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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

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overthrow of the Ptolemean dynasty, B.c. 30.

Persons Represented.

Octavius CÆSAR,


Friends of Antony.

Friends of Cæsar.

Friends of Pompey.
Taurus, Lieutenant-General to Cæsar.
CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony.
Silius, an Officer in Ventidius's Army.
EUPHRONIU 3, an Ambassador from Antony to Cæsar.

Attendants on Cleopatra.
A Soothsayer.
A Clown.


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The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,


Excellent falsehood ! And is become the bellows and the fan

Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her ?To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come ! I'll seem the fool I am not;—Antony

[Flourish without. Will be himself. Take but good note, and you shall see in him

Axt. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.The triple pillar of the world transform’d

Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours, Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

Let's not confound the time with conference

harsh :

There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Without some pleasure now :—what sport toTrains; Eunuchs fanning her.


Cleo. Hear the ambassadors. Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much. Ant.

Fie, wrangling queen! Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be Whom everything becomes,—to chide, to laugh, reckon'd.

To weep; whose every passion fully strives CLEO. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd ! Ant. Then must thou needs find out new No messenger but thine; and all alone, heaven, new earth.

To-night we'll wander through the streets, and

note Enter an Attendant.

The qualities of people.(1) Come, my queen;

Last night you did desire it.-Speak not to us. Art. Nows, my good lord, from Rome,

[Exeunt Ant. and Cleop., with their Train. ANT. Grates me :— the sum.

DEM. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight? Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:

Pui. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows

He comes too short of that great property If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent

Which still should


with Antony. His powerful mandate to you, Do this, or this;


I am full

sorry Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise th it ;

That he approves the common liar," who Perform't, or else we dumn" thee.

Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope ANT.

How, my love!

Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! Cleo. Perchance,—nay, and most like,

[Exeunt. 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

SCENE II.- The same. Another Room in the Call in the messengers.—As I am Egypt's queen,

Palace. Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager; else so thy check pays Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAs, and a Soothshame

[gers !

sayer.o When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.—The messenAnt. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anyarch

thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, Of the rang’d empire fall !

Here is my space.

where's the soothsayer that you praised so to Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike the queen? O, that I knew this husband, Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life

which, you say, must change his horns with Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair,


[Embracing. ALEX. Soothsayer,And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,

Sooth. Your will ? On pain of punishment, the world to weet,

CHAR. Is this the man ?-Is't you, sir, that We stand up peerless.

know things ?


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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, afirm,'' &c.

damn thee.) Condemn thee.

(*) First folio, who. and Alexas." And Steevens thought it possible that “ Lainprius, Rainius, 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.

process?] Cilution. d That he approves the common liar,---) That he confirms the reports of Rumour.

é Enter CHIARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXA3, and a Soothsayer.) The direction of the folio is, “ Enter Enoharbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius, Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch,

f - change his horns with gurlands !) S, the old text; to "change his horns," inay mean to rarior garnish them. The modem reading, however, of ciurge, suggested by Southern and Warburton, is certainly very plausible.

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