Home Page - Autori - Audioletture
a cura di Valerio Di Stefano - Concordanze - DVD-ROM
Aree linguistiche: Italiano - English - French - Deutsch - Spanish - Portuguese
HTML                   
TXT+ZIP:     - PDF: 
Miscellanea: Appunti di informatica libera - Punch, or the London Charivari
Guide Linux - GNUtemberg - Liber Liber - Letture Creative - Wikipedia for Schools - PortaLinux - OldSoftware
Seguici anche su: valeriodistefano.com - musicaclassicaonline.com - holybiblehtml.com
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: The False One
Author: Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
Release Date: January 23, 2005 [eBook #14771]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE FALSE ONE***
|Julius Cæsar, Emperour of Rome.|
|Ptolomy, King of Ægypt.|
|Achoreus, an honest Counsellor, Priest of Isis.|
|Photinus, a Politician, minion to Ptolomy.|
|Achillas, Captain of the Guard to Ptolomy.|
|Septimius, a revolted Roman Villain.|
|Labienus, a Roman Souldier, and Nuncio.|
|Apollodorus, Guardian to Cleopatra.|
|Sceva, a free Speaker, also Captain to Cæsar.|
|Three lame Souldiers.|
Cleopatra, Queen of Ægypt. Cæsar's Mistris.
Arsino, Cleopatra's Sister.
Eros, Cleopatra's waiting Woman.
The Scene Ægypt.
The principal Actors were,
Actus Primus. Scena Prima. 301
SCENA II. 311
Actus Secundus. Scena Prima. 315
SCENE II. 322
SCENE III. 324
Actus Tertius. Scena Prima. 330
SCENA II. 332
SCENA III. 339
SCENA IV. 340
Actus Quartus. Scena Prima. 343
SCENA II. 345
SCENA III. 352
Actus Quintus. Scena Prima. 357
SCENA II. 359
SCENE III. 362
SCENE IV. 364
[Ach.] I love the King, nor do dispute his power,
(For that is not confin'd, nor to be censur'd
By me, that am his Subject) yet allow me
The liberty of a Man, that still would be
A friend to Justice, to demand the motives
That did induce young Ptolomy, or Photinus,
(To whose directions he gives up himself,
And I hope wisely) to commit his Sister,
The Princess Cleopatra (if I said
The Queen) Achillas 'twere (I hope) no treason,
She being by her Fathers Testament
(Whose memory I bow to) left Co-heir
In all he stood possest of.
Achil. 'Tis confest
(My good Achoreus) that in these Eastern Kingdoms
Women are not exempted from the Sceptre,
But claim a priviledge, equal to the Male;
But how much such divisions have ta'en from
The Majesty of Egypt, and what factions
Have sprung from those partitions, to the ruine
Of the poor Subject, (doubtful which to follow,)
We have too many, and too sad examples,
Therefore the wise Photinus, to prevent
The Murthers, and the Massacres, that attend
On disunited Government, and to shew
The King without a Partner, in full splendour,
Thought it convenient the fair Cleopatra,
(An attribute not frequent to the Climate)
Should be committed in safe Custody,
In which she is attended like her Birth,
Until her Beauty, or her royal Dowre,
Hath found her out a Husband.
Ach. How this may
Stand with the rules of policy, I know not;
Most sure I am, it holds no correspondence
With the Rites of Ægypt, or the Laws of Nature;[pg 302]
But grant that Cleopatra can sit down
With this disgrace (though insupportable)
Can you imagine, that Romes glorious Senate
(To whose charge, by the will of the dead King
This government was deliver'd) or great Pompey,
(That is appointed Cleopatra's Guardian
As well as Ptolomies) will e're approve
Of this rash counsel, their consent not sought for,
That should authorize it?
Achil. The Civil war
In which the Roman Empire is embarqu'd
On a rough Sea of danger, does exact
Their whole care to preserve themselves, and gives them
No vacant time to think of what we do,
Which hardly can concern them.
Ach. What's your opinion
Of the success? I have heard, in multitudes
Of Souldiers, and all glorious pomp of war,
Pompey is much superiour.
Achil. I could give you
A Catalogue of all the several Nations
From whence he drew his powers: but that were tedious.
They have rich arms, are ten to one in number,
Which makes them think the day already won;
And Pompey being master of the Sea,
Such plenty of all delicates are brought in,
As if the place on which they are entrench'd,
Were not a Camp of Souldiers, but Rome,
In which Lucullus and Apicius joyn'd,
To make a publique Feast: they at Dirachium
Fought with success; but knew not to make use of
Fortunes fair offer: so much I have heard
Cæsar himself confess.
Ach. Where are they now?
Achil. In Thessalie, near the Pharsalian plains
Where Cæsar with a handfull of his Men
Hems in the greater number: his whole troops
Exceed not twenty thousand, but old Souldiers
Flesh'd in the spoils of Germany and France,
Inur'd to his Command, and only know[pg 303]
To fight and overcome; And though that Famine
Raigns in his Camp, compelling them to tast
Bread made of roots, forbid the use of man,
(Which they with scorn threw into Pompeys Camp
As in derision of his Delicates)
Or corn not yet half ripe, and that a Banquet:
They still besiege him, being ambitious only
To come to blows, and let their swords determine
Who hath the better Cause.
Ach. May Victory
Attend on't, where it is.
Achil. We every hour
Expect to hear the issue.
Sep. Save my good Lords;
By Isis and Osiris, whom you worship;
And the four hundred gods and goddesses
Ador'd in Rome, I am your honours servant.
Ach. Truth needs, Septimius, no oaths.
Achil. You are cruel,
If you deny him swearing, you take from him
Three full parts of his language.
Sep. Your Honour's bitter,
Confound me, where I love I cannot say it,
But I must swear't: yet such is my ill fortune,
Nor vows, nor protestations win belief,
I think, and (I can find no other reason)
Because I am a Roman.
Ach. No Septimius,
To be a Roman were an honour to you,
Did not your manners, and your life take from it,
And cry aloud, that from Rome you bring nothing
But Roman Vices, which you would plant here,
But no seed of her vertues.
Sep. With your reverence
I am too old to learn.
Ach. Any thing honest,
That I believe, without an oath.
Sep. I fear[pg 304]
Your Lordship has slept ill to night, and that
Invites this sad discourse: 'twill make you old
Before your time:—O these vertuous Morals,
And old religious principles, that fool us!
I have brought you a new Song, will make you laugh,
Though you were at your prayers.
A[c]h. What is the subject?
Be free Septimius.
Sep. 'Tis a Catalogue
Of all the Gamesters of the Court and City,
Which Lord lyes with that Lady, and what Gallant
Sports with that Merchants wife; and does relate
Who sells her honour for a Diamond,
Who, for a tissew robe: whose husband's jealous,
And who so kind, that, to share with his wife,
Will make the match himself:
Though fools say they are dangerous: I sang it
The last night at my Lord Photinus table.
Ach. How? as a Fidler?
Sep. No Sir, as a Guest,
A welcom guest too: and it was approv'd of
By a dozen of his friends, though they were touch'd in't:
For look you, 'tis a kind of merriment,
When we have laid by foolish modesty
(As not a man of fashion will wear it)
To talk what we have done; at least to hear it;
If meerily set down, it fires the blood,
And heightens Crest-faln appetite.
Ach. New doctrine!
Achil. Was't of your own composing?
Sep. No, I bought it
Of a skulking Scribler for two Ptolomies:
But the hints were mine own; the wretch was fearfull:
But I have damn'd my self, should it be question'd,
That I will own it.
Ach. And be punished for it:
Take heed: for you may so long exercise
Your scurrilous wit against authority,
The Kingdoms Counsels; and make profane Jests,[pg 305]
(Which to you (being an atheist) is nothing)
Against Religion, that your great maintainers
(Unless they would be thought Co-partners with you)
Will leave you to the Law: and then, Septimius,
Remember there are whips.
Sep. For whore's I grant you,
When they are out of date, till then are safe too,
Or all the Gallants of the Court are Eunuchs,
And for mine own defence I'le only add this,
I'le be admitted for a wanton tale
To some most private Cabinets, when your Priest-hood
(Though laden with the mysteries of your goddess)
Shall wait without unnoted: so I leave you
To your pious thoughts. [Exit.
Achil. 'Tis a strange impudence,
This fellow does put on.
Ach. The wonder great,
He is accepted of.
Achil. Vices, for him,
Make as free way as vertues doe for others.
'Tis the times fault: yet Great ones still have grace'd
To make them sport, or rub them o're with flattery,
Observers of all kinds.
Ach. No more of him,
He is not worth our thoughts: a Fugitive
From Pompeys army: and now in a danger
When he should use his service.
Achil. See how he hangs
On great Photinus Ear.
Sep. Hell, and the furies,
And all the plagues of darkness light upon me:
You are my god on earth: and let me have
Your favour here, fall what can fall hereafter.
Pho. Thou art believ'd: dost thou want mony?
Sep. No Sir.
Pho. Or hast thou any suite? these ever follow
Thy vehement protestations.
Sep. You much wrong me;[pg 306]
How can I want, when your beams shine upon me,
Unless employment to express my zeal
To do your greatness service? do but think
A deed so dark, the Sun would blush to look on,
For which Man-kind would curse me, and arm all
The powers above, and those below against me:
Command me, I will on.
Pho. When I have use,
I'le put you to the test.
Sep. May it be speedy,
And something worth my danger: you are cold,
And know not your own powers: this brow was fashion'd
To wear a Kingly wreath, and your grave judgment,
Given to dispose of monarchies, not to govern
A childs affairs, the peoples eye's upon you,
The Souldier courts you: will you wear a garment
Of sordid loyalty when 'tis out of fashion?
Pho. When Pompey was thy General, Septimius,
Thou saidst as much to him.
Sep. All my love to him,
To Cæsar, Rome, and the whole world is lost
In the Ocean of your Bounties: I have no friend,
Project, design, or Countrey, but your favour,
Which I'le preserve at any rate.
Pho. No more;
When I call on you, fall not off: perhaps
Sooner than you expect, I may employ you,
So leave me for a while.
Sep. Ever your Creature. [Exit.
Pho. Good day Achoreus; my best friend Achillas,
Hath fame deliver'd yet no certain rumour
Of the great Roman Action?
Achil. That we are
To enquire, and learn of you Sir: whose grave care
For Egypts happiness, and great Ptolomies good,
Hath eyes and ears in all parts.
Pho. I'le not boast,
What my Intelligence costs me: but 'ere long[pg 307]
You shall know more. The King, with him a Roman.
Ach. The scarlet livery of unfortunate war
Dy'd deeply on his face.
Achil. 'Tis Labienus
Cæsars Lieutenant in the wars of Gaul,
And fortunate in all his undertakings:
But since these Civil jars he turn'd to Pompey,
And though he followed the better Cause
Not with the like success.
Pho. Such as are wise
Leave falling buildings, flye to those that rise;
But more of that hereafter.
Lab. In a word, Sir,
These gaping wounds, not taken as a slave,
Speak Pompey's loss: to tell you of the Battail,
How many thousand several bloody shapes
Death wore that day in triumph: how we bore
The shock of Cæsars charge: or with what fury
His Souldiers came on as if they had been
So many Cæsars, and like him ambitious
To tread upon the liberty of Rome:
How Fathers kill'd their Sons, or Sons their Fathers,
Or how the Roman Piles on either side
Drew Roman blood, which spent, the Prince of weapons,
(The sword) succeeded, which in Civil wars
Appoints the Tent on which wing'd victory
Shall make a certain Stand; then, how the Plains
Flow'd o're with blood, and what a cloud of vulturs
And other birds of prey, hung o're both armies,
Attending when their ready Servitors,
(The Souldiers, from whom the angry gods
Had took all sense of reason, and of pity)
Would serve in their own carkasses for a feast,
How Cæsar with his Javelin force'd them on
That made the least stop, when their angry hands
Were lifted up against some known friends face;
Then coming to the body of the army
He shews the sacred Senate, and forbids them
To wast their force upon the Common Souldier,
Whom willingly, if e're he did know pity,[pg 308]
He would have spar'd.
Ptol. The reason Labienus?
Lab. Full well he knows, that in their blood he was
To pass to Empire, and that through their bowels
He must invade the Laws of Rome, and give
A period to the liberty of the world.
Then fell the Lepidi, and the bold Corvini,
The fam'd Torquati, Scipio's, and Marcelli,
(Names next to Pompeys, most renown'd on Earth)
The Nobles, and the Commons lay together,
And Pontique, Punique, and Assyrian blood
Made up one crimson Lake: which Pompey seeing,
And that his, and the fate of Rome had left him
Standing upon the Rampier of his Camp,
Though scorning all that could fall on himself,
He pities them whose fortunes are embarqu'd
In his unlucky quarrel; cryes aloud too
That they should sound retreat, and save themselves:
That he desir'd not, so much noble blood
Should be lost in his service, or attend
On his misfortunes: and then, taking horse
With some few of his friends, he came to Lesbos,
And with Cornelia, his Wife, and Sons,
He's touch'd upon your shore: the King of Parthia,
(Famous in his defeature of the Crassi)
Offer'd him his protection, but Pompey
Relying on his Benefits, and your Faith,
Hath chosen Ægypt for his Sanctuary,
Till he may recollect his scattered powers,
And try a second day: now Ptolomy,
Though he appear not like that glorious thing
That three times rode in triumph, and gave laws
To conquer'd Nations, and made Crowns his gift
(As this of yours, your noble Father took
From his victorious hand, and you still wear it
At his devotion) to do you more honour
In his declin'd estate, as the straightst Pine
In a full grove of his yet flourishing friends,
He flyes to you for succour, and expects
The entertainment of your Fathers friend,[pg 309]
And Guardian to your self.
Ptol. To say I grieve his fortune
As much as if the Crown I wear (his gift)
Were ravish'd from me, is a holy truth,
Our Gods can witness for me: yet, being young,
And not a free disposer of my self;
Let not a few hours, borrowed for advice,
Beget suspicion of unthankfulness,
(Which next to Hell I hate) pray you retire,
And take a little rest, and let his wounds
Be with that care attended, as they were
Carv'd on my flesh: good Labienus, think
The little respite, I desire shall be
Wholly emploi'd to find the readiest way
To doe great Pompey service.
Lab. May the gods
(As you intend) protect you. [Exit.
Ptol. Sit: sit all,
It is my pleasure: your advice, and freely.
Ach. A short deliberation in this,
May serve to give you counsel: to be honest,
Religious and thankfull, in themselves
Are forcible motives, and can need no flourish
Or gloss in the perswader; your kept faith,
(Though Pompey never rise to th' height he's fallen from)
Cæsar himself will love; and my opinion
Is (still committing it to graver censure)
You pay the debt you owe him, with the hazard
Of all you can call yours.
Ptol. What's yours, (Photinus?)
Pho. Achoreus (great Ptolomy) hath counsell'd
Like a Religious, and honest man,
Worthy the honour that he justly holds
In being Priest to Isis: But alas,
What in a man, sequester'd from the world,
Or in a private person, is prefer'd,
No policy allows of in a King,
To be or just, or thankfull, makes Kings guilty,
And faith (though prais'd) is punish'd that supports
Such as good Fate forsakes: joyn with the gods,[pg 310]
Observe the man they favour, leave the wretched,
The Stars are not more distant from the Earth
Than profit is from honesty; all the power,
Prerogative, and greatness of a Prince
Is lost, if he descend once but to steer
His course, as what's right, guides him: let him leave
The Scepter, that strives only to be good,
Since Kingdomes are maintain'd by force and blood.
Ach. Oh wicked!
Ptol. Peace: goe on.
Pho. Proud Pompey shews how much he scorns your youth,
In thinking that you cannot keep your own
From such as are or'e come. If you are tired
With being a King, let not a stranger take
What nearer pledges challenge: resign rather
The government of Egypt and of Nile
To Cleopatra, that has title to them,
At least defend them from the Roman gripe,
What was not Pompeys, while the wars endured,
The Conquerour will not challenge; by all the world
Forsaken and despis'd, your gentle Guardian
His hopes and fortunes desperate, makes choice of
What Nation he shall fall with: and pursu'd
By their pale ghosts, slain in this Civil war,
He flyes not Cæsar only, but the Senate,
Of which, the greater part have cloi'd the hunger
Of sharp Pharsalian fowl, he flies the Nations
That he drew to his Quarrel, whose Estates
Are sunk in his: and in no place receiv'd,
Hath found out Egypt, by him yet not ruin'd:
And Ptolomy, things consider'd, justly may
Complain of Pompey: wherefore should he stain
Our Egypt, with the spots of civil war?
Or make the peaceable, or quiet Nile
Doubted of Cæsar? wherefore should he draw
His loss, and overthrow upon our heads?
Or choose this place to suffer in? already
We have offended Cæsar, in our wishes,
And no way left us to redeem his favour
But by the head of Pompey.[pg 311]
Ach. Great Osiris,
Defend thy Ægypt from such cruelty,
And barbarous ingratitude!
Pho. Holy trifles,
And not to have place in designs of State;
This sword, which Fate commands me to unsheath,
I would not draw on Pompey, if not vanquish'd.
I grant it rather should have pass'd through Cæsar,
But we must follow where his fortune leads us;
All provident Princes measure their intents
According to their power, and so dispose them:
And thinkst thou (Ptolomy) that thou canst prop
His Ruines, under whom sad Rome now suffers?
Or 'tempt the Conquerours force when 'tis confirm'd?
Shall we, that in the Battail sate as Neuters
Serve him that's overcome? No, no, he's lost.
And though 'tis noble to a sinking friend
To lend a helping hand, while there is hope
He may recover, thy part not engag'd
Though one most dear, when all his hopes are dead,
To drown him, set thy foot upon his head.
Ach. Most execrable Counsel.
Pho. To be follow'd,
'Tis for the Kingdoms safety.
Ptol. We give up
Our absolute power to thee: dispose of it
As reason shall direct thee.
Pho. Good Achillas,
Seek out Septimius: do you but sooth him,
He is already wrought: leave the dispatch
To me of Labienus: 'tis determin'd
Already how you shall proceed: nor Fate
Shall alter it, since now the dye is cast,
But that this hour to Pompey is his last. [Exit.
Apol. Is the Queen stirring, Eros?
Apol. I am sorry for it,
And wish it were in me, with my hazard,
To give her ease.
Ars. Sir, she accepts your will,
And does acknowledge she hath found you noble,
So far, as if restraint of liberty
Could give admission to a thought of mirth,
She is your debtor for it.
Apol. Did you tell her
Of the sports I have prepar'd to entertain her?
She was us'd to take delight, with her fair hand,
To angle in the Nile, where the glad fish
(As if they knew who 'twas sought to deceive 'em)
Contended to be taken: other times
To strike the Stag, who wounded by her arrows,
Forgot his tears in death, and kneeling thanks her
To his last gasp, then prouder of his Fate,
Than if with Garlands Crown'd, he had been chosen
To fall a Sacrifice before the altar
Of the Virgin Huntress: the King, nor great Photinus
Forbid her any pleasure; and the Circuit
In which she is confin'd, gladly affords
Variety of pastimes, which I would
Encrease with my best service.
Eros. O, but the thought
That she that was born free, and to dispense
Restraint, or liberty to others, should be
At the devotion of her Brother, whom
She only knows her equal, makes this place
In which she lives (though stor'd with all delights)
A loathsome dungeon to her.
Apol. Yet, (howe're
She shall interpret it) I'le not be wanting
To do my best to serve her: I have prepar'd
Choise Musick near her Cabinet, and compos'd
Some few lines, (set unto a solemn time)
In the praise of imprisonment. Begin Boy.
Look out bright eyes, and bless the air:
Even in shadows you are fair.
Shut-up-beauty is like fire,
That breaks out clearer still and higher.
Though your body be confin'd,
And soft Love a prisoner bound,
Yet the beauty of your mind
Neither check, nor chain hath found.
Look out nobly then, and dare
Even the Fetters that you wear.
Cleo. But that we are assur'd this tastes of duty,
And love in you, my Guardian, and desire
In you, my Sister, and the rest, to please us,
We should receive this, as a sawcy rudeness
Offer'd our private thoughts. But your intents
Are to delight us: alas, you wash an Ethiop:
Can Cleopatra, while she does remember
Whose Daughter she is, and whose Sister? (O
I suffer in the name) and that (in Justice)
There is no place in Ægypt, where I stand,
But that the tributary Earth is proud
To kiss the foot of her, that is her Queen,
Can she, I say, that is all this, e're relish
Of comfort, or delight, while base Photinus,
Bond-man Achillas, and all other monsters
That raign o're Ptolomy, make that a Court,
Where they reside, and this, where I, a Prison?
But there's a Rome, a Senate, and a Cæsar,
(Though the great Pompey lean to Ptolomy)
May think of Cleopatra.
Ap. Pompey, Madam?
Cleo. What of him? speak: if ill, Apollodorus,
It is my happiness: and for thy news
Receive a favour (Kings have kneel'd in vain for)
And kiss my hand.
Cleo. Speak it again!
Ap. His army routed: he fled and pursu'd
By the all-conquering Cæsar.
Cleo. Whither bends he?
Ap. To Egypt.
Cleo. Ha! in person?
Ap. 'Tis receiv'd
For an undoubted truth.
Cleo. I live again,
And if assurance of my love, and beauty
Deceive me not, I now shall find a Judge
To do me right: but how to free my self,
And get access? the Guards are strong upon me,
This door I must pass through. Apollodorus,
Thou often hast profess'd (to do me service,)
Thy life was not thine own.
Ap. I am not alter'd;
And let your excellency propound a means,
In which I may but give the least assistance,
That may restore you, to that you were born to,
(Though it call on the anger of the King,
Or, (what's more deadly) all his Minion
Photinus can do to me) I, unmov'd,
Offer my throat to serve you: ever provided,
It bear some probable shew to be effected.
To lose my self upon no ground, were madness,
Not loyal duty.
Cleo. Stand off: to thee alone,
I will discover what I dare not trust
My Sister with, Cæsar is amorous,
And taken more with the title of a Queen,
Than feature or proportion, he lov'd Eunoe,
A Moor, deformed too, I have heard, that brought
No other object to inflame his blood,
But that her Husband was a King, on both
He did bestow rich presents; shall I then,
That with a princely birth, bring beauty with me,
That know to prize my self at mine own rate,
Despair his favour? art thou mine?
Cleo. I have found out a way shall bring me to him,
Spight of Photinus watches; if I prosper,
(As I am confident I shall) expect
Things greater than thy wishes; though I purchase
His grace with loss of my virginity,
It skills not, if it bring home Majesty. [Exeunt.
Sep. 'Tis here, 'tis done, behold you fearfull viewers,
Shake, and behold the model of the world here,
The pride, and strength, look, look again, 'tis finish'd;
That, that whole Armies, nay whole nations,
Many and mighty Kings, have been struck blind at,
And fled before, wing'd with their fears and terrours,
That steel war waited on, and fortune courted,
That high plum'd honour built up for her own;
Behold that mightiness, behold that fierceness,
Behold that child of war, with all his glories;
By this poor hand made breathless, here (my Achillas)
Egypt, and Cæsar, owe me for this service,
And all the conquer'd Nations.
Ach. Peace Septimius,
Thy words sound more ungratefull than thy actions,
Though sometimes safety seek an instrument
Of thy unworthy nature, thou (loud boaster)
Think not she is bound to love him too, that's barbarous.
Why did not I, if this be meritorious,
And binds the King unto me, and his bounties,
Strike this rude stroke? I'le tell thee (thou poor Roman)
It was a sacred head, I durst not heave at,
Not heave a thought.
Sep. It was.
Ach. I'le tell thee truely,
And if thou ever yet heard'st tell of honour,
I'le make thee blush: It was thy General's;
That mans that fed thee once, that mans that bred thee,
The air thou breath'dst was his; the fire that warm'd thee,[pg 316]
From his care kindled ever, nay, I'le show thee,
(Because I'le make thee sensible of the business,
And why a noble man durst not touch at it)
There was no piece of Earth, thou putst thy foot on
But was his conquest; and he gave thee motion.
He triumph'd three times, who durst touch his person?
The very walls of Rome bow'd to his presence,
Dear to the Gods he was, to them that fear'd him
A fair and noble Enemy. Didst thou hate him?
And for thy love to Cæsar, sought his ruine?
Arm'd in the red Pharsalian fields, Septimius,
Where killing was in grace, and wounds were glorious,
Where Kings were fair competitours for honour,
Thou shouldst have come up to him, there have fought him,
There, Sword to Sword.
Sep. I kill'd him on commandment,
If Kings commands be fair, when you all fainted,
When none of you durst look—
Ach. On deeds so barbarous,
What hast thou got?
Sep. The Kings love, and his bounty,
The honour of the service, which though you rail at,
Or a thousand envious souls fling their foams on me,
Will dignifie the cause, and make me glorious:
And I shall live.
Ach. A miserable villain,
What reputation, and reward belongs to it
Thus (with the head) I seize on, and make mine;
And be not impudent to ask me why, Sirrah,
Nor bold to stay, read in mine eyes the reason:
The shame and obloquy I leave thine own,
Inherit those rewards, they are fitter for thee,
Your oyl's spent, and your snuff stinks: go out basely.
Sep. The King will yet consider.
Achil. Here he comes Sir.
Ach. Yet if it be undone: hear me great Sir,
If this inhumane stroak be yet unstrucken,
If that adored head be not yet sever'd[pg 317]
From the most noble Body, weigh the miseries,
The desolations that this great Eclipse works,
You are young, be provident: fix not your Empire
Upon the Tomb of him will shake all Egypt,
Whose warlike groans will raise ten thousand Spirits,
(Great as himself) in every hand a thunder;
Destructions darting from their looks, and sorrows
That easy womens eyes shall never empty.
Pho. You have done well; and 'tis done, see Achillas,
And in his hand the head.
Ptol. Stay come no nearer,
Me thinks I feel the very earth shake under me,
I do remember him, he was my guardian,
Appointed by the Senate to preserve me:
What a full Majesty sits in his face yet?
Pho. The King is troubled: be not frighted Sir,
Be not abus'd with fears; his death was necessary,
If you consider, Sir, most necessary,
Not to be miss'd: and humbly thank great Isis,
He came so opportunely to your hands;
Pity must now give place to rules of safety.
Is not victorious Cæsar new arriv'd,
And enter'd Alexandria, with his friends,
His Navy riding by to wait his charges?
Did he not beat this Pompey, and pursu'd him?
Was not this great man, his great enemy?
This Godlike vertuous man, as people held him,
But what fool dare be friend to flying vertue?
I hear their Trumpets, 'tis too late to stagger,
Give me the head, and be you confident:
Hail Conquerour, and head of all the world,
Now this head's off.
Pho. Do not shun me, Cæsar,
From kingly Ptolomy I bring this present,
The Crown, and sweat of thy Pharsalian labour:
The goal and mark of high ambitious honour.
Before thy victory had no name, Cæsar,[pg 318]
Thy travel and thy loss of blood, no recompence,
Thou dreamst of being worthy, and of war;
And all thy furious conflicts were but slumbers,
Here they take life: here they inherit honour,
Grow fixt, and shoot up everlasting triumphs:
Take it, and look upon thy humble servant,
With noble eyes look on the Princely Ptolomy,
That offers with this head (most mighty Cæsar)
What thou would'st once have given for it, all Egypt.
Ach. Nor do not question it (most royal Conquerour)
Nor dis-esteem the benefit that meets thee,
Because 'tis easily got, it comes the safer:
Yet let me tell thee (most imperious Cæsar)
Though he oppos'd no strength of Swords to win this,
Nor labour'd through no showres of darts, and lances:
Yet here he found a fort, that faced him strongly,
An inward war: he was his Grand-sires Guest;
Friend to his Father, and when he was expell'd
And beaten from this Kingdom by strong hand,
And had none left him, to restore his honour,
No hope to find a friend, in such a misery;
Then in stept Pompey; took his feeble fortune:
Strengthen'd, and cherish'd it, and set it right again,
This was a love to Cæsar.
Sceva. Give me, hate, Gods.
Pho. This Cæsar may account a little wicked,
But yet remember, if thine own hands, Conquerour,
Had fallen upon him, what it had been then?
If thine own sword had touch'd his throat, what that way!
