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Antony's Vices and Virtues.
I must not think, there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness:
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.
Cleopatra's Love for Antony.
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 wot'st thou whom thou mov'st 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.
Description of Cleopatra sailing down the Cydnus.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description; she did lie
In her pavilion (cloth of gold, of tissue),
O'er picturing that Venus, where we see,
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.*
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
And made their bends adornings; at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That rarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And make a gap in nature.
A Messenger with bad news unwelcome.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news; give to a gracious message
A host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.
The manner in which Octavia should have entered Rome.
Why have you stolen upon us thus? you come not Like Cæsar's sister: the wife of Antony Should have an army for an usher, and The neighs of horse to tell of her approach,
* Increased the heat they were meant to cool.
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way,
Should have borne men; and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not: nay, the dust
Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
Rais'd by your populous troops: but you are come
A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented
The ostent of our love, which left unshown
Is often left unlov'd: we should have met you
By sea and land; supplying every stage
With an augmented greeting.
Antony to his Attendants after his defeat.
Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon't, It is asham'd to bear me! Friends, come hither, I'm so lated in the world, that I
Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly
And make your peace with Cæsar.
I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
To run, and show their shoulders.
Friends, be-gone :
I have myself resolved upon a course,
Which has no need of you; be-gone :
My treasure's in the harbour, take it.—0,
I follow'd that I blush to look upon :
My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doting. Friends, be-gone; you shall
Have letters from me to some friends, that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad
Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint
Which my despair proclaims; let that be left
Which leaves itself: to the sea-side straightway :
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little 'pray you, now:
Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command.
Therefore I pray you :—I'll see you by and by.
Antony taking Leave of his Servants.
Tend me to night ;
May be it is the period of your duty:
Haply, you shall not see me more; or if,
A mangled shadow: perchance to-morrow
You'll serve another master.
I look on you
As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends,
I turn you not away; but, like a master
Married to your good service, stay till death:
Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
And the gods yield* you for't!
O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more : Fortune and Antony part here; even here Do we shake hands.-All come to this ;-the hearts That spaniell'd me at heels, to whom I gave Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets On blossoming Cæsar; and this pine is bark'd, That overtopp'd them all. Betray'd I am : O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm, Whose eye beck'd forth my wars, and call'd them home, Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end, Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose, Beguil'd me to the very heart of loss.
Description of Cleopatra's supposed Death.
Death of one person can be paid but once;
And that she has discharged: what thou wouldst do,
Is done unto thy hand: the last she spake
Was Antony! most noble Antony !
Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
The name of Antony; it was divided
Between her heart and lips: she render'd life,
Thy name so buried in her.
Cleopatra on the Death of Antony.
It were for me
To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
To tell them that this world did equal theirs,
Till they had stolen our jewel. All's but nought;
Patience is sottish; and impatience does
Become a dog that's mad; then is it sin,
To rush into the secret house of death,
Ere death dare come to us?-How do you, women?
What, what? good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian?
My noble girls!—Ah, women, women! look,
Our lamp is spent, it's out ;-good sirs, take heart :
We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble,
Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us. Come, away;
This case of that huge spirit now is cold.
How poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
My resolution's placed, I have nothing