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Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs. Sooth. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former
fortune Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike my children shall have no names : Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be-drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
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. Prithee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
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!—0, 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 Not he;
to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
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, keef. decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Aler. 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.
No, lady. Cleo.
Was he not here ! Char. No, madam.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,
CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and Attendants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius?
Mess. Ay: But soon that war had end, and the time's state Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Well, what worst ! Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On:
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,
O, my lord !
tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome : Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase ; and taunt my faults With such full licence as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds When our quick winds lie still; and our ills told us, Is as our earimg.b Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure.
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. a Extended-seized upon. Nearly all Shakspere's contemporaries make the second syllable of Euphrates short,
b Malone proposes to read minds instead of winds. Before we adopt a new reading we must be satisfied that the old one is corrupt. When do we“ bring forth weeds?" In a heavy and moist season, when there are 110 “quick winds" to mellow the earth, to dry up the exuberant moisture, to fit it for the plough. The quick winds, then, are the voices which bring us true reports to put an end to our inaction. When these winds lie still we bring forth weeds. But the metaphor is carried farther : the winds have rendered the soil fit for the plough; but the knowledge of our own faults-ills--is as the ploughing itself-the “ earing."
Let him appear.
1 Alt. The man from Sicyon.- Is there such an one! 2 Att. He stays upon your will.
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she? 2 Mess. In Sicyon : Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter. Ant.
[Exit Messenger. There 's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she 's good, being gone; The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her ou, I must from this enchanting queen break off ; Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch.—How now! Enobarbus !
Enter ENOBARBUS. Eno. What 's your pleasure, sir ? Ant. I must with haste from hence.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death 's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: It were pity to cast thein away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly ; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears ; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report : this cannot be cunning in her ; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. 0, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead, Eno. Sir ? Ant. Fulvia is dead. Eno. Fulvia ? Ant. Dead. Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented; this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you ; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light an vers. Let our officers