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No edition of this tragedy, previous to that in the folio of 1623, is now known; although, from the fact of its having been entered on the Stationers' Registers by Edward Blount, one of the publishers of the folio, in May, 1608, there is a bare possibility that an earlier impression may some day come to light. It was probably written at the latter end of the year 1607, but we have no evidence to prove when it was first acted, or, indeed, that it was acted at all. There were two preceding dramas on the subject; the "Cleopatra" of Samuel Daniel, 1594; and "The Trajedie of Antonie," a translation from the French by Lady Pembroke, 1595, to neither of which, however, was Shakespeare under any obligation, his story and incidents being evidently borrowed directly from the Life of Antonius in North's Plutarch, which he has followed, even to the minutest circumstances, with scrupulous fidelity. The action comprehends the events of ten years; beginning with the death of Fulvia, B.C. 40, and terminating with the overthrow of the Ptolemean dynasty, B.C. 30.

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Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,

The office and devotion of their view

Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,

Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst

The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come !
[Flourish without.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Trains; Eunuchs fanning her.

CLEO. If it be love indeed, tell me how much. ANT. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

CLEO. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. ANT. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

Enter an Attendant.

ATT. News, my good lord, from Rome,
Grates me:-the sum.

CLEO. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, Do 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 Caesar's homager; else so thy cheek pays
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messen-
ANT. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide

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,

And such a twain can do 't, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.

a- reneges-] That is, denies or renounces. Though odd and obsolete now, it was probably the genuine word, as in " King Lear," Act II. Sc. 2, we have,-" Renege, affirm," &c. b damn thee.] Condemn thee. cprocess?] Citution.

d That he approves the common liar,-] That he confirms the reports of Rumour.

Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.] The direction of the folio is, "Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius, Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch,

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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 tonight?

CLEO. Hear the ambassadors. ANT. Fie, wrangling queen! Whom everything becomes,-to chide, to laugh, Το 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

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and Alexas." And Steevens thought it possible that "Lamprius, Rannius, Lucillius," &c. might have been speakers in the scene as it was originally written by the poet, who afterwards, when omitting the speeches, forgot to erase the names.

fchange his horns with garlands!] So the old text; to "change his horns," may mean to var, or garnish them. The modern reading, however, of charge, suggested by Southern and Warburton, is certainly very plausible.

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