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Dol, Nor I; nor yet Maecenas, nor Agrippa: They were your enemies; and I, a friend, Too weak alone; yet ’twas a Roman deed. Ant. "Twas like a Roman done : Shew me that person, Who has preserved my life, my love, my honour; Bring us but face to face. Ven. That task is mine; And, Heaven, thou know'st how pleasing ! |Exit WENTIDIU.S. Dol. You’ll remember To whom you stand obliged 2 Ant. When I forget it, Be thou unkind; and that's my greatest curso, My queen shall give thanks too. Dol. I fear she will not. Ant. She shall, she shall: the queen, my Dolabella : Hast thou not still some grudgings of thy fever ? Dol. I would not see her lost. Ant. When I forsake her, Leave me, my better stars; for she has truth Beyond her beauty. Caesar tempted her At no less price than kingdoms, to betray me; But she resisted all : and yet thou chid'st me For loving her too well. Could I do so : Dol. Yes: there’s my reason.
Ant. Where 2 Octavia there 2 [Starting back,
Ven. What, is she poison to you? A disease ? Look on her, view her well.
Dol. For shame, my lord, if not for love, receive
With kinder eyes. If you confess a man,
Ant. I stood amazed to think how she came hither.
Ven. I sent to her; I brought her in, unknown To Cleopatra's guards.
Dol. Yet, are you cold 2
Oct. Thas long I have attended for my welcome,
Ant. Caesar’s sister.
Oct. That’s unkind 1
Ven. Do, take it, thou deservest it.
Ant. I fear, Octavia, you have begg'd my life.
Oct. Begg'd it, my lord?
Ant. Yes, begg’d it, my ambassadress.
Dol. You shall not need it.
Ant. I will not need it. Come, you’ve all betray'd
My friend, too ! to receive some vile conditions.
Oct. My hard fortune Subjects me still to your unkind mistakes. But the conditions I have brought are such You need not blush to take: I love your honour, Because ’tis mine; it never shall be said Octavia’s husband was her brother’s slave. Sir, you are free; free even from her you loath; For, though my brother bargains for your love, Makes me the price and cement of your peace, I have a soul like yours: I cannot take Your love as alms, nor beg what I deserve. I'll tell my brother we are reconciled; He shall draw back his troops, and you shall march To rule the East; I may be dropt at Athens; No matter where, I never will complain, But only keep the barren name of wife, And rid you of the trouble. Ven. Was ever such a strife of sullen honour 2 Both scorn to be obliged. ~ Dol, O, she has touch'd him in the tend’rest part. See how he reddens with despite, and shame, To be outdone in generosity Ven. See how he winks! how he dries up a tear, That fain would fall ! Ant. Octavia, I have heard you, and must praise The greatness of your soul, But cannot yield to what you have proposed; For I can ne'er be conquer’d but by love; But you do all for duty. You would free me; And would be dropt at Athens; was t not so : Oct. It was, my lord. Ant. Then I must be obliged o one who loves me not; who, to herself, ay call me thankless, and ungrateful man; I’ll not endure it; no. Ven. I’m glad it pinches there. Oct. Would you exult o'er poor Octavia's virtue? That pride was all I had to bear me up ;
scENE III.] ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 63
That you might think you owed me for your life,
Enter ALEXAS, hastily. Aler. The queen, my mistress, sir, and yours— Ant. 'Tis past ! Octavia, you shall stay this night; to-morrow, Caesar and we are one. [Exit, leading Oct Avia; DolabelLA follows. Ven. There's news for you ; run, my officious
pandar; Be sure to be the first; haste forward: go– Haste, my dear go-between —haste [Ereuß.
ACT THE FIFTH.
Enter ANTony and VENTIDIUs.
Ant. "Tis plain, Ventidius, Caesar has dissembled ; He knows no honour, he l—and the conditions, Sent by Octavia and Dolabella, Were treacherously meant. Ven. You please to think so. Ant. Is it not clear 2–He'll not withdraw his troops. Ven. And thus the war continues.—I had hopes To patch up peace. Ant. Thou see'st it cannot be. Ven. Well, well ! Ant. So cold! wilt thou, as numbers have, When fortune is upon the wane, forsake me? Wen. I shall forsake you when I die; not sooner. Ant. My friend [Softened. Ven. Come, cheerly, general; your genius O'er Caesar's still may rise. For him you conquer’d; Philippi knows it:-then you shared with him That empire which your sword made all your own. Ant. Fool that I was 1, upon my eagle's wing I bore this wren, till I was tired of soaring, And, now, he mounts above me. Ven. We lose time. The day advances.