Изображения страниц

The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice: Now, by the fire,
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence,
Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
As thou affect'st.


Cut my lace, Charmian, come ;

But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well:
So Antony loves.


My precious queen, forbear;

And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.


So Fulvia told me.

I pr'ythee, turn aside, and weep for her;
Then bid adieu to me, and say, the tears
Belong to Egypt: Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Like perfect honour.

Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Ant. Now, by my sword,—

You'll heat my blood; no more.

Cleo. And target,-Still he mends; But this is not the best: Look, pr'ythee, Charmian, How this Herculean Roman does become

The carriage of his chafe.


I'll leave you, lady.

Cleo. Courteous lord, one word.

Sir, you and I must part,-but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd,-but there's not it;
That you know well: Something it is I would,-
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,

And I am all forgotten.


But that your royalty

Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.


"Tis sweating labour,

To bear such idleness so near the heart

As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
Eye well to you: Your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,

And all the gods go with you! upon your sword

Sit laurel'd victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!


Let us go. Come;

Our separation so abides, and flies,

That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.



ROME. An Apartment in CÆSAR's House.

Enter OCTAVIUS CESAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants. Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate

One great competitor: From Alexandria

This is the news; He fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel: is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra; nor the queen Ptolemy

More womanly than he: hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: You shall find there
A man, who is the abstract of all faults

That all men follow.

I must not think, there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness:
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.

Cæs. 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 lond
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.

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.

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

I should have known no less :

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.


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.


Leave thy lascivious wassels. 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 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.

[ocr errors]


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,
Assemble we immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.


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.


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,

To let me be partaker.


Doubt not, sir;

I knew it for my bond.





A Room in the Palace.


[blocks in formation]

Why, madam?

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

My Antony is away.


You think of him

[blocks in formation]


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 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.


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.



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.



Good friend, quoth he,'

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »