At one door enter Cleopatra, Charmion, Iras, and Alexas, a Train of Egyptians: at the other Antony and Romans. The entrance on both sides is prepared by music; the trumpets first sounding on 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 me in,
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!
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.

Ant. My brighter Venus!

Cleo. O my greater Mars!

Ant. Thou join’st us well, my love!
Suppose me come from the Phlegræan plains,
Where gasping giants lay, cleft by my sword,
And mountain-tops paired off each other blow,
To bury those I slew. Receive me, goddess!
Let Cæsar spread his subtle nets; like Vulcan,
In thy embraces I would be beheld
By heaven and earth at once;
And make their envy what they meant their sport.
Let those, who took us, blush; I would love on,
With awful state, regardless of their frowns,
As their superior gods.
There’s no satiety of love in thee:
Enjoyed, thou still art new; perpetual spring
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 comes!
He joins not in your joys, nor minds your triumphs:
But, with contracted brows, looks frowning on,
As envying your success.

Ant. Now, on my soul, he loves me; truly loves me:
He never flattered me in any vice,
But awes me with his virtue: even this minute,
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 Antony is going, Ventidius pulls him by the robe.

Vent. Emperor!

Ant. ’Tis the old argument; I pr’ythee, spare me.

[Looking back.

Vent. But this one hearing, emperor.

Ant. Let go
My robe; or, by my father Hercules—

Vent. By Hercules’ father, that’s yet greater,
I bring you somewhat you would wish to know.

Ant. Thou see’st we are observed; attend me here,
And I’ll return.


Vent. I am waning in his favour, yet I love him;
I love this man, who runs to meet his ruin;
And sure the gods, like me, are fond of him:
His virtues lie so mingled with his crimes,
As would confound their choice to punish one,
And not reward the other.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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