He was thy Son in Law, there to be tainted,
Had been most terrible: let the worst be render'd,
We have deserv'd for keeping thy hands innocent.
Cæsar. Oh Sceva, Sceva, see that head: see Captains,
The head of godlike Pompey.
Sceva. He was basely ruin'd,
But let the Gods be griev'd that suffer'd it,
And be you Cæsar—
Cæsar. Oh thou Conquerour,
Thou glory of the world once, now the pity:
Thou awe of Nations, wherefore didst thou fall thus?[pg 319]
What poor fate follow'd thee, and pluckt thee on
To trust thy sacred life to an Egyptian;
The life and light of Rome, to a blind stranger,
That honorable war ne'r taught a nobleness,
Nor worthy circumstance shew'd what a man was,
That never heard thy name sung, but in banquets;
And loose lascivious pleasures? to a Boy,
That had no faith to comprehend thy greatness,
No study of thy life to know thy goodness;
And leave thy Nation, nay, thy noble friend,
Leave him (distrusted) that in tears falls with thee?
(In soft relenting tears) hear me (great Pompey)
(If thy great spirit can hear) I must task thee:
Thou hast most unnobly rob'd me of my victory,
My love, and mercy.
Ant. O how brave these tears shew!
How excellent is sorrow in an Enemy!
Dol. Glory appears not greater than this goodness.
Cæsar. Egyptians, dare you think your high Pyramides,
Built to out-dare the Sun, as you suppose,
Where your unworthy Kings lye rak'd in ashes,
Are monuments fit for him? no, (brood of Nilus)
Nothing can cover his high fame, but Heaven;
No Pyramides set off his memories,
But the eternal substance of his greatness
To which I leave him: take the head away,
And (with the body) give it noble burial,
Your Earth shall now be bless'd to hold a Roman,
Whose braverys all the worlds-Earth cannot ballance.
Sce. If thou bee'st thus loving, I shall honour thee,
But great men may dissemble, 'tis held possible,
And be right glad of what they seem to weep for,
There are such kind of Philosophers; now do I wonder
How he would look if Pompey were alive again,
But how he would set his face?
Cæsar. You look now, King,
And you that have been Agents in this glory,
For our especial favour?
Ptol. We desire it.
Sceva. Let me give 'em:
I'le give 'em such as nature never dreamt of,
I'le beat him and his Agents (in a morter)
Into one man, and that one man I'le bake then.
Cæsar. Peace: I forgive you all, that's recompence:
You are young, and ignorant, that pleads your pardon,
And fear it may be more than hate provok'd ye,
Your Ministers, I must think, wanted judgment,
And so they err'd: I am bountiful to think this;
Believe me most bountiful; be you most thankful,
That bounty share amongst ye: if I knew
What to send you for a present, King of Egypt,
(I mean a head of equal reputation
And that you lov'd) though it were your brightest Sisters,
(But her you hate) I would not be behind ye.
Ptol. Hear me, (Great Cæsar.)
Cæs. I have heard too much,
And study not with smooth shews to invade
My noble Mind as you have done my Conquest.
Ye are poor and open: I must tell ye roundly,
That Man that could not recompence the Benefits,
The great and bounteous services of Pompey,
Can never dote upon the Name of Cæsar;
Though I had hated Pompey, and allow'd his ruine,
[I gave you no commission to performe it:]
Hasty to please in Blood are seldome trusty;
And but I stand inviron'd with my Victories,
My Fortune never failing to befriend me,
My noble strengths, and friends about my Person,
I durst not try ye, nor expect: a Courtesie,
Above the pious love you shew'd to Pompey.
You have found me merciful in arguing with you;
Swords, Hangmen, Fires, Destructions of all natures,
Demolishments of Kingdoms, and whole Ruines
Are wont to be my Orators; turn to tears,
You wretched and poor seeds of Sun-burnt Egypt,
And now you have found the nature of a Conquerour,
That you cannot decline with all your flatteries,
That where the day gives light will be himself still,
Know how to meet his Worth with humane Courtesies,[pg 321]
Go, and embalm those bones of that great Souldier;
Howl round about his Pile, fling on your Spices,
Make a Sabæan Bed, and place this Phoenix
Where the hot Sun may emulate his Vertues,
And draw another Pompey from his ashes
Divinely great, and fix him 'mongst the Worthies.
Ptol. We will do all.
Cæs. You have rob'd him of those tears
His Kindred and his Friends kept sacred for him;
The Virgins of their Funeral Lamentations:
And that kind Earth that thought to cover him,
(His Countries Earth) will cry out 'gainst your Cruelty,
And weep unto the Ocean for revenge,
Till Nilus raise his seven heads and devour ye;
My grief has stopt the rest: when Pompey liv'd
He us'd you nobly, now he is dead use him so. [Exit.
Ptol. Now, where's your confidence? your aim (Photinus)
The Oracles, and fair Favours from the Conquerour
You rung into mine Ears? how stand I now?
You see the tempest of his stern displeasure,
The death of him you urged a Sacrifice
To stop his Rage, presaging a full ruine;
Where are your Counsels now?
Acho. I told you, Sir,
(And told the truth) what danger would flye after;
And though an Enemy, I satisfied you
He was a Roman, and the top of Honour;
And howsoever this might please Great Cæsar,
I told ye that the foulness of his Death,
The impious baseness—
Pho. Peace, you are a Fool,
Men of deep ends must tread as deep ways to 'em;
Cæsar I know is pleas'd, and for all his sorrows
(Which are put on for forms and meer dissemblings)
I am confident he's glad; to have told ye so,
And thank ye outwardly, had been too open,
And taken from the Wisedom of a Conquerour.
Be confident and proud ye have done this service;
Ye have deserv'd, and ye will find it highly:
Make bold use of this benefit, and be sure[pg 322]
You keep your Sister, (the high-soul'd Cleopatra)
Both close and short enough, she may not see him;
The rest, if I may counsel, Sir—
Ptol. Do all;
For in thy faithful service rests my safety. [Exeunt.
Sept. Here's a strange alteration in the Court;
Mens Faces are of other setts and motions,
Their minds of subtler stuff; I pass by now
As though I were a Rascal, no man knows me,
No Eye looks after; as I were a Plague
Their doors shut close against me; and I wondred at
Because I have done a meritorious Murther;
Because I have pleas'd the Time, does the Time plague me?
I have known the day they would have hug'd me for it,
For a less stroke than this have done me Reverence;
Open'd their Hearts and secret Closets to me,
Their Purses, and their Pleasures, and bid me wallow.
I now perceive the great Thieves eat the less,
And the huge Leviathans of Villany
Sup up the merits, nay the men and all
That do them service, and spowt 'em out again
Into the air, as thin and unregarded
As drops of Water that are lost i'th' Ocean:
I was lov'd once for swearing, and for drinking,
And for other principal Qualities that became me,
Now a foolish unthankful Murther has undone me,
If my Lord Photinus be not merciful
That set me on; And he comes, now Fortune.
Pho. Cæsars unthankfulness a little stirs me,
A little frets my bloud; take heed, proud Roman,
Provoke me not, stir not mine anger farther;
I may find out a way unto thy life too,
(Though arm'd in all thy Victories) and seize it.
A Conquerour has a heart, and I may hit it.
Pho. O Septimius!
Sept. Your [Lordship] knows my wrongs.
Sept. Yes, my Lord,
How the Captain of the Guard, Achillas, slights me.
Pho. Think better of him, he has much befriended thee,
Shew'd thee much love in taking the head from thee.
The times are alter'd (Souldier) Cæsar's angry,
And our design to please him lost and perish'd;
Be glad thou art unnam'd, 'tis not worth the owning;
Yet, that thou maist be useful—
Sept. Yes, my Lord,
I shall be ready.
Pho. For I may employ thee
To take a rub or two out of my way,
As time shall serve, say that it be a Brother?
Or a hard Father?
Sept. 'Tis most necessary,
A Mother, or a Sister, or whom you please, Sir.
Pho. Or to betray a noble Friend?
Sept. 'Tis all one.
Pho. I know thou wilt stir for Gold.
Sept. 'Tis all my motion.
Pho. There, take that for thy service, and farewel;
I have greater business now.
Sept. I am still your own, Sir.
Pho. One thing I charge thee, see me no more, Septimius,
Unless I send. [Exit.
Sept. I shall observe your hour.
So, this brings something in the mouth, some savour;
This is the Lord I serve, the Power I worship,
My Friends, Allies, and here lies my Allegiance.
Let People talk as they please of my rudeness,
And shun me for my deed; bring but this to 'em,
(Let me be damn'd for blood) yet still I am honourable,
This God creates new tongues, and new affections;
And though I had kill'd my Father, give me Gold
I'll make men swear I have done a pious Sacrifice;
Now I will out-brave all; make all my Servants,
And my brave deed shall be writ in Wine, for vertuous. [Exit.
Cæs. Keep strong Guards, and with wary eyes (my friends)
There is no trusting to these base Egyptians;
They that are false to pious benefits,
And make compell'd necessities their faiths
Are Traitors to the gods.
Ant. We'll call ashore
A Legion of the best.
Cæs. Not a Man, Antony,
That were to shew our fears, and dim our greatness:
No, 'tis enough my Name's ashore.
Sce. Too much too,
A sleeping Cæsar is enough to shake them;
There are some two or three malicious Rascals
Train'd up in Villany, besides that Cerberus
That Roman Dog, that lick'd the blood of Pompey.
Dol. 'Tis strange, a Roman Souldier?
Sce. You are cozen'd,
There be of us as be of all other Nations,
Villains, and Knaves; 'tis not the name contains him,
But the obedience; when that's once forgotten,
And Duty flung away, then welcome Devil.
Photinus and Achillas, and this Vermine
That's now become a natural Crocodile
Must be with care observ'd.
Ant. And 'tis well counsel'd
No Confidence, nor trust—
Sce. I'll trust the Sea first,
When with her hollow murmurs she invites me,
And clutches in her storms, as politick Lions
Conceal their Claws; I'll trust the Devil first.
Cæs. Go to your rests, and follow your own Wisedoms,
And leave me to my thoughts: pray no more complement,
Once more strong Watches.
Dol. All shall be observ'd, Sir. [Exit.
Cæs. I am dull and heavy, yet I cannot sleep,
How happy was I in my lawful Wars,
In Germany, and Gaul, and Britanny[pg 325]
When every night with pleasure I set down
What the day ministred! The sleep came sweetly:
But since I undertook this home-division,
This civil War, and past the Rubicon;
What have I done that speaks an ancient Roman?
A good, great man? I have enter'd Rome by force,
And on her tender Womb (that gave me life)
Let my insulting Souldiers rudely trample,
The dear Veins of my Country I have open'd,
And sail'd upon the torrents that flow'd from her,
The bloody streams that in their confluence
Carried before 'em thousand desolations;
I rob'd the Treasury, and at one gripe
Snatch'd all the wealth, so many worthy triumphs
Plac'd there as sacred to the Peace of Rome;
I raz'd Massilia, in my wanton anger:
Petreius and Afranius I defeated:
Pompey I overthrew: what did that get me?
The slubber'd Name of an authoriz'd Enemy. [Noise within.
I hear some Noise; they are the Watches sure.
What Friends have I ty'd fast by these ambitions?
Cato, the Lover of his Countries freedom,
Is now past into Africk to affront me,
Fuba (that kill'd my friend) is up in Arms too;
The Sons of Pompey are Masters of the Sea,
And from the reliques of their scatter'd faction,
A new head's sprung; Say I defeat all these too;
I come home crown'd an honourable Rebel.
I hear the Noise still, and it still comes nearer;
Are the Guards fast? Who waits there?
Sce. Are ye awake Sir?
Cæs. I'th' name of Wonder.
Sce. Nay, I am a Porter,
A strong one too, or else my sides would crack, Sir,
And my sins were as weighty, I should scarce walk with 'em.
Cæs. What hast thou there?
Sce. Ask them which stay without,
And brought it hither, your Presence I deny'd 'em,[pg 326]
And put 'em by; took up the load my self,
They say 'tis rich, and valu'd at the Kingdome,
I am sure 'tis heavy; if you like to see it
You may: if not, I'll give it back.
Cæs. Stay Sceva,
I would fain see it.
Sce. I'll begin to work then;
No doubt, to flatter ye they have sent ye something,
Of a rich value, Jewels, or some rich Treasure;
May be a Rogue within to do a mischief;
I pray you stand farther off, if there be villany,
Better my danger first; he shall 'scape hard too,
Ha! what art thou?
Cæs. Stand farther off, good Sceva,
What heavenly Vision! do I wake or slumber?
Farther off that hand, Friend.
Sce. What Apparition?
What Spirit have I rais'd? sure 'tis a Woman,
She looks like one; now she begins to move too:
A tempting Devil, o' my life; go off, Cæsar,
Bless thy self, off: a Bawd grown in mine old days?
Bawdry advanc'd upon my back? 'tis noble:
Sir, if you be a Souldier come no nearer,
She is sent to dispossess you of your honour,
A Spunge, a Spunge to wipe away your Victories:
And she would be cool'd, Sir, let the Souldiers trim her!
They'll give her that she came for, and dispatch her;
Be loyal to your self. Thou damned Woman,
Dost thou come hither with thy flourishes,
Thy flaunts, and faces to abuse mens manners?
And am I made the instrument of Bawdry?
I'll find a Lover for ye, one that shall hug ye.
Cæs. Hold, on thy life, and be more temperate,
Sce. Thou Beast?
Cæs. Could'st thou be so inhumane,
So far from noble Men, to draw thy Weapon
Upon a thing divine?
Sce. Divine, or humane,
They are never better pleas'd, nor more at hearts ease,[pg 327]
Than when we draw with full intent upon 'em.
Cæs. Move this way (Lady)
'Pray ye let me speak to ye.
Sce. And Woman, you had best stand.
Cæs. By the gods,
But that I see her here, and hope her mortal,
I should imagine some celestial sweetness,
The treasure of soft love.
Sce. Oh, this sounds mangily,
Poorly, and scurvily in a Souldiers mouth:
You had best be troubled with the Tooth-ach too,
For Lovers ever are, and let your Nose drop
That your celestial Beauty may befriend ye;
At these years do you learn to be fantastical?
