All for Love (Dryden)/Act 3

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At one door, Enter Cleopatra, Charmion, Iras, and Alexas, a
Train of
Ægyptians: at the other, Antony and
Romans. The entrance on both sides is prepar'd by musick;
the Trumpets first sounding on
Antony's part: then
answer'd by Timbrels
, &c. on Cleopatra's. Charmion and
Iras hold a Laurel Wreath betwixt them. A Dance of
Ægyptians. After the Ceremony, Cleopatra Crowns

Ant.I Thought how those white arms would fold me in,
And strain me close, and melt me into love;
So pleas'd with that sweet Image, I sprung forwards,
And added all my strength to every blow;

Cleo.Come to me, come my Soldier, to my Arms,
You've been too long away from my embraces;
But, when I have you fast, and all my own,
With broken murmurs, and with amorous sighs,
I'll say, you were unkind, and punish you,
And mark you red with many an eager kiss.

Ant.My Brighter Venus!

Cleo.O my greater Mars!

Ant.Thou joinst us well, my Love!
Suppose me come from the Phlegræan Plains,
Where gasping Gyants lay, cleft by my Sword;
And Mountain tops par'd off each other blow,
To bury those I slew: receive me, goddess:
Let Cæsar spread his subtle Nets, like Vulcan,
In thy embraces I would be beheld
By Heav'n and Earth at once:
And make their envy what they meant their sport.
Let those who took us blush; I would love on
With awful State, regardless of their frowns,

As their superior god.
There's no satiety of Love, in thee;
Enjoy'd, thou still art new; perpetual Spring
Is in thy armes; the ripen'd fruit but falls,
And blossoms rise to fill its empty place;
And I grow rich by giving.

Enter Ventidius, and stands apart.

Alex.O, now the danger's past, your General comes.
He joyns not in your joys, nor minds your Triumphs;
But, with contracted brows, looks frowning on,
As envying your Success.

Ant.Now, on my Soul, he loves me; truely loves me;
He never flatter'd me in any vice,
But awes me with his virtue: ev'n this minute
Methinks he has a right of chiding me.
Lead to the Temple: I'll avoid his presence;
It checks too strong upon me. [Exeunt the rest.

As Antony is going, Ventidius pulls him by the Robe.


Ant. looking back.'Tis the old argument; I pr'ythee spare me.

Ven.But this one hearing, Emperor.

Ant.Let go
My Robe; or, by my Father Hercules——

Ven.By Hercules his Father, that's yet greater,
I bring you somewhat you would wish to know.

Ant.Thou see'st we are observ'd; attend me here,
And I'll return. [Exit.

Ven.I'm waining in his favor, yet I love him;
I love this Man, who runs to meet his ruine;
And, sure the gods, like me, are fond of him:
His Virtues lye so mingled with his Crimes,
As would confound their choice to punish one,
And not reward the other.

Enter Antony.

Ant.We can conquer,
You see, without your aid.
We have dislodg'd their Troops,
They look on us at distance, and, like Curs
Scap'd from the Lions paws, they bay far off,

And lick their wounds, and saintly threaten War.
Five thousand Romans with their faces upward,
Lye breathless on the Plain.

Ven.'Tis well: and he
Who lost 'em, could have spar'd Ten thousand more,
Yet if, by this advantage, you could gain
An easier Peace, while Cæsar doubts the Chance
Of Arms!——

Ant.O think not on't, Ventidius;
The Boy pursues my ruin, he'll no peace:
His malice is considerate in advantage;
O, he's the coolest Murderer, so stanch,
He kills, and keeps his temper.

Ven.Have you no friend
In all his Army, who has power to move him,
Mecænas, or Agrippa might do much.

Ant.They're both too deep in Cæsar's interests,
We'll work it out by dint of Sword, or perish,

Ven.Fain I would find some other.

Ant.Thank thy love.
Some four or five such Victories as this,
Will save thy farther pains.

Ven.Expect no more; Cæsar is on his Guard:
I know, Sir, you have conquer'd against ods;
But still you draw Supplies from one poor Town,
And of Ægyptians: He has all the World,
And, at his back, Nations come pouring in,
To fill the gaps you make. Pray think again.

Ant.Why dost thou drive me from my self, to search
For Forreign aids? to hunt my memory,
And range all o're a waste and barren place
To find a Friend? The wretched have no Friends——
Yet I had one, the bravest youth of Rome,
Whom Cæsar loves beyond the love of Women;
He could resolve his mind, as Fire does Wax,
From that hard rugged Image, melt him down,
And mould him in what softer form he pleas'd.

Ven.Him would I see; that man of all the world:
Just such a one we want.

