Imatges de pÓgina

His powerful mandate to you, De this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
Perform't, or else we damn thee.

Ant. How, my love!

Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like,

You must not stay here longer, your dismission
Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.—
Where's Fulvia's process? Cæsar's, I would say?—Both?
-Call in the messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame,
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messengers.
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space;
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life

Is, to do thus ; when such a mutual pair, [Embracing.
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind

On pain of punishment, the world to weet,7
We stand up peerless.

Cleo. Excellent falsehood!

Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony

Will be himself.

Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra, 8

Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh :
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch

Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

Ant. Fye, wrangling queen !

Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,

To weep; whose every passion fully strives

To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd !

No messenger; but thine and all alone,

To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and rote
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.

[Exeunt ANT. and CLEO. with their train.

[7] To weet-to know. POPE.

[8] But in this passage, seems to have the old Saxon signification of without, unless, except. 'Antony,' says the queen, will recollect his thoughts.' Unless kept,' he replies, in commotion by Cleopatra' JOHNS.

By Antony will be himself, she means to say, that Antony will act like the joint sovereign of the world, and follow his own inclinations, without regard to the mandates of Cæsar, or the anger of Fulvia.' To which he replies, If but stirr'd by Cleopatra ;" that is, if moved to it in the slightest degree by her. MASON.

Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight? Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, He comes too short of that great property Which still should go with Antony.

Dem. I'm full sorry,

That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! [Exeunt.


The same.

Another Room.

Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands !1

Alex. Soothsayer.

Sooth. Your will?

Char. Is this the man?-Is't you, sir, that know things? Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,

A little I can read.

Alex. Show him your hand.


Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough, Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.

Sooth. I make not, but foresee.

Char. Pray then, foresee me one.

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Char. He means, in flesh.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

Char. Wrinkles forbid !

Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.

Char, Hush!

Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.2
Alex. Nay, hear him.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me

[9] Fame. MAL.

[1] To change his horns with ti.e. for] garlands,' signifies to be a trium phant cuckold; a cuckold who will consider his state an honourable one. STE. [2] To know why the lady is so averse from heating her liver, it must be remembered, that a heated liver is supposed to make a pimpled face. JOHNS

be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage :3 find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress. Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs. Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names:4 Pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have? Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,

And fertile every wish, a million.

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Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall . be-drunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay. Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.

Sooth. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend ! Alexas,— come, his fortune, his fortune.-O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the

[3] Herod paid homage to the Romans, to procure the grant of the kingdom of Judea. STEEV.

E41 A fairer fortune, I believe, means a more reputable one. Her answer then implies, that belike all her children will be bastards, who have no right to the name of their father's family. STEEV.

people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.

Éno. Hush! here comes Antony.

Char. Not he, the queen.

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Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,Eno. Madam.

Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Alexas? Alex. Here, madam, at your service.-My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us. [Exeunt CLEO. ENOB. ALEX. IRAS, CHAR. Soothsayer, and Attendants. Mes. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius?

Mes. Ay:

But soon that war had end, and the time's state

Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Cæsar; Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,

Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Ant. Well,

What worst?

Mes. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On: Things, that are past, are done, with me.-'Tis thus ; Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, I hear him as he flatter'd.

Mes. Labienus.

(This is stiff news,) hath, with his Parthian force, Extended Asias from Euphrates ;

His conquering banner shook, from Syria

[5] To extend, is a term used for to seize.


To Lydia, and to Ionia; whilst

Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,—

Mes. O, my lord!

Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome:

Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick winds lie still; and our ills told us, Is as our earing.7 Fare thee well a while.

Mes. At your noble pleasure.

[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such an one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will.

Ant. Let him appear.

These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,

Enter another Messenger.

Or lose myself in dotage.—What are you? 2 Mes. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Ant. Where died she?

2 Mes. In Sicyon :

Ant. Forbear me.

Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter.
[Exit Messenger.
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it :
What our contempts do often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become

The opposite of itself:8 she's good, being gone;
The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on.9
I must from this enchanting queen break off;
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
My idleness doth hatch.-How now! Enobarbus !

Eno. What's your pleasure, sir ?

[6] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds produces more evil than good. JOHNS-The ridges left in lands turned up by the plow, that they may sweeten during their fallow state,are still called wind-rows, as are also the rows of new-mown grass laid in heaps to dry. Quick winds, I suppose to be the same as teeming fallows, always fruitful in weeds. STEEV.

[7] Earing here and in other places signifies plowing. So, in Genesis xlv: "Yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest." BLACKSTONE..

[8] The pleasure of to-day, by revolution of events and change of circumstances, often loses all its value to us,and becomes to-morrow a pain. STEE. [9] The verb could has a peculiar signification in this place; it does not denote power but inclination. The sense is, the hand that drove her off would now willingly pluck her back again.' HEATH.

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