The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burn'd on the water. The poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description. She did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold, of tissue,
O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy out-work nature. On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did. (2.2.191)
This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho!
Here's to Caesar!
I could well forbear't.
It's monstrous labour when I wash my brain
And it grows fouler.
Be a child o' th' time.
Possess it, I'll make answer.
But I had rather fast from all four days
Than drink so much in one.
[To ANTONY] Ha, my brave emperor!
Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals
And celebrate our drink?
Let's ha't, good soldier.
Come, let's all take hands,
Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe. (2.7.197)
Contemning Rome, he has done all this and more
In Alexandria. Here's the manner of't:
I' th' market-place, on a tribunal silver'd,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publicly enthron'd; at the feet sat
Caesarion, whom they call my father's son,
And all the unlawful issue that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the stablishment of Egypt; made her
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
This in the public eye?
I' th' common show-place, where they exercise.
His sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings:
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia,
He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd
Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia. She
In th' habiliments of the goddess Isis
That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience,
As 'tis reported, so. (3.6.1)