Ant.He lov'd me too,
I was his Soul; he liv'd not but in me:
We were so clos'd within each others brests,
The rivets were not found that join'd us first.
That does not reach us yet: we were so mixt,
As meeting streams, both to our selves were lost;
We were one mass; we could not give or take,
But from the same; for he was I, I he.

Ven. aside.He moves as I would wish him.

Ant.After this,
I need not tell his name: 'twas Dollabella.

Ven.He's now in Cæsar's Camp.

Ant.No matter where,
Since he's no longer mine. He took unkindly
That I forbad him Cleopatra's sight;
Because I fear'd he lov'd her: he confest
He had a warmth, which, for my sake, he stifled;
For 'twere impossible that two, so one,
Should not have lov'd the same. When he departed,
He took no leave; and that confirm'd my thoughts.

Ven.It argues that he lov'd you more than her,
Else he had staid; but he perceiv'd you jealous,
And would not grieve his friend: I know he loves you.

Ant.I should have seen him then ere now.

He has thus long been lab'ring for your peace.

Ant.Would he were here.

Ven.Would you believe he lov'd you?
I read your answer in your eyes; you would.
Not to conceal it longer, he has sent
A Messenger from Cæsar's Camp, with Letters.

Ant.Let him appear.

Ven.I'll bring him instantly.Exit Ventidius, and
Re-enters immediately with

Ant.'Tis he himself, himself, by holy Friendship [Runs to embrace him.
Art thou return'd at last, my better half?
Come, give me all my self.

Let me not live,
If the young Bridegroom, Ionging for his night,
Was ever half so fond.

Dolla.I must be silent; for my Soul is busie
About a noble work: she's new come home,
Like a long-absent man, and wanders o'er
Each room, a stranger to her own, to look
If all be safe.

Ant.Thou hast what's left of me.
For I am now so sunk from what I was,
Thou find'st me at my lowest water-mark.
The Rivers that ran in, and rais'd my fortunes,
Are all dry'd up, or take another course:
What I have left is from my native Spring;
I've still a heart that swells, in scorn of fate,
And lifts me to my banks.

Dolla.Still you are Lord of all the World to me.

Ant.Why, then I yet am so; for thou art all.
If I had any joy when thou wert absent,
I grudg'd it to my self; methought I robb'd
Thee of thy part. But, Oh my Dollabella!
Thou hast beheld me other than I am.
Hast thou not seen my morning Chambers fill'd
With Scepter'd Slaves, who waited to salute me:
With Eastern Monarchs, who forgot the Sun,
To worship my uprising? Menial Kings
Ran coursing up and down my Palace-yard,
Stood silent in my presence, watch'd my eyes,
And, at my least command, all started out
Like Racers to the Goal.

Dolla.Slaves to your fortune.

Ant.Fortune is Cæsar's now; and what am I?

Ven.What you have made your self; I will not flatter.

Ant.Is this friendly done?

Dolla.Yes, when his end is so, I must join with him;
Indeed I must, and yet you must not chide:
Why am I else your friend?

Ant.Take heed, young man,
How thou upbraid'st my love: The Queen has eyes,

And thou too hast a Soul. Canst thou remember
When, swell'd with hatred, thou beheld'st her first
As accessary to thy Brothers Death?

Dolla.Spare my remembrance; 'twas a guilty day,
And still the blush hangs here.

Ant.To clear her self,
For sending him no aid, she came from Egypt.
Her Gally down the Silver Cydnos row'd,
The Tackling Silk, the Streamers wav'd with Gold,
The gentle Winds were lodg'd in Purple sails:
Her Nymphs, like Nereids, round her Couch, were plac'd;
Where she, another Sea-born Venus, lay.

Dolla.No more: I would not hear it.

Ant.O, you must!
She lay, and leant her cheek upon her hand,
And cast a look so languishingly sweet,
As if, secure of all beholders hearts,
Neglecting she could take 'em: Boys, like Cupids,
Stood fanning, with their painted wings, the winds
That plaid about her face: but if she smil'd,
A darting glory seem'd to blaze abroad:
That mens desiring eyes were never weary'd;
But hung upon the object: to soft Flutes
The Silver Oars kept time; and while they plaid,
The hearing gave new pleasure to the sight;
And both to thought: 'twas Heav'n, or somewhat more;
For she so charm'd all hearts, that gazing crowds
Stood panting on the shore, and wanted breath
To give their welcome voice.
Then, Dollabella, where was then thy Soul?
Was not thy fury quite disarm'd with wonder?
Didst thou not shrink behind me from those eyes,
And whisper in my ear, Oh tell her not
That I accus'd her of my Brothers death?

