Imatges de pÓgina

him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet His, I befeech 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 lfs, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Ilis, 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 loofe-wiv'd, 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.

Enter Cleopatra.

Eno. Huh! here comes Antony,
Char. Not he, the Queen.
Cleo. Saw you my Lord ?
Eno. No, Lady
Clee. Was he not here
Char. No, Madam.

Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sudden A Roman thought hath ftruck him. Enobarbus,

of the Persons, he believes, one might have applied them with Certainty to every Speaker. But in how many Instances has Mr. Pope's Want of Judgment falsified this Opinion? The Fact is evidently this. Alexas brings a Fortune-teller to Iras and Charmian, and says himself, We'll know all our Fortunes. Well; the Soothsayer begins with the Women; and some Jokes pass upon the Subje&t of Hurbands and Chastity: After which, the Women hoping for the Satisfaction of having something to laugh at in Alexas's Fortune, call to him to hold out his Hand, and with heartily he may have the Prognostication of Cuckoldom upon him. The whole Speech, therefore, must be placed to Charmian. There needs no stronger Proof of this being a true Correction, than the Observation which Alexas immediately subjoins on their Wishes and Zeal to hear him abused.


Eno. Madam.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither; where's Alexasz?
Alex. Here at your service; my Lord approaches.

Enter Antony with a Messenger, and Attendants,

[ocr errors][merged small]

Cleo. We will not look

; go with us.

Mes. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Ant. Against my brother Lucius?

Mef. Ay, but soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst Cæfar:
Whofe better issue in the war from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Ant. Well, what worst?
Mes. 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 the tale lie death,
I hear, as if he flatter'd.

Mef. Labienus (this is ftiff news)
Hath, with his Parthian force, extended Afia ;
From Euphrates his conquering banner shook,
From Syria to Lydia, and Ionia ;

Ant. Antony, thou wouldīt say
Mes. Oh, my Lord !

Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the gen’ral tongue;
Name Cleopatra as fhe's call'd in Rome.
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunt my

With such full licence, as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. Oh, then we bring forth weeds,
When our quick winds lie still; and our ill, told us,
Is as our earing ; fare thee well a while.

Mes. At your noble pleasure.
Ant. From Sicyon, how the news ? speak there.
Mes. The man from Sicyon, is there such an one ?

{Exit first Messenger.


Attend. He stays upon your will.

Art. Let him appear ;
These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose mylelf in dotage. What are you?


Enter another Messenger, with a Letter.

2 Mes. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Ant. Where died the ?

2 Mef. In Sicyon.
Her length of fickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears.
Ant. Forbear me.

[Exit fecond Mefenger.
There's a great spirit gone! thus did I desire it.
What our contempts do often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowring, does become
The opposite of itself; fhe's good, being gone ;
The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on.
I must from this enchanting Queen break off.
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus

Enter Enobarbus.

Eno. What's your pleasure, Sir ?
Ant. I must with halte from hence.

Eno. Why, then we kill all our women. We see, how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

Ant. I must be gone.

Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though between them and a great cause, they should be efteem'd nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies inftantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her ; she hath such a celerity in dying. Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.


[ocr errors]

pure love.

Eno. Alack, Sir, no ; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of

We cannot call her winds and waters, fighs and tears: they are greater storms and tempefts than almanacks can report. This cannot be cunning in her : if it be, he makes a show'r of rain as well as Jove.

Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!

Eno. Oh, Sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work, which, not to have been blest withal, would have discredited your travel.

Ant. Fulvia is dead. Eno. Sir! Ant. Fulvia is dead. Eno. Fulvia ? Ant. Dead. Eno. Why, Sir, give the Gods a thankful facrifice : when it pleaseth their Deities to take the wife of a man from him, it Thews to man the tailor of the earth : comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new,

If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case were to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation ; your old smock biings forth a new petticoat, and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that Thould water this sorrow.

Ant. The business, ihe hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.

Eno. And the business, you have broach'd here, cannot be without you ; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.

Ant. No'more light answers : let our officers
Have notice what we purpose. I fall break
The cause of our expedience to the Queen,

get her leave to part. For not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak t'us; but the letters too

many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
Hath giv'n the dare to Cæfar, and commands
The empire of the sea. Our flipp’ry people,


Cleo. Ant. Cleo

(Whose love is never link'd to the deferver,
"Till his deserts are part,) begin to throw
Pompey the Great and all his dignities
Upon his fon; who high in name and pow'r,
Higher than both in blood and life, ftands up
For the main soldier; whose quality going on,
The sides o’th' world may danger. Much is breeding ;
Which, like the courfer's hair, liath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whole place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.
Eno. I'll do't.



'Wou Let he I hav An Cle


Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Alexas, and Iras.

I have


Cleo. Where is he?
Char. I did not see him since.
Cleo. See, where he is, who's with him, what he

I did not send you :- If you find him sad,
Say, I am dancing: if in mirth, report,
That I am sudden fick.

Quick, and return.
Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

Cleo. What Tould I do, I do not?
Cbar. In each thing give him way, crofs him in nothing.
Cleo. Thou teacheft, like a fool : the way to lose him.

Char. Tempt him not so, too far. I wish, forbear;
In time we hate that, which we often fear.

Enter Antony.

But here comes Antony.

Cleo. I'm fick, and sullen.
Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose.

Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.

[Seeming to faint.


« AnteriorContinua »