« AnteriorContinua »
SCENE changes to a magnificent Monument.
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, and Iras, above. Cleo. Charmian, I will never go from hence.
Cleo. No, I will not :
Dio. His death's upon him, but not dead.
Enter Antony, borne by the Guard.
Cleo. So it should be, that none but Antony
Ant. I am dying, Ægypt, dying; only yet
Cleo. (55) I bere importune Death a while, until
Of many thousand Kisses the poor laft
I lay upon thy Lips.
Dear Lord, pardon ; I dare not,
Least I be taken.] What curious hobbling Versification do we encounter here in the latt Line but one? Besides, how inconsistenty is
Cleo. I dare not,
Ant. Oh, quick, or I am gone.
- how heavy weighs
[They draw Antony up to Cleopatra. And welcome, welcome. Die, where thou hast liv'd; Quicken with killing i had my lips that power, Thus would I wear them out,
All. O heavy fight!
the Lady made to reply? Antony says, he only holds Life, 'till he can give her one last Kiss: and She cries, She dares not: What dares She not do? Kiss Antony ? But how should She ? She was above lock'd in her Monument; and He below, on the Outside of it. With a very Night Addition, I think, I can cure the whole; and have a sort of Warrant from Plutarch for it into the Bargain,
I here importune Death awhile, until
I lay upon thy Lips. Come down.
(Dear, dear my Lord, your Pardon, that I dare 'nota;)
Least I be taken. Now Plutarch says, that “ Antony was carried in his Men's Arms into “ tbe Entry of the Monument : Notwithstanding, Cleopatra would not
open the Gates, but came to the high Windows, and cast out certain “ Chains and Ropes, 3°c.”. So that Antony might very reasonably defire her to come down; and She as reasonably excuse herself, for fear of being in nared by Cæsar.
Ant. I am dying, Ægypt, dying. . Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
Cleo. No, let me speak, and let me rail so high,
Ant. One word, sweet Queen.
Cleo. They do not go together.
Ant. Gentle, hear me;
Cleo. My resolution, and my hands, I'll trust;
Ant. The miserable change, now at my end,
Cleo. No more but a meer woman, and commanded
And does the meanest chares ! - It were for Me
[Exeunt, bearing off Antony's body.
(56) Enter Cæsar, Agrippa, Dolabella, Mecænas,
Gallus, and Train.
CÆ SA R.
Dol. (56) Enter Cæsar, Agrippa, Dolabella, and Menas.) But Menas and Menecrates, we may remember, were the two famous Pirates link'd with Sextus Pomprius, and who' affifted him to infeft the Italian Coaft. We no where learn, expresly in the Play, that Menas ever attach'd him.felf to Octavius's Paity. Notwithstanding the old Folio's concur in
marking marking the Entrance thus, yet in the two places in the Scene, where this Character is made to speak, they have mark'd in the Margin Mec. so that, as Dr. Thirlby fagaciously conjectur’d, we must cashier Menas, and substitute Mecænas in his Room. Menas, indeed, deserted to Cæfar no less than twice, and was preferr'd by him. And Horace has left one Ode, a virulent Invective on Menas for his Shifting and Treachery.
Dol. Cæfar, I shall. (57)
[Exit Dolabella. Enter Derćetas, with the sword of Antony. Cæf. Wherefore is that? and what art thou, that
dar’st Appear thus to us!
Der. I am call'd Dercetas;
Cæf. What is't thou say'st ?
Cæf. The breaking of so great a thing should make
Der. He is dead, Cæfar, Not by a publick minister of justice, Nor by a hired knife; but that self-hand, Which writ his Honour in the acts it did, Hath with the courage, which the heart did lend it, Splitted the heart. This is his sword, I robb'd his wound of it: behold it stain'd With his most noble blood.
(57) Dol. Cæsar, I fall.] I make no Doubt, but it should be mark'd here, that Dolabella goes out. 'Tis reasonable to imagine, he should presently depart, upon Cæfar's Command; so that the Speeches, placed to him in the sequel of this Scene, must be transferr'd to Agrippa, or he is introduced as a Mute. Besides, that Dolabella should be gone out, appears from This, that when Cæfar asks for him, he recollects that he had sent him on Business.