Imatges de pàgina
[blocks in formation]



Friends of ANTONY.

Friends of CESAR

Friends of POMPY
TAURUS, Lieutenant General to CESAR
CASIDIUS, Lieutenant General to ANTONY.
SILIUS, an Officer in VENTIDIUS', Army

A Soothsayer.- A Clown
CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt.
OCTAVIA, Sister to C&SAR, and Wife to ANTONY.

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants

SCENE-Dispersed; in several parts of the Roman Empire.


SCENE I.--Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S

Palace. Enter DEMETRIUS, and Philo. Phi. Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now

turn. The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneagues all temper; And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come !

Flourish. Enter Antony, and CLEOPATRA, with

their Trains; Eunuchs fanning her.
Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform'd
Into a strumpet's fool : behold and see.

Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be

reckon'd. Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov’d. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

Enter an Attendant.
Att. News, my good lord, from Rome-

Grates me :-The sum.

[ocr errors]

Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony :

Fulvia, perchance, is angry; Or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent

Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough
His powerful mandate to you, " Do this, or this ; Cleopatra's health to drink.
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune. Perform't, or else we damn thee."

Sooth. I make not, but foresee. Ant.

How, my love! Char, Pray then, foresee me one. Cleo. Perchance,—nay, and most like,

Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are. You must not stay here longer, your dismission Char. He means in flesh. Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.- Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old. Where's Fulvia's process ? Cæsar's, I would say.- Char. Wrinkles forbid ! Both.

Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive. Call in the messengers.—As I am Egypt's queen, Char. Hush! Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Sooth. You shall be more beloving than belov'd. Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking. When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds.—The messen- Aler. Nay, hear him. gers.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let Ant. Let Rome in Tiber melt! and the wide me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and arch

widow them all : let me have a child at fifty, to Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space. whom Herod of Jewry may do homage : find me Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike

to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life

me with my mistress. Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,

Char. O excellent! I love long life better than On pain of punishment, the world to weet

figs. We stand up peerless.

Sooth. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former Cleo. Excellent falsehood!

fortune Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her ?-- Than that which is to approach. I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony

Char. Then, belike my children shall have no Will be himself

names: Prithee, how many boys and wenches must Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.

I have ? Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours, Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, Let's not confound the time with conference harsh: And fertile every wish, a million. There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch. Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night? Alex. You think none but your sheets are privy Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.

to your wishes. Ant.

Fie, wrangling queen! Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers. Whom everything becomes, to chide, to laugh, Aler. We'll know all our fortunes. To weep; whose every passion fully strives

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd!

shall be—drunk to bed. No messenger; but thine and all alone,

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothTo-night we'll wander through the streets, and note

ing else. The qualities of people. Come, my queen;

Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us. famine.

[E.reunt Antony, and CLEOPATRA, with Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot sooththeir Train.

say. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight ? Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prog

Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, nostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, He comes too short of that great property

tell her but a worky-day fortune. Which still should go with Antony.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike. Dem.

Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars. That he approves the common liar, who

Sooth. I have said. Thus speaks of him at Rome : But I will hope Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she! Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune


better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose. SCENE II.-The Same. Another Room.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer. him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis. 1

Alexas, --come, his fortune, his fortune!-0, let Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything | beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a that I knew this husband, which, you say, must

cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though charge his horns with garlands !

thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, Alex. Soothsayer.

I beseech thee! Sooth. Your will ?

Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of Char. Is this the man?—Is't you, sir, that know the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a things?

handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy

to behold a foul knave uncuckolded : Therefore, A little I can read.

dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordAler. Show him your hand.


I'm full sorry


[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the Ant.

Well, what worst? sudden

Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller. A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,- Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On: Eno. Madam.

Things that are past are done with me.—'Tis thus : Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, Alexas ?

I hear him as he flatter'd. Aler. Here, at your service.-My lord approaches. Mess.


(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants.

Extended Asia from Euphrates;
Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us. His conquering banner shook from Syria
[Ereunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, To Lydia and to Ionia ;

IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and | Whilst-

Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,-
Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Mess.

O, my lord! Ant. Against my brother Lucius?

Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general Mess. Ay:

tongue; Bat soon that war had end, and the time's state Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome : Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults Cæsar;

With such full licence as both truth and malice Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,

Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth Upon the first encounter, drave them.


[ocr errors]

When our quick minds lie still; and our ills told us, brings forth a new petticoat :and, indeed, the tears Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while.

live in an onion that should water this sorrow. Mess. At your noble pleasure.

[Erit. Ant. The business she hath broached in the state Ant. From Sicyon how the news ? Speak Cannot endure my absence. there.

Eno. And the business you have broached here 1 Al. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such an cannot be without you; especially that of Cleoone?

patra's, which wholly depends on your abode. 2 Att. He stays upon your will.

Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers Ant.

Let him appear.-

Have notice what we purpose. I shall break These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, The cause of our expedience to the queen,

And get her love to part. For not alone
Enter another Messenger.

The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Or lose myself in dotage.- What are you?

Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too 2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Of many our contriving friends in Rome Ant.

Where died she? Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius 2 Mess. In Sicyon :

Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands Her length of sickness, with what else more serious The empire of the sea : our slippery people Importeth thee to know, this bears.

(Whose love is never link'd to the deserver

[Gives a letter. Till his deserts are past) begin to throw Ant.

Forbear me.- Pompey the great, and all his dignities,

[E.rit Messenger. Upon his son; who, high in name and power, There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it : Higher than both in blood and life, stands up What our contempts do often hurl from us,

For the main soldier: whose quality, going on, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, The sides o' the world may danger: Much is By revolution lowering, does become

breeding, The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone; Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life, The hand could pluck her back that show'd her on. And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure, I must from this enchanting queen break off; To such whose place is under us, requires Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, Our quick remove from hence. My idleness doth hatch.-How now! Enobarbus ! Eno. I shall do't.

[Ereunt. Enter ENOBARBUS.

Eno. What's your pleasure, sir ?
Ant. I must with haste from hence.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS. Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We Cleo. Where is he? see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they Char.

I did not see him since. suffer our departure, death's the word.

Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he Ant. I must be gone.

does :Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women I did not send you :If you find him sad, die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; | Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report though, between them and a great cause, they should That I am sudden sick : Quick, and return. be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the

[Erit Ales. least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do

dearly, think there is mettle in death, which commits some You do not hold the method to enforce loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dy- | The like from him. ing.


What should I do I do not ! Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.

Char. In each thing give him way, cross him in Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of

nothing. nothing but the finest part of pure love : We cannot Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they

him. are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, forbear; report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she In time we hate that which we often fear. nakes a shower of rain as well as Jove.

Enter ANTONY. Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!

Eno. 0, sir, you had then left unseen a wonder- But here comes Antony. ful piece of work; which not to have been blessed Cleo.

I am sick and sullen. withal, would have discredited your travel.

Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purAnt. Fulvia is dead.

pose.Eno. Sir?

Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; Ant. Fulvia is dead.

It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature Eno. Fulvia ?

Will not sustain it. Ant. Dead.


Now, my dearest queen,Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. Cleo. Pray you, stand further from me. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a Ant.

What's the matter? man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are good news. worn out there are members to make new. If What says the married woman ?– You may go; there were no more women but Fulvia, then had 'Would she had never given you leave to come! you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented; this Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here, grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock I have no power upon you; hers you are.


« AnteriorContinua »