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Msess. Fulvia, thy wife, first came into the field.
Well, what worst? Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.—On:
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,--
0! then we bring forth weeds, When our quick winds lie still’; and our ills told us,
· EXTENDED Asia from Euphrates ;] To extend was anciently to seize ; and it is still used in this sense in law proceedings.
2 When our quick winds lie still ;] So printed in all the old copies, and Warburton altered "winds" to minds with more plausibility than necessity. Perhaps "winds” ought to be spelt wints, which in Kent and Sussex is an agricultural term, (in other parts of the country called a bout) meaning, “two furrows ploughed by the horses going to one end of the field and back again.” See Cooper's “ Glossary of Provincialisms in use in the County of Sussex," 8vo. 1836; also Holloway's “General Provincial Dictionary," 8vo. 1838. quick winds," therefore, is to be understood as our productive soil. “ Earing" in the next line is ploughing; a sense in which we have had it used in “ Richard I 1." Vol. iv. p. 169, and in which it occurs again later in this drama. See p. 21.
Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.
[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.
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she? 2 Mess. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Giving a Letter Ant.
[Exit Messenger. There's a great spirit gone.
Thus did I desire it:
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. how mortal an unkindness is to them: if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
3 I must from this ENCHANTING queen-) It is a great error in the second folio to omit "enchanting ;” and it was not corrected in the folios 1664 or 1685, which were printed from each other. The line was therefore left imperfect until the time of Rowe.
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.
poorer moment. 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 almanacs 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. 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.
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
I shall do it. [Exeunt.
• The cause of our EXPEDIENCE-] 1. e. of our expedition. See“ Henry IV.” part i. Vol. iv. p. 226, where the following lines occur :
“What yesternight our council did decree
In forwarding this dear expedience." The parallel passage in our text is there referred to, and it is shown that Shakespeare used the words “expedience” and “ expedition” indifferently.
5 And not a serpent's poison.] There was an old superstition that horse hair laid in water turned to serpents. Coleridge, in his “ Literary Remains," vol. ii. p. 145, informs us that a notion of the kind still prevails in Cumberland and Westmoreland. “This,” he says, “is so far true to appearance, that a horsehair laid, as Holinshed says, in a pail of water, will become the supporter of, seemingly, one worm, though probably of an immense number of small, slimy water-lice. The hair will twirl round the finger, and sensibly compress it. It is a common experiment with school-boys in Cumberland and Westmoreland.”
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.
Cleo. Where is he?
I did not see him since.
[Exit Alex. 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.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick, and sullen.
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall:
Now, my dearest queen, -
What's the matter? Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good
news. What says the married woman ?-You may go: