Page images
PDF
EPUB

as

Sold.

While he was yet in Rome,
His power went out in such distractions 11,
Beguild all spies.
Can.

Who's his lieutenant, hear you?
Sold. They say, one Taurus.
Can.

Well I know the man.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The emperor calls Canidius.
Can. With news the time's with labour; and

throes 12 forth, Each minute, some.

[Esceunt.

SCENE VIII.

A Plain near Actium.

Enter CÆSAR, TAURUS, Officers, and Others.
Cæs. Taurus,
Taur.

My lord.
Cæs.

Strike not by land; keep whole:
Provoke not battle, till we have done at sea.
Do not exceed the prescript of this scroll:
Our fortune lies upon this jump'. [Exeunt.

Enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS. Ant. Set we our squadrons on yon' side o’the hill, In eye of Cæsar's battle; from which place We may the number of the ships behold, And so proceed accordingly.

[Exeunt.

11 Detachments, separate bodies.
12 i.e. emits as in parturition. So in The Tempest :-

proclaim a birth,
Which throes thee much to yield.'
i.e. this hazard. Thus in Macbeth :-

We'd jump the life to come.?

Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his Land Army

one Way over the Stage; and Taurus, the Lieutenant of Cæsar, the other Way.

After their going in, is heard the Noise of a Sea-fight.

Alarum. Re-enter ENOBARBUS.
Eno. Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold

no longer:
The Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,
With all their sixty, fly, and turn the rudder;
To see't, mine eyes are blasted.

Enter SCARUS. Scar.

Gods and goddesses, All the whole synod of them! Eno.

What's thy passion? Scar. The greater cantle 3 of the world is lost With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away Kingdoms and provinces. Eno..

How appears the fight ? Scar. On our side like the token'do pestilence, Where death is sure. Yon' ribaudred hag of Egypt,

2 The Antoniad, Plutarch says, was the name of Cleopatra's ship.

3 A cantle is a portion, a scantling, a fragment: it also signified a corner, and a quarter-piece of any thing. It is from the old French chantel, or eschantille.

4 The death of those visited by the plague was certain, when particular eruptions appeared on the skin; and these were called God's tokens. See vol. ii. p. 394, note 32.

5 The old copy reads, ribaudred nay,' which was altered by Steevens and Malone into “ribald-rid nag, but quite unnecessarily. Ribaudred is obscene, indecent in words or acts. Thus Baret: A ribaudrous and filthie tongue; os obscænum et impudicum. Ribaudrie, vilanie in actes or wordes, filthiness, uncleanness. And in Horman’s Vulgaria : Refrayne fro suche foule and rebaudry wordes. Mr. Tyrwhitt saw that the context required we should read hag instead of nag, which was an easy typographical error. VOL. VIII.

SS

Whom leprosy o'ertake! i'the midst o'the fight,-
When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd,
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,--
The brize upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails, and flies.
Eno.

That I beheld :
Mine

eyes did sicken at the sight, and could not Endure a further view. Scar.

She once being loofd?, The noble ruin of her magick, Antony, Claps on his sea-wing, and like a doting mallard, Leaving the fight in height, flies after her: I never saw an action of such shame; Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before Did violate so itself. Eno.

Alack, alack!

Enter CANIDIUS. Can. Our fortune on the sea is out of breath, And sinks most lamentably. Had our general Been what he knew himself, it had gone well: 0, he has given example for our flight, Most grossly, by his own. Eno. Ay, are you thereabouts? Why then, good

night Indeed.

[Aside. Can. Towards Peloponnesus are they fled.

Scar. 'Tis easy to't; and there I will attend
What further comes.
Can.

To Cæsar will I render
My legions, and my horse; six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.

6 The brize is the ostrum, or gadsly, so troublesome to cattle in the summer months.

? To loof is to bring a ship close to the wind. This expression is in the old translation of Plutarch. It also frequently occurs in Hackluyt's Voyages.

Eno.

I'll yet follow The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason Sits in the wind against me.

Exeunt.

SCENE IX.

Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Antony, and Attendants. Ant. Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon't, It is asham'd to bear me!

-Friends, come hither. I am 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. Att.

Fly! not we. · Ant. I have fled myself; and have instructed

cowards Torun, and show their shoulders.-- Friends, be gone; I have myself resolv'd 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 seaside straightway:

8 • Wounded chance. This phrase is nearly of the same import as 'broken fortunes.' | Belated, benighted. So in Macbeth:

• Now spurs the lated traveller apace.' 2 Thus also in Hamlet:

they must sweep my way, And marshal me to knavery.'

[ocr errors]

Leave me,

I will possess you of that ship and treasure.

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.

[Sits down.

Enter EROS, and CLEOPATRA, led by CHARMIAN

and IRAS. Eros. Nay, gentle madam, to him;-Comfort him, Iras. Do, most dear queen. Char. Do! why, what else? Cleo. Let me sit down. O Juno! Ant. No, no, no, no, no. Eros. See you here, sir? Ant. O fye, fye, fye. Char. Madam, Iras. Madam; O good empress!-Eros. Sir, sir,

Ant. Yes, my lord, yes;-He, at Philippi, kept His sword e'en like a dancer 4: while I struck The lean and wrinkled Cassius : and 'twas I, That the mad Brutus 5 ended : he alone

3 "I entreat you to leave me, because I have lost all power to command your absence.'

4 The meaning appears to be, that Cæsar never offered to draw his sword, but kept it in the scabbard, like one who dances with a sword on, which was formerly the custom in England, It is alluded to in All's Well that Ends Well: Bertram, lament: ing that he is kept from the wars, says:

I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,

But one to dance with.'
And in Titus Andronicus:--

our mother unadvised Gave you a dancing rapier by your side.' Nothing can be more in character than for an infamous debauched tyrant to call the heroick love of one's country and public liberty, madpess.'-Warburton.

5

« PreviousContinue »