After so many bloody fields, a Fool?
She brings her Bed along too, she'll lose no time,
Carries her Litter to lye soft, do you see that?
Invites ye like a Gamester: note that impudence,
For shame reflect upon your self, your honour,
Look back into your noble parts, and blush:
Let not the dear sweat of the hot Pharsalia,
Mingle with base Embraces; am I he
That have receiv'd so many wounds for Cæsar?
Upon my Target groves of darts still growing?
Have I endur'd all hungers, colds, distresses,
And (as I had been bred that Iron that arm'd me)
Stood out all weathers, now to curse my fortune?
To ban the blood I lost for such a General?
Cæsar. Offend no more: be gone.
Sce. I will, and leave ye,
Leave ye to womens wars, that will proclaim ye:
You'l conquer Rome now, and the Capitol
With Fans, and Looking-glasses, farewel Cæsar.
Cleo. Now I am private Sir, I dare speak to ye:
But thus low first, for as a God I honour ye.
Sce. Lower you'l be anon.
Sce. And privater,
For that you covet all. [Exit.
Cleo. Contemn me not, because I kneel thus, Cæsar,
I am a Queen, and coheir to this country,
The Sister to the mighty Ptolomy,
Yet one distress'd, that flyes unto thy justice,
One that layes sacred hold on thy protection
As on an holy Altar, to preserve me.
Cæsar. Speak Queen of beauty, and stand up.
Cleo. I dare not,
'Till I have found that favour in thine eyes,
That godlike great humanity to help me,
Thus, to thy knees must I grow (sacred Cæsar,)
And if it be not in thy will, to right me,
And raise me like a Queen from my sad ruines,
If these soft tears cannot sink to thy pity,
And waken with their murmurs thy compassions;
Yet for thy nobleness, for vertues sake,
And if thou beest a man, for despis'd beauty,
For honourable conquest, which thou doat'st on,
Let not those cankers of this flourishing Kingdom,
Photinus, and Achillas, (the one an Eunuch,
The other a base bondman) thus raign over me.
Seize my inheritance, and leave my Brother
Nothing of what he should be, but the Title,
As thou art wonder of the world.
Cæsar. Stand up then
And be a Queen, this hand shall give it to ye,
Or choose a greater name, worthy my bounty:
A common love makes Queens: choose to be worshipped,
To be divinely great, and I dare promise it;
A suitor of your sort, and blessed sweetness,
That hath adventur'd thus to see great Cæsar,
Must never be denied, you have found a patron
That dare not in his private honour suffer
So great a blemish to the Heaven of beauty:
The God of love would clap his angry wings,
And from his singing bow let flye those arrows
Headed with burning griefs, and pining sorrows,
Should I neglect your cause, would make me monstrous,
To whom and to your service I devote me.
Cleo. He is my conquest now, and so I'le work him,
The conquerour of the world will I lead captive.
Sce. Still with this woman? tilting still with Babies?
As you are honest think the Enemy,
Some valiant Foe indeed now charging on ye:
Ready to break your ranks, and fling these—
Cæsar. Hear me,
But tell me true, if thou hadst such a treasure,
(And as thou art a Souldier, do not flatter me)
Such a bright gem, brought to thee, wouldst thou not
Most greedily accept?
Sce. Not as an Emperour,
A man that first should rule himself, then others;
As a poor hungry Souldier, I might bite, Sir,
Yet that's a weakness too: hear me, thou Tempter:
And hear thou Cæsar too, for it concerns thee,
And if thy flesh be deaf, yet let thine honour,
The soul of a commander, give ear to me,
Thou wanton bane of war, thou guilded Lethargy,
In whose embraces, ease (the rust of Arms)
And pleasure, (that makes Souldiers poor) inhabites.
Cæsar. Fye, thou blasphem'st.
Sce. I do, when she is a goddess.
Thou melter of strong minds, dar'st thou presume
To smother all his triumphs, with thy vanities,
And tye him like a slave, to thy proud beauties?
To thy imperious looks? that Kings have follow'd
Proud of their chains? have waited on? I shame Sir. [Exit.
Cæsar. Alas thou art rather mad: take thy rest Sceva,
Thy duty makes thee erre, but I forgive thee:
Go, go I say, shew me no disobedience:
'Tis well, farewel, the day will break dear Lady,
My Souldiers will come in; please you retire,
And think upon your servant.
Cleo. Pray you Sir, know me,
And what I am.
Cleo. So far as modesty,
And majesty gives leave Sir, ye are too violent.
Cæsar. You are too cold to my desires.
Cleo. Swear to me,
And by your self (for I hold that oath sacred)
You will right me as a Queen—
Cæsar. These lips be witness,
And if I break that oath—
Cleo. You make me blush Sir,
And in that blush interpret me.
Cæsar. I will do,
Come let's go in, and blush again: this one word,
You shall believe.
Cleo. I must, you are a conquerour. [Exeunt.
Pho. Good Sir, but hear.
Ptol. No more, you have undone me,
That, that I hourly fear'd, is fain upon me,
And heavily, and deadly.
Pho. Hear a remedy.
Ptol. A remedy now the disease is ulcerous?
And has infected all? your secure negligence
Has broke through all the hopes I have, and ruin'd me:
My Sister is with Cæsar, in his chamber,
All night she has been with him; and no doubt
Much to her honour.
Pho. Would that were the worst, Sir,
That will repair it self: but I fear mainly,
She has made her peace with Cæsar.
Ptol. 'Tis most likely,
And what am I then?
Pho. 'Plague upon that Rascal
Apollod[or]us, under whose command,
Under whose eye—
Pho. 'Twas providently done, Achillas.
Achil. Pardon me.
Pho. Your guards were rarely wise, and wondrous watchfull.
Achil. I could not help it, if my life had lain for't,
Alas, who would suspect a pack of bedding,
Or a small Truss of houshold furniture?
And as they said, for Cæsars use: or who durst
(Being for his private chamber) seek to stop it?
I was abus'd.
Ach. 'Tis no hour now for anger:
No wisdom to debate with fruitless choler,
Let us consider timely what we must do,
Since she is flown to his protection,
From whom we have no power to sever her,
Nor force conditions—
Ptol. Speak (good Achoreus)
Ach. Let indirect and crooked counsels vanish,
And straight, and fair directions—
Pho. Speak your mind Sir.
Ach. Let us choose Cæsar, (and endear him to us,)
An Arbitrator in all differences
Betwixt you, and your Sister; this is safe now:
And will shew off, most honourable.
Most base and poor; a servile, cold submission:
Hear me, and pluck your hearts up, like stout Counsellours,
Since we are sensible this Cæsar loathes us,
And have begun our fortune with great Pompey,
Be of my mind.
Ach. 'Tis most uncomely spoken,
And if I say most bloodily, I lye not:
The law of hospitality it poysons,
And calls the Gods in question that dwell in us,
Be wise O King.
Ptol. I will be: go my counsellour,
To Cæsar go, and do my humble service:
To my fair Sister my commends negotiate,
And here I ratifie what e're thou treat'st on.[pg 332]
Ach. Crown'd with fair peace, I go. [Exit.
Ptol. My love go with thee,
And from my love go you, you cruel vipers:
You shall know now I am no ward, Photinus. [Exit.
Pho. This for our service?
Princes do their pleasures,
And they that serve obey in all disgraces:
The lowest we can fall to, is our graves,
There we shall know no diffrence: heark Achillas,
I may do something yet, when times are ripe,
To tell this raw unthankful! King.
What e're it be I shall make one: and zealously:
For better dye attempting something nobly,
Than fall disgraced.
Pho. Thou lov'st me and I thank thee. [Exeunt.
Dol. Nay there's no rowsing him: he is bewitch'd sure,
His noble blood curdled, and cold within him;
Grown now a womans warriour.
Sce. And a tall one:
Studies her fortifications, and her breaches,
And how he may advance his ram to batter
The Bullwork of her chastitie.
Ant. Be not too angry,
For by this light, the woman's a rare woman,
A Lady of that catching youth, and beauty,
That unmatch'd sweetness—
Dol. But why should he be fool'd so?
Let her be what she will, why should his wisdom,
His age, and honour—
Ant. Say it were your own case,
Or mine, or any mans, that has heat in him:
'Tis true at this time when he has no promise
Of more security than his sword can cut through,
I do not hold it so discreet: but a good face, Gentlemen,[pg 333]
And eyes that are the winningst Orators:
A youth that opens like perpetual spring,
And to all these, a tongue that can deliver
The Oracles of Love—
Sce. I would you had her,
With all her Oracles, and Miracles,
She were fitter for your turn.
Ant. Would I had, Sceva,
With all her faults too: let me alone to mend 'em,
O'that condition I made thee mine heir.
Sce. I had rather have your black horse, than your harlots.
Dol. Cæsar writes Sonnetts now, the sound of war
Is grown too boystrous for his mouth: he sighs too.
Sce. And learns to fiddle most melodiously,
And sings, 'twould make your ears prick up, to hear him Gent.
Shortly she'l make him spin: and 'tis thought
He will prove an admirable maker of Bonelace,
And what a rare gift will that be in a General!
Ant. I would he could abstain.
Sce. She is a witch sure,
And works upon him with some damn'd inchantment.
Dol. How cunning she will carry her behaviours,
And set her countenance in a thousand postures,
To catch her ends!
Sce. She will be sick, well, sullen,
Merry, coy, over-joy'd, and seem to dye
All in one half hour, to make an asse of him:
I make no doubt she will be drunk too damnably,
And in her drink will fight, then she fits him.
Ant. That thou shouldst bring her in!
Sce. 'Twas my blind fortune,
My Souldiers told me, by the weight 'twas wicked:
Would I had carried Milo's Bull a furlong,
When I brought in this Cow-Calf: he has advanced me
From an old Souldier, to a bawd of memory:
O, that the Sons of Pompey were behind him,
The honour'd Cato, and fierce Juba with 'em,
That they might whip him from his whore, and rowze him:
That their fierce Trumpets, from his wanton trances,
Might shake him like an Earth-quake.
Ant. What's this fellow?
Dol. Why, a brave fellow, if we judge men by their clothes.
Ant. By my faith he is brave indeed: he's no commander?
Sce. Yes, he has a Roman face, he has been at fair wars
And plenteous too, and rich, his Trappings shew it.
Sep. And they will not know me now, they'l never know me.
Who dare blush now at my acquaintance? ha?
Am I not totally a span-new Gallant,
Fit for the choycest eyes? have I not gold?
The friendship of the world? if they shun me now
(Though I were the arrantest rogue, as I am well forward)
Mine own curse, and the Devils too light on me.
Ant. Is't not Septimius?
Dol. He that kill'd Pompey?
Sce. The same Dog, Scab; that guilded botch, that rascal.
Dol. How glorious villany appears in Egypt!
Sep. Gallants, and Souldiers, sure they do admire me.
Sce. Stand further off, thou stinkest.
Sep. A likely matter:
These Cloaths smell mustily, do they not, Gallants?
They stink, they stink, alas poor things, contemptible.
By all the Gods in Egypt, the perfumes
That went to trimming these cloathes, cost me—
Sce. Thou stinkest still.
Sep. The powdering of this head too—
Sce. If thou hast it,
I'le tell thee all the Gumms in sweet Arabia
Are not sufficient, were they burnt about thee,
To purge the scent of a rank Rascal from thee.
Ant. I smell him now: fie, how the Knave perfumes him,
How strong he scents of Traitor!
Dol. You had an ill Millener,
He laid too much of the Gum of Ingratitude
Upon your Coat, you should have washt off that Sir,
Fie, how it choaks! too little of your loyaltie,
Your honesty, your faith, that are pure Ambers;
I smell the rotten smell of a hired Coward,[pg 335]
A dead Dog is sweeter.
Sep. Ye are merry Gentlemen,
And by my troth, such harmless mirth takes me too,
You speak like good blunt Souldiers; and 'tis well enough:
But did you live at Court, as I do, Gallants,
You would refine, and learn an apter language;
I have done ye simple service on your Pompey,
You might have lookt him yet this brace of twelve months
And hunted after him, like foundred Beagles,
Had not this fortunate hand—
Ant. He brags on't too:
By the good Gods, rejoyces in't; thou wretch
Thou most contemptible Slave.
Sce. Dog, mangy Mongrel,
Thou murdring mischief, in the shape of Souldier
To make all Souldiers hatefull; thou disease
That nothing but the Gallows can give ease to.—
Dol. Thou art so impudent, that I admire thee,
And know not what to say.
Sep. I know your anger
And why you prate thus: I have found your melancholy:
Ye all want mony, and you are liberal Captains,
And in this want will talk a little desperately:
Here's gold, come share; I love a brave Commander:
And be not peevish, do as Cæsar does:
He's merry with his wench now, be you jovial,
And let's all laugh and drink: would he have partners?
I do consider all your wants, and weigh 'em,
He has the Mistris, you shall have the maids,
I'le bring 'em to ye, to your arms.
Ant. I blush,
All over me, I blush, and sweat to hear him:
Upon my conscience, if my arms were on now
Through them I should blush too: pray ye let's be walking.
Sce. Yes, yes: but e're we goe, I'le leave this lesson,
And let him study it: first Rogue, then Pander,
Next Devil that will be; get thee from mens presence,
And where the name of Souldier has been heard of
Be sure thou live not: to some hungry desert
Where thou canst meet with nothing but thy conscience,[pg 336]
And that in all the shapes of all thy vill[anie]s
Attend thee still, where bruit Beasts will abhor thee,
And even the Sun will shame to give thee light,
Goe hide thy head: or if thou think'st it fitter
Goe hang thy self.
Dol. Hark to that clause.
Sce. And that speedily,
That nature may be eas'd of such a Monster. [Exit.
Sep. Yet all this moves not me: nor reflects on me:
I keep my gold still, and my confidence,
Their want of breeding makes these fellows murmur,
Rude valors, so I let 'em pass; rude honours:
There is a wench yet, that I know, affects me
And company for a King: a young plump villain,
That when she sees this gold, she'l leap upon me.
And here she comes: I am sure of her at midnight,
My pretty Eros welcom.
Eros. I have business.
Sep. Above my love, thou canst not.
Eros. Yes indeed Sir,
Far, far above.
Sep. Why, why so coy? 'pray ye tell me
We are alone.
