Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

SCENE XIII.

The same.

A Monument.

Enter above, CLEOPATRA, CHAR

MIAN, and IRAS.

Cleo. O Charmian, I will never go from hence.
Char. Be comforted, dear madam.

Cleo. No, I will not:

All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow
Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
Enter DIOMEDES.

As that which makes it.-How now? is he dead?
Dio. His death's upon him, but not dead.
Look out o'the other side your monument,
His guard have brought him thither.

Enter ANTONY, borne by the Guard.

Cleo. O thou sun,

Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in !-darkling stand
The varying shore o'the world 3-O Antony !
Antony, Antony !-Charmian, help; help, Iras;
Help, friends below; let's draw him hither.
Ant. Peace:

Not Cæsar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.

Cleo. So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!
Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here impórtune death a while, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.-

Cleo. I dare not, dear,

(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not,

Lest I be taken :5 not the imperious show
Of the full-fortun'd Cæsar ever shall

[3] According to the philosophy which prevailed from the age of Aristotle to that of Shakspeare, and long since, the sun was a planet, and was whirled round the earth by the motion of a solid sphere in which it was fixed.If the sun therefore was to set fire to the sphere, so as to consume it, the con. sequence must be, that itself for want of support,must drop through, and wander in endless space; and in this case the earth would be involved in endless night. HEATH.

[4] I solicit death to delay; or, I trouble death by keeping him in waiting. JOHNS.

[5] Mr. Theobald amends this passage by adding to the end of Antony's speech-Come down. His insertion seems misplaced, and should be placed

at the end of the next line but one. I would therefore read:

I lay upon thy lips.

Cleo. I dare not, dear,

(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not come down. RITSQN.

Be brooch'd with me, if knife, drugs, serpents, have
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes,
And still conclusion, 7 shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me.-But come, come, Antony,-
Help me, my women,-we must draw thee up
Assist, good friends.

Ant. O, quick, or I am gone.

Cleo. Here's sport, indeed !8-How heavy weighs my Our strength is all gone into heaviness, [lord! That makes the weight: Had I great Juno's power, The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up, And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little,— Wishers were ever fools :-O, come, come, come ; [They draw ANTONY uft. And welcome, welcome! die, where thou hast liv'd : Quicken with kissing; had my lips that power, Thus would I wear them out.

All. A heavy sight!

Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying:

Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
Cleo. No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,
That the false housewise Fortune break her wheel,
Provok'd by my offence.

Ant. One word, sweet queen :

Of Cæsar seek your honour, with your safety.-O !
Cleo. They do not go together.

Ant. Gentle, hear me :

None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.

Cleo. My resolution, and my hands, I'll trust;
None about Cæsar.

Ant. The miserable change now at my end,
Lament nor sorrow at: but please your thoughts,
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I liv'd, the greatest prince o'the world,
The noblest and do now not basely die,
Nor cowardly; put off my helmet to
My countryman, a Roman, by a Roman

Valiantly vanquish'd. Now, my spirit is going;

A

[6] Brooch'd in the text, means adorn'à, as it has been properly explained by Mr. Steevens. A brocch is always an ornament; whether a buckle or pin for the breast, hat, or hair, or whatever other shape it may assume. broach is a spit: the spires of churches are likewise so called in the northern counties, as Darnton broach. RITSON.

[7] Sedate determination; silent coolness of resolution. JOHNS.

[8] I suppose the meaning of these strange words is, here's trifling, you do not work in earnest. JOHNS.

I can no more.

Cleo. Noblest of men, woo't die?

Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide

In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a stye ?-O, see, my women,

The crown o'the earth doth melt :-My lord!-
O, wither'd is the garland of the war,

[Dies.

The soldier's pole is fallen; young boys, and girls,
Are level now with men: the odds is gone,

And there is nothing left remarkable

Beneath the visiting moon.
Char. O, quietness, lady!

Iras. She is dead too, our sovereign.
Char. Lady,-

Iras. Madam,—

Char. O madam, madam, madam !
Iras. Royal Egypt!

Empress !

Char. Peace, peace, Iras.

