Page images

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

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


What, was he sad, or merry? Alex. Like to the time o' the year between the


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. 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

Her opulent throne with kingdoms; All the east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount a termagant steed,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


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? Aler. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers: Why do you send so thick?


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 Cæsa so?


Cæsar and Lepidus
Are in the field; a mighty strength they carry.
Pom. Where have you this? 'tis false.

From Silvius, sir.

Char. O that brave Cæsar! Cleo. Be chok'd with such another emphasis ! Say, the brave Antony.


The valiant Cæsar! Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth, If thou with Cæsar paragon again

My man of men.


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.


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

Looking for Antony: But all charms of love
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip!

Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
Keep his brain fuming; Epicurean cooks,
Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite;
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour,
Even till a Lethe'd dulness. How now, Varrius?

[ocr errors]


Var. This is most certain that I shall deliver : Mark Antony is every hour in Rome Expected; since he went from Egypt, 'tis A space for further travel.


I could have given less matter A better ear.- Menas, I did not think, This amorous surfeiter would have don'd his helm For such a petty war: his soldiership Is twice the other twain: But let us rear The higher our opinion, that our stirring Can from the lap of Egypt's widow pluck The ne'er lust-wearied Antony.


I cannot hope, Cæsar and Antony shall well greet together: His wife, that's dead, did trespasses to Cæsar;

[blocks in formation]




Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.

I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: if Cæsar move him,
Let Antony look over Cæsar's head,
And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shav't to day.


'Tis not a time

For private stomaching.

Every time

Serves for the matter that is then born in it.
Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Eno. Not if the small come first..

Your speech is passion:
But, pray you, stir no embers up.
Here comes
The noble Antony.

And yonder Cæsar.

Ant. If we compose well here, to Parthia:
Hark you, Ventidius.

I do not know,

Noble friends, That which combined us was most great, and let not A leaner action rend us. What's amiss, May it be gently heard: When we debate Our trivial difference loud, we do commit Murder in healing wounds: Then, noble partners, (The rather, for I earnestly beseech,) Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms, Nor curstness grow to the matter.


A Room in the House of Lepidus.


Mecænas; ask Agrippa.


I should do thus.


'Tis spoken well: Were we before our armies, and to fight,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Cæs. You praise yourself By laying defects of judgment to me; but You patch'd up your excuses.


Not so, not so; I know you could not lack, I am certain on't, Very necessity of this thought, that I, Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought, Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars Which 'fronted mine own peace. As for my wife, I would you had her spirit in such another: The third o'the world is yours; which with a snaffle You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

Eno. 'Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!

Ant. So much uncurable, her garboils, Cæsar, Made out of her impatience, (which not wanted Shrewdness of policy too,) I grieving grant, Did you too much disquiet: for that, you must But say, I could not help it.


I wrote to you,
When rioting in Alexandria; you
Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
Did gibe my missive out of audience.



He fell upon me, ere admitted; then
Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
Of what I was i'the morning: but, next day,
I told him of myself; which was as much
As to have ask'd him pardon: Let this fellow
Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
Out of our question wipe him.

You have broken
The article of your oath; which you shall never
Have tongue to charge me with.


Soft, Cæsar.
Ant. No, Lepidus, let him speak ;
The honour's sacred which he talks on now,
Supposing that I lack'd it: But on, Cæsar;
The article of my oath,-

Cas. To lend me arms, and aid, when I requir'd them; The which you both denied.


Neglected, rather;

And then, when poison'd hours had bound me up

From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty
Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
Work without it: Truth is, that Fulvia,
To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
So far ask pardon, as befits mine honour
To stoop in such a case.


'Tis nobly spoken. Mec. If it might please you, to enforce no further The griefs between ye: to forget them quite, Were to remember that the present need Speaks to atone you.


Worthily spoke, Mecænas. Eno. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant, you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to wrangle in, when you have nothing else to do.

Ant. Thou art a soldier only; speak no more. Eno. That truth should be silent, I had almost forgot.

Ant. You wrong this presence, therefore speak

no more.

Eno. Go to then; your considerate stone.

Ces. I do not much dislike the matter, but The manner of his speech: for it cannot be, We shall remain in friendship, our conditions So differing in their acts. Yet, if I knew What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to


O'the world I would pursue it.

Caes. Speak, Agrippa.

Give me leave, Cæsar,


[blocks in formation]

Ant. I am not married, Cæsar: let me hear Agrippa further speak.

Agr. To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts With an unslipping knot, take Antony Octavia to his wife: whose beauty claims No worse a husband than the best of men ; Whose virtue, and whose general graces, speak That which none else can utter. By this marriage, All little jealousies, which now seem great, And all great fears, which now import their dangers, Would then be nothing: truths would be but tales, Where now half tales be truths: her love to both, Would, each to other, and all loves to both, Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke : For 'tis a studied, not a present thought, By duty ruminated.