Eros. I am much asham'd we are so.
Sep. You want a new Gown now, & a handsom Petticoat,
A Skarf, and some odd toyes: I have gold here ready,
Thou shal[t] have any thing.
Eros. I want your absence:
Keep on your way, I care not for your company.
Sep. How? how? you are very short: do you know me Eros?
And what I have been to ye?
Eros. Yes I know ye:
And I hope I shall forget ye: Whilst you were honest
I lov'd ye too.
Sep. Honest? come prethee kiss me.
Eros. I kiss no knaves, no Murderers, no Beasts,
No base betrayers of those men that fed 'em,
I hate their looks; and though I may be wanton,[pg 337]
I scorn to nourish it with bloody purchase,
Purchase so foully got; I pray ye unhand me
I had rather touch the plague, than one unworthy:
Goe seek some Mistris that a horse may marry,
And keep her company, she is too good for ye. [Exit.
Sep. Marry this goes near; now I perceive I am hatefull,
When this light stuff can distinguish, it grows dangerous,
For mony, seldom they refuse a Leper:
But sure I am more odious, more diseas'd too:
It sits cold here; what are these? three poor Souldiers?
Both poor and lame: their misery may make 'em
A little look upon me, and adore me,
If these will keep me company, I am made yet.
1 Sol. The pleasure Cæsar sleeps in, makes us miserable,
We are forgot, our maims and dangers laugh'd at;
He Banquets, and we beg.
2 Sol. He was not wont
To let poor Souldiers that have spent their Fortunes,
Their Bloods, and limbs, walk up and down like vagabonds.
Sep. Save ye good Souldiers: good poor men, heaven help ye:
You have born the brunt of war, and shew the story,
1 Sol. Some new commander sure.
Sep. You look (my good friends)
By your thin faces, as you would be Suitors.
2 Sol. To Cæsar, for our means, Sir.
Sep. And 'tis fit Sir.
3 Sol. We are poor men, and long forgot.
Sep. I grieve for it:
Good Souldiers should have good rewards, and favours,
I'le give up your petitions, for I pity ye,
And freely speak to Cæsar.
All. O we honour ye.
1 Sol. A good man sure ye are: the Gods preserve ye.
Sep. And to relieve your wants the while, hold Soldiers,
Nay 'tis no dream: 'tis good gold: take it freely,
'Twill keep ye in good heart.
2 Sol. Now goodness quit ye.
Sep. I'le be a friend to your afflictions,[pg 338]
And eat, and drink with ye too, and we'l be merry:
And every day I'le see ye.
1 Sol. You are a Souldier,
And one sent from the Gods, I think.
Sep. I'le cloth ye,
Ye are lame, and then provide good lodging for ye:
And at my Table, where no want shall meet ye.
All. Was never such a man.
1 Sold. Dear honour'd Sir,
Let us but know your name, that we may worship ye.
2 Sold. That we may ever thank.
Sep. Why, call me any thing,
No matter for my name, that may betray me.
Sce. A cunning thief, call him Septimius, Souldiers,
The villain that kill'd Pompey.
Sce. Call him the shame of men. [Exit.
1 Sold. O that this mony
Were weight enough to break thy brains out: fling all:
And fling our curses next: let them be mortal,
Out bloody wolf, dost thou come guilded over,
And painted with thy charitie, to poyson us?
2 Sold. I know him now: may never Father own thee,
But as a monstrous birth shun thy base memory:
And if thou hadst a Mother (as I cannot
Believe thou wert a natural Burden) let her womb
Be curs'd of women for a bed of vipers.
3 Sol. Me thinks the ground shakes to devour this rascal,
And the kind air turns into foggs and vapours,
Infectious mists, to crown his villanies.
Thou maist go wander, like a thing heaven hated.
1 Sold. And valiant minds hold poysonous to remember.
The Hangman will not keep thee company,
He has an honourable house to thine,
No, not a thief though thou couldst save his life for't
Will eat thy bread, nor one, for thirst starv'd, drink with thee.
2 Sol. Thou art no company for an honest dog,
And so we'l leave thee to a ditch (thy destiny.) [Exeunt.[pg 339]
Sep. Contemn'd of all? and kickt too? now I find it;
My valour's fled too, with mine honesty,
For since I would be knave I must be Coward:
This 'tis to be a Traitor, and betrayer.
What a deformity dwells round about me!
How monstrous shews that man, that is ungratefull!
I am afraid the very beasts will tear me,
Inspir'd with what I have done: the winds will blast me:
Now I am paid, and my reward dwells in me,
The wages of my fact, my soul's opprest;
Honest and noble minds, you find most rest. [Exit.
Ptol. I have commanded, and it shall be so,
A preparation I have set o' foot,
Worthy the friendship and the fame of Cæsar,
My Sisters favours shall seem poor and wither'd:
Nay she her self, (trim'd up in all her beautys)
Compar'd to what I'le take his eyes withall,
Shall be a dream.
Pho. Do you mean to shew the glory,
And wealth of Egypt?
Ptol. Yes: and in that lustre,
Rome shall appear in all her famous Conquests,
And all her riches of no note unto it.
Ach. Now you are reconcil'd to your fair Sister,
Take heed Sir, how you step into a danger:
A danger of this precipice: but note Sir,
For what Rome ever rais'd her mighty armies;
First for ambition, then for wealth: 'tis madness,
Nay more, a secure impotence, to tempt
An armed Guest: feed not an eye, that conquers,
Nor teach a fortunate sword the way to be covetous.
Ptol. Ye judge amiss, and far too wide to alter me,
Yet all be ready, as I gave direction:
The secret way of all our wealth appearing
Newly, and handsomely: and all about it:
No more disswading: 'tis my will.[pg 340]
Ach. I grieve for't.
Ptol. I will dazel Cæsar, with excess of glory.
Pho. I fear you'l curse your will, we must obey ye. [Exit.
Cæsar. I wonder at the glory of this Kingdom,
And the most bounteous preparation,
Still as I pass, they court me with.
Sceva. I'le tell ye:
In Gaul, and Germany, we saw such visions,
And stood not to admire 'em, but possess 'em:
When they are ours, they are worth our admiration.
Ant. The young Queen comes: give room.
Cæsar. Welcom (my dearest)
Come bless my side.
Sceva. I marry: here's a wonder,
As she appears now, I am no true Souldier,
If I be not readie to recant.
Cleo. Be merry Sir,
My Brother will be proud to do you honour
That now appears himself.
Pto. Haile to great Cæsar
My Royal Guest, first I will feast thine eyes
With wealthy Ægypts store, and then thy palate,
And wait my self upon thee. [Treasure brought in.
Cæsar. What rich Service!
What mines of treasure!
Cleo. My Cæsar,
What do you admire? pray ye turn, and let me talk to ye.
Have ye forgot me Sir? how, a new object?
Am I grown old o'th' sudden, Cæsar?
Cæsar. Tell me
From whence comes all this wealth?
Ptol. I'le tell thee Cæsar,
We owe for all this wealth to the old Nilus:
We need no dropping rain to cheer the husband-man,
Nor Merchant that ploughs up the Sea, to seek us;
Within the wealthy womb of reverent Nilus,
All this is nourish'd: who to do thee honour,
Comes to discover his seven Deities,
(His conceal'd heads) unto thee: see with pleasure.
Cæsar. The matchless wealth of this Land!
Cleo. Come, ye shall hear me.
Cæsar. Away: let me imagine.
Cleo. How? frown on me?
The eyes of Cæsar wrapt in storms?
Cæsar. I am sorry:
But let me think—
Isis, the Goddess of this Land,
Bids thee (great Cæsar) understand
And mark our Customes, and first know,
With greedy eyes these watch the flow
Of plenteous Nilus: when he comes,
With Songs, with Daunces, Timbrels, Drums
They entertain him, cut his way,
And give his proud Heads leave to play:
Nilus himself shall rise, and show
His matchless wealth in Over-flow.
Come let us help the reverend Nile,
He's very old (alas the while)
Let us dig him easie wayes,
And prepare a thousand Playes:
To delight his streams let's sing
A loud welcom to our Spring.
This way let his curling Heads
Fall into our new made Beds.[pg 342]
This way let his wanton spawns,
Frisky and glide it o're the Lawns.
This way profit comes, and gain:
How he tumbles here amain!
How his waters haste to fall
Into our Channels! Labour all
And let him in: Let Nilus flow,
And perpetuall plenty show.
With Incense let us bless the brim,
And as the wanton fishes swim,
Let us Gums, and Garlands fling,
And loud our Timbrels ring.
Come (old Father) come away,
Our labour is our holy day.
Isis. Here comes the aged River now
With Garlands of great Pearl, his Brow
Begirt and rounded: In his Flow
All things take life; and all things grow.
A thousand wealthy Treasures still,
To do him service at his will
Follow his rising Flood, and pour
Perpetuall blessings in our store.
Hear him: and next there will advance,
His sacred Heads to tread a Dance,
In honour of my Royal Guest,
Mark them too: and you have a Feast.
Cleo. A little dross betray me?
Cæsar. I am asham'd I warr'd at home, (my friends)
When such wealth may be got abroad: what honour?
Nay everlasting glory had Rome purchas'd,
Had she a just cause but to visit Ægypt?
Make room for my rich waters fall, and bless my Flood,
Nilus comes flowing, to you all encrease and good.
Now the Plants and Flowers shall spring,
And the merry Plough-man sing[pg 343]
In my bidden waves I bring
Bread, and wine, and every thing.
Let the Damsells sing me in:
Sing aloud that I may rise:
Your holy Feasts and hours begin,
And each hand bring a Sacrifice.
Now my wanton Pearls I show
That to Ladies fair necks grow.
Now my gold
And treasures that can ne're be told,
Shall bless this Land, by my rich Flow,
And after this, to crown your Eyes,
My hidden holy head arise.
Cæsar. The wonder of this wealth so troubles me,
I am not well: good-night.
Sce. I am glad ye have it:
Now we shall stir again.
Ptol. Thou wealth, still haunt him.
Sce. A greedy spirit set thee on: we are happy.
Ptol. Lights: lights for Cæsar, and attendance.
I shall yet find a time to tell thee Cæsar,
Thou hast wrong'd her Love: the rest here.
Ptol. Lights along still:
Musick, and Sacrifice to sleep for Cæsar. [Exeunt.
Ach. I told ye carefully, what this would prove to,
What this inestimable wealth and glory
Would draw upon ye: I advis'd your Majesty
Never to tempt a Conquering Guest: nor add
A bait, to catch a mind, bent by his Trade
To make the whole world his.
Pho. I was not heard Sir:
Or what I said, lost, and contemn'd: I dare say,
(And freshly now) 'twas a poor weakness in ye,
A glorious Childishness: I watch'd his eye,[pg 344]
And saw how Faulcon-like it towr'd, and flew
Upon the wealthy Quarry: how round it mark'd it:
I observ'd his words, and to what it tended;
How greedily he ask'd from whence it came,
And what Commerce we held for such abundance:
The shew of Nilus, how he laboured at
To find the secret wayes the Song delivered.
Ach. He never smil'd, I noted, at the pleasures,
But fixt his constant eyes upon the treasure;
I do not think his ears had so much leisure
After the wealth appear'd, to hear the Musique?
Most sure he has not slept since, his mind's troubled
With objects that would make their own still labour.
Pho. Your Sister he ne're gaz'd on: that's a main note,
The prime beauty of the world had no power over him.
Ach. Where was his mind the whilst?
Pho. Where was your carefulness
To shew an armed thief the way to rob ye?
Nay, would you give him this, 'twill excite him
To seek the rest. Ambition feels no gift,
Nor knows no bounds, indeed ye have done most weakly.
Ptol. Can I be too kind to my noble friend?
Pho. To be unkind unto your noble self, but savours
Of indiscretion, and your friend has found it.
Had ye been train'd up in the wants and miseries
A souldier marches through, and known his temperance
In offer'd courtesies, you would have made
A wiser Master of your own, and stronger.
Ptol. Why, should I give him all, he would return it:
'Tis more to him, to make Kings.
Pho. Pray be wiser,
And trust not with your lost wealth, your lov'd liberty.
To be a King still at your own discretion
Is like a King; to be at his, a vassail.
Now take good counsel, or no more take to ye
The freedom of a Prince.
Achil. 'Twill be too late else:
For, since the Masque, he sent three of his Captains
(Ambitious as himself) to view again
The glory of your wealth.[pg 345]
Pho. The next himself comes,
Not staying for your courtesie, and takes it.
Ptol. What counsel, my Achoreus?
Ach. I'le goe pray Sir,
(For that is best counsel now) the gods may help ye. [Ex.
Pho. I found ye out a way but 'twas not credited,
A most secure way: whither will ye flye now?
Achil. For when your wealth is gone, your power must follow.
Pho. And that diminisht also, what's your life worth?
Who would regard it?
Ptol. You say true.
Achil. What eye
Will look upon King Ptolomy? if they do look,
It must be in scorn:
For a poor King is a monster;
What ear remember ye? 'twill be then a courtesie
(A noble one) to take your life too from ye:
But if reserv'd, you stand to fill a victory,
As who knows Conquerours minds? though outwardly
They bear fair streams.
O Sir, does this not shake ye?
If to be honyed on to these afflictions—
Ptol. I never will: I was a Fool.
Pho. For then Sir
Your Countreys cause falls with ye too, and fetter'd:
All Ægypt shall be plough'd up with dishonour.
Ptol. No more: I am sensible: and now my spirit
Burns hot within me.
Achil. Keep it warm and fiery.
Pho. And last be counsel'd.
Ptol. I will, though I perish.
Pho. Goe in; we'l tell you all: and then we'l execute.
Ars. You are so impatient.
Cleo. Have I not cause?
Women of common Beauties, and low Births,[pg 346]
When they are slighted, are allow'd their angers,
Why should not I (a Princess) make him know
The baseness of his usage?
Ars. Yes: 'tis fit:
But then again you know what man.
Cleo. He is no man:
The shadow of a Greatness hangs upon him,
And not the vertue: he is no Conquerour,
H'as suffer'd under the base dross of Nature:
Poorly delivered up his power to wealth,
(The god of bed-rid men) taught his eyes treason
Against the truth of love: he has rais'd rebellion:
Defi'd his holy flames.
