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SCENE III. Cleopatra's Dream and Defcription

of Antony
Cleo. I dreamt, there was an emperor Antony ;
Oh, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!

Dol. If it might please ye

Cleo. His face was as the heav'ns, and therein stuck A fun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted The little O o'th'earth.

Dol. Most sovereign creature

Cleo. His legs bestrid the ocean, his rear'd arm
Crested the world; his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends :
But when he meant to quail, and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
That grew the more by reaping; his delights


rally resolve it into its first principles : thus, man is dust and alhes, and the food we eat, the dung, by which first our vegetable, and from thence our animal food is nourish'd. This fentiment has in Shakespear's Antony and Cleopatra, escaped the obfervation of two that deservedly bear the first names in criticism, Sir Thomas Hanmer and Mr. Warburton. Cleopatra finding the can Do longer riot in the pleasures of life, with the usual workings of a disappointed pride, pretends a disgust to them, and thus speaks in praise of suicide-And it is great, Śc. (as in the text.)

From the observation above, nothing can be clearer than this paisage : Both the beggar and Cæsar are fed ad nursed by the diing of the earth: and in this fenfe it always appeared to me before thc following demonstration of it occur'd. In the first scene of the fame play, Aritonio says,

Kingdoms are clay, our dungy earth alike

Feeds beasts as man. Though I am persuaded, with Mr. Seward, this is the true fenfe of the passage ; yet we must nicely observe the sense of peeps and palates, which are quite peculiar, and may be reckoned amongit the anomalies of. Shakespear. " Suicide, “ says he " “ Thackles accidents and boits up change, fleepso. [i.c, caules us to flexp] and siever palates,” [never more to palate, &c.]

Were dolphin-like; they shew'd his back above
The elements they liv'd in; in his livery,
Walk'i crowns and coronets; realms and island's were
As plates dropt from his pocket.

SCENE V. Firm Resolution.

How poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
My resolution's plac'd, and I have nothing
Of woman in me: now from head to foot
I am marble constant; now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

SCENE VI. Cleopatra's Speech on applying the Asp.

Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.

Now no more
The juice of Ægypt's grape shall moist this lip.
Yare, yare, good Iras: quick-methinks I hear
Antony call, I see him roufe himself
To praise my noble act. (33) I hear him mock
The luck of Cæfar, which the gods give men
T'excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come;
Now to that name, my courage, prove my title!
I am fire, and air; my other elements
I give to baser life. Som-have you done?
Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.


(33) I bear, &c.] It has been obferved, this possibly might have been shadowed out from Claudian;

Jam non ad culmina rerum
Injuftos crevilè queror : tolluntur in altums
Ui lapsu graviore cadant.

In Rufinum L.
To faireft heights that wicked men attain,
No more I marvel, and no more complain;
Since but with greater ruin down to fall
Aloft they're waised.

[To Iras,

Farewel, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewel.

[-Applying the App.
Have I the afpic in my lips ? Do'st fall?"
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Do'st thou lie still?
If thus thou vanisheit, thou tell'ít the world
It is not worth leave-taking.

[Ires dies. Char. Diffolve, thick cloud and rain, that I may fay, The gods themselves do weep.

Cleo. This proves me base-
If the first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
Which is my heaven to have. Come, mortal wretch,

[To the Alp
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate (34)
Of life at once untie. Oh, couldst thou speak,
That I might hear thee call great Cafar ass,

Char. Oh, eastern star!

Cleo. Peace, peace !
Dost thou not see my baby at my breaft,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

Char. O, break! O, break!

Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle, O Antony ! Nay, I will take thee too,

[Applying another Afp. (35) What should I stay.

[Dies. Char.

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(34) Intrinhcate] i. e. Intricate, intangled, or tied in hard knots ; fo, in King Lear,

Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain,
Too intrinsicate to unloose.

(35) What should I stay, &c.] Shakespear excels prodigiously
in these breaks; so, Percy, in Henry IV. first part, just depart-
ing; says,

-No, ,

Char. In this wild world? fo, fare thee well;
Now, boast thee, death; in thy poffeffion lies
A lass unparallel'd.

-No, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for

(Dieta P.Hen. Worms; brave Percy, fare thee well, &c.

General Observation. THIS play (says Johnson) keeps curiosity always bufy, and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick fuccession of one personage to another, call the mind forward without intermission from the first act to the last. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the frequent changes of the scene ; for, except The feminine arts, some of which are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. who did not easily miss what he desired to find, has discovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice. But I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others : the most tumid speech in the play is that which Cæfar makes to Očlavia.

The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connexion or care of disposition.

Upton, ,


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HAT (1) would you

have, ye curs, That like nor peace, nor war? The one afa

frights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,


(1) What, &c.] Shakespear has many passages on the uncertainty of popular favour, and the fickleness of the vulgar: the reader will find one in the ad part of Henry IV. v. 2. p. 17. where I have referred to this: Milton, in his 3d book of Para. disc Regained, has a passage remarkably similar to this. Satan says to Christ,

These god-like virtues wherefore dost thou hide,
Affecting private life? wherefore deprive
All earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself
The fame and glory: glory, the reward
That sole excites to high attempts, the flame
Of moft erected spirits ?
To whom our Saviour calmly thus reply'd :
What is glory but the blaze of fame,
The people's praise, if always praise unmixt ?
And what the people, but a herd confus'd,
A miscellaneous rabble, who extol
Things vulgar, and well-weigh'd scarce worth the praise ?

They praise and they admire they know not what,
And know not whom, but as one leads the other,
And what delight to be by such extoll’d,
To live upon their tongues, and be their talk,

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