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Between her brother and Mark Antony.

Cleo. Is she as tall as me ?*

Mes. She is not, madam.

Cleo. Didst hear her speak? Is she shrill-tongu'd, or low?

Mes. Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voic'd. Cleo. That's not so good:-he cannot like her long." Char. Like her? O Isis! 'tis impossible.

Cleo. I think so, Charmian. Dull of tongue, and dwarfish!-

What majesty is in her gait? Remember,
If e'er thou lookd'st on majesty.

Mes. She creeps;

Her motion and her station are as one :6

She shows a body rather than a life ;

A statue, than a breather.

Cleo. Is this certain?

Mes. Or I have no observance.

Char. Three in Egypt

Cannot make better note.

Cleo. He's very knowing,

I do perceiv't :-There's nothing in her yet :-
The fellow has good judgment.

Char. Excellent.

Cleo. Guess at her years, I pr'ythee.

Mes. Madam,

She was a widow.

Cleo. Widow ?-Charmian hark."

Mes. And I do think, she's thirty.

Cleo. Bear'st thou her face in mind? Is it long, or round? Mes. Round even to faultiness.

Cleo. For the most part too,

[4] This scene, says Dr. Grey, is a manifest allusion to the questions put by queen Elizabeth to sir James Melvil, concerning his mistress. the queen of Scots. STEEV. I see no probability that Shakespeare should here allude to a conversation that passed between Queen Elizabeth and a Scottish ambassador in 1564, the very year in which he was born, and does not appear to have been made public for above threescore years after his death; Melvil's Memoirs not being printed till 1683. Such enquiries, no doubt, are perfectly natural to rival females, whether queens or cinderwenches. RITSON.

[5] It has been justly observed that the poet had probably Queen Elizabeth here in his thoughts. The description given of her by a contemporary, about twelve years after her death, strongly confirms this supposition. "She was (says the Coniinuator of Stowe's Chronicle) tall of stature, strong in every limb and joynt, her fingers small and long, her voyce loud and shrill." MALONE.

[6] Station--in this instance, means the act of standing. So, in Hamlet: STEEVENS.

"A station like the herald Mercury."

[7] Cleopatra rejoices in this circumstance, as it sets Octavia on a level with herself, who was no virgin when she fell to the lot of Antony. STEEVENS.

They are foolish that are so. Her hair, what colour?
Mes. Brown, madam : And her forehead is as low
As she would wish it.

Cleo. There is gold for thee.

Thou must not take my former sharpness ill :-
I will employ thee back again; I find thee
Most fit for business: Go, make thee ready;
Our letters are prepar’d.

Char. A proper man.

[Exit Mess.

Cleo. Indeed, he is so I repent me much, That I so harry'd him. Why, methinks, by him,


This creature's no such thing.

Char. O, nothing, madam..

Cleo. The man hath seen some majesty, and should know. Char. Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,

And serving you so long!

Cleo. I have one thing more to ask him yet, good

Charmian :

But 'tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me
Where I will write: All may be well enough.
Char. I warrant you, madam.



Athens. A Room in ANTONY's House. Enter ANTONY and


Ant. Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that,

That were excusable, that, and thousands more

Of semblable import,-but he hath wag'd

New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and read it
To public ear;

Spoke scantly of me when perforce he could not
But pay me terms of honour, cold and sickly

He vented them; most narrow measure lent me :
When the best hint was given him, he not took't,
Or did it from his teeth,

Oct. O my good lord,

Believe not all; or, if you must believe,
Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,

If this division chance, ne'er stood between
Praying for both parts:

And the good gods will mock me presently,

[8] To harry, is to use roughly, harass, subdue. STEEVENS.

To harry, is, to

hunt. Hence the word harrier. King James threatened the Puritans that "he would harry them out of the land."


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When I shall pray, 0, bless my lord and husband!
Undo that prayer, by crying out as loud,

O, bless my brother! Husband win, win brother.
Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway
'Twixt these extremes at all.

Ant. Gentle Octavia,

Let your best love draw to that point, which seeks
Best to preserve it: If I lose mine honour,

I lose myself: better I were not yours,

Than yours so branchless. But, as you requested,
Yourself shall go between us: The mean time, lady,
I'll raise the preparation of a war

Shall stain your brother; Make your soonest baste;
So your desires are yours.

