me death,
Just as he sent it, Charmion, undisguised,
And in the words he
Char. I found him, then,
Encompassed round, I think, with iron statues;
So mute, so motionless his soldiers
While awfully he cast his eyes about,
And every leaders hopes or fears surveyed:
looked resolved, and yet not pleased.
When he beheld me struggling in the crowd,
He blushed, and bade