Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

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.

Enter a Messenger.

Lep. Here's more news.

Mes. 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.

Cæs. 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,

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.

Mes. 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, and flush youth revolt :"
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon

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

Cas. Antony,

Leave thy lascivious wassals. When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st

[1] 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.

Boys old enough to know their duty.

JOHNSON.

[3] Those whom not love but fear made adherents to Cæsar, now show their affection for Pompey. JOHNSON. [4] i. e. the malcontents.

Το ear, is to plough. JOHNSON.

6 Turn pale at the thought of it. JOHNSON.

MALONE.

Youth ripened to manhood; youth whose blood is at the flow. STEEVENS.
Wassel is here put for intemperance in general. See Macbeth, p. 287 The old
STEEVENS.

copy, however, reads vaissailes.

Vassals is, without question, the true reading.

HENLEY.

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 puddle'

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 hime to Rome: 'Tis time we twain
Did show ourselves i'the field; and, to that end,
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

time

Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,

To let me be partaker.

Cæs. Doubt not, sir

I knew it for my bond.

SCENE V.

[Exeunt.

Alexandria. A Room in the Palace. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and MARDIAN.

Cleo. Charmian,

Char. Madam.—

Cleo. Ha, ha !—

[8] 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.

[4] That is, to be my bounden duty.

MASON.

Give me to drink mandragora.9

Char. Why, madam ?

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

My Antony is away.

Char. You think of him

Too much.

Cleo. O, treason!

Char. Madam, I trust, not so.

Cleo. Thou, eunuch, Mardian!

Mar. What's your highness' pleasure?

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.

Cleo. Indeed?

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

Yet have I 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 aspéct, and die

With looking on his life.

Enter ALEXAS.

Alex. Sovereign of Egypt, hail !

[9] Mandragora---a plant of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep. Shakespeare mentions it in Othello:

"Not poppy, nor mandragora,

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,

Shall ever med'cine thee to that sweet sleep--."

A burgonet--is a kind of helmet.

In allusion to Cæsar's baldness.

STEEVENS.
HENLEY.

JOHNSON.

Cleo. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
With his tinct gilded thee.3-

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 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
To mend the petty present, I will piece

my

Her opulent throne with kingdoms: All the East,

Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,

And soberly did mount a termagant 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 hot 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?

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

[S] 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 1..nsmutation, a medicine.

JOHNSON.

My man of men.

Char. By your most gracious pardon,

I sing but after you.

Cleo. My sallad days;

When I was green in judgment :-Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then!-But, come, away:

Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day
A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Egypt.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

SCENE I.-Messina. A Room in POMPEY's House. Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS.

Pom. Ir the great gods be just, they shall assist

The deeds of justest men.

Mene. Know, worthy Pompey,

That what they do delay, they not deny.

Pom. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays

The thing we sue for.*

Mene. We, ignorant of ourselves,

Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers

Deny us for our good: so find we profit,

By losing of our prayers.

Pom. I shall do well:

The people love me, and the sea is mine ;

My power's a crescent, and my auguring hope
Says, it will come to the full. Mark Antony

In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make

No wars without doors: Cæsar gets money, where
He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,

Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves,

Nor either cares for him.

Men. Cæsar and Lepidus are in the field;

A mighty strength they carry.

Pom. Where have you this? 'tis false.

Men. From Silvius, sir.

Pom. He dreams; I know, they are in Rome together,

By out messengers.

JOHNSON.

[2] The meaning is, while we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing

[blocks in formation]

[5] The poet's allusion is to the moon; and Pompey would say, he is yet but a Half moon, or crescent; but his hopes tell him, that crescent will come to a full orb. THEOBALD.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »