Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

ANTONY and CLEOPATRA.

A C T I. SCENE, the Palace at Alexandria in

Ægypt.

Enter Demetrius and Philo.

PHILO.
**AY, but this dotage of our General

O'er-flows the measure; those hisgoodlyeyes,
N
BY 4. That o'er the files aud musters of the war,

Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, *S

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 burft The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper; And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a Gypsy's luft. Look, where they come! Flourish. Enter Antony, and Cleopatra, her Ladies in

the Train, 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 beloy'd.
Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heav'n, new
earth.

Enter a Messenger.
Mef. News, my good Lord, from Rome.
Ant. It grates me. Tell the sum.

Cleo. Nay, hear it, Antony.
Fulvia, perchance, is angry; or who knows,
If the fcarce-bearded Cæfar have not fent
His powerful mandate to you, " Do this, or this ;
“ Take in that Kingdom, and infranchise 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 Gæfar ; therefore hear it, Antony. Where's Fulvia's Process ? Cæsar's ? I'd say, both ? Call in the Messengers ; as I'm Ægypt's Queen, Thou blusheft, Antony, and that blood of thine Is Cæfar's homager: else, so thy cheeks pay shame, When Ihrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. The Messengers

Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide arch
Of the rais'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, [Embracing,
And such a twain can do't; in which, I bind
(On pain of punishment) the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.

Cleo. Excellent falfhood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
P'll seem the fool, I am not. Antony
Will be himself.

Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
Now for the love of love, and his soft hours,

Let's

Let's not confound the time with conference hạrth ; There's not a minute of our lives thould stretch Without fome pleasure now: what sport to-night?

Cleo. Hear the Ambassadors. Ant. Fy, wrangling Queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, To weep: whose every pallion fully ftrives To make itfelf 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 defire it. Speak not to us.

[Exeunt, with their Train. Dem. Is Cæfar with Antonius priz'd so slight;

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

Dem. I'm forry, That he approves the common lyar, Fame, Who speaks him thus at Rome; but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Reft you happy! [Exe. Enter Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a

Soothsayer.

Cbar. Alexas, fweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost · most absolute Alexas, where's the Soothsayer that you prais'd so to th' Queen (1) Oh! that I knew this husband, which you lay, muft charge his horns with garlands.

(1) 0b, that I knew this Husband, wbich, you say, must change bis Horns with Garlands.) Changing Horns with Garlands, is, furely, a fenfelefs, unintelligible, Phrafe. We mus reftore, in Oppofition, to all the printed Copies,

which you say, must charge his Horns with Garlands. 'i. e. must be an honourable Cuckold, must have his Horns hung with Garlands. Charge and change frequently usurp each other's Place in our Author's old Editions, as I have occasionally obferv'd in my Notes on 'ether Paysages. I ought to take Notice, that Mr. Werburton likewise started this Emendation.

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.

Alex. Shew him your hand.

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. Hash!
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Cbar. 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 He-
rod of Jewry may do homage! find me, to marry me
with Ostavius Cæfar, and companion me with my
mistress.
Sooth. You fhall out-live the Lady whom you

ferve. Char. Oh, 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 ; Prythee, how many boys and wenches muft I have ? South. (2) If every of your wishes had a womb,

And

[ocr errors][merged small]

(2) If every of your Wisbes bad a Womb,

And foretold every Wish, a Million.] What foretold? If the Wipes foretold themselves. This can never be genuine,

however

And fertil every wilh, 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.

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

Iras. There's a palm prefages chastity, if nothing else. Char. Ev'n as the o'erflowing Nilus prefageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild Bedfellow, you cannot foothfay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful progÁoftication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Pr'ythee, tell her but a workyday fortune.

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

Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune beta ter than I, where would you chuse it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Char. (3) Our worser thoughts heav'ns mend! Alex-
Come, his fortune ; his fortune.

him

as,

O, let

however it has pass'd hitherto upon the Editors. It makes the Word Womb absolutely fuperfluous, if only the telling her Wishes beforehand would help her to the Children. The Poet certainly wrote,

If every of your Wijbes had a Womb,
And fertil ev'ry Wish,

(3) Char. Our worfer Thoughts Heav'ns mend.

Alex. Come, bis Fortune, bis Fortune. O, let bim marry a Woman, &c.] Whole Fortune does Alexas call out to have told ? But, in hort, this I dare pronounce to be fo palpable and signal a Transpofition, that I cannot but wonder it should have Ript. the Observation of all the Editors: especially, of the Sagacious Mr. Pope, who has made this Declaration, Tbat if, throug bout tbe. Plays, bad all tbe Speeches been printed without ibe very Names

« AnteriorContinua »