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SCENE I.-Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's Palace.

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, renegesa all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come! [Flourish without.
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.
Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Trains; Eunuchs

fanning her.
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.
Art. News, my good lord, from Rome.

Grates me :the sum.
CLEO. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
His powerful mandate to you, Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;

, or else we damnb thee. ANT.

How, my love!
CLEO. Perchance,-nay, and most like,
You must not stay here longer, your dismission
Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.-
Where's Fulvia's process?c Cæsar's, I would say.-Both ?-
Call in ihe messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine

-reneges-] That is, denies or renounces. Though_odd and obsolete now, it was probably the genuine word, as in “King Lear,” Act II. Sc. 2, we have, -"Renege, affirm," &c.

- damn thee.] Condemn thee.
process ?] Citation.

Is Cæsar's homager; else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. The messengers !

ANT. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast man: the nobleness of life
Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair,

And such a twain can do’t, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
We stand up peerless.

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

But stirrid by Cleopatra.-
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Let's not confound the time with conference harsh :
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now :-what sport to-night?

CLEO. Hear the ambassadors.

Fie, wrangling queen!
Whom everything becomes,-to chide, to laugh,
To weep; whose * every passion fully strives
To make itself, 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. (1) Come, my queen;
Last night you did desire it.-Speak not to us.

[Exeunt Ant, and CLEOP., with their Trains. DEM. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz’d so slight?

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

I am full sorry
That he approves the common liar,a who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!


SCENE II.-The same. Another Room in the Palace.

Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.b CHAR. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to

(*) First folio, who. • That he approves the common liar,–] That he confirms the reports of Rumour.

$ Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.] The direction of the folio is, “Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius, Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, and Alexas." And Steevens thought it possible that Lamprius, Rannius, Lucillius," &c. might have been speakers in the scene as it was originally written by the poet, who afterwards, when omitting the speeches, forgot to erase the


the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands'

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.

Show him your hand.

Exo. 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. Hush!
Sooth. You shall be more beloving than belov'd.
CHAR. 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 Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
CHAR. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Sooth. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune
Than that which is to approach.
CHAR. Then, belike my children shall have no names:c-pr’ythee,

C how many boys and wenches must I have?

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,
And fertiled every wish, a million.

CHAR. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think pone but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
ALEX. We'll know all our fortunes.

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

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
IRAS. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

change his horns with garlands ] So the old text; to "change his horns," may mean to vary or garnish them. The modern reading, however, of charge, suggested by Southern and Warburton, is certainly very plausible.

b I love long life better than figs.] This was a proverbial saying. e-my children shall have no names :] That is, be illegitimate.

& And fertile every wish,–] A correction of Theobald or Warburton. The old copy has, " And foretel,'' &c.



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CHAR. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Prythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

SOOTH. Your fortunes are alike. IRAS. But how, but how? give me particulars. SOOTH. I have said. IRAS. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? 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. CHAR. Our worser thoughts heaven mend !-Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune!&_0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech 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 Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, 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 loose-wived, 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!

ĚNO. Hush! here comes Antony.

Not he; the queen.


you my

lord ?
Eno. No, lady.
CLEO. Was he not here?
CHAR. No, madam.

CLEO. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,-

ENO. Madam?
CLEO. Seek him, and bring him hither.- Where's Alexas ?
ALEX. Here, at your service.-My lord approaches.
CLEO. We will not look upon him: go with us.

Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants.
MESS. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
ANT. Against my brother Lucius ?

But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Cæsar;
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.

Well, what worst?

First folio, Saue. Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune!-] The compositor of the folio, mistaking “ Alexas" for the prefix to the speech, has attributed what follows to him. The error was pointed out by Theobald a century ago, and has been rectified in every edition since.

MESS. 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.—'T is thus,
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.

(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force :
Extended Asia from Euphrates;
His conquering banner shook from Syria
To Lydia and to Ionia;

ANT. Antony, thou wouldst say,

0, my lord!
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue;
Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome;
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase ; and taunt my faults
With such full licence as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds,
When our quick windsb lie still; and our ills told us,
Is as our earing !c Fare thee well a while.
MESS. At your noble pleasure.

Ant. From Sicyon ho,* the news! Speak there!
1 Art. The man from Sicyon,—is there such an one?
2 Art. He stays upon your will.

Let him appear.-
These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose myself in dotage.-

Enter another Messenger.

What are you?
2 MESS. Fulvia thy wife is dead. (2).

Where died she?
2 MESS. In Sicyon :
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears.

[Gives a letter. ANT.

Forbear me.- [Exit Messenger.
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
What our contempt t doth aften hurl from us,
We wish it ours again ; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become
The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her on.
I must from this enchanting queen break off;

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(*) Old text, horo.

(+) Old text, contempts. a Extended-] Seized.

When our quick winds-) Has been changed, by Warburton, to “When our quick minds," &c., perhaps without necessity, “Quick winds" may mean, quickening winds; and Johnson's explanation of the passage," that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good,"—is possibly the true c-earing!) Ploughing.



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