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Antony and Cleopatra

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Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS
CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS enter.





5


CLEOPATRA
My desolation does begin to make
A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar.
Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave,
A minister of her will. And it is great
To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
Which sleeps and never palates more the dung,
The beggar’s nurse, and Caesar’s.
CLEOPATRA
Being alone has helped me better understand my life. It’s pathetic to be Caesar. He can’t be Fortune; he’s only Fortune’s errand boy. It would be a great deed to commit suicide—that act which ends all other things, which makes all accidents and changes stop. Which causes you to sleep, and takes you away from earthly concerns.
Enter PROCULEIUS
PROCULEIUS enters.


10
PROCULEIUS
Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.
PROCULEIUS
Caesar greets the Queen of Egypt and asks that you consider what you will ask from him.

CLEOPATRA
                                                                         What’s thy name?
CLEOPATRA
What’s your name?

PROCULEIUS
My name is Proculeius.
PROCULEIUS
My name is Proculeius.




15




20
CLEOPATRA
                                              Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
I do not greatly care to be deceived,
That have no use for trusting. If your master
Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
To give me conquered Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own as I
Will kneel to him with thanks.
CLEOPATRA
Antony told me about you. He said you were a man I could trust. But I don’t worry about being deceived because I don’t need to trust. If your master wants a queen to beg from him, you should tell him that a queen will beg for no less than a kingdom.
If he will grant me conquered Egypt, so that I may give it to my son, I will kneel to him with thanks.

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