Dola. O friendship! friendship!
Ill canst thou answer this; and reason, worse:
Unfaithful in the attempt; hopeless
And if I win, undone: mere madness all.
And yet the occasions fair. What injury
To him, to wear the
robe which he throws by!
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
Yet, now and then, a melancholy smile
Breaks loose, like lightning in a winters night,
shows a moments day.
Vent. If she should love him too! her eunuch there!
That porcpisce bodes ill weather. Draw, draw nearer,
devil, that I may hear.
Alex. Believe me; try
[Dolabella goes over to Charmion and Iras; seems to talk with them.
To make him jealous; jealousy is
A polished glass held to the lips when lifes in doubt;
If there be breath, twill catch the damp, and
Cleo. I grant you, jealousys a proof of love,
But tis a weak and unavailing medicine;
It puts out the disease,
and makes it show,
But has no power to cure.
Alex. Tis your last remedy, and strongest too:
And then this Dolabella, who so fit
To practise on? Hes
handsome, valiant, young,
And looks as he were laid for natures bait,
To catch weak womens eyes.
stands already more than half suspected
Of loving you: the least kind word or glance
You give this youth,
will kindle him with love:
Then, like a burning vessel set adrift,
Youll send him down amain before the
To fire the heart of jealous Antony.
Cleo. Can I do this? Ah, no; my loves so true,
That I can neither hide it where it is,
Nor show it where
it is not. Nature meant me
A wife; a silly, harmless, household dove,
Fond without art, and kind without
But Fortune, that has made a mistress of me,
Has thrust me out to the wide world, unfurnished
falsehood to be happy.
Alex. Force yourself.
The event will be, your lover will return,
Doubly desirous to possess the good
once he feared to lose.
Cleo. I must attempt it;
But oh, with what regret!
[Exit Alexas. She comes up to Dolabella.
Vent. So, now the scene draws near; theyre in my reach.
Cleo. [to Dol.]. Discoursing with my women! might not]
Share in your entertainment?
Char. You have been
The subject of it, madam.
Cleo. How! and how?
Iras. Such praises of your beauty!
Cleo. Mere poetry.
Your Roman wits, your Gallus and Tibullus,
Have taught you this from Cytheris and