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• I love long life better than figs.] This was a proverbial saying. o my children shall have no names:] That is, be illegitimate.
c And fertile errry wish,-) A correction of Theobald or Marburton. The old copy has, "And furetel," &c.
ALEX. You think none but your sheets are Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth ; but on the privy to your wishes.
sudden Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus, ALEX. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Madam ? Exo. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither.— shall be drunk to bed.
Where's Alexas ? Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if ALEX. Here, at your service.- My lord apnothing else.
proaches. CHAR. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth Cleo. We will not look upon him : go with us. famine.
[Exeunt. IRAs. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful
Attendants. prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.—Priythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Ant. Against my brother Lucius ? Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars. Mess.
Ay: Sooth. I have said.
But soon that war had end, and the time's state IRAS. Am I not an inch of fortune better than
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst she ?
CHAR. Well, if you were but an inch of for- Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, tune better than I, where would you choose it ?
Upon the first encounter, drave them. Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Well, what worst? CHAR. Our worser thoughts heaven mend !
MESS. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune ! ^_0, let
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis,
On :I beseech thee! and let her die too, and give him
Things that are past are done, with me.- _ 'Tis thus, a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold I hear him as he flatter'd. a cuckold ! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, MESS.
Labienus though thou deny me a matter of more weight; (This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, good Isis, I beseech thee !
Extended Asia from Euphrates ; Inas. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer His conquering banner shook from Syria of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see To Lydia and to Ionia; a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly Whilst, sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded :
ANT. Antony, thou wouldst say, therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune
o, my lord! him accordingly!
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general CHAR. Amen.
tongue; ALEX. Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to
Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome; make me a cuckold, they would make themselves
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase ; and taunt my faults whores, but they'd do't !
With such full licence as both truth and malice ENO. Hush! here comes Antony.
Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth CHAR. Not he; the queen.
weeds, When our quick winds o lie still ; and our ills
Cleo. Saw * you my
Is as our earing !d Fare thee well a while.
Mess. At your noble pleasure. [Erit.
(*) First folio, Saue.
b Extended-) Seized.
(*) Old text, how. to, “When our quick minds," &c. perhaps without necessity. “Quick winds" may mean, quickening winds; and Johnson's explanation of the passage, -"that man, not agitated by censore, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good,"—is possibly the true one.
- earing !) Ploughing.
2 Art. He stays upon your will.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. We ANT.
Let him appear. see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, suffer our departure, death 's the word. Or lose myself in dotage.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling * occasion, let women Enter another Messenger.
die : it were pity to cast them away for nothing; What are you?
though, between them and a great cause, they
should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching 2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead. (2)
but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have ANT.
Where died she ?
seen ber die twenty times upon 2 Mess. In Sicyon:
I do think there is mettle in death, which commits Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity Importeth thee to know, this bears.
Gives a letter.
in dying. ANT.
ANT. She is cunning past man’s thought. [Exit Messenger: nothing but the finest part of pure love. We can
Eno. Alack, sir, no ; her passions are made of There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
not call her winds and waters, sighs and tears ; What our contempt * doth often hurl from us, We wish it ours again ; the present pleasure,
they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs By revolution lowering, does become
can report: this cannot be cunning in her ; if it
be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove. The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone ;
ANT. Would I had never seen her! The hand could pluck her back that shovd her on.
Eno. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonI must from this enchanting queen break off; Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
derful piece of work; which not to have been
blessed withal, would have discredited your travel. My idleness doth hatch.—How now! Enobarbus !
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Fulvia! Ant, I must with haste from hence.
(*) Old text, contempts.
(*) Old text inserts, an.
Exo. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful I did not send you :—if you find him sad, sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the Say I am dancing ; if in mirth, report wife of a man from him, it shows to man the That I am sudden sick : quick, and return. tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when
[Exit ALEX. old robes are worn out, there are members to make CHAR. Madam, methinks, if you did love him If there were no more women but Fulvia,
dearly, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be You do not hold the method to enforce lamented : this grief is crowned with consolation ; The like from him. your old smock brings forth a new petticoat :- Cleo.
What should I do, I do not ? and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should Char. In each thing give him way, cross him water this sorrow.
in nothing Ant. The business she hath broached in the Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool,—the way to state
lose him. Cannot endure my absence.
Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, Eno. And the business you have broached here
forbear; d cannot be without you; especially that of Cleo- In time we hate that which we often fear. patra's, which wholly depends on your abode. But here comes Antony. Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers CLEO.
I am sick and sullen. Have notice what we purpose.
I shall break
Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my Of many our contriving friends in Rome
purpose, Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands The empire of the sea: our slippery people It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature (Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
Will not sustain it. Till his deserts are past) begin to throw
Now, my dearest queen,Pompey the great, and all his dignities,
Cleo. Pray you, stand farther from me.
