• Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS

    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
    5To 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.
    Enter PROCULEIUS

    PROCULEIUS

    Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
    10And bids thee study on what fair demands
    Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.

    CLEOPATRA

                                                                             What’s thy name?

    PROCULEIUS

    My name is Proculeius.

    CLEOPATRA

                                                  Antony
    Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
    I do not greatly care to be deceived,
    15That 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,
    20He gives me so much of mine own as I
    Will kneel to him with thanks.
  • CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS enter.

    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.
    PROCULEIUS enters.

    PROCULEIUS

    Caesar greets the Queen of Egypt and asks that you consider what you will ask from him.

    CLEOPATRA

    What’s your name?

    PROCULEIUS

    My name is Proculeius.

    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.