Eros. He will fall back again,
And satisfie your Grace.
Cleo. Had I been old,
Or blasted in my bud, he might have shew'd
Some shadow of dislike: But, to prefer
The lustre of a little art, Arsino,
And the poor glow-worm light of some faint Jewels,
Before the life of Love, and soul of Beauty,
Oh how it vexes me! he is no Souldier,
(All honourable Souldiers are Loves servants)
He is a Merchant; a meer wandring Merchant,
Servile to gain: he trades for poor Commodities,
And makes his Conquests, thefts; some fortunate Captains
That quarter with him, and are truly valiant,
Have flung the name of happy Cæsar on him,
Himself ne're won it: he is so base and covetous,
He'l sell his sword for gold.
Ars. This is too bitter.
Cleo. Oh I could curse my self, that was so foolish,
So fondly childish to believe his tongue,
His promising tongue, e're I could catch his temper,
I had trash enough to have cloy'd his eyes withal,
His covetous eyes; such as I scorn to tread on:
Richer than e're he saw yet, and more tempting;
Had I known he had stoop'd at that, I had sav'd mine honour,
I had been happy still: but let him take it,
And let him brag how poorly I am rewarded:[pg 347]
Let him goe conquer still weak wretched Ladies:
Love has his angry Quiver too, his deadly,
And when he finds scorn, armed at the strongest:
I am a fool to fret thus, for a fool:
An old blind fool too: I lose my health? I will not:
I will not cry: I will not honour him
With tears diviner than the gods he worships:
I will not take the pains to curse a poor thing.
Eros. Doe not: you shall not need.
Cleo. Would I were prisoner
To one I hate, that I might anger him,
I will love any man, to break the heart of him:
Any, that has the heart and will to kill him.
Ars. Take some fair truce.
Cleo. I will goe study mischief,
And put a look on, arm'd with all my cunnings,
Shall meet him like a Basilisque, and strike him:
Love, put destroying flames into mine eyes,
Into my smiles, deceits, that I may torture him,
That I may make him love to death, and laugh at him.
Ap. Cæsar commends his Service to your Grace.
Cleo. His service? what's his service?
Eros. Pray ye be patient,
The noble Cæsar loves still.
Cleo. What's his will?
Ap. He craves access unto your Highness.
Say no: I will have none to trouble me.
Ars. Good Sister.
Cleo. None I say: I will be private.
Would thou hadst flung me into Nilus, keeper,
When first thou gav'st consent, to bring my body
To this unthankfull Cæsar.
Ap. 'Twas your will, Madam,
Nay more, your charge upon me, as I honoured ye:
You know what danger I endured.
Ap. He enters.
Cæsar. I do not use to wait, Lady,
Where I am, all the dores are free, and open.
Cleo. I ghess so, by your rudeness.
Cæsar. Ye are not angry?
Things of your tender mold, should be most gentle;
Why do you frown? good gods, what a set-anger
Have you forc'd into your face! Come, I must temper ye:
What a coy smile was there, and a disdainfull!
How like an ominous flash it broke out from ye!
Defend me, Love, Sweet, who has anger'd ye?
Cleo. Shew him a glass; that false face has betrai'd me:
That base heart wrought me—
Cæsar. Be more sweetly angry;
I wrong'd ye fair?
Cleo. Away with your foul flatteries:
They are too gross: but that I dare be angry,
And with as great a god as Cæsar is,
To shew how poorly I respect his memory,
I would not speak to ye.
Cæsar. Pray ye undoe this riddle,
And tell me how I have vext ye?
Cleo. Let me think first
Whether I may put on a Patience
That will with honour suffer me: know, I hate ye,
Let that begin the story: Now I'le tell ye.
Cæsar. But do it milder: In a noble Lady,
Softness of spirit, and a sober nature,
That moves like summer winds, cool, and blows sweetness;
Shews blessed like her self.
Cleo. And that great blessedness
You first reap'd of me: till you taught my nature
Like a rude storm to talk aloud, and thunder,
Sleep was not gentler than my soul, and stiller;[pg 349]
You had the Spring of my affections:
And my fair fruits I gave you leave to taste of:
You must expect: the winter of mine anger:
You flung me off, before the Court disgrac'd me,
When in the pride I appear'd of all my beauty,
Appear'd your Mistress; took into your eyes
The common-strumpet love of hated lucre,
Courted with covetous heart, the slave of nature,
Gave all your thoughts to gold, that men of glory,
And minds adorn'd with noble love, would kick at:
Souldiers of royal mark, scorn such base purchase:
Beauty and honour are the marks they shoot at;
I spake to ye then; I courted ye, and woo'd ye:
Call'd ye dear Cæsar, hung about ye tenderly:
Was proud to appear your friend.
Cæsar. You have mistaken me.
Cleo. But neither Eye, nor Favour, not a Smile
Was I blessed back with; but shook off rudely,
And, as ye had been sold to sordid infamy,
You fell before the Images of treasure,
And in your soul you worship'd: I stood slighted,
Forgotten and contemn'd; my soft embraces,
And those sweet kisses you call'd Elyzium,
As letters writ in sand, no more remembred:
The name and glory of your Cleopatra
Laugh'd at, and made a story to your Captains,
Shall I endure?
Cæsar. You are deceiv'd in all this,
Upon my life you are, 'tis your much tenderness.
Cleo. No, no, I love not that way; you are cozen'd:
I love with as much ambition as a Conquerour,
And where I love, will triumph.
Cæsar. So you shall:
My heart shall be the Chariot that shall bear ye,
All I have won shall wait upon ye: By the gods
The bravery of this womans mind, has fired me:
Dear Mistress shall I but this night?—
Cæsar. You shall be absolute,
And Reign alone as Queen: you shall be any thing.
Cleo. Make me a maid again, and then I'le hear thee;
Examine all thy art of War, to do that;
And if thou find'st it possible, I'le love thee:
Till when, farewel, unthankfull.
Cleo. I will not.
Cæsar. I command.
Cleo. Command, and goe without, Sir.
I do command thee be my slave for ever,
And vex while I laugh at thee.
Cæsar. Thus low, beauty.
Cleo. It is too late; when I have found thee absolute,
The man that Fame reports thee, and to me,
May be I shall think better. Farewel Conquerour. [Exit.
Cæsar. She mocks me too: I will enjoy her Beauty:
I will not be deni'd; I'le force my longing.
Love is best pleas'd, when roundly we compel him,
And as he is Imperious, so will I be.
Stay fool, and be advis'd: that dulls the appetite,
Takes off the strength and sweetness of delight.
By Heaven she is a miracle, I must use
A handsom way to win: how now; what fear
Dwells in your faces? you look all distracted.
Sceva. If it be fear, 'tis fear of your undoing,
Not of our selves: fear of your poor declining:
Our lives and deaths are equall benefits,
And we make louder prayers to dye nobly,
Than to live high, and wantonly: whilst you are secure here,
And offer Hecatombs of lazie kisses
To the lewd god of love, and cowardize,
And most lasci[v]iously dye in delights,
You are begirt with the fierce Alexandrians.
Dol. The spawn of Egypt flow about your Palace,
Arm'd all: and ready to assault.
Ant. Led on
By the false and base Photinus and his Ministers;[pg 351]
No stirring out; no peeping through a loop-hole,
But straight saluted with an armed Dart.
Sce. No parley: they are deaf to all but danger,
They swear they will fley us, and then dry our Quarters:
A rasher of a salt lover, is such a Shooing-horn:
Can you kiss away this conspiracy, and set us free?
Or will the Giant god of love fight for ye?
Will his fierce war-like bow kill a Cock-sparrow?
Bring out the Lady, she can quel this mutiny:
And with her powerfull looks strike awe into them:
She can destroy, and build again the City,
Your Goddesses have mighty gifts: shew 'em her fair brests,
The impregnable Bulworks of proud Love, and let 'em
Begin their battery there: she will laugh at 'em;
They are not above a hundred thousand, Sir.
A mist, a mist, that when her Eyes break out,
Her powerfull radiant eyes, and shake their flashes,
Will flye before her heats.
Cæsar. Begirt with Villains?
S[ce]. They come to play you, and your Love a Huntsup.
You were told what this same whorson wenching, long agoe would come to:
You are taken napping now: has not a Souldier,
A time to kiss his friend, and a time to consider,
But he must lye still digging, like a Pioneer,
Making of mines, and burying of his honour there?
'Twere good you would think—
Dol. And time too, or you will find else
A harder task, than Courting a coy Beauty.
Ant. Look out and then believe.
Sce. No, no, hang danger:
Take me provoking broth, and then goe to her:
Goe to your Love, and let her feel your valour;
Charge her whole body, when the sword's in your throat (Sir,)
You may cry, Cæsar, and see if that will help ye.
Cæsar. I'le be my self again, and meet their furies,
Meet, and consume their mischiefs: make some shift, Sceva,
To recover the Fleet, and bring me up two Legions,
And you shall see me, how I'le break like thunder
Amongst these beds of slimy Eeles, and scatter 'em.
Sce. Now ye speak sense I'le put my life to the hazard,[pg 352]
Before I goe No more of this warm Lady,
She will spoil your sword-hand.
Cæsar. Goe: come, let's to Counsel
How to prevent, and then to execute.
1 Sold. Did ye see this Penitence?
2 Sold. Yes: I saw, and heard it.
3 Sold. And I too: look'd upon him, and observ'd it,
He's the strangest Septimus now—
1 Sold. I heard he was altered,
And had given away his Gold to honest uses:
2 Sold. He cryes abundantly:
He is blind almost with weeping.
3 Sold. 'Tis most wonderfull
That a hard hearted man, and an old Souldier
Should have so much kind moisture: when his Mother dy'd
He laugh'd aloud, and made the wickedst Ballads—
1 Sold. 'Tis like enough: he never lov'd his parents;
Nor can I blame him, for they ne'r lov'd him.
His Mother dream'd before she was deliver'd
That she was brought abed with a Buzzard, and ever after
She whistl'd him up to th' world: his brave clothes too
He has flung away, and goes like one of us now:
Walks with his hands in's pockets, poor and sorrowfull,
And gives the best instructions.—
2 Sold. And tells stories
Of honest and good people that were honour'd
And how they were remembred: and runs mad
If he but hear of any ungratefull person,
A bloudy, or betraying man—
3 Sold. If it be possible
That an Arch-Villain may ever be recovered,
This penitent Rascal will put hard: 'twere worth our labour
To see him once again.
1 Sold. He spares us that labour,
For here he comes.
Sep.—Bless ye my honest friends,
Bless ye from base unworthy men; come not near me,
For I am yet too taking for your company.
1 Sold. Did I not tell ye?
2 Sold. What book's that?
1 Sold. No doubt
Some excellent Salve for a sore heart: are you
Septimius, that base knave, that betray'd Pompey?
Sep. I was, and am; unless your honest thoughts
Will look upon my penitence, and save me,
I must be ever Villain: O good Souldiers
You that have Roman hearts, take heed of falsehood:
Take heed of blood; take heed of foul ingratitude.
The Gods have scarce a mercy for those mischiefs,
Take heed of pride, 'twas that that brought me to it.
2 Sol. This fellow would make a rare speech at the gallows.
 Sol. 'Tis very fit he were hang'd to edifie us:
Sep. Let all your thoughts be humble, and obedient,
Love your Commanders, honour them that feed ye:
Pray, that ye may be strong in honesty
As in the use of arms; Labour, and diligently
To keep your hearts from ease, and her base issues,
Pride, and ambitious wantonness, those spoil'd me.
Rather lose all your limbs, than the least honesty,
You are never lame indeed, till loss of credit
Benumb ye through: Scarrs, and those maims of honour
Are memorable crutches, that shall bear
When you are dead, your noble names to Eternity.
1 Sol. I cry.
2 Sol. And so do I.
3 Sol. An excellent villain.
1 Sol. A more sweet pious knave I never heard yet.
2 Sol. He was happie he was Rascal, to come to this.
Who's this? a Priest?
Sep. O stay, most holy Sir![pg 354]
And by the Gods of Egypt, I conjure ye,
(Isis, and great Osiris) pity me,
Pity a loaden man, and tell me truly
With what most humble Sacrifice I may
Wash off my sin, and appease the powers that hate me?
Take from my heart those thousand thousand furies,
That restless gnaw upon my life, and save me.
Orestes bloody hands fell on his Mother,
Yet, at the holy altar he was pardon'd.
Ach. Orestes out of madness did his murther,
And therefore he found grace: thou (worst of all men)
Out of cold blood, and hope of gain, base lucre,
Slew'st thine own Feeder: come not near the altar,
Nor with thy reeking hands pollute the Sacrifice,
Thou art markt for shame eternal. [Exit.
Sep. Look all on me,
And let me be a story left to time
Of blood and Infamy, how base and ugly
Ingratitude appears, with all her profits,
How monstrous my hop'd grace, at Court! good souldiers
Let neither flattery, nor the witching sound
Of high and soft preferment, touch your goodness:
To be valiant, old, and honest, O what blessedness—
1 Sold. Dost thou want any thing?
Sep. Nothing but your prayers.
2 Sol. Be thus, and let the blind Priest do his worst,
We have gods as well as they, and they will hear us.
3 Sol. Come, cry no more: thou hast wep't out twenty Pompeys.
Pho. So penitent?
Achil. It seems so.
Pho. Yet for all this
We must employ him.
1 Sol. These are the arm'd Souldier leaders:
Away: and let's toth' Fort, we shall be snapt else. [Exeunt.
Pho. How now? why thus? what cause of this dejection?
Achil. Why dost thou weep?
Pho. Does that touch thee?
Achil. He will be hard to win: he feels his lewdness.
Pho. He must be won, or we shall want our right hand.
This fellow dares, and knows, and must be heartned.
Art thou so poor to blench at what thou hast done?
Is Conscience a comrade for an old Soldier?
Achil. It is not that: it may be some disgrace
That he takes heavily; and would be cherish'd,
Septimius ever scorn'd to shew such weakness.
Sep. Let me alone; I am not for your purpose,
I am now a new man.
Pho. We have new affairs for thee,
Those that would raise thy head.
Sep. I would 'twere off,
And in your bellies for the love you bear me.
