Imatges de pÓgina

Beguil'd all spies.

Can. Who's his lieutenant, hear you?-
Sold. They say, one Taurus.

Can. Well I know the man.

Enter a Messenger.

Mes. The emperor calls for Canidius.

Can. With news the time's with labour,and throes forth, Each minute, some.



A Plain near Actium. Enter CESAR, TAURUS, Officers, and

Ces. Taurus,- ́

Taur. My lord.


Cas. Strike not by land; keep whole : Provoke not battle, till we have done at sea. Do not exceed the prescript of this scroll : Our fortune lies upon this jump.4



Ant. Set we our squadrons on yon' side o'the hill,
In eye of Cæsar's battle; from which place
We may the number of the ships behold,
And so proceed accordingly.


Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his land army one way over the stage and TAURUS, the lieutenant of CESAR, the other way. After their going in, is heard the noise of a sea-fight. Alarum. Re-enter ENOBARBUS.

Eno. Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer:

The Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,5

With all their sixty, fly, and turn the rudder;
To see't, mine eyes are blasted.


Scar. Gods, and goddesses, All the whole synod of them! Eno. What's thy passion?

[4] Jump-hazard. So, in Macbeth:

"We'd jump the life to come." STEEV.

[5] The Antoniad-which Plutarch says, was the name of Cleopatra's ship.


Scar. The greater cantle of the world is lost With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away Kingdoms and provinces.

Eno. How appears the fight?

Scar. On our side like the token'd pestilence,7


Where death is sure. Yon' ribald-rid nag of of Egypt, s Whom leprosy o'ertake 9 i'the midst of the fight,

When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd,

Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,—

The brize upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails, and flies.

Eno. That I beheld: mine eyes

Did sicken at the sight on't, and could not
Endure a further view.

Scar. She once being loof'd, 2

The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,

Claps on his sea-wing, and like a doating mallard,
Leaving the fight in height, flies after her:

I never saw an action of such shame ;
Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before
Did violate so itself.

Eno. Alack, alack!


Can. Our fortune on the sea is out of breath, And sinks most lamentably. Had our general Been what he knew himself, it had gone well: O, he has given example for our flight,

Most grossly, by his own.

Eno. Ay, are you thereabouts? Why then, good night Indeed.

Can. Towards Peloponnesus are they fled.

Scar. 'Tis easy to't; and there I will attend

What further comes.

Can. To Cæsar will I render


[6] Cantle-a piece or lump. POPE.Cantle is rather a corner. Cæsar, in this play, mentions the three-nook'd world. Of this triangular world every triumvir had a corner. JOHNS.

[7] Token'd, spotted. JOHN'S.

The death of those visited by the plague was certain, when particular eruptions appeared on the skin; and these were called God's tokens. STEE. [8] A Ribald-is a lewd fellow. Yon ribald-rid nag, means "yon strumpet who is common to every wanton fellow." STEEV.

[9] Leprosy-an epidemical distemper of the Egyptians; to which Horace probably alludes in the controverted line.

Contaminato cum grege turpium

Morbo virorum.


[1] The brieze or oestrum, the fly that stings cattle. [2] To loof is to bring a ship close to the wind,



My legions, and my horse; six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.

Eno. I'll yet follow

The wounded chance of Antony, 3 though my reason
Sits in the wind against me.



Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Enter ANTONY and


Ant. Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon't, It is asham'd to bear me !-Friends, come hither,

I am so lated in the world,4 that I

Have lost my way for ever :-I have a ship

Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly,.
And make your peace with Cæsar.

Att. Fly not we.

Ant. I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards To run, and show their shoulders.- Friends, be gone; I have myself resolv'd upon a course,

Which has no need of you; be gone:

My treasure's in the harbour, take it.-0,
I follow'd that I blush to look upon:

My very hairs do mutiny; for the white

Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doating.-Friends, be gone; you shall
Have letters from me to some friends, that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint
Which my despair proclaims; let that be left
Which leaves itself: To the sea-side straightway:
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little: 'pray you now :-
Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command, 5
Therefore I pray you :-I'll see you by and by.


