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Where's Fulvia’s Process?. Cesar's? I'd say, both?
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide arch
Cleo. Excellent falfhood!
Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
Cleo. Hear the Ambassadors.
Ant. Fie, wrangling Queen!
[Exeunt, with their Train, Dem. Is Cæfar with Antonius priz'd so flight?
Pbil. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
Dem. I'm sorry,
Enter Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a
Sooth-fayer. Char. Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most abfolute Alexas, where's the Sooth-layer that you, prais'd fo to th' Queen? (3) Oh! that I knew this husband, which you say, must charge his horns with garlands.
Char. Is this the man? Is’t you, Sir, that know things?
Sooth. In Nature's infinite Book of Secrecy,
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly: winc enough, Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good Sir, give me good fortune.
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
(3) Oh, that I knew this Husband, which, you say, mult change his Horns with Garlands.] Changing Horns with Garlands, is surely, a senseless unintelligible Phtafe. We must restore, in Opposition to all the printed Copies,
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 others Place in bur Author's old Editions. I ought to take Notice, that Mr. Warburton likewise, ftarted this Emendation.
rod of Jewry may do homage! find me, to marry me with Ottaviss Cæfar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall out-live the Lady whom you serve.
Char. Oh, excellent ! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortyne, than that which is to approach. Cbar. (4) Then, belike, my children shall have no
names; Progthee, how many boys and wenchès must I have ! Sooth. (5) IF every
wishes had a womb, And fertil every wish, a million.
Char. Qut, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, comé, tell Tras hers.
Eno. Mine; and most of our fortunes to night, shall be to go 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.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prog: nostication, I cannot scratch mine car. Pr'ythee, tell her but & workyday fortune.
(4) Then, belike, my Children shall have no Names.) i. e. They shall be illegitimate. This will be very clearly explain'd by quoting a Passage from The Tio Gentlemen of Verona.
Speed. Item, she hath many nameless Virtues.
not their Fathers, and therefore have no Names. 15) If every of your Wishes had a Womb,
And foretold ev'ry Wik, a Million.1 What foretold ? If the Wishes foretold themselves? This can never be genuine, however it has país'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 ev'ry of your Wishes had a Womb,
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you chuse it?
Iras. Not in my Husband's nose.
Char. (6) Our worser thoughts heav'ns mend! Alexas, - Come, his fortune; his fortune., let him marry a Woman that cannot go, sweet Ifis, I beseech thce; 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 Ifis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good lfis, 1 beseech'thee !
Iras. Amen, dear Goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a hand
(6) Char. Our worfer Thoughts Heav'ns mend.
Alex. Come, his Fortune, bis Fortune. Ó, let him marry a Woman, &c.] Whose Fortune does Alexas call out to have told? But, in hort, This I dare pronounce to be so palpable and signal'a Transpofition, that I cannot but wonder it shoald have flipt the Observation of all the Editors: especially, of the fagacious Mr. Pope; who has made this Declaration, That if, throughout the Plays, had all the Speeches been printed without the very Names of the Persons, He believes, one might have applyed them with Certainty to every Speaker. But in how many Instances has Mr. Pope's Want of Judgment falfified 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 Joaks pass upon the Subject of Husbands 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 plac'd to Charmian, thus:
Char. Our worfer Thoughts Heav’n mend! Alexas, Fortune ; bis Fortune: &c. There needs no ftronger Proof of This being a true Correction, than the Observation which Alexas immediately subjoins on their Wishes and Zeal to hear him abused. of.
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their Hands to make me a Cuckold, they would make themselves Whores but they'd do it. I propos'd this Transposition in the Appendix to my SHAKESPEARE Rofor d, and Mr. Pope, notwithstanding his first infallible Opinion, has acceded to it in his lait Edition of our Poet.
some man loose-wiv'd, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded ; therefore, dear Ifis, keep decorüm, and fortune him accordingly.
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sudden
Enter Antony with a Mesenger, and Attendants.
Ant. Well, what worst?
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward; on.
Mes. Labienus (this is Hiff news)