Ant. Upon his son ; who, high in name and power,
What's the matter? Higher than both in blood and life, stands up Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
good news. The sides o’the world may danger.
Much is What
the married woman ?-You may go: breeding,
Would she had never given you leave to come ! Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but lifo,
Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here, And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, I have no power upon you ; hers you are. To such whose place is undor us, requires
Ant. The gods best know, Our quick remove from henco.
O, never was there queen Eno. I shall do 't.
So mightily betray'd! yet at the first
Cleo. Why should I think you can be mine SCENE III.-The same. Another Room in the
Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madEnter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing ! CLEO. Where is he?
Most sweet queen, — CUAR.
I did not see him since. Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your CLEO. [70 ALEX.] See where he is, who's with
going, him, what he does :
But bid farewell, and go : when you su'd staying,
(*) Old text, love. Corrected ly Pope. expedience-] Erpedition. b Which, like the courser's hair, &c.] An allusion to the vulgar superstition that a horse hair left in water or dung became a living serpent.
c To such whose place is under us, requires, &c.] The lection
second folio. In the first, we have,
“ To such whose pluces under us require," &c. d I wish, forbear;] I commend forbearance.
Then was the time for words: no going then ;- As you shall give the advice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus’ slime, I go from hence
CLEO. Cut my lace, Charmian, come ! Art turn’d the greatest liar.
But let it be:- I am quickly ill, and well, ΑΝΤ.
How now, lady! So Antony loves. Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst Ant.
My precious queen, forbear ; know
And give true evidence to his love, which stands There were a heart in Egypt.
An honourable trial. ANT.
Hear me, queen:
So Fulvia told me. The strong necessity of time commands
I pr’ythee, turn aside and weep for her ;
the tears Remains in use with you. Our Italy
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene Shines o'er with civil swords : Sextus Pompeius Of excellent dissembling; and let it look Makes his approaches to the port of Rome: Like perfect honour. Equality of two domestic powers
ANT. You'll heat my blood : no more! Breeds scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is strength,
mectly. Are newly-grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey, Ant. Now, by my* sword,Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
And target 1-Still he mends; Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd
But this is not the best : - look, pr’ythee, Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten ;
Courteous lord, one word. Is Fulvia's death.
you and I must part,—but that's not it: Cleo. Though age from folly could not give | Sir, you and I have lov’d,—but there's not it ; me freedom,
That you know well: something it is I would, It does from childishness :-can Fulvia die ? O, my oblivion is a very Antony, Ant. She's dead, my queen :
And I am all forgotten! Look bere, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
But that your royalty The garboils" she awakd ; at the last, best, Holds idleness your subject, I should take you See when and where she died.
For idleness itself. CLEO. 0, most false love! CLEO.
’T is sweating labour Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
To bear such idleness so near the heart With sorrowful water? Now I see, I
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me; In Fulvia's death how mine receiv'd shall be. Since my becomings kill me, when they do not Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to Eye well to you : your honour calls you hence, know
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly, The purposes
And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
a – a race of heaven :) The meaning is probably-of ditire mould, or origin.
in use-) In possession.
at the last, best,
See, &c.] The commentators will have the word best to relate to the "good end" made by Fulvia. But it is no more than an epithet of endearment which Antony applies to Cleopatra ;-read at your leisure the troubles she awakened; and at the last, my best one, see when and where she died. f
I am quickly ill, and well, So Antony loves.) This has been misconceived : "So Antony loves" is “ As Antony loves," and the sense therefore,-My health is as fickle as the love of Antony:
& And give true evidence to his love, &c.) Mr. Collier's annotator, in his eagerness to confound all traces of our early language, would poorly read, “ true credence,” which, like many of his uggestions, is very specious and quite wrong. The meaning of Antony is this, -"Forbear these taunts, and demonstrate to the world your confidence in my love by submitting it freely to the
(*) First folio omits, my. trial of absence." In adopting his mythical corrector's "excellent emendation," Mr. Collier had, of course, forgotten that the very phrase rejected may be found in another of these plays,
" Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloster,
Than from Irue eiidence, of good etiem,
How this Herculean Roman does iecome
The carriage of his chief.] The old and every modern edition read, “ The carriage of his chafe." But can any one who considers the epithet “Herculean," which Cleopatra applies to Antony, and reads the following extract from Shakespeare's authority, hesitate for an instant to pronounce chase a silly blunder of the transcriber or compositor for "chiet," meaning Hercules, the head or principal of the house of the Antonii? “Now it had bene a speech of old time, that the family of the Antonij were descended from one Anton the son of Hercules, whereof the family took the name. This opinion uid Antonius seeke to confirme in all his doinys : not only resembling him in the likenesse of his body, as u e hare said before, but also in the wearing of his garments."--Lije of Antonius. NORTH's Plutarch.