[Sits down. Enter EROS, and CLEOPATRA led by CHARMIAN and IRAS. Eros. Nay, gentle madam, to him :-Comfort him.

[3] I know not whether the author, who loves to draw his images from the sports of the field, might not have written,

The wounded chase of Antony,

The allusion is to a deer wounded and chased, whom all other deer avoid.' 'I will, says Enobarbus, follow Antony, tho' chased and wounded.' JOHNS. [4] Alluding to a benighted traveller. [5] I am not master of my own emotions."





[blocks in formation]

Eros. Sir, sir,—

Ant. Yes, my lord, yes ;-He, at Philippi, kept.
His sword even like a dancer ;6 while I struck
The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and 'twas I,
That the mad Brutus ended:7 he alone
Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had

In the brave squares of war: Yet now-No matter.
Cleo. Ah, stand by.

Eros. The queen, my lord, the queen.

Iras. Go to him, madam, speak to him;

He is unqualitied with very shame.

Cleo. Well then,-Sustain me :-O !

Eros. Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches;

Her head's declin'd, and death will seize her; but9
Your comfort makes the rescue.

Ant. I have offended reputation;

A most unnoble swerving.

Eros. Sir, the queen.

Ant. O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See, How I convey my shame out of thine eyes

[6] In the Morisco, and perhaps anciently in the Pyrrhick dance, the dancers held swords in their hands with the points upward. JOHNS,

I believe it means that Cæsar never offered to draw his sword, but kept it in the scabbard, like one who dances with a sword on, which was formerly the custom in England. STEEV-Bertram, lamenting that he is kept from the wars, says

"I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,

Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,
But one to dance with."

The word worn shows that in both passages our author was thinking of the English, and not of the Pyr hick, or the Morisco, dance, (as Dr. Johnson supposed,) in which the sword was not worn at the side, but held in the hand with the point upward. MALONE.

[7] Nothing can be more in character, than for an infamous debauched tyrant to call the heroic love of one's country and public liberty, madness. WARB.

[8] I know not whether the meaning is, that Cæsar acted only as lieutenant at Philippi, or that he made his attempts only on lieutenants, and left the generals to Antony. JOHNS.--Dealt on lieutenancy, I believe, means only,-fought by proxy, made war by his lieutenants, or on the strength

of his lieutenants.


[9] But has here, the force of except, or unless. JOHNS.

By looking back on what I have left behind 'Stroy'd in dishonour.

Cleo. O my lord, my lord!

Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought,

You would have follow'd.

Ant. Egypt, thou knew'st too well,

My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings, 2
And thou shouldst tow me after: O'er my spirit
Thy full supremacy thou knew'st; and that
Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
Command me.

Cleo. O, my pardon.

Ant. Now I must

To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
And palter in the shifts of lowness; who

With half the bulk o'the world play'd as I pleas'd,
Making, and marring fortunes. You did know,
How much you were my conqueror; and that
My sword, made weak by my affection, would
Obey it on all cause.

Cleo. O pardon, pardon.

Ant. Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
All that is won and lost: Give me a kiss ;

Even this repays me.-We sent our schoolmaster,
Is he come back?-Love, I am full of lead :-

Some wine, within there, and our viands :




We scorn her most, when most she offers blows.


CESAR'S Camp, in Egypt. Enter CESAR, DOLABELLA, THYREUS, and others.

Cas. Let him appear that's come from Antony.

Know you him?

Dol. Cæsar, 'tis his schoolmaster :3

An argument that he is pluck'd, when hither

He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,

Which had superfluous kings for messengers,
Not many moons gone by.

[blocks in formation]

[3] He was schoolmaster to Antony's children by Cleopatra.


« AnteriorContinua »