« PreviousContinue »
I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him
Pro. This I'll report, dear lady. Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pitied Of him that caus'd it.
Gal. You see how easily she may be surpriz'd; [Here PROCULEIUS, and two of the Guard, ascend the Monument by a Ladder placed against a Window, and having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the Guard unbar and open the Gates.
Guard her till Cæsar come.
[TO PROCULEIUS and the Guard. Exit GALLUS. Iras. Royal queen!
Char. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, queen!— Cleo. Quick, quick, good hands.
Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
Reliev'd, but not betray'd.
[Drawing a Dagger.
Hold, worthy lady, hold:
[Seizes and disarms her.
What, of death too
That rids our dogs of languish?
Do not abuse my master's bounty, by
7 send him
The greatness he has got.] i. e. her crown which he has won. 6 Worth many babes and beggars !] Why, death, wilt thou not rather seize a queen, than employ thy force upon babes and beggars.
O, temperance, lady! Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, sir; If idle talk will once be necessary, 9
I'll not sleep neither: This mortal house I'll ruin,
You do extend
These thoughts of horror further than you shall
What thou hast done thy master Cæsar knows,
It shall content me best:
If you'll employ me to him.
Say, I would die.
Exeunt PROCULEIUS, and Soldiers.
Dol. Most noble empress, you have heard of me? Cleo. I cannot tell.
Assuredly, you know me.
Cleo. No matter, sir, what I have heard, or known.
9 -- will once be necessary,] Once may mean sometimes.
You laugh, when boys, or women, tell their dreams; Is't not your trick?
I understand not, madam. Cleo. I dream'd, there was an emperor Antony;O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
If it might please you,―
Cleo. His face was as the heavens; and therein
A sun, and moon; which kept their course, and
The little O, the earth.
Most sovereign creature,— Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm Crested the world:' his voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty, There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas, That grew the more by reaping: His delights Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above The element they liv'd in: In his livery
Walk'd crowns, and crownets; realms and islands
As plates2 dropp'd from his pocket.
Cleopatra,Cleo. Think you, there was, or might be, such a
Crested the world:] Alluding to some of the old crests in heraldry, where a raised arm on a wreath was mounted on the helmet. As plates-] Mr. Steevens justly interprets plates to mean silver money. It is a term in heraldry. The balls or roundels in an escutcheon of arms, according to their different colours, have different names. If gules, or red, they are called torteauxes; if or, or yellow, bezants; if argent, or white, plates, which are buttons of silver without any impression, but only prepared for the stamp.
As this I dream'd of?
Gentle madam, no.
Cleo. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods. But, if there be, or ever were one such, It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants st To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy, Condemning shadows quite.*
By the rebound of yours, a grief that shoots
I thank you, sir.
Know you, what Cæsar means to do with me?
Though he be honourable,
Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph?
I know it.
Madam, he will;
Within. Make way there,-Cæsar.
Enter CESAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECENAS,
SELEUCUS, and Attendants.
Which is the queen
"Tis the emperor, madam.
3 To vie strange forms-] To vie was a term at cards.
yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.] The word piece, is a term appropriated to works of art. Here Nature and Fancy produce each their piece, and the piece done by Nature had the preference. Antony was in reality past the size of dreaming; he was more by Nature than Fancy could present in sleep.
You shall not kneel :
I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.
Sir, the gods
Will have it thus; my master and my lord
I must obey.
Take to you no hard thoughts:
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
Sole sir o'the world,
I cannot project' mine own cause so well
We will extenuate rather than enforce :
If you apply yourself to our intents,
(Which towards you are most gentle,) you shall find A benefit in this change; but if you
To lay on me a cruelty, by taking
Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
Cleo. And may, through all the world: 'tis yours;
Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest, shall
Cleo. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord.
> I cannot project-] i. e. I cannot shape or form my cause, &c.