I'le be no more Knave: I have stings enough
Already in my breast.
Pho. Thou shalt be noble:
And who dares think then that thou art not honest?
Achil. Thou shalt command in Chief, all our strong Forces
And if thou serv'st an use, must not all justifie it?
S[e]p. I am Rogue enough.
Pho. Thou wilt be more, and baser:
A poor Rogue is all Rogues: open to all shames:
Nothing to shadow him: dost thou think crying
Can keep thee from the censure of the Multitude?
Or to be kneeling at the altar save thee?
'Tis poor and servile:
Wert thou thine own Sacrifice
'Twould seem so low, people would spit the fire out.
Achil. Keep thy self glorious still, though ne're so stain'd,
And that will lessen it, if not work it out.
To goe complaining thus, and thus repenting
Like a poor Girl that had betrai'd her maiden-head—
Sep. I'le stop mine ears.
Achil. Will shew so in a Souldier,
So simply, and so ridiculously, so tamely—
Pho. If people would believe thee, 'twere some honesty,
And for thy penitence would not laugh at thee[pg 356]
(As sure they will) and beat thee for thy poverty:
If they would allow thy foolery, there were some hope.
Sep. My foolery?
Pho. Nay, more than that, thy misery,
Thy monstrous misery.
A[c]hil. He begins to hearken:
Thy misery so great, men will not bury thee.
Sep. That this were true!
Pho. Why does this conquering Cæsar
Labour through the worlds deep Seas of toyls and troubles,
Dangers, and desperate hopes? to repent afterwards?
Why does he slaughter thousands in a Battel,
And whip his Country with the sword? to cry for't?
Thou killd'st great Pompey; he'l kill all his kindred,
And justifie it: nay raise up Trophies to it.
When thou hear'st him repent, (he's held most holy too)
And cry for doing daily bloody murthers,
Take thou example, and go ask forgiveness,
Call up the thing thou nam'st thy conscience,
And let it work: then 'twill seem well Septimius.
Sep. He does all this.
Achil. Yes: and is honour'd for it;
Nay call'd the honour'd Cæsar, so maist thou be:
Thou wert born as near a Crown as he.
Sep. He was poor.
Pho. And desperate bloody tricks got him this credit.
Sep. I am afraid you will once more—
Pho. Help to raise thee:
Off with thy pining black, it dulls a Souldier,
And put on resolution like a man,
A noble Fate waits on thee.
Sep. I now feel
My self returning Rascal speedily.
O that I had the power—
Achil. Thou shalt have all:
And do all through thy power, men shall admire thee,
And the vices of Septimius shall turn vertues.
Sep. Off: off: thou must off: off my cowardize,
Puling repentance off.
Sep. Off my dejected looks: and welcom impudence:
My daring shall be Deity, to save me:
Give me instructions, and put action on me:
A glorious cause upon my swords point, Gentlemen,
And let my wit, and valour work: you will raise me,
And make me out-dare all my miseries?
Pho. All this, and all thy wishes.
Sep. Use me then,
Womanish fear farewell: I'le never melt more,
Lead on, to some great thing, to wake my spirit:
I cut the Cedar Pompey, and I'le fell
This huge Oak Cæsar too.
Pho. Now thou singst sweetly:
And Ptolomy shall crown thee for thy service.
Achil. He's well wrought: put him on apace for cooling.
Ant. The tumult still encreases.
Cæsar. O my fortune!
My lustfull folly rather! but 'tis well,
And worthily I am made a bondsmans prey,
That after all my glorious victories,
In which I pass'd so many Seas of dangers,
When all the Elements conspir'd against me,
Would yield up the dominion of this head
To any mortal power: so blind and stupid,
To trust these base Egyptians, that proclaim'd
Their perjuries, in noble Pompeys death,
And yet that could not warn me.
Dol. Be still Cæsar,
Who ever lov'd to exercise his fate,
Where danger look't most dreadful.
Ant. If you fall,
Fall not alone: let the King and his Sister
Be buried in your ruines: on my life
They both are guilty: reason may assure you[pg 358]
Photinus nor Achillas durst attempt you,
Or shake one Dart, or sword, aim'd at your safety,
Without their warrant.
Cæsar. For the young King I know not
How he may be misled; but for his Sister
(Unequall'd Cleopatra) 'twere a kind
Of blasphemy to doubt her: ugly treason
Durst never dwell in such a glorious building,
Nor can so clear and great a spirit, as hers is,
Admit of falsehood.
Ant. Let us seize on him then:
And leave her to her fortune.
Dol. If he have power
Use it to your security, and let
His honesty acquit him: if he be false
It is too great an honour he should dye
By your victorious hand.
Cæsar. He comes: and I
Shall do as I find cause.
Ptol. Let not great Cæsar
Impute the breach of hospitality,
To you (my guest) to me; I am contemn'd,
And my rebellious subjects lift their hands
Against my head: and would they aim'd no farther,
Provided that I fell a sacrifice
To gain you safety: that this is not feign'd,
The boldness of my innocence may confirm you:
Had I been privy to their bloody plot,
I now had led them on, and given fair gloss
To their bad cause, by being present with them:
But I that yet taste of the punishment,
In being false to Pompey, will not make
A second fault to Cæsar uncompel'd
With such as have not yet shook off obedience,
I yield my self to you, and will take part
In all your dangers.
Ach. If they have any touch
Of justice, or religion, I will use
The authority of our Gods, to call them back
From their bad purpose.
Apo. This part of the palace
Is yet defensible: we may make it good,
Till your powers rescue us.
Cæsar. Cæsar besieg'd?
O stain to my great actions: 'twas my custom,
An Army routed, as my feet had wings
To be first in the chase: nor walls, nor Bulworks
Could guard those that escap'd the Battels fury
From this strong Arm; and I to be enclos'd?
My heart! my heart! but 'tis necessity,
To which the Gods must yield, and I obey,
'Till I redeem it by some glorious way. [Exeunt.
Pho. There's no retiring now, we are broke in:
The deed past hope of pardon: if we prosper
'Twill be stil'd lawful!, and we shall give laws
To those that now command us: stop not at
Or loyalty, or duty: bold ambition,
To dare and power to do, gave the first difference
Between the King, and subject, Cæsars Motto,
Aut Cæsar aut Nihil, each of us must claim,
And use it as our own.
Achil. The deed is bloody
If we conclude in Ptolomies death.
Pho. The better,
The globe of Empire must be so manur'd.
Sep. Rome, that from Romulus first took her name,
Had her walls water'd with a Crimson showr
Drain'd from a Brothers heart: nor was she rais'd
To this prodigious height, that overlooks
Three full parts of the Earth, that pay her tribute,
But by enlarging of her narrow bounds
By the Sack of Neighbour Cities, not made hers[pg 360]
Till they were Cemented with the Blood of those
That did possess 'em: Cæsar, Ptolomy,
(Now I am steel'd) to me are empty names
Esteem'd as Pompeys was.
Pho. Well said Septimius,
Thou now art right again.
Achil. But what course take we
For the Princess Cleopatra?
Pho. Let her live
Awhile to make us sport: she shall authorize
Our undertakings to the ignorant people,
As if what we do were by her command:
But our triumvirat Government once confirm'd,
She bears her Brother company, that's my Province:
Leave me to work her.
Achil. I will undertake
Sep. Cæsar shall be my task,
And as in Pompey I began a name
I'le perfect it in Cæsar.
Pho. 'Tis resolv'd then,
We'll force our passage.
Achil. See, they do appear
As they desir'd a Parley.
Pho. I am proud yet
I have brought 'em to capitulate.
Ptol. Now, Photinus?
Pho. Now, Ptolomy?
Ptol. No addition?
Pho. We are equal,
Though Cæsars name were put into the scale,
In which our worth is weigh'd.
Cæs. Presumptuous Villain,
Upon what grounds hast thou presum'd to raise
Thy servile hand against the King, or me,
That have a greater name?
Pho. On those, by which[pg 361]
Thou didst presume to pass the Rubicon
Against the Laws of Rome; and at the name
Of Traitor smile; as thou didst when Marcellus,
The Consul, with the Senates full consent
Pronounc'd thee for an Enemy to thy Country,
Yet thou wentst on, and thy rebellious Cause
Was crown'd with fair success: Why should we fear then?
Think on that, Cæsar.
Cæs. O the gods! be brav'd thus,
And be compell'd to bear this from a Slave
That would not brook Great Pompey his Superiour?
Achil. Thy glories now have toucht the highest point,
And must descend.
Pho. Despair, and think we stand
The Champions of Rome, to wreak her wrongs,
Upon whose liberty thou hast set thy foot.
Sept. And that the Ghosts of all those noble Romans
That by thy Sword fell in this Civil War
Ant. Dar'st thou speak, and remember
There was a Pompey?
Pho. There is no hope to 'scape us:
If that against the odds we have upon you
You dare come forth, and fight, receive the honour
To dye like Romans, if ye faint, resolve
To starve like Wretches; I disdain to change
Another syllable with you. [Exeunt.
Ant. Let us dye nobly;
And rather fall upon each others Sword
Than come into these Villains hands.
Cæs. That Fortune,
Which to this hour hath been a Friend to Cæsar,
Though for a while she cloath her Brow with frowns,
Will smile again upon me: who will pay her,
Or sacrifice, or Vows, if she forsake
Her best of works in me? or suffer him,
Whom with a strong hand she hath led triumphant
Through the whole western world, and Rome acknowledg'd
Her Soveraign Lord, to end in-gloriously
A life admir'd by all? The threatned danger[pg 362]
Must by a way more horrid be avoided,
And I will run the hazard; Fire the Palace,
And the rich Magazines that neighbour it,
In which the Wealth of Egypt is contain'd:
Start not, it shall be so; that while the people
Labour in quenching the ensuing flames,
Like Cæsar, with this handful of my friends
Through Fire, and Swords I force a passage to
My conquering Legions. King, if thou dar'd follow
Where Cæsar leads, or live or dye a Free-man;
If not, stay here a Bond-man to thy Slave,
And dead, be thought unworthy of a Grave. [Exeunt.
Sept. I feel my resolution melts again
And that I am not Knave alone, but fool,
In all my purposes. The Devil, Photinus,
Employs me as a Property, and grown useless
Will shake me off again; he told me so
When I kill'd Pompey; nor can I hope better,
When Cæsar is dispatch'd; Services done
For such as only study their own ends,
Too great to be rewarded, are return'd
With deadly hate; I learn'd this Principle
In his own School, yet still he fools me, well;
And yet he trusts me: Since I in my nature
Was fashion'd to be false, wherefore should I
That kill'd my General, and a Roman, one
To whom I ow'd all nourishments of life,
Be true to an Egyptian? To save Cæsar,
And turn Photinus's plots on his own head,
As it is in my power, redeem my credit,
And live to lye and swear again in fashion,
Oh, 'twere a master-piece! ha!—me Cæsar,
How's he got off?
Cæs. The fire has took,
And shews the City like a second Troy,
The Navy too is scorch'd, the people greedy
To save their Wealth and Houses, whilst their Souldiers
Make spoil of all; only Achillas's Troops
Make good their Guard, break through them, we are safe;
I'll lead you like a Thunder-bolt.
Sept. Stay, Cæsar.
Cæs. Who's this? the Dog, Septimius?
Ant. Cut his throat.
Dol. You bark'd but now, fawn you so soon?
Sept. O hear me,
What I'll deliver is for Cæsars safety,
For all your good.
Ant. Good from a mouth like thine,
That never belch'd but blasphemy, and treason on Festival days!
Sept. I am an altered man, altered indeed,
And will give you cause to say I am a Roman.
Dol. Rogue, I grant thee.
Sept. Trust me, I'll make the passage smooth, and easie
For your escape.
Ant. I'll trust the Devil sooner,
And make a safer Bargain.
Sept. I am trusted
With all Photinus's secrets.
Ant. There's no doubt then
Thou wilt be false.
Sept. Still to be true to you.
Dol. And very likely.
Cæs. Be brief, the means?
Sept. Thus, Cæsar,
To me alone, but bound by terrible oaths
Not to discover it, he hath reveal'd
A dismal Vault, whose dreadful mouth does open
A mile beyond the City: in this Cave
Lye but two hours conceal'd.
Dol. I'll flye in the Air first.
Sept. Then in the dead of night I'll bring you back
Into a private room, where you shall find
Photinus, and Achillas, and the rest
Of their Commanders close at Council.
Cæs. Good, what follows?
Sept. Fall me fairly on their throats,
Their heads cut off and shorn, the multitude
Will easily disperse.
Cæs. O Devil! away with him;
Nor true to Friend nor Enemy? Cæsar scorns
To find his safety, or revenge his wrongs
So base a way; or owe the means of life
To such a leprous Traytor, I have towr'd
For Victory like a Faulcon in the Clouds,
Nor dig'd for't like a Mole; our Swords and Cause
Make way for us, and that it may appear
We took a noble Course, and hate base Treason,
Some Souldiers that would merit Cæsar's favour,
Hang him on yonder Turret, and then follow
The lane this Sword makes for you. [Exit.
1 Sold. Here's a Belt,
Though I dye for it I'll use it.
2 Sold. 'Tis too good
To truss a Cur in.
Sept. Save me, here's Gold.
1 Sold. If Rome
Were offered for thy ransom, it could not help thee.
2 Sold. Hang not an arse.
1 Sold. Goad him on with thy Sword;
Thou dost deserve a worser end, and may
All such conclude so, that their friends betray. [Exeunt.
Ars. We are lost.
Ars. Confusion, Fire, and Swords,[pg 365]
And fury in the Souldiers face more horrid
Circle us round.
Eros. The Kings Command they laugh at,
And jeer at Cæsars threats.
Ars. My Brother seiz'd on
By the Roman, as thought guilty of the tumult,
And forc'd to bear him company, as mark'd out
For his protection or revenge.
Eros. They have broke
Into my Cabinet; my Trunks are ransack'd.
Ars. I have lost my jewels too: but that's the least:
The barbarous Rascals, against all humanity,
Or sense of pity, have kill'd my little Dog,
And broke my Monkeys Chain.
Eros. They rifled me:
But that I could endure, would they proceed no further.
Ars. O my Sister!
Eros. My Queen, my Mistress!
