« ZurückWeiter »
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.
How now, lady!
Cleo. I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
Hear me, queen :
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services a while; but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
Equality of two domestic powers
Breeds scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change : my more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvia's death.
Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness :-can Fulvia die ?
Ant. She's dead, my queen :
Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils she awak’d; at the last,—best,-
See when and where she died.
O most false love!!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see,
see, In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepard to know
I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice : by the fire
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
As thou affect'st.
Cut my lace, Charmian, come :-
But let it be :- I am quickly ill, and well;
So Antony loves.
My precious queen, forbear;
And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.
So Fulvia told me.
I pr’ythee, turn aside, and weep for her ;
Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Like perfect honour.
You'll heat my blood : no more.
Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Ant. Now, by my sword,--
And target.-Still he mends;
But this is not the best:- look, prythee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.
Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part,—but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lovd, -but there's not it;
That you know well: something it is I would, -
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.
But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.
'Tis sweating labour
To bear such idleness so bear the heart,
As Cleopatra this. But, Sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
Sit laurell’d victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before
Let us go. Come ;
Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
SCENE IV.-ROME. An Apartment in CÆSAR's House,
Enter OCTAVIUS CÆSAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate
Our great competitor : from Alexandria
This is the news :-he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel: is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra ; nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he: hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners : you shall find there
A man, who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.
I must not think there are
Evils enow to darken all his goodness :
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.
Cæs. You are too indulgent. Let us grant, it is not
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit
And keep the turn of tippling with a slave;
To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
With knaves that smell of sweat: say, this becomes him,
(As his composure must be rare indeed,
Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet must Antony
No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
So great weight in his lightness. If he filld
His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
Full surfeits and the dryness of his bones
Call on him for’t: but, to confound such time,
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own state and ours,—'tis to be chid
As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
And so rebel to judgment.
Enter a Messenger. Lep.
Here's more news. Mess. Thy biddings have been done ; and every hour, Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea ; And it appears, he is belov'd of those That only have fear'd Cæsar: to the ports The discontents repair, and men's reports Give him much wrong'd. Cæs.
I should have known no less : It hath been taught us from the primal state, That he which is, was wish’d, until he were ; And the ebb’d man ne'er lov'd, till ne'er worth love, Comes dear'd by being lack’d. This common body, Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound
With keels of every kind : many hot inroads
They make in Italy; the borders maritime
Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt :
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.
Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer: thou didst drink
The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle,
Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did deign
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps,
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
Which some did die to look on: and all this
(It wounds thine honour that I speak it now)
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
So much as lank'd not.
'Tis pity of him.
Cæs. Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome: 'tis time we twain
Did show ourselves i' the field; and, to that end,
Assemble me immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.
I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly,
Both what by sea and land I can be able,
To front this present time.
Till which encounter,
It is my business too. Farewell.
Lep. Farewell, my lord : what you shall know mean time Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, Sir, To let me be partaker.
Cæs. Doubt not, Sir; I knew it for my bond. [Exeunt.
SCENE V.-ALEXANDRIA. A Room in the Palace,
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and DIARDIAN.
Cleo. Ha, ha !
Give me to drink mandragora.
Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time,
My Antony is away.
You think of him too much.
Cleo. O, 'tis treason !
Madam, I trust not so.
Cleo. Thou, eunuch, Mardian,-
What's your highness' pleasure 1
Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing ; I take no pleasure
In aught a eunuch has : 'tis well for thee,
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
Mar. Yes, gracious Madam.
Mar. Not in deed, Madam ; for I can do nothing
But what in deed is honest to be done:
Yet have I fierce affections, and think
What Venus did with Mars.
Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he?
Or does he walk ? or is he on his horse?
O happy horse to bear the weight of Antony !
Do bravely, horse! for woťst thou whom thou mov'st?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men.--He's speaking now,
Or murmuring, "Where's my serpent of old Nile ?”
For so he calls me :—now I feed myself
With most delicious poison :think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Cæsar,
When thou wast here above the ground, I was
A morsel for a monarch : and great Pompey
Would stand, and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect, and die
With looking on his life.
Sovereign of Egypt, hail !