Oct. Thanks to my lord.

The Jove of power make me most weak, most weak,
Your reconciler! Wars 'twixt you twain would be
As if the world should cleave, and that slain men
Should solder up the rift.'

Ant. When it appears to you where this begins,
Turn your displeasure that way; for our faults
Can never be so equal, that your love

Can equally move with them. Provide your going;
Choose your own company, and command what cost
Your heart has mind to.

The same.



Another Room in the same. Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting.

Eno. How now, friend Eros?

Eros. There's strange news come, sir.

Eno. What, man?

Eros. Cæsar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pom


Eno. This is old; What is the success?

Eros. Cæsar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality; would not let him partake in the glory of the action: and not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote


[9] Stain, that is, shame, or disgrace him. [1] The sense is, that war between Cæsar and Antony would engage the world between them, and that the slaughter would be great in so extensive a commotion. JOHNSON. [2] Rivality---equal rank.


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to Pompey; upon his own appeal, seizes him: So the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.

Eno. Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no more And throw between them all the food thou hast, They'll grind the one the other. Where's Antony? Eros. He's walking in the garden-thus; and spurns The rush that lies before him: cries, Fool, Lepidus ! And threats the throat of that his officer,

That murder'd Pompey.

Eno. Our great navy's rigged.

Eros. For Italy, and Cæsar.

More, Domitius ;*

My lord desires you presently: my news

I might have told hereafter.

Eno. "Twill be naught :

But let it be.-Bring me to Antony.

Eros. Come, sir.



Rome. A Room in CESAR's House. Enter CESAR, Agrippá,


Cæs. Contemning Rome, he has done all this: And

· more;

In Alexandria, here's the manner of it,-
I'the market-place, on a tribunal silver'd,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publicly enthron'd: at the feet, sat
Cæsarion, whom they call my father's son;
And all the unlawful issue, that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
gave the 'stablishment of Egypt; made her

Of Lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,*

Absolute queen.

Mec. This in the public eye ?

Cæs. I' the common show-place, where they exercise.

[S] To appeal in Shakespeare, is to accuse; Cæsar seized Lepidus without any other proof than Caesar's accusation.


[4] I have something more to tell you, which I might have told at first, and de.. layed my news. Antony requires your presence. JOHNSON.

[5] For Lydia, Mr. Upton, from Plutarch, has restored Lybia.


In the translation from the French of Amyot, by Thomas North, in folio, 1597,* will be seen at once the origin of this mistake: "First of all he did establish Clee patra queen of Egypt, of Cyprus, of Lydia, and the lower Syria."

* I find the character of this work pretty early delineated:

"Twas Greek at first, that Greek was Latin made,
That Latin French, that French to English straid':
Thus 'twixt one Plutarch there's more difference,
Than i' th' same Englishman return'd from France."



F 2

His sons he there proclaim'd, The kings of kings:
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia,

He gave, to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd
Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia : She

In the habiliments of the goddess Isis

That day appear'd; and oft before
As 'tis reported, so.

Mec. Let Rome be thus


gave audience

Agr. Who, queasy with his insolence

Already, will their good thoughts call from him.
Cas. The people know it; and have now receiv'd
His accusations.

Agr. Whom does he accuse?

Cas. Cæsar and that, having in Sicily


Sextus Pompeius spoil'd, we had not rated him
His part o'the isle : then does he say, he lent me
Some shipping unrestor'd: lastly, he frets,
That Lepidus of the triumvirate

Should be depos'd; and, being, that we detain
All his revenue.

Agr. Sir, this should be answer'd.

Caes. 'Tis done already, and the messenger gone. I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel ;

That he his high authority abus'd,

And did deserve his change; for what I have conquer'd,

I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia,

And other of his conquer'd kingdoms, I

Demand the like.

Mec. He'll never yield to that.

Cæs. Nor must not then be yielded to in this.


Oct. Hail, Cæsar, and my lord! hail, most dear Cæsar! Cæs. That ever I should call thee, cast-away!

Oct. You have not call'd me so, nor have you cause. Cas. Why have you stol'n upon us thus ? You come not Like Cæsar's sister: The wife of Antony

Should have an army for an usher, and

The neighs of horse to tell of her approach,

Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way,
Should have borne men; and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not: nay, the dust
Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
Rais'd by your populous troops: But you are come

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