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My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal,
Re-enter Attendants, with THYREUS.
Ant. If that thy father live, let him repent Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry To follow Cæsar in his triumph, since Thou hast been whipp'd for following him: hence
forth, The white hand of a lady fever thee, Shake thou to look on't.-Get thee back to Cæsar, Tell him thy entertainment: Look, thou say, He makes me angry with him: for he seems Proud and disdainful; harping on what I am; Not what he knew I was: He makes me angry; And at this time most easy 'tis to do't; When my good stars, that were my former guides, Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires Into the abism of hell. If he mislike My speech, and what is done; tell him, he has
21 This is an allusion, however improper, to the Psalms :* An high hill as the hill of Basan.' The idea of the horned herd was also probably caught from the same source:- Many oxen are come about me: fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.' • It is not without pity and indignation (says Johnson) that the reader of this great poet meets so often with this low jest, which is too much a favourite to be left out of either mirth or fury.'
22 i.e. ready, nimble, active. See Act iji, Sc. 8, note 6, p. 458, ante.
Hipparchus, my enfranchis'd bondman, whom
Alack, our terrene moon Is now eclips'd; and it portends alone The fall of Antony ! Cleo.
I must stay his time. Ant. To flatter Cæsar, would you mingle eyes With one that ties his points 24 ? Cleo.
Not know me yet? Ant. Cold-hearted toward me? Cleo.
Ah, dear, if I be so,
life! The next Cæsarion 26 smite!
I am satisfied.
23 To repay me this insult, to requite me.
24 i. e. with a menial attendant. The reader will doubtless remember that points were the laces with which our ancestors fastened their trunk-hose.
25 That is, as the hailstone dissolves or wastes away. So ia King Henry VI. Part 11. :
· Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me,' 26 Cleopatra's son by Julius Cæsar.
I'll set my
Have knit again, and fleet7, threat'ning most sealike.
sword will earn our chronicle; There is hope in it yet. Cleo:
brave lord !
It is my birthday:
Ant. We'll yet do well.
in't yet.—The next time I do fight,
27 To fleet and to float were anciently synonymous. Thus Baret:—' To fleete above the water: flotter. Steevens has adduced numerous examples from old writers, 28 Nice is here equivalent to soft, tender, wanton, or luxurious.
' In softer and more fortunate hours.' See vol. iii. p. 393, note 6.
29 Feast days, in the colleges of either university, are called gaudy days, as they were formerly in the Inns of Court. From gaudium (says Blount), because, to say truth, they are days of joy, as bringing good cheer to the hungry students.'
I'll make death love me; for I will contend
[Exeunt Ant, Cleo. and Attendants. Eno. Now he'll out-stare the lightning 31. To be
furious, Is, to be frighted out of fear: and in that mood, The dove will peck the estridge 32; and I see still, A diminution in our captain's brain Restores his heart: When valour preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek Some way to leave him.
SCENE I. Cæsar's Camp at Alexandria. Enter CÆSAR, reading a Letter; AGRIPPA, ME
CÆNAS, and Others.
power To beat me out of Egypt: my messenger He hath whipp'd with rods; dares me to personal
combat, Cæsar to Antony: Let the old ruffian know,
30 This may have been caught from Harington's Ariosto, b. xii.:
Death goeth about the field, rejoicing mickle
To see a sword that so surpass'd his sickle.' Death is armed with a weapon in Statius, Theb. i. 633 :
• Mors fila sororum
Ense metit.' 31 Plutarch says of Antony, 'He used a manner of phrase in his speeche called Asiatick, which carried the best grace at that time, and was much like to him in bis manners and life; for it was full of ostentation, foolish braverie, and vaine ambition.' North's Translation.
32 i. e. the estridge falcon.
I have many
other ways to die?; mean time,
Cæsar must think,
Let our best heads Know, that to-morrow the last of many
battles We mean to fight:—Within our files there are Of those that serv'd Mark Antony but late, Enough to fetch him in. See it done; And feast the army: we have store to do't, And they have earn’d the waste. Poor Aạtony!
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace,
Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS,
CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and Others. Ant. He will not fight with me, Domitius. Eno.
No. Ant. Why should he not? Eno. He thinks, being twenty times of better
fortune, He is twenty men to one. Ant.
! Upton would read :
He hath many other ways to die: mean time
I laugh at his challenge.' This is certainly the sense of Plutarch, and given so in modern translations ; but Shakspeare was misled by the ambiguity of the old one :-- Antonius sent again to challenge Cæsar to fight him: Cæsar answered, that he had many other ways to die than so.
2 i.e. take advantage of.