Page images


Grates * me:-The sum. Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony : Fulvia, perchance, is angry; Or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, Do this, or this ; Take int that kingdom, and enfranchise that ; Perform't, or else we damn thee. Ant.

How, my love! Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.-Where's Fulvia's process I? Cæsar's, I would say?

Both ?Call in the messengers.--As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony ; and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager : else so thy cheek pays shame, When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messen

gers. Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space; Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth' alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,

And such a twain, can do't, in which, I bind
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.

Excellent falshood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her -
l'll seem the fool I am not ; Antony
Will be himself.

But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference

harsh : There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night?

Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

# Offends. + Subdue, conquer.

I Summons. § Know.

Il Consume.


Fye, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd! No messenger; but thine and all alone, To-night,we'll wander through the streets, and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen ; Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.

(Exeunt Ant. and Cleop. with their train. Den. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight?

Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
He comes too short of that great property
Which still should go with Antony.

That he approves the common liar*, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!


I'm full sorry,

[blocks in formation]

Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? 0, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands !

Alex. Soothsayer.
Sooth. Your will ?
Char. Is this the man ?-Is't you, sir, that know

things ?
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read.

Show him your hand. .

# Fame.

Enter Enobarbus.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Char. He means, in flesh.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Char. Wrinkles forbid !
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. Hush !
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage : find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. Char. O excellent! I love long life better than

figs. Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former

fortune Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names*: Pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.

Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

• Sball be bastards.


Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be-drunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear:-Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how, bút how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she ?

Char. Well, if you were but an inch 'of fortune better than I, where ould you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis *, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee ! Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer

of the people'! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded ; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now ! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.

Eno. Hush ! here comes Antony.

Not he, the queen. * An Egyptian goddess. VOL. VIII.


Enter Cleopatra.
Cleo. Saw you my lord ?

No, lady.

Was he not here? Char. No, madam. Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sud

den A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,

Eno. Madam.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's

Alexas ?
Alex. Here, madam, at your service.--My lord


Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him : Go with us.

[Exeunt Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Alexas, Iras,

Charmian, Soothsayer, and Attendants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?

Mess. Ay:
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst

Cæsar ;
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.

What worst?

Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.

Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On: Things, that are past, are done, with me.-'Tis thus; Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, I hear him as he flatter'd. Mess.

Labienus (This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, Èxtended* Asia from Euphrates; His conquering banner shook, from Syria

* Seized.


« PreviousContinue »