Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some good

news.

What says the married woman ?—You may go:
Would, she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say, 't is I that keep you here,
I have no power upon you; hers you are.

Ant. The gods best know,--
Cleo.

Ó! never was there queen
So mightily betray'd; yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.
Ant.

Cleopatra, Cleo. Why should I think, you can be mine, and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing ! Ant.

Most sweet queen, Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going, But bid farewell

, and go : when you sued staying,
Then was the time for words; no going then:
Eternity was in our lips, and eyes ;
Bliss in our brows bent; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven: they are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.
Ant.

How now, lady!
Cleo. I would, I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
Ant.

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 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.
Cleo.

O, most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.

Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes 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.
Cleo.

Cut my lace, Charmian, come.-
But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.
Ant.

My precious queen, forbear;
And give true credence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.
Cleo.

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.
Ant.

You'll heat my blood : no more.
Cleo. You can do better yet, but this is meetly.
Ant Now, by my sword,
Cleo.

And target.—Still he mends;
But this is not the best. Look, pr’ythee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.

Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
Cleo.

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, -
0! my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.

i Commotions. ? evidence: in f. e.

Ant.

But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.
Cleo.

'Tis sweating labour
To bear such idleness so near 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 laureld victory, and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!
Ant.

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.
Away!

[Exeunt. 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.
Lep.

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

1 One: in f. e.

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 foils, when we do bear
So great weight in his lightness. If he fillid
His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Fallon him for 't; but, to confound such time,
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own state, and ours,—t is 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 't is abroad. Pompey is strong at sea ; And it appears, he is belov'd of those, That only have feard Cæsar: to the fleets3 The discontents repair, and men's reports Give him much wrong’d. Cås.

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 lovali by being lack'd. This common body, Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream, Goes to, and back, and lackeyings the varying tide, To rot itself with motion. Mess.

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 't is as soon
Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.
Cæs.

Antony,
Leave thy lascivious wassels. When thou once

1 Malone reads : soils. 2 Call : in f. e. 3 ports : in f. e. 4 deard : in f. e.; fear'd : in folio. 5 lacking: in folio. Theobald made the change. 6 Plough. 7 vassailes : in folio ; some eds. read: vassels.

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.
Lep.

*T is pity of him.
Cæs. Let his shames quickly
Drive him to Rome. 'T is time we twain
Did show ourselves i’ the field; and, to that end,
Assemble wel immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.
Lep.

To-morrow, Cæsar,
I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able,
To front this present time.
Cæs.

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 pa
Cæs. Doubt not, sir ; I knew it for my bond.

(Exeunt.
SCENE V.-Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and MARDIAN,
Cleo. Charmian!
Char. Madam.
Cleo. Ha, ha!-
Give me to drink mandragora.
Char.

Why, madam ? Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time, My Antony is away.

1 me: in folio, 1623.

aker.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »