Imatges de pÓgina
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Cleo. Antony's dead?—

If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress :

But well and free,

If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here

My bluest veins to kiss; a hand, that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

Mes. First, madam, he's well.

Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah,mark; We use To say, the dead are well : bring it to that,

The gold I give thee, will I melt, and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.

Mes. Good madam, hear me.
Cleo. Well, go to, I will;

But there's no goodness in thy face: If Antony
Be free, and healthful,-why so tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings? If not well,

Thou should'st come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.

Mes. Will't please you hear me?

Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speakst: Yet, if thou say, Antony lives, is well,

Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,

I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail

Rich pearls upon thee.7

Mes. Madam, he's well.

Cleo. Well said.

Mes. And friends with Cæsar.

Cleo. Thou'rt an honest man.

Mes. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.

Mes. But yet, madam,

Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does allay

The good precedence; fye upon but yet:

But yet is as a gaoler to bring forth

Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,

The good and bad together: He's friend with Cæsar ;

[6] By a formal man, Shakspeare means, a man in his senses. Informal women, in Measure for Measure, is used for women beside themselves. STE. [7] .e. I will give thee a kingdom: it being the eastern ceremony, at the coronation of their kings, to powder them with gold-dust and seed-pearl. So Milton,

"...the gorgeous east with liberal hand Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold. Fi. e. Abates the good quality of what is already reported.

WARB.

STEEV.

In state of health, thou sayʼst; and, thou say'st, free. Mes. Free, madam! no; I made no such report: He's bound unto Octavia.

Cleo. For what good turn?

Mes. For the best turn i'the bed.

Cleo. I am pale, Charmian.

Mes. Madam, he's married to Octavia.

Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee !

Mes. Good madam, patience.

[Strikes him down.

Cleo. What say you?-Hence, [Strikes him again. Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes

Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head;

[She hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in ling'ring pickle.

Mes. Gracious madam,

I, that do bring the news, made not the match.

Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud; the blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace, for moving me to rage ;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside

Thy modesty can beg.

Mes. He's married, madam.

Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.[ Draws a dagger. Mes. Nay, then I'll run :

What mean you, madam? I have made no fault. [Exit. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself; The man is innocent.

Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.-Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures

Turn all to serpents !-Call the slave again;

:-Call.

Though I am mad, I will not bite him :-
Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him :-

These hands do lack nobility, 9 that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself

Have given myself the cause.-Come hither, sir.

[9] This thought seems to be borrowed from the laws of chivalry, which forbad a knight to engage with his inferior. STEEV.Perhaps here was intended an indirect censure of Queen Elizabeth, for her unprincely and unfeminine treatment of the amiable Earl of Essex. The play was probably not produced till after her death, when a stroke at her proud and passionate demeanour to her courtiers and maids of honour (for her majesty used to chastise them too) might be safely hazarded. MAL.

Re-enter Messenger.

Though it be honest, it is never good

To bring bad news: Give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.

Mes. I have done my duty.

Cleo. Is he married?

I cannot hate thee worser than I do,

If thou again say, Yes.

Mes. He is married, madam.

Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still?

Mes. Should I lie, madam ?

Cleo. O, I would, thou didst ;

So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made
A cistern for scal'd snakes! Go, get thee hence;
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me

Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
Mes. I crave your highness' pardon.

Cleo. He is married?

Mes. Take no offence, that I would not offend you : To punish me for what you make me do,

Seems much unequal: He is married to Octavia.

Cleo. O, that his faults should make a knave of thee, That art not -What? thou'rt sure of't ?—Get thee hence :

The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome,
Are all too dear for me; Lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em!

[Exit Messenger. Char. Good your highness, patience.

Cleo. In praising Antony, I have disprais'd Cæsar.
Char. Many times, madam.

Cleo. I am paid for❜t now. Lead me from hence,
I faint; O Iras, Charmian,-'Tis no matter:-
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia,7 her years,
Her inclination, let him not leave out

The colour of her hair :-bring me word quickly.-
[Exit ALEXAS.
Let him for ever go :-Let him not-Charmian,
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,

[7] Feature antiently appears to have signified beauty in general. STEE. [8] She is now talking in broken sentences, not of the messenger, but Antony, JOHNS.

T'other way he's a Mars :-Bid you Alexas

[To MARDIAN. Bring me word, how tall she is.-Pity me, Charmian, But do not speak to me.-Lead me to my chamber.

SCENE VI.

[Exeunt.

Near Misenum. Enter POMPEY and MENAS, at one side, with drum and trumpet: at another, CESAR, LEPIDUS, ANTONY, ENOBARBUS, MECENAS, with Soldiers marching.

Pom. Your hostages I have, so have you mine; And we shall talk before we fight.

Cas. Most meet,

That first we come to words; and therefore have we

Our written purposes before us sent;

Which, if thou hast consider'd, let us know

If'twill tie up thy discontented sword;

And carry back to Sicily much tall youth,
That else must perish here.

Pom. To you all three,

The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods,-I do not know,
Wherefore my father should revengers want,
Having a son, and friends; since Julius Cæsar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was it,
That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire? And what
Made the all-honour'd, honest, Roman Brutus,
With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol ; but that they would
Have one man but a man? And that is it,
Hath made me rig my navy; at whose burden
The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.

Cæs. Take your time.

Ant. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails, We'll speak with thee at sea: at land, thou know'st How much we do o'er-count thee.

Pom. At land, indeed,

Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house :
But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself,

19] Thou canst not affright us with thy numerous navy.

JOHNS.

28*

VOL. VI.

Remain in't, as thou may'st."

Lep. Be pleas'd to tell us,

(For this is from the present, 2) how you take The offers we have sent you.

Cas. There's the point.

Ant. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh What it is worth embrac'd.

Cas. And what may follow, To try a larger fortune.

Pom. You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia ; and I must

Rid all the sea of pirates; then, to send
Measures of wheat to Rome: This 'greed upon,
To part with unhack'd edges, and bear back
Our targe undinted.

Cas. Ant. Lep. That's our offer.

Pom. Know then,

I came before you here, a man prepar'd
To take this offer: but Mark Antony

Put me to some impatience :-Though I lose
The praise of it by telling, You must know,
When Cæsar and your brothers were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily, and did find
Her welcome friendly.

Ant. I have heard it, Pompey;

And am well studied for a liberal thanks,
Which I do owe you.

Pom. Let me have your hand:

I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

Ant. The beds i'the east are soft; and thanks to you, That call'd me, timelier than my purpose, hither; For I have gain'd by it.

Cas. Since I saw you last,

There is a change upou you.

Pom. Well, I know not

3

What counts harsh fortune casts upon my face ;3

But in my bosom shall she never come,

To make my heart her vassal.

Lep. Well met here.

Pom. I hope so, Lepidus.-Thus we are agreed:

I crave, our composition may be written,

[] Since, like the cuckoo that seizes the nests of other birds, you have invaded a house which you could not build, keep it while you can. JOHNS. [2] That is, foreign to the object of our present discussion. STEEV. 131 Metaphor from making marks or lines in casting accounts in arithmetic. WARB.

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