Page images

And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind iive
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,8 !
We stand up .
.: Cleo.

Excellent falshood !
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 Lovę, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conférence harsh :
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure' now : What sport to-
5.1 : night?i}i,..!..

.. .. - Cleo. Hear the ambassadors. Boristi

Fye, wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
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; in * Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.

[Exeunt Ant, and CLEOP, 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: 2
Which still should go with Antony.

I'm full sorry,

Ant. .

[ocr errors]

S to weet,] To know. ;

9 Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,] For the love of Love, means, for the sake of the queen of love.

Let's not confound the time -]; i. e. let us pot consuine the time. • No messenger ; but thine and all alone, &c.] Cleopatra has said, “ Call in the messengers;" and afterwards, “ Hear the am-' bassadors.” Talk not to me, says Antony, of messengers; I am now wholly thine, and you and I unattended will to-night wander through the streets."

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!



The same. Another Room. Enter CHARMIAN, IRAs, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands!4

Alex. Soothsayer.
Sooth. Your will?
Char. Is this the man?-Is't you, sir, that know

Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read.

Show him your hand.

Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Pray then, foresee me one.

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are. * Char. He means, in flesh.

Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

3 That he approves the common liar,] Fame. That he proves the common liar, fame, in his case to be a true reporter.

change his horns with garlands !] i.e. be a triumphant cuckold; a cuckold who will consider his state as an honourable. one. Some of the commentators think the word should be charge.

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."

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let ine 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:5 find me 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

Than that which is to approach.

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

I to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage:] Herod paid homage to the Romans, to procure the grant of the kingdom of Judea : but I believe there is an allusion here to the theatrical character, of this monarch, and to a proverbial expression founded on it. Herod was always one of the personages in the mysteries of our early stage, on which he was constantly represented as a fierce, haughty, blustering tyrant, so that Herod of Jewry became a common proverb, expressive of turbulence and rage. Thus, Hamlet says of a ranting player, that he "'out-herods Herod.And, in this tragedy, Alexas tells Cleopatra, that " not even Herod of Jewry dare look upon her when she is angry;" i. e, not even a man as fierce as Herod. According to this explanation, the sense of the present passage will be-Charmian wishes for a son who may arrive at such power and dominion that the proudest and fiercest monarchs of the earth may be brought under his yoke.

STEEVENS. 6 - I love long life better than figs.] This is a proverbial expression. I

7 Then, belike, my children shall have no names :) If I have alo: ready had the best of my fortune, then I suppose I shall never

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million 8

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

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... bit.'

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

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

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

a i rbnb .v Char. Nay, if an oily palm be, not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.Priythee tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Socih. Your fortunes are alike., Au Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars, .

Sooth. I have said.

Irus. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? - sisu w

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 hiin 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

name children, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the truth, tell me, how many boys and wenches ? .8. If every of your wishes had a womb,

And fertile every wish, á million.] If every one of your wishes, says the Soothsayer, had a womb, and each womb-invested wish were likewise fertile, you then would have a million of children.

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, 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, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly! -, '

. nr ...

. 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.. . i i... Not he, the queen.

Cleo. Saw you my lord?

. . . Eno. Cleo. tit. aus Lady Char. No, madam. "Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,

Eno. Madam..."
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's
. Alexas ?
Alex. Here, madam, at your servicė. - My lord
. . approaches.


Cleo. Saw you my lo No, lady was he not here!

! Was

Enter Antony, with a Messenger' and Attendants. * Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us." . [Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS,

IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and At.. ini, tendants. is - Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

« PreviousContinue »