Julius Caesar, Emperour of Rome.
Ptolomy, King of AEgypt.
Achoreus, an honest Counsellor, Priest of Isis.
Photinus, a Politician, minion to Ptolomy.
Achillas, Captain of the Guard to Ptolomy.
Septimius, a revolted Roman Villain.
Labienus, a Roman Souldier, and Nuncio.
Apollodorus, Guardian to Cleopatra.
Dolabella, ) Caesars Captains.
Sceva, a free Speaker, also Captain to Caesar.
Three lame Souldiers.
Cleopatra, Queen of AEgypt.
Arsino, Cleopatra’s Sister.
Eros, Cleopatra’s waiting Woman.
The Scene AEgypt.
The principal Actors were,
John Lowin. John Underwood. Robert Benfield. Richard Sharpe. Joseph Taylor. Nicholas Toolie. John Rice. George Birch.
ACTUS PRIMUS. SCENA PRIMA.
Enter Achillas, and Achoreus.
[Ach.] I love the King, nor do dispute his power, (For that is not confin’d, nor to be censur’d By me, that am his Subject) yet allow me The liberty of a Man, that still would be A friend to Justice, to demand the motives That did induce young Ptolomy, or Photinus, (To whose directions he gives up himself, And I hope wisely) to commit his Sister, The Princess Cleopatra (if I said The Queen) Achillas ’twere (I hope) no treason, She being by her Fathers Testament (Whose memory I bow to) left Co-heir In all he stood possest of.
Achil. ’Tis confest (My good Achoreus) that in these Eastern Kingdoms Women are not exempted from the Sceptre, But claim a priviledge, equal to the Male; But how much such divisions have ta’en from The Majesty of Egypt, and what factions Have sprung from those partitions, to the ruine Of the poor Subject, (doubtful which to follow,) We have too many, and too sad examples, Therefore the wise Photinus, to prevent The Murthers, and the Massacres, that attend On disunited Government, and to shew The King without a Partner, in full splendour, Thought it convenient the fair Cleopatra, (An attribute not frequent to the Climate) Should be committed in safe Custody, In which she is attended like her Birth, Until her Beauty, or her royal Dowre, Hath found her out a Husband.
Ach. How this may Stand with the rules of policy, I know not; Most sure I am, it holds no correspondence With the Rites of AEgypt, or the Laws of Nature; But grant that Cleopatra can sit down With this disgrace (though insupportable) Can you imagine, that Romes glorious Senate