• Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, ALEXAS, and IRAS

    CLEOPATRA

    Where is he?

    CHARMIAN

                              I did not see him since.

    CLEOPATRA

    (to ALEXAS ) See where he is, who’s with him, what he does.
    I did not send you. If you find him sad,
    Say I am dancing. If in mirth, report
    5That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.
    Exit ALEXAS

    CHARMIAN

    Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
    You do not hold the method to enforce
    The like from him.

    CLEOPATRA

                                           What should I do I do not?

    CHARMIAN

    In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.

    CLEOPATRA

    10Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.

    CHARMIAN

    Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear.
    In time we hate that which we often fear.
    Enter ANTONY
    But here comes Antony.

    CLEOPATRA

                                                   I am sick and sullen.

    ANTONY

    I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose—

    CLEOPATRA

    15Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.
    It cannot be thus long. The sides of nature
    Will not sustain it.
  • CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, ALEXAS, and IRAS enter.

    CLEOPATRA

    Where is he?

    CHARMIAN

    I haven’t seen him recently.

    CLEOPATRA

    (to ALEXAS ) Find out where he is, who’s with him, and what he’s doing. Don’t tell him I sent you. If he’s sad, tell him I’m dancing. If he’s happy, say that I’ve suddenly taken sick. Hurry, and come back.
    ALEXAS exits.

    CHARMIAN

    Madam, I think if you love him so much, you aren’t using the best way to get him to reciprocate.

    CLEOPATRA

    What should I do that I’m not doing?

    CHARMIAN

    Always give him his way. Never contradict him.

    CLEOPATRA

    You advise me like a fool. That’s the way to lose him.

    CHARMIAN

    Don’t push him too far. I wish you’d be patient. We come to hate that which controls us.
    ANTONY enters.
    But here comes Antony.

    CLEOPATRA

    I am sick and sullen.

    ANTONY

    I’m sorry to have to say this—

    CLEOPATRA

    Help me away from here, dear Charmian! I shall faint. I won’t be able to go on this way much longer. Human nature isn’t built to withstand this.