Cleo. No more but e'en a woman;

[She faints.

and commanded

By such poor passion as the maid that milks,
And does the meanest chares: 9-It were for me
To throw my scepter at the injurious gods;
To tell them, that this world did equal theirs,
Till they had stolen our jewel. All's but naught;
Patience is sottish; and impatience does
Become a dog that's mad: Then is it sin,
To rush into the secret house of death,

Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
What, what? good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian?
My noble girls !—Ah, women, women! look,
Our lamp is spent, it's out :-Good sirs, take heart :-
[To the Guards below.
We'll bury him: and then, what's brave, what's noble,
Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,

And make death proud to take us. Come, away :
This case of that huge spirit now is cold.

Ah, women, women! come; we have no friend
But resolution, and the briefest end.

[Exeunt; those above bearing off ANTONY's body.

[7] He at whom the soldiers pointed as at a pageant held high for obser vation. JOHNS.

[8] I have no more of my wonted greatness, but am even a woman on the level with other women; were I what I once was,

It were for me

To throw my scepter, &c.

JOHNS.

[9] That is, task work. Hence our term chare woman.

STEEV.

ACT V.

SCENE I. CESAR's Camp before Alexandria. Enter CESAR, AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MECENAS, GALLUS, PROCU LEIUS, and others.

Cas. GO to him, Dolabella, bid him yield; Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks us by The pauses that he makes.

Dol. Cæsar, I shall.

[Exit DOLABELLA.

Enter DERCETAS, with the sword of ANTONY.

Cas. Wherefore is that? and what art thou, that dar'st Appear thus to us?

Der. I am call'd Dercetas ;

Mark Antony I serv'd, who best was worthy

Best to be serv'd: whilst he stood up, and spoke,

He was my master; and I wore my life,

To spend upon his haters: If thou please

To take me to thee, as I was to him

I'll be to Cæsar; if thou pleasest not,
I yield thee up my life.

Cas. What is't thou say'st?

Der. I say, O Cæsar, Antony is dead.

Cas. The breaking of so great a thing should make A greater crack: The round world should have shook Lions into civil streets,*

And citizens to their dens :-The death of Antony
Is not a single doom; in the name lay

A moiety of the world.

Der. He is dead, Cæsar;

Not by a public minister of justice,

Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand,

Which writ his honour in the acts it did,

Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it,
Splitted the heart.-This is his sword;

I robb'd his wound of it; behold it stain'd

With his most noble blood.

Cas. Look you sad, friends?

The gods rebuke me, but it is a tidings
To wash the eyes of kings.

Agr. And strange it is,

That nature must compel us to lament

[ I think here is a line lost, after which it is in vain to go in quest. The sense seems to have been this: "The round world should have shook, and this great alteration of the system of things should send lions into streets, and citizens into dens." There is sense still, but it is harsh and violent.

JOHNS.

Our most persisted deeds.

Mec. His taints and honours

Waged equal with him.2

Agr. A rarer spirit never

Did steer humanity: but you, gods, will give us
Some faults to make us men.-Cæsar is touch'd.

Mec. When such a spacious mirror's set before him, He needs must see himself.

Cas. O Antony !

I have follow'd thee to this ;-But we do lance
Diseases in our bodies: I must perforce
Have shown to thee such a declining day,
Or look on thine; we could not stall together
In the whole world: But yet let me lament,
With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
That thou, my brother, my competitor
In top of all design, my mate in empire,
Friend and companion in the front of war,
The arm of mine own body, and the heart

Where mine his thoughts did kindle,-that our stars,
Unreconciliable, should divide

Our equalness to this.-Hear me, good friends,—
But I will tell you at some meeter season;

Enter a Messenger.

The business of this man looks out of him,

We'll hear him what he says.-Whence are you?
Mes. A poor Egyptian yet. The queen my mistress,
Confin'd in all she has, her monument,

Of thy intents desires instruction;

That she preparedly may frame herself
To the way she's forced to.

Cas. Bid her have good heart;

She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
How honourable and how kindly we

Determine for her for Cæsar cannot live

To be ungentle.

Mes. So the gods preserve thee!

Ces. Come hither, Proculeius; Go, and say,

[Exit.

We purpose her no shame : give her what comforts

The quality of her passion shall require ;

Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
She do defeat us: for her life in Rome

Would be eternal in our triumph: Go,

[2] Read weigh with the second folio, where it is misspelt way. RITSON. [3] If this punctuation be right, the man means to say, that he is yet a servant to the queen of Egypt, though soon to become a subject of Rome. JOH.

33

VOL. VI.

« AnteriorContinua »