Ars. Can you stand unmov'd
When the Earth-quake of Rebellion shakes the City,
And the Court trembles?
Cleo. Yes, Arsino,
And with a Masculine Constancy deride
Fortunes worst malice, as a Servant to
My Vertues, not a Mistress; then we forsake
The strong Fort of our selves, when we once yield,
Or shrink at her assaults; I am still my self,
And though disrob'd of Soveraignty, and ravish'd
Of ceremonious duty, that attends it,
Nay, grant they had slav'd my Body, my free mind
Like to the Palm-tree walling fruitful Nile,
Shall grow up straighter and enlarge it self
'Spight of the envious weight that loads it with:
Think of thy Birth (Arsino) common burdens
Fit common Shoulders; teach the multitude
By suffering nobly what they fear to touch at;
The greatness of thy mind does soar a pitch,
Their dim eyes (darkened by their narrow souls)
Cannot arrive at.
Ars. I am new created,[pg 366]
And owe this second being to you (best Sister)
For now I feel you have infus'd into me
Part of your fortitude.
Eros. I still am fearful;
I dare not tell a lie; you that were born
Daughters and Sisters unto Kings, may nourish
Great thoughts, which I, that am your humble handmaid
Must not presume to rival.
Cleo. Yet (my Eros)
Though thou hast profited nothing by observing
The whole course of my life, learn in my death,
Though not to equal, yet to imitate
Thy fearless Mistress.
Eros. O, a man in Arms!
His Weapon drawn too?
Cleo. Though upon the point
Death sate, I'll meet it, and outdare the danger.
Pho. Keep the Watch strong, and guard the passage sure
That leads unto the Sea.
Cleo. What Sea of rudeness
Breaks in upon us? or what Subjects Breath
Dare raise a storm, when we command a calm?
Are Duty and Obedience fled to Heaven?
And in their room ambition and pride
Sent into Egypt? That Face speaks thee, Photinus,
A thing thy Mother brought into the World;
My Brother's and my Slave: but thy behaviour,
Oppos'd to that, an insolent intruder
Upon that Soveraignty thou shouldst bow to.
If in the Gulph of base ingratitude,
All loyalty to Ptolomy the King
Be swallowed up, remember who I am,
Whose Daughter and whose Sister; or suppose
That is forgot too; let the name of Cæsar
Which Nations quake at, stop the desperate madness
From running headlong on to thy Confusion.
Throw from thee quickly those rebellious Arms,
And let me read submission in thine Eyes;[pg 367]
Thy wrongs to us we will not only pardon,
But be a ready advocate to plead for thee
To Cæsar, and my Brother.
Pho. Plead my Pardon?
To you I bow, but scorn as much to stoop thus
To Ptolomy or Cæsar, Nay, the gods,
As to put off the figure of a man,
And change my Essence with a sensual Beast;
All my designs, my counsels, and dark ends
Were aim'd to purchase you.
Cleo. How durst thou, being
The scorn of baseness, nourish such a thought?
Pho. They that have power are royal; and those base
That live at the devotion of another.
What birth gave Ptolomy, or fortune Cæsar,
By Engines fashion'd in this Protean Anvil
I have made mine; and only stoop at you,
Whom I would still preserve free to command me;
For Cæsar's frowns, they are below my thoughts,
And but in these fair Eyes I still have read
The story of a supream Monarchy,
To which all hearts with mine gladly pay tribute,
Photinus's Name had long since been as great
As Ptolomies e'r was, or Cæsars is,
This made me as a weaker tye to unloose
The knot of Loyalty, that chain'd my freedom,
And slight the fear that Cæsars threats might cause,
That I and they might see no Sun appear
But Cleopatra in the Egyptian Sphear.
Cleo. O Giant-like Ambition! marryed to
Cymmerian darkness! inconsiderate Fool,
(Though flatter'd with self-love) could'st thou believe,
Were all Crowns on the Earth made into one,
And that (by Kings) set on thy head; all Scepters,
Within thy grasp, and laid down at my feet,
I would vouchsafe a kiss to a no-man?
A guelded Eunuch?
Pho. Fairest, that makes for me,
And shews it is no sensual appetite,
But true love to the greatness of thy Spirit,[pg 368]
That when that you are mine shall yield me pleasures,
Hymen, though blessing a new married Pair
Shall blush to think on, and our certain issue,
The glorious splendor of dread Majesty,
Whose beams shall dazel Rome, and aw the world,
My wants in that kind others shall supply,
And I give way to it.
Cleo. Baser than thy Birth;
Can there be gods, and hear this, and no thunder
Ram thee into the Earth?
Pho. They are asleep,
And cannot hear thee;
Or with open Eyes,
Did Jove look on us, I would laugh and swear
That his artillery is cloy'd by me:
Or if that they have power to hurt, his Bolts
Are in my hand.
Cleo. Most impious!
Pho. They are dreams,
Religious Fools shake at: yet to assure thee,
If Nemesis, that scourges pride and scorn,
Be any thing but a name, she lives in me;
For by my self (an oath to me more dreadful
Than Stix is to your gods) weak Ptolomy dead,
And Cæsar (both being in my toil) remov'd,
The poorest Rascals that are in my Camp
Shall in my presence quench their lustful heat
In thee, and young Arsino, while I laugh
To hear you howl in vain:
I deride those gods,
That you think can protect you.
Cleo. To prevent thee,
In that I am the Mistress of my Fate;
So hope I of my sister to confirm it.
I spit at thee, and scorn thee.
Pho. I will tame
That haughty courage, and make thee stoop too.
I was born to command, and will dye so.
Pho. The King dead? this is a fair entrance to
Our future happiness.
Ars. Oh my dear Brother!
Cleo. Weep not, Arsino, common women do so,
Nor lose a tear for him, it cannot help him;
But study to dye nobly.
Pho. Cæsar fled!
'Tis deadly aconite to my cold heart,
It choaks my vital Spirits: where was your care?
Did the Guards sleep?
Achil. He rowz'd them with his Sword;
We talk of Mars, but I am sure his Courage
Admits of no comparison but it self,
And (as inspir'd by him) his following friends
With such a confidence as young Eagles prey
Under the large wing of their fiercer Dam,
Brake through our Troops and scatter'd them, he went on
But still pursu'd by us, when on the sudden,
He turn'd his head, and from his Eyes flew terrour;
Which strook in us no less fear and amazement,
Than if we had encounter'd with the lightning
Hurl'd from Jove's cloudy Brow.
Cleo. 'Twas like my Cæsar.
Achil. We faln back, he made on, and as our fear
Had parted from us with his dreadful looks,
Again we follow'd; but got near the Sea;
On which his Navy anchor'd; in one hand
Holding a Scroll he had above the waves,
And in the other grasping fast his Sword,
As it had been a Trident forg'd by Vulcan
To calm the raging Ocean, he made away
As if he had been Neptune, his friends like
So many Tritons follow'd, their bold shouts
Yielding a chearful musick; we showr'd darts
Upon them, but in vain, they reach'd their ships
And in their safety we are sunk; for Cæsar
Prepares for War.
To follow Cæsar, he was trod to death
By the Pursuers, and with him the Priest
Of Isis, good Achoreus.
Ars. May the Earth
Lye gently on their ashes.
Pho. I feel now,
That there are powers above us; and that 'tis not
Within the searching policies of man
To alter their decrees.
Cleo. I laugh at thee;
Where are thy threats now, Fool, thy scoffs and scorns
Against the gods? I see calamity
Is the best Mistress of Religion,
And can convert an Atheist. [Shout within.
Pho. O they come,
Mountains fall on me! O for him to dye
That plac'd his Heaven on Earth, is an assurance
Of his descent to Hell; where shall I hide me?
The greatest daring to a man dishonest,
Is but a Bastard Courage, ever fainting. [Exit.
Cæs. Look on your Cæsar; banish fear, my fairest,
You now are safe.
Sce. By Venus, not a kiss
Till our work be done; the Traitors once dispatch'd
To it, and we'll cry aim.
Cæs. I will be speedy. [Exeunt.
Cleo. Farewel again, Arsino; how now, Eros?
Eros. But that I am assur'd,
Your Excellency can command the General,
I fear the Souldiers, for they look as if
They would be nibling too.
Cleo. He is all honour,
Nor do I now repent me of my favours,
Nor can I think that Nature e'r made a Woman
That in her prime deserv'd him.
Ars. He's come back,
Pursue no further; curb the Souldiers fury.
Cæs. See (beauteous Mistris) their accursed heads
That did conspire against us.
Sce. Furies plague 'em,
They had too fair an end to dye like Souldiers,
Pompey fell by the Sword, the Cross or Halter
Should have dispatch'd them.
Cæs. All is but death, good Sceva,
Be therefore satisfied: and now my dearest,
Look upon Cæsar, as he still appear'd
A Conquerour, and this unfortunate King
Entomb'd with honour, we'll to Rome, where Cæsar
Will shew he can give Kingdoms; for the Senate,
(Thy Brother dead) shall willingly decree
The Crown of Egypt (that was his) to thee. [Exeunt omnes.
New Titles warrant not a Play for new,
The Subject being old; and 'tis as true,
Fresh and neat matter may with ease be fram'd
Out of their Stories, that have oft been nam'd
With glory on the Stage; what borrows he
From him that wrote old Priam's Tragedy,
That writes his love to Hecuba? Sure to tell
Of Cæsars amorous heats, and how he fell
In the Capitol, can never be the same
To the Judicious; Nor will such blame
Those who pen'd this, for Barrenness when they find
Young Cleopatra here, and her great Mind
Expressed to the height, with us a Maid, and free,
And how he rated her Virginitie.[pg 372]
We treat not of what boldness she did dye,
Nor of her fatal Love to Antony.
What we present and offer to your view,
Upon their faiths the Stage yet never knew.
Let Reason then first to your Wills give laws,
And after judge of them and of their cause.
I Now should wish another had my place,
But that I hope to come off, and with Grace;
And but express some sign that you are pleas'd,
We of our doubts, they of their fears are eas'd.
I would beg further (Gentlemen) and much say
In favour of our selves, them, and the Play;
Did I not rest assured, the most I see
Hate Impudence, and cherish Modestie.
p. 300, ll. 5-39. Not in 1st folio.
p. 301, l. 3. 2nd folio] Achil. Love the K. l. 30. frequent in this. l. 31. to safe.
p. 302, l. 13. and give.
p. 303, l. 10. 2nd folio here and frequently prints] Septinius.
p. 304, ll. 3 and 4. o' these ... foole us; l. 7. 2nd folio misprints] Aeh.
p. 305. l. 7. Till they. l. 24. 2nd folio misprints] and.
p. 309, l. 30. A missing bracket has been added before Photinus.
p. 310, l. 4. Prerogatives. l. 31. 2nd folio misprints] Potolmy. l. 40. hand of.
p. 313, l. 29. a Prisoner.
p. 316, l. 2. of thy. l. 11. Omits in. l. 14. sought him.
p. 318, l. 16. A comma has been added at the end of the line.
p. 320, l. 20. tell you. l. 24. Adds the following line] I gave you no comission to performe it: l. 31. with ye. l. 32. Hangers.
p. 321, l. 23. told ye. l. 30. ye are.
p. 322, l. 33. my anger.
p. 323, l. 2. 2nd folio] Lordships.
p. 324, l. 32. Adds the following line] The rule of ill, I'le trust before the dore.
p. 325, l. 1. I sat. l. 17. Affrinius. l. 23. past now. l. 29. comes still.
p. 326, l. 9. Omits rich. l. 32. Omits that.
p. 327, l. 3. Pray.
p. 328, l. 1. I know. l. 6. on a.
p. 329, l. 14. first would.
p. 330, l. 34. 2nd folio misprints] Apollodrous.
p. 331, l. 28. loades us.
p. 332, l. 11. this rare. l. 20. cradled.
p. 333, l. 27. halfe an houre.
p. 334, l. 13. Devills are light.
p. 336, l. 1. 2nd folio] villaines. l. 10. my God. l. 12. Rude valorus. l. 28. 2nd folio] shall.
p. 337, l. 1. blood. l. 7. stuffes. l. 8. Leaper. l. 26. Omits To.
p. 338, l. 18. 2nd folio misprints] Sep. l. 23. the charities. l. 31. The infectious.
p. 340, l. 20. readiest. l. 30. Adds after treasure?] richer still?
p. 341, l. 11. Omits me.
p. 343, l. 1. hidden.
p. 344, l. 13. they would. l. 31. Pray thee be.
p. 346, l. 23. Lovers.
p. 347, l. 9. Dye not.
p. 348, l. 39. to my.
p. 349, l. 18. backe; but.
p. 350, l. 34. 2nd folio misprints] lasciciously.
p. 351, l. 20. 2nd folio misprints] Sec.
p. 353, l. 20. 2nd folio] 2 Sol. l. 27. loose all.
p. 355, l. 23. 2nd folio misprints] Sep. l. 35. 2nd folio misprints] maidend-head.
p. 356, l. 6. 2nd folio misprints] Achil. l. 16. hearest.
p. 357, l. 10. to weale my. l. 22. bondmans.
p. 359, l. 21. A will. l. 31. manur. l. 37. 2nd folio] marrow. l. 38. Cities, were made.
p. 360, l. 14. 2nd folio] Brother, company that's. l. 28. them.
p. 362, l. 9. darst. l. 17. This Devill. l. 23. rewarded, or return'd. l. 29. I owe.
p. 363, l. 6. while. l. 7. Achillas troops. l. 17. a moneth. l. 27. Photinus secrets.
p. 365, ll. 15 and 16.
They rufled me:
But that I could endure, and tire 'em too,
Would they proceed no further.
l. 20. When an.
p. 367, l. 6. To Ptolomy, to Cæsar. l. 23. Photinus name. l. 29. th' Egyptian.
p. 368, l. 37. make it. l. 39. and I will.
p. 369, l. 6. Nor loose. l. 16. you Eagletss. l. 18. 'em.
p. 370, l. 37. Omits that.
p. 371, l. 5. Omits Cæs. l. 15. for Rome. l. 20. The Prologue. l. 32. Those that penn'd.
p. 372, l. 7. The Epilogue. l. 13. In the favour.
***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE FALSE ONE***
******* This file should be named 14771-h.txt or 14771-h.zip *******
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed.