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Cas. You are too indulgent: Let us grant, it is not Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;

To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit

And keep the turn of tippling with a slave;

To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat; say this becomes. him,

(As his composure must be rare indeed,

Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet must Antony
No way excuse his soils, when we do bear

So great weight in his lightness.

If he fill'd

His vacancy with his voluptuousness,

Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Call on him for't: but, to confound such time,
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own state, and ours,-'tis to be chid

As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
And so rebel to judgment.

Lep.

Enter a Messenger.

Here's more news.

Mess. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour, Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report

How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea;
And it appears, he is belov'd of those
That only have fear'd Cæsar; to the ports
The discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.

Cas.

I should have known no less :

It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he, which is, was wish'd, until he were ;

And the ebb'd man, ne'er lov'd, till ne'er worth love,

:

So great weight in his lightness.] The word light is one of Shakspeare's favourite play-things. The sense is-His trifling levity throws so much burden upon us.-JOHNSON.

Call on him for't;] Call on him, is visit him. Says Cæsar-If Antony followed his debaucheries at a time of leisure, I should leave him to be punished by their natural consequences, by surfeits and dry bones.-JOHNSON.

aThat only have fear'd Casar;] Those whom not love but fear made adherents to Cæsar, now show their affection for Pompey.-JOHNSON.

The discontents] i. e. The malecontents.

Comes dear'd, by being lack'd. This common body,
Like a vagabond flag upon the stream,

Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.

Mess.

Cæsar, I bring thee word,

Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,

Make the sea serve them; which they ear and wound With keels of every kind: Many hot inroads

They make in Italy; the borders maritime

Lack blood to think on't,d and flush youthe revolt:
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon

Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.

Cæs.

Leave thy lascivious wassels.

Antony,

When thou once

Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel

Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer: Thou didst drink
The stale of horses, and the gilded puddles

Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did deign
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;

Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
Which some did die to look on: And all this
(It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now),
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
So much as lank'd not.

Lep.

It is pity of him.

Cas. Let his shames quickly

Drive him to Rome: 'Tis time we twain

Did show ourselves i'the field; and, to that end,

C

they ear- -] i. e. They plough.

d Lack blood to think on't,] Turn pale at the thought of it.-JOHNSON.

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- flush youth—] i. e. Youth ripened to manhood; youth whose blood is at the flow.-STEEVENS.

f

wassels.] i. e. Festivities, or intemperances.

· gilded puddle-] There is frequently observable on the surface of stagnant pools that have remained long undisturbed, a reddish gold coloured slime; to this appearance the poet here refers.-HENLEY.

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Assemble we immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.

Lep.

To-morrow, Cæsar,

I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly

Both what by sea and land I can be able,

To 'front this present time.

Cas.

Till which encounter,

It is my business too. Farewell.

Lep. Farewell, my lord: What you shall know mean Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,

[time

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Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN.

Cleo. Charmian,

Char. Madam.

Cleo. Ha, ha!—

Give me to drink mandragora.i

Char.

Why, madam?

Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time,

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Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure

In aught an eunuch has: 'Tis well for thee,

That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts

May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.

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Cleo. Indeed?

· I knew it for my bond.] That is, to be my bounden duty.-M. MASON. mandragora.] A plant of which the infusion was supposed to procure

sleep.-JOHNSON.

Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
But what in deed is honest to be done :

Yet I have fierce affections, and think,
What Venus did with Mars.

Cleo.

O Charmian,

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?
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; Now I feed myself
With most delicious poison :-Think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Cæsar,
When thou wast here above the ground, I was
A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey
Would stand, and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect, and die

With looking on his life.

Alex.

Enter ALEXAS.

Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

Cleo. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony! Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath

With his tinct gilded thee.

How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen,

He kiss'd—the last of many doubled kisses,-
This orient pearl ;-His speech sticks in my heart.
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.

Alex.

Good friend, quoth he,

Say, The firm Roman to great Egypt sends
This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot

burgonet-] i. e. A kind of helmet.

that great medicine hath

With his tinct gilded thee.] Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine.-JOHNSON.

To mend the petty present, I will piece

Her opulent throne with kingdoms; All the east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt' steed,

Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb'd by him.

Cleo.

What, was he sad, or merry? Alex. Like to the time o' the year, between the extremes Of heat and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.

Cleo. O well-divided disposition!—Note him,
Note him, good Charmian, 'tis the man; but note him:
He was not sad; for he would shine on those
That make their looks by his: he was not merry;
Which seem'd to tell them, his remembrance lay
In Egypt with his joy: but between both :

O heavenly mingle!-Be'st thou sad, or merry,
The violence of either thee becomes;
So does it no man else -Met'st thou my posts?
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Why do you send so thick?m

Cleo.

Who's born that day

When I forget to send to Antony,

Shall die a beggar.-Ink and paper, Charmian.-
Welcome, my good Alexas.-Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Cæsar so?

Char.

O that brave Cæsar!

Cleo. Be chok'd with such another emphasis !

Say, the brave Antony.

Char.

The valiant Cæsar!

Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,

If thou with Cæsar paragon again

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arm-gaunt—] i. e. Worn by military service. This implies the military activity of the master; all the rest of the senses given by the commentators are reproachful, and, therefore, inconsistent with the speech which is made to display the gallantry of a lover to his mistress.-NARES. Steevens, at the suggestion of M. Mason, reads termagant, i. e. furious.

m

so thick?] i. e. In such quick succession.

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