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Dar.

Cli. O, Dardanius! Dar. O, Clitus!

I do such a deed?

Cli. What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
Dar. To kill him, Clitus: Look, he meditates.
Cli. Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
That it runs over even at his eyes.

Bru. Come hither, good Volumnius: list a word.
Vol. What says my lord?
Bru.

Why, this, Volumnius;
The ghost of Cæsar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night: at Sardis, once;
And, this last night, here in Philippi' fields.
I know my hour is come.

Vol.

Not so, my lord.

Bru. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius. Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes; Our enemies have beat us to the pit: It is more worthy to leap in ourselves, Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius, Thou know'st, that we two went to school together; Even for that our love of old, I pray thee, Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it. Vol. That's not an office for a friend, my lord. [Alarum still. Cli. Fly, fly, my lord; there is no tarrying here. Bru. Farewell to you;-and you;-and you, Volumnius.

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Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
Farewell to thee too, Strato.-Countrymen,
My heart doth joy, that yet, in all my life,
I found no man, but he was true to me.
I shall have glory by this losing day,
More than Octavius, and Mark Antony,
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So, fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,

That have but labour'd to attain this hour.
[Alarum. Cry within, Fly, fly, fly.

Cli. Fly, my lord, fly.

Bru.

Hence; I will follow thee. [Exeunt Clitus, Dardaníus, and Volumnius. I pr'ythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord: Thou art a fellow of a good respect; Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it: Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face, While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato? Stra. Give me your hand first: Fare you well, my lord.

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master?

Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala;
The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,

And no man else hath honour by his death.
Luc. So Brutus should be found.-I thank thee,
Brutus,

That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.
Oct. All that serv'd Brutus' I will entertain' them.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer2 me to you,
Oct. Do so, Messala.

Mes.
How died my master, Strato?
Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it.
Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
That did the latest service to my master.

Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all :
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He, only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!

Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rights of burial.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.-
So, call the field to rest: and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day.

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[Exeunt.

Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakspeare's plays: his adherence to the real story, and to the Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural vigour of

(1) Receive into my service. (2) Recommend. his genius.

JOHNSON.

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M. Antony,

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Taurus, lieutenant-general to Cæsar.
Canidius, lieutenant-general to Antony.
Silius, an officer in Ventidius's army.

Euphronius, an ambassador from Antony to Cæsar. Alexas, Mardian, Seleucus, and Diomedes; attendants on Cleopatra.

A Soothsayer. A Clown.

Cleopatra, queen of Egypt.

Octavia, sister to Casar, and wife to Antony. Charmian, attendants on Cleopatra.

Iras,

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attend

ants.

Scene, dispersed; in several parts of the Roman empire.

Octavius Cæsar, triumvirs.

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ACT I.

SCENE I-Alexandria. A room in Cleopatra's palace. Enter Demetrius and Philo.

Philo.

NAY, but this dotage of our general's,
O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges' all temper;
And is become the bellows, and the fan,
To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come !
Flourish. Enter Antony and Cleopatra, with their
trains; Eunuchs fanning her.

Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be
reckon'd.

Cleo. I'll set a bourn2 how far to be belov'd. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

Enter an Attendant.

Att. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Ant.
Grates' me:-The sum.-
Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; Or, who knows

(1) Renounces. (2) Bound or limit.
Offends. (4) Subdue, conquer.

If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
Perform't, or else we damn thee.

Ant.

How, my love! Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, 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 say ?

Both ?

Call in the messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame,
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messen-

gers.

Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space; Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,

[Embracing.

And such a twain can do't, in which I bind
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.

Cleo.
Excellent falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.

Ant.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound' the time with conference harsh:
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

Ant. Fie, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,

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To weep; whose every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd!
No messenger; but thine and all alone,
To-night, we'll wander-through the streets, and note
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.

[Exeunt Ant. and Cleo. with their train.
Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.

Dem.
I'm full sorry,
That he approves the common liar,' who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!

[Exeunt.

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Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr'ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.

Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend!-Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, beseech thee!

I

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.

Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Char.

Not he, the queen.

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Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

Eno.

Char. He means, in flesh.

Cleo.

Char. No, madam.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Wrinkles forbid !

Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. Hush!

Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him.

Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sud

den

A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,-
Eno. Madam.

Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's
Alexas?

Alex. Here, madam, at your service.-My lord
approaches.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let
me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and
widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to
whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me Enter
to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion
me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former
fortune

Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names: Pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,
And fertile every wish, a million.

Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy

to your wishes.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be drunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

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