Dolla.And should my weakness be a plea for yours?
Mine was an age when love might be excus'd,
When kindly warmth, and when my springing youth
Made it a debt to Nature. Yours ——

Ven.Speak boldly.

Yours, he would say, in your declining age,
When no more heat was left but what you forc'd,
When all the sap was needful for the Trunk,
When it went down, then you constrain'd the course,
And robb'd from Nature, to supply desire;
In you (I would not use so harsh a word)
But 'tis plain dotage.


Dolla.'Twas urg'd too home.
But yet the loss was private that I made;
'Twas but my self I lost: I lost no Legions;
I had no World to lose, no peoples love.

Ant.This from a friend?

Dolla.Yes, Anthony, a true one;
A friend so tender, that each word I speak
Stabs my own heart, before it reach your ear.
O, judge me not less kind because I chide:
To Cæsar I excuse you.

Ant.O ye Gods!
Have I then liv'd to be excus'd to Cæsar?

Dolla.As to your equal.

Ant.Well, he's but my equal:
While I wear this, he never shall be more.

Dolla.I bring Conditions from him.

Ant.Are they Noble?
Methinks thou shouldst not bring 'em else; yet he
Is full of deep dissembling; knows no Honour,
Divided from his Int'rest. Fate mistook him;
For Nature meant him for an Usurer,
He's fit indeed to buy, not conquer Kingdoms.

Ven.Then, granting this,
What Pow'r was theirs who wrought so hard a temper
To honourable Terms!

Ant.It was my Dollabella, or some God.

Dolla.Nor I; nor yet Mecænas, nor Agrippa:
They were your Enemies; and I a Friend
Too weak alone; yet 'twas a Roman's Deed.

Ant.'Twas like a Roman done: show me that man
Who has preserv'd my life, my love, my honour;

Let me but see his Face.

Ven.That task is mine,
And, Heav'n thou know'st how pleasing. Exit Vent.

Dolla.You'll remember
To whom you stand oblig'd?

Ant.When I forget it,
Be thou unkind, and that's my greatest curse.
My Queen shall thank him too.

Dolla.I fear she will not.

Ant.But she shall do't: the Queen, my Dollabella!
Hast thou not still some grudgings of thy Fever?

Dolla.I would not see her lost.

Ant.When I forsake her,
Leave me, my better Stars; for she has truth
Beyond her beauty. Cæsar 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?

Dolla.Yes there's my reason.

Re-enter Ventidius, with Octavia, leading Antony's
two little Daughters.

Ant.Where? ——Octavia there! (Starting back.)
Ven.What, is she poyson to you? a Disease?
Look on her, view her well; and those she brings:
Are they all strangers to your eyes? has Nature
No secret call, no whisper they are yours?

Dolla.For shame, my Lord, if not for Love, receive 'em
With kinder eyes. If you confess a man,
Meet 'em, embrace 'em, bid 'em welcome to you.
Your arms should open, ev'n without your knowledge,
To clasp 'em in; your feet should turn to wings,
To bear you to 'em; and your eyes dart out,
And aim a kiss ere you could reach the lips.

Ant.I stood amaz'd to think how they came hither.

Vent.I sent for 'em; I brought 'em in, unknown
To Cleopatra's Guards.

Dolla.Yet are you cold?

Octav.Thus long I have attended for my welcome;
Which, as a stranger, sure I might expect.

Who am I?

Ant.Cæsar's Sister.

Octav.That's unkind!
Had I been nothing more than Cæsar's Sister,
Know, I had still remain'd in Cæsar's Camp;
But you Octavia, your much injur'd Wife,
Tho' banish'd from your Bed, driv'n from your House,
In spight of Cæsar's Sister, still is yours.
'Tis true, I have a heart disdains your coldness,
And prompts me not to seek what you should offer;
But a Wife's Virtue still surmounts that pride:
I come to claim you as my own; to show
My duty first, to ask, nay beg, your kindness:
Your hand, my Lord; 'tis mine, and I will have it. [Taking his hand.

Ven.Do, take it, thou deserv'st it.

Dolla.On my Soul,
And so she does: she's neither too submissive,
Nor yet too haughty; but so just a mean,
Shows, as it ought, a Wife and Roman too.

Ant.I fear, Octavia, you have begg'd my life.

Octav.Begg'd it, my Lord?

Ant.Yes, begg'd it, my Ambassadress,
Poorly and basely begg'd it of your Brother.

Octav.Poorly and basely I could never beg;
Nor could my Brother grant.

