Imatges de pÓgina
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Ant. I must with haste from hence.

Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

Ant. I must be gone.

Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die : It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment:9 I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.

Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks can report this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.

Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!

Eno. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.

Ant. Fulvia is dead.

Eno. Sir?

Ant. Fulvia is dead.

Eno. Fulvia ?

Ant. Dead.

Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth;' comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat :and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.

Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.

[9] For less reason; upon meaner motives. JOHNS.

[1] The meaning is this: As the gods have been pleased to take away your wife Fulvia, so they have provided you with a new one in Cleopatra; in like manner as the tailors of the earth,when your old garments are worn out, accommodate you with new ones.' ANON.

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VOL. VI.

Eno. And the business you have broached here, cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.

Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, 9 And get her love to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,2 Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home :3 Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands The empire of the sea: our slippery people (Whose love is never link'd to the deserver, Till his deserts are past,) begin to throw Pompey the great, and all his dignities, Upon his son; who, high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main soldier; whose quality, going on, The sides o'the world may danger: Much is breeding, Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life, And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, To such whose place is under us, requires Our quick remove from hence.

Eno. I shall do't.

SCENE III.

[Exeunt.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.

Cleo. Where is he?

Char. I did not see him since.

Cleo. 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

That I am sudden sick : Quick, and return.

[Exit ALEX.

[9] Expedience, for expedition.

WARB.

MAL.

[I suspect the author wrote, And get her leave to part. [2] Things that touch me more sensibly, more pressing motives. JOHNS. [3] Wish us at home; call for us to reside at home. JOHNS.

[4] Alludes to an old idle notion that the hair of a horse dropt into corrup ted water, will turn to an animal. POPE.Dr. Lister, in the Philosophical Transactions showed, that what were vulgarly called animated horsehairs, are real insects. It was also affirmed that they moved like serpents, and were poisonous to swallow. TOLLET.

[6] You must go as if you came without my order or knowledge. JOH.

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

The like from him.

Cleo. What should I do, I do not'?

Char. In each thing give him way,cross him in nothing. Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him. Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, forbear; In time we hate that which we often fear.

Enter ANTONY.

But here comes Antony.

Cleo. I am sick, and sullen.

Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature

Will not sustain it.

Ant. Now, my dearest queen,

Cleo. Pray you, stand further from me.

Ant. What's the matter?

Cleo. I know,by that same eye, there's some good news.
What says the married woman ?—You may go;
'Would, she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here,

I have no power upon you; hers you are..
Ant. The gods best know,-

Cleo. O, never was there queen

So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,
I saw the treasons planted.

Ant. Cleopatra,—

Cleo. Why should I think, you can be mine, and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing!

Ant. Most sweet queen,

Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going, But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying, Then was the time for words: No going then ;Eternity was in our lips, and eyes;

Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven :7 They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.

[7] i.e. had a smack or flavour of heaven. WARB.-This word is well ex, plained by Dr.Warburton; the race of wine is the taste of the soil. JOHNS

Ant. How now, lady!

Cleo. I would, I had thy inches; thou shouldst know, There were a heart in Egypt.

Ant. Hear me, queen:

The strong necessity of time commands

Our services a while; but my full heart

Remains in use with you. Our Italy

Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius

Makes his approaches to the port of Rome :

Equality of two domestic powers

Breeds scrupulous faction: The hated,grown to strength, And newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey, Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace

Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd

Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten ;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge,
By any desperate change: My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvia's death.

Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness :-Can Fulvia die?

Ant. She's dead, my queen :

Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils she awak'd ; at the last, best :
See, when, and where she died.

Cleo. O most false love!

Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice: Now, by the fire,
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence,
Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
As thou affect'st.

Cleo. Cut my lace, Charmian, come :-
But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well:

So Antony loves.

Ant. My precious queen, forbear;

And give true evidence to his love, which stands

An honourable trial.

[8] The poet seems to allude to the legal distinction between the use and absolute possession. JOHNS.

[9] i.e. The commotion she occasioned.

STEEV.

JOHNS.

[1] Alluding to the lachrymatory vials, or bottles of tears, which the Ro mans sometimes put into the urn of a friend.

Cleo. So Fulvia told me.

I pr'ythee, turn aside, and weep for her;
Then bid adieu to me, and say, the tears
Belong to Egypt :2 Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Like perfect honour.

Ant. You'll heat my blood; no more.

Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Ant. Now, by my sword,-

Cleo. And target,-Still he mends;

But this is not the best: Look, pr'ythee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman3 does become

The carriage of his chafe.

Ant. I'll leave you, lady.

Cleo. Courteous lord, one word.

Sir, you and I must part,-but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd,-but there's not it;
That you know well: Something it is I would,-
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,

And I am all forgotten.4

Ant. But that your royalty

Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.5

Cleo. 'Tis sweating labour,

To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me ;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
Eye well to you: Your honour calls you hence ;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,

And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
Sit laurell'd victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!

Ant. Let us go. Come;

Our separation so abides, and flies,

That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
Away.

[2] To me, the Queen of Egypt. JOHNS.

[Exeunt.

[3] Antony traced his descent from Auton, a son of Hercules. STEEV. [4] Cleopatra has something to say, which seems to be suppressed by sorrow; and after many attempts to produce her meaning she cries out: 'O, this oblivious memory of mine is as false and treacherous to me as Antony is, and I forget every thing. Oblivion, I believe, is boldly used for a memo ry apt to be deceitful. STEEV.

[5] But that I know you to be a queen, and that your royalty holds idleness in subjection to you, exalting you far above its influence, I should sup pose you to be the very genius of idleness itself. STEEV.

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VOL. VI.

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