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Changes to Cæfar's Camp.

Enter Cæfar, Agrippa, Dolabella, Thyreus, with others.

Caf. Know you him?

ET him appear, that's come from Antony.

Dol. Cæfar, 'tis his fchoolmafter;

An argument that he is pluckt, when hither
He fends fo poor a pinnion of his wing,
Which had fuperfluous Kings for meffengers,
Not many moons gone by.

Enter Ambaffador from Antony.

Caf. Approach and speak.

Amb. Such as I am, I come from Antony :

I was of late as petty to his ends,

As in the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf

To the grand fea.

Caf. Be't fo. Declare thine office.

Amb. Lord of his fortunes he falutes thee, and
Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted,
He leffens his requests, and to thee fues
To let him breathe between the heav'ns and earth
A private man in Athens. This for him.
Next, Cleopatra does confefs thy greatnefs;
Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
(2) The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
Now hazarded to thy grace.

Caf. For Antony,

I have no ears to his requeft. The Queen
Of audience, nor defire, fhall fail; fo the
From Egypt drive her all-difgraced friend,
Or take his life there. This if the perform,

(2) The circle of the Ptolemies] The diadem; the enfign of royalty.

She fhall not fue unheard. So to them both.
Amb. Fortune pursue thee!

Caf. Bring him through the bands:

[Exit Ambaffador. To try thy eloquence now 'tis time; difpatch, From Antony win Cleopatra; promife, [To Thyreus. And in our name, when fhe requires, add more, From thine invention, offers. Women are not In their best fortunes ftrong; but want will perjure The ne'er-touch'd veftal. Try thy cunning, Thyreus, Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we Will anfwer as a law.

Thyr. Cæfar, I go.

Caf. Obferve, (3) how Antony becomes his flaw; And what thou think'ft his very action speaks

In every power that moves.

Thyr. Cafar, I fhall.



Changes to Alexandria.

Enter Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, and Iras.



fhall we do, Enobarbus? Eno. (4) Think, and die.

Cleo. Is Antony, or we, in fault for this?

(3) -how Antony becomes his flaw;] That is, how Antony conforms himself to this breach of his fortune. (4) Think, and die.] Read,

Drink, and die.

This reply of Enobarbus seems grounded upon a particularity in the conduct of Antony and Cleopatra, which is related by Plutarch; That, after their defeat at Actium, they inftituted a fociety of friends who entered into engagement to die with them, not abating in the mean time any part of their luxury, excess and riot, in which they had lived before.


This reading offered by Sir T. Hanmer, is received by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton, but I have not advanced it into the rage, not being convinced that it is neceffary. Think, and die; that is, Reflect on your folly, and leave the world, is a natural anfwer.


Eno. Antony only, that would make his will
Lord of his reafon. What although you fled
From that great face of war, whofe feveral
Frighted each other? why fhould he follow ?
The itch of his affection fhould not then
Have nickt his captainfhip; at fuch a point,
When half to half the world oppos'd, (5) he being
The meered question. 'Twas a fhame no lefs
Than was his lofs, to courfe your flying flags,
And leave his navy gazing.

Cleo. Pr'ythee, peace.

Enter Antony, with the Ambaffador.

Ant. Is that his answer?

Amb. Ay, my Lord.

Ant. The Queen fhall then have courtesy, So fhe will yield us up.

Amb. He fays fo.

Ant. Let her know't.

To the boy Cafar fend this grizled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
With Principalities.

Cleo. Thy head, my Lord?

Ant. To him again. Tell him, he wears the rofe Of youth upon him, from which the world fhould


Something particular; his coin, fhips, legions,
May be a coward's, whofe minifters would prevail
Under the fervice of a child, as foon

As i' th' command of Cafar. I dare him therefore


he being

The meered question.] The meered queftion is a term which I do not understand. I know not what to offer, except,

The mooted question.

That is, the difputed point, the fubject of debate. Mere is indeed a boundary, and the meered question, if it can mean any thing, may, with fome violence of language, mean, the difputed boundary.

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To lay (6) his gay comparisons apart,
And anfwer me declin'd, fword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I'll write it, follow me.

[Exit Antony.
Eno. Yes, like enough; high-battled Cæfar will
Unftate his happiness, and be staged to th' fhew
Against a fworder-I fee, mens judgments are
A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward
Do draw the inward quality after them,

To suffer all alike.

That he should dream, Knowing all measures, the full Cæfar will

Anfwer his emptinefs!

His judgment too.

-Cæfar, thou haft fubdu'd

Enter a Servant.

Serv. A meffenger from Cæfar.

Cleo. What, no more ceremony? See, my women!Against the blown rofe may they ftop their nofe, That kneel'd unto the buds. Admit him, Sir. Eno. Mine honefty and I begin to fquare; (7) The loyalty, well held to fools, does make Our faith meer folly: yet he, that can endure To follow with allegiance a fall'n Lord,


-his gay comparisons apart,

And anfwer me declin'd -] I require of Cæfar not to depend on that fuperiority which the comparison of our different fortunes may exhibit to him, but to anfwer me man to man, in this decline of my age or power.


(7) The loyalty, well held to fools, &c.] After Enobarbus has faid, that his honesty and he begin to quarrel, he immediately falls into this generous reflection; "Tho' loyalty, ftubbornly preferv'd to a mafter in his declin'd fortunes, feems folly in "the eyes of fools; yet he, who can be fo obftinately loyal, will "make as great a figure on record, as the conqueror." I therefore read,

Though loyalty, well held, to fools does make
Our faith meer folly-


I have preferved the old reading: Enobarbus is deliberating upon defertion, and finding it is more prudent to forfake a fool, and more reputable to be faithful to him, makes no pofitive conclufion. Sir T. Hanmer follows Theobald; Dr. Warburton reBains the old reading.


Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
And earns a place i' th' ftory.

Enter Thyreus.

Cleo. Cafar's will?

Thyr. Hear it apart.

Cleo. None but friends.

Say boldly.

Thyr. So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
Eno. He needs as many, Sir, as Cæfar has,

Or needs not us.

If Cæfar pleafe, our master

Will leap to be his friend; for as you know,
Whose he is, we are, and that's Cæfar's.

Thyr. So.

Thus then, thou moft renown'd, (8) Cæfar intreats, Not to confider in what cafe thou ftand'st

Further than he is Cæfar.

Cleo. Go on.

Thyr. He knows,

-Right royal.

that you embrace not Antony

As you did love, but as you

fear'd him.

Cleo. Oh!


Thyr. The fears upon your honour, therefore, he Does pity as conftrained blemishes,

Not as deferv'd..

Cleo. He is a God, and knows

What is moft right. Mine honour was not yielded, But conquer'd meerly.

Eno. To be fure of that,

I will ask Antony-Sir, Sir, thou art fo leaky,
That we must leave thee to thy finking, for

Thy deareft quit thee..

Thyr.. Shall I fay to Cæfar

[Exit Enobarbus.

What you require of him? For he partly begs,

To be defir'd to give. It much would please him,,


-Cæfar intreats,

Not to confider in what cafe thou stand 'ft

Further than he is Cæfar.] i. e. Cæfar intreats, that at the fame time you confider your defperate fortunes, you would confider he is Cæfar: That is, generous and forgiving, able and willing to restore them..



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