Ant.Shall I, who, to my kneeling Slave, could say,
Rise up, and be a King; shall I fall down
And cry, Forgive me, Cæsar? shall I set
A Man, my Equal, in the place of Jove,
As he could give me being? No; that word,
Forgive, would choke me up,
And die upon my tongue.

Dolla.You shall not need it.

Ant.I will not need it. Come, you've all betray'd me:
My Friend too! To receive some vile conditions.
My Wife has bought me, with her prayers and tears;
And now I must become her branded Slave:
In every peevish mood she will upbraid
The life she gave: if I but look awry,

She cries, I'll tell my Brother.

Octav.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 Brothers Slave.
Sir, you are free; free, ev'n from her you loath;
For, tho' 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 reconcil'd;
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?
Both scorn to be oblig'd.

Dolla.O, she has toucht him in the tender'st part;
See how he reddens with despight and shame
To be out-done 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 propos'd:
For I can ne'er be conquer'd but by love;
And you do all for duty. You would free me,
And would be dropt at Athens; was't not so?

Octav.It was, my Lord.

Ant.Then I must be oblig'd
To one who loves me not, who, to her self,
May call me thankless and ungrateful Man:
I'll not endure it, no.

Ven.I'm glad it pinches there.

Octav.Would you triumph o'er poor Octavia's Virtue?

That pride was all I had to bear me up;
That you might think you ow'd me for your life,
And ow'd it to my Duty, not my Love.
I have been injur'd, and my haughty Soul
Could brook but ill the Man who slights my Bed.

Ant.Therefore you love me not.

Octav.Therefore, my Lord,
I should not love you.

Ant.Therefore you wou'd leave me?

Octav.And therefore I should leave you ——— if I could.

Dolla.Her Souls too great, after such injuries,
To say she loves; and yet she lets you see it.
Her modesty and silence plead her cuse.

Ant.Oh, Dollabella, which way shall I turn?
I find a secret yielding in my Soul;
But Cleopatra, who would die with me,
Must she be left? Pity pleads for Octavia;
But does it not plead more for Cleopatra?

Ven.Justice and Pity both plead for Octavia;
For Cleopatra, neither.
One would be ruin'd with you; but she first
Had ruin'd you: the other, you have ruin'd,
And yet she would preserve you.
In every thing their merits are unequal.

Ant.Oh, my distracted Soul!

Octav.Sweet Heav'n compose it.
Come, come, my Lord, if I can pardon you,
Methinks you should accept it. Look on these;
Are they not yours? Or stand they thus neglected
As they are mine? Go to him, Children, go;
Kneel to him, take him by the hand, speak to him;
For you may speak, and he may own you too,
Without a blush; and so he cannot all
His Children: go, I say, and pull him to me,
And pull him to your selves, from that bad Woman.
You, Agrippina, hang upon his arms;
And you, Antonia, clasp about his waste:
If he will shake you off, if he will dash you
Against the Pavement, you must bear it, Children;

For you are mine, and I was born to suffer. [Here the Children go to him, &c.

Ven.Was ever sight so moving! Emperor!



Both Childr.Father!

Ant.I am vanquish'd: take me,
Octavia; take me, Children; share me all. (Embracing them.)
I've been a thriftless Debtor to your loves,
And run out much, in riot, from your stock;
But all shall be amended.

O blest hour!

Dolla.O happy Change!

Ven.My joy stops at my tongue;
But it has found two chanels here for one,
And bubbles out above.

Ant. to Octav.This is thy Triumph; lead me where thou wilt;
Ev'n to thy Brothers Camp.

Octav.All there are yours.

Enter Alexas hastily.

Alex.The Queen, my Mistress, Sir, and yours ——

Ant.'Tis past. Octavia, you shall stay this night; To morrow, Cæsar and we are one. [Ex. leading Octavia, Doll. and the Children follow

Ven.There's news for you; run,
My officious Eunuch,
Be sure to be the first; haste forward:
Haste, my dear Eunuch, haste. Exit.

Alex.This downright fighting Fool, this thick-scull'd Hero,
This blunt unthinking Instrument of death,
With plain dull Virtue, has out-gone my Wit:
Pleasure forsook my early'st Infancy,
The Luxury of others robb'd my Cradle,
And ravish'd thence the Promise of a Man:
Cast out from Nature, disinherited
Of what her meanest Children claim by kind;
Yet, Greatness kept me from contempt: that's gone.
Had Cleopatra follow'd my advice,
Then he had been betray'd, who now forsakes.
She dies for love; but she has known its joys:

Gods, is this just, that I, who knows no joys,
Must die, because she loves?

Enter Cleopatra, Charmion, Iras, Train.

Oh, Madam, I have seen what blasts my eyes!

Octavia's here!

Cleop.Peace with that Raven's note.
I know it too; and now am in
The pangs of death.

Alex.You are no more a Queen;
Egypt is lost.

Cleop.What tell'st thou me of Egypt?
My Life, my Soul is lost! Octavia has him!
O fatal name to Cleopatra's love!
My kisses, my embraces now are hers;
While I ——— But thou hast seen my Rival; speak,
Does she deserve this blessing? Is she fair,
Bright as a Goddess? and is all perfection
Confin'd to her? It is. Poor I was made
Of that course matter which, when she was finish'd,
The Gods threw by, for rubbish.

Alex.She's indeed a very Miracle.

Cleop.Death to my hopes, a Miracle!

Alex. bowing.A Miracle;
I mean of Goodness; for in Beauty, Madam,
You make all wonders cease.

Cleop.I was too rash:
Take this in part of recompence. But, Oh, [Giving a Ring.
I fear thou flatter'st me.

Char.She comes! she's here!

Iras.Flie, Madam, Cæsar's Sister!

Cleop.Were she the Sister of the Thund'rer Jove,
And bore her Brothers Lightning in her eyes,
Thus would I face my Rival. [Meets Octav. with Ventid.
Octav. bears up to her. Their Trains
come up on either side.

Octav.I need not ask if you are Cleopatra,
Your haughty carriage ——

Cleop.Shows I am a Queen:
Nor need I ask you who you are.

Octav.A Roman:
A name that makes, and can unmake a Queen.

Cleop.Your Lord, the Man who serves me, is a Roman.

Octav.He was a Roman, till he lost that name
To be a Slave in Egypt; but I come
To free him thence.

Cleop.Peace, peace, my Lover's Juno.
When he grew weary of that Houshold-Clog,
He chose my easier bonds.

Octav.I wonder not
Your bonds are easie; you have long been practis'd
In that lascivious Art: he's not the first
For whom you spread your snares: let Cæsar witness.

Cleop.I lov'd not Cæsar; 'twas but gratitude
I paid his Love: the worst your malice can,
Is but to say the greatest of Mankind
Has been my Slave. The next, but far above him,
In my esteem, is he whom Law calls yours,
But whom his Love made mine.

Oct. coming up close to her.I would view nearer
That face, which has so long usurp'd my right,
To find th' inevitable charms, that catch
Mankind so sure, that ruin'd my dear Lord.

Cleop.O, you do well to search; for had you known
But half these charms, you had not lost his heart.

Octav.Far be their knowledge from a Roman Lady,
Far from a modest Wife. Shame of our Sex,
Dost thou not Blush, to own those black endearments
That make sin pleasing?

Cleop.You may blush, who want 'em.
If bounteous Nature, if indulgent Heav'n
Have giv'n me charms to please the bravest Man;
Should I not thank 'em? should I be asham'd,
And not be proud? I am, that he has lov'd me;
And, when I love not him, Heav'n change this Face
For one like that.

Octav.Thou lov'st him not so well.

Cleop.I love him better, and deserve him more.

Octav.You do not; cannot: you have been his ruine.

Who made him cheap at Rome, but Cleopatra?
Who made him scorn'd abroad, but Cleopatra?
At Actium, who betray'd him? Cleopatra.
Who made his Children Orphans? and poor me
A wretched Widow? only Cleopatra?

Cleop.Yet she who loves him best is Cleopatra.
If you have suffer'd, I have suffer'd more.
You bear the specious Title of a Wife,
To gild your Cause, and draw the pitying World
To favour it: the World contemns poor me;
For I have lost my Honour, lost my Fame,
And stain'd the Glory of my Royal House,
And all to bear the branded Name of Mistress.
There wants but Life, and that too I would lose
For him I love.

Octav.Be't so then; take thy wish. Exit cum suis.

Cleop.And 'tis my wish,
Now he is lost for whom alone I liv'd.
My sight grows dim, and every object dances,
And swims before me, in the maze of death.
My spirits, while they were oppos'd, kept up;
They could not sink beneath a Rivals scorn:
But now she's gone they faint.

Alex.Mine have had leisure
To recollect their strength, and furnish counsel,
To ruine her; who else must ruine you.

Cleop.Vain Promiser!
Lead me, my Charmion; nay, your hand too, Iras:
My grief has weight enough to sink you both.
Conduct me to some solitary Chamber,
And draw the Curtains round;
Then leave me to my self, to take alone
My fill of grief:
There I till death will his unkindness weep:
As harmless Infants moan themselves asleep. Exeunt.