Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

If I said more I think 'twere scarce a sin :.
You're all that's good and godlike.

Ant. All that's wretched.
You will not leave me then ?

Vent. 'Twas too presuming
To say I would not; but I dare not leave you ;
And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence
So soon, when I so far have come to see you.

Ant. Now thou hast seen me art thou satisfied?
For if a friend thou hast beheld enough,
And if a foe too much.
Vent. Look, emperor, this is no common dew:

[Weeping
I have not wept this forty years; but now
My mother comes afresh into my eyes :
I cannot help her softness.
Ant. By Heav'n he weeps, poor good old man, he

weeps! “ The big round drops course one another down “ The furrows of his cheeks. Stop 'em, Ventidius, “ Or I shall blush to death; they set my shame “ That caus'd 'em full before me.

" Dent. I'll do best."

Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of friends; See, I have caught it too. Believe me 'tis not For

my own griefs but thine-Nay, father Vent. Emperor.

Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of victory: The conq’ring soldier, red with unfelt wounds,

my

[ocr errors]

Salutes his gen'ral so; but never more
Shall that sound reach my ears.

Vent. I warrant you.
Ant. Actium, Actium! Oh-
Vent. It sits too near you.

Ant. Here, here it lies, a lump of lead by day,
And in my short distracted nightly slumbers
The hag that rides my dreams-

Vent. Out with it; give it vent.
Ant. Urge not my shame-
I lost a battle.

Vent. So has Julius done.
Ant. Thou favour'st me, and speak’st not half thou

think'st;
For Julius fought it out and lost it fairly ;
But Antony

Vent. Nay, stop not.

Ant. Antony (Well, thou wilt have it) like a coward Aled, Fled while his soldiers fought; fed first Ventidius. Thou long'st to curse me, and I give thee leave; I know thou cam'st prepar'd to rail.

" Dent. I did.”
Ant. I'll help thee I have been a man, Ventidius.
Vent. Yes, and a brave one; but-

Ant. I know thy meaning.
But I have lost my reason, have disgrac'd
The name of soldier with inglorious ease ;
“ In the full vintage of my fowing honours
“ Sat still, and saw it prest by other hands ;

“ Fortune came smiling to my youth and woo'd it,
“ And purple greatness met my ripen’d years.
“When first I came to empire I was borne
« On tides of people crowding to my triumphs,
“ The wish of nations, and the willing world
“ Receiv'd me as its pledge of future peace.
“ I was so great, so happy, so belov'd,
" Fate could not ruin me, till I took pains,
" And work'd against my Fortune, chid her from me,
“ And turn’d her loose; yet still she came again.
" My careless days and my luxurious nights
“ At length have weary'd her, and now she's gone,
“ Gone, gone, divorc'd for ever.” Help me, soldier,
To curse this madman, this industrious fool,
Who labour'd to be wretched. Pr'ythee curse me.

Pent. No.
Ant. Why?

Vent. You are too sensible already
Of what you ’ave done, too conscious of your failings,
And like a scorpion whipt by others first
To fury, sting yourself in mad revenge.
I would bring balm, and pour it in your wounds,
Cure your distemper'd mind, and heal your fortunes.

Ant. I know thou wouldst.
Vent. I will.
« Ant. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
« l'ent. You laugh.

" Ant. I do, to see officious love " Give cordials to the dead.

"l'ent. You would be lost then?

« Ant. I am. Vent. I say you are not. Try your fortune. " Ant. I have to th' utmost. Dost thou think me

desperate « Without just cause? No, when I found all lost Beyonà repair, I hid me from the world, " And learn'd to scorn it here, which now I do “ So heartily, I think it is not worth " The cost of keeping.

« Vent. Cæsar thinks not so; « He'll thank you for the gift he could not take, “ You would be kill'd like Tully, would you? Do “ Hold out your throat to Cæsar and die tamely,

Ant. No, I can kill myself, and so resolve. Vent. I can die with you too when time shall

serve ;
" But Fortune calls upon us now to live,
“ To fight, to conquer.”

Ant. Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius.
Vent. No, 'tis you dream; you sleep away your

hours In desp'rate sloth, miscall’d philosophy. Up, up, for honour's sakel twelve legions wait you, And long to call you chief: by painful journies I led 'em, patient both of heat and hunger, Down from the Parthian marches of the Nile: 'Twill do you good to see their sunburnt faces, Their scarrd cheeks, and chopt hands: there's vire tue in 'em :

с ііі

They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates
Than yon' trim bands can buy.

Ant. Where left you them?
Vent. I said in Lower Syria.

Ant. Bring 'em hither;
There may be life in these.

Vent. They will not come.
Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with promisd

aids
To double my despair they're mutinous.

Vent. Most firm and loyal.

Ant. Yet they will not march ( To succour me. Oh trifler!

Vent. They petition
" You would make haste to head 'em.

Ant, I'm besieg'd.
Vent. There's but one way shut up-How came

I hither?
" Ant. I will not stir.

Vent. They would perhaps desire " A better reason.

« Ant. I have never us'd
My soldiers to demand a reason of
My actions.” Why did they refuse to march?
Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra.
Ant. What was't they said ?

Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra : Why should they fight indeed to make her conquer, And make you more a slave? to gain you kingdoms,

« ZurückWeiter »