Page images

O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm,
Whose eye beck'd forth my wars, and call'd them

Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,
Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose,
Beguild me to the very heart of loss.-
What, Eros, Eros !


Ah, thou spell! Avaunt.
Cleo. Why is my lord enrag'd against his love!

Ant. Vanish; or I shall give thee thy deserving,
And blemish Cæsar's triumph. Let him take thee,
And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians :
Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
Of all thy sex: most monster-like, be shown
For poor'st diminutives, for dolts ;and let
Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
With her prepared nails. [Exit Cleo] 'T is well

thou 'rt gone, If it be well to live: But better 't were Thou fellöst into my fury, for one death Might have prevented many.-Eros, hoa! The shirt of Nessus is upon me: Teach me, Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage : Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' the moon; And with those hands, that grasp'd the heaviest club, Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die; To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I

fall Under this plot: she dies for ’t.--Eros, hoa !

[Exit. * We follow the original. We believe that the “poor'st diminutives" are the lowest of the populace, as the "dolts are the most stupid. We must therefore ûnderstand for to mean for the gratificatiou of.

SCENE XI.--Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, Iras, and Mardian.

Cleo. Help me, my women! O, he is more mad
Than Telamon for his shield ; the boar of Thessaly
Was never so emboss'd.

To the monument;
There lock yourself, and send him word you are dead.
The soul and body rive not more in parting,
Than greatness going off.

To the monument :
Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself;
Say that the last I spoke was, Antony,
And word it, prithee, piteously : Hence, Mardian,
And bring me how he takes my death.
To the monument.


SCENE XII.-The same. Another Room.

Enter ANTONY and Eros. Ant. Eros, thou yet behold'st me? Eros.

Ay, noble lord. Ant. Sometime we see a cloud that 's dragonish: A vapour, sometime, like a bear, or lion, A tower'd citadel, a pendant rock, A forked mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon ’t, that nod unto the world, And mock our eyes with air: thou hast seen these

signs ; They are black vesper's pageants. Eros.

Ay, my lord.
Ant. That which is now a horse, even with a thought
The rack dislimbs; and makes it indistinct,
As water is in water.

It does, my lord.
Ant. My good knave, Eros, now thy captain is

Even such a body; here I am Antony;
Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
I made these wars for Egypt; and the queen),-
Whose heart I thought had, for she had mine;
Which, whilst it was mine, had annex'd unto t
A million more, now lost,--she, Eros, has
Pack'd cards with Cæsar, and false-play'd my glory
Unto an enemy's triumph.-
Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
Ourselves to end ourselves.--0, thy vile lady!

She has robb'd me of my sword.

No, Antony;
My mistress lov'd thee, and her fortunes mingled
With thine entirely.

Hence, saucy eunuch; peace;
She hath betray'd me, and shall die the death.

Mar. Death of one person can be paid but once; And that she has discharg'd : 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: Ant.

Dead then ? Mar.

Dead. Ant. Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done, And we must sleep:—That thou depart'st hence safe, Does pay thy labour richly; Go.-Off, pluck off';

[Exit Mardian. The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides! Heart, once be stronger than thy continent; Crack thy frail case! --Apace, Eros, apace.No more a soldier :- Bruised pieces, go;

You have been nobly borne.-- From me a while.

[Exit Eros. I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now All length is torture :—Since the torch is out, Lie down and stray no farther : Now all labour Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles Itself with strength : Seal then, and all is done.a. Eros !—I come, my queen :-Eros !-Stay for me: Where souls do couch on flowers, we ’ll hand in hand, And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze : Dido and her Æneas shall want troops, And all the haunt be ours.

5.—Come, Eros, Eros!

Re-enter Eros. Eros. What would my lord ? Ant.

Since Cleopatra died, I have liy'd in such dishonour, that the gods Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword Quarter'd the world, and o'er green Neptune's back With ships made cities, condemn myselt, to lack The courage of a woman ; less noble mind Than she, which, by her death, our Cæsar tells, "I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros, That, when the exigent should come, (which now Is come, indeed,) when I should see behind me Th’ inevitable prosecution of disgrace And horror, that, on my command, thou then Wouldst kill me: do 't; the time is come : Thou strik'st not me, 't is Cæsar thou defeat'st. Put colour in thy cheek. Eros.

The gods withhold me! Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,

4 The passage may be illustrated by a corresponding imago in 'King Henry V.:

And so espous'd to death, with blood he seal'd

A testament of noble-ending love."

[ocr errors]

Though enemy, lost aim, and could not?

Wouldst thou be window'd in great Rome, and see
Thy master thus with pleach'da arms, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame; whilst the wheel'd seat
Of fortunate Cæsar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued ?

I would not see 't. Ant. Come then; for with a wound I must be curd. Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn Most useful for thy country. Eros.

0, sir, pardon me. Ant. When I did make thee free, swor’st thou not

To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once ;
Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurpos’d. Draw, and come.

Eros. Turn from me then that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
Ant. Lo thee.

[Turning from him. Eros. My sword is drawn. Ant.

Then let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.

My dear master,
My captain and my emperor; let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

Ant. 'T is said, man ;-and farewell.
Eros. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

Now, Eros. Eros. Why, there then :-[Falls on his sword.] Thus

I do escape the sorrow Of Antony's death.

Dies. Ant.

Thrice nobler than myself! Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros

a Pleach'd-folded.

« PreviousContinue »