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rod of Jewry may do homage! find me, to marry me with Octavius Cæfar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall out-live the Lady whom you ferve.
Char. Óh, excellent ! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortüne, than that which is to approach.. Gbar. (4) Then, belike, my children shall have no
names; Prythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Boorh. (5) If every of your wishes had a womb,
Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Chår. Naye come, tell Tras hers. .: Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes t 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 cànnot foothsay. Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not ä fruitful prog. nostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Pr’ythee, tell her but a workyday fortune.
(4) Theň, 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 Two Gentlemen of Veronà.
Speed. Item, he hath many nameless Virtues. Launcë. That's as much as to say, bastard Virtuês; that, indeed, know i not their Fathers, and therefore have no Names. (5) If every of your Wifes had a Womb,
And, foretold ev'ry Wijh, a Million.] What foretold ? If the. Wilbes 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. Iras. But how, but how? — Sooth. I have said. Iras. Am I not an inch of fortunc 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. (6) Our worser thoughts heav'ns mend! Alexas, Come, bis fortune; his fortune. O, let him marry a Woman that cannot go, sweet Ifis, 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 lsis, I 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. dr. Alex. Come, his Fortune, his