Will Cæsar speak?

Cæs. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd With what is spoke already.

Ant. What power is in Agrippa, If I would say, Agrippa, be it so, To make this good?

The power of Cæsar, and

Caes. His power unto Octavia. Ant. May I never To this good purpose, that so fairly shows, Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand : Further this act of grace; and, from this hour, The heart of brothers govern in our loves, And sway our great designs!

[blocks in formation]

Not lack your company. Lep.

Cæs. With most gladness; And do invite you to my sister's view, Whither straight I will lead you.


Let us, Lepidus,

Noble Antony,

Not sickness should detain me.

[Flourish. Exeunt CESAR, ANT. and LEPIDUS.

Mec. Welcome from Egypt, sir.

Eno. Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecanas! - my honourable friend, Agrippa! — Agr. Good Enobarbus!

Mec. We have cause to be glad, that matters are well digested. You stay'd well by it in Egypt. Eno. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking.

Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there; Is this true?

Eno. This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous matter of feasts, which worthily deserved noting.

Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.

Agr. There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised well for her.

Eno. I will tell you:

The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that

The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were


Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, of tissue,)
O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see,
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.


O, rare for Antony!

Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, And made their bends adornings: at the helm A seeming Mermaid steers; the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands, That yarely frame the office. From the barge A strange invisible pérfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthron'd in the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature.


Rare Egyptian! Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her, Invited her to supper: she replied, It should be better, he became her guest; Which she entreated: Our courteous Antony, Whom ne'er the word of No woman heard speak, Being barbar'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast; And, for his ordinary, pays his heart, For what his eyes eat only.

If you can, your reason?

Agr. Royal wench! She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed; He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.

I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the publick street:
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect, perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Eno. Never; he will not;

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: Other women

Cloy th' appetites they feed; but she makes hungry,
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her, when she is riggish.

[blocks in formation]

Ant. Sooth. I see't in My motion, have it not in my tongue: But yet Hie you again to Egypt.


Say to me,

Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's, or mine? Sooth. Cæsar's.

Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:

Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear, as being o'erpower'd; therefore
Make space enough between you.

Speak this no more.
Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to

If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
he away, 'tis noble.


Get thee gone : Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him: [Erit Soothsayer. He shall to Parthia. Be it art, or hap, He hath spoken true: The very dice obey him ; And, in our sports, my better cunning faints Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds: His cocks do win the battle still of mine, When it is all to nought; and his quails ever Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt: And though I make this marriage for my peace,

[blocks in formation]

Char. My arm is sore, best play with Mardian. Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd, As with a woman;- Come, you'll play with me, sir?

Mar. As well as I can, madam.

Cleo. And when good will is show'd, though it come too short,

The actor may plead pardon.
I'll none now:-
Give me mine angle, - We'll to the river: there,
My musick playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, Ah, ha! you're caught.

Char. 'Twas merry, when You wager'd on your angling; when your diver Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he With fervency drew up.

Cleo. That time! O times! I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night I laugh'd him into patience; and next morn, Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed; Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst I wore his sword Philippan. O! from Italy; Enter a Messenger. Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears, That long time have been barren.


Madam, madam, ·

Cleo. Antony's dead?. If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress : But well and free,

[blocks in formation]


Yet, if thou say, Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.

Madam, he's well. Well said.



Mess. And friends with Cæsar. Cleo. Thou'rt an honest man. Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever. Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me. Mess. But yet, madam, Cleo. I do not like but yet, it does allay The good precedence; fye upon but yet : But yet is as a gaoler to bring forth Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend, Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear, The good and bad together: He's friends with


In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.

Mess. Free, madam! no; I made no such report:

He's bound unto Octavia.

Cleo. For what good turn? Mess. For the best turn i' the bed. Cleo. I am pale, Charmian. Mess. Madam, he's married to Octavia. Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee! [Strikes him down. What say you? Hence, [Strikes him again. Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head; [She hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine,

Mess. Good madam, patience.

[merged small][ocr errors]

He's married, madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.
[Draws a dagger.

Mess. Nay, then I'll run: --What mean you, madam? I have made no fault. [Exit. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself; The man is innocent,

Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.

Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again; Though I am mad, I will not bite him :- . Call. Char. He is afeard to come.

Cleo. I will not hurt him : These hands do lack nobility, that they strike A meaner than myself; since I myself Have given myself the cause. — · Come hither, sir.

Re-enter Messenger.

Though it be honest, it is never good

To bring bad news: Give to a gracious message An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell Themselves, when they be felt.


I have done my duty.

Cleo. Is he married?

I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If thou again say, Yes.
He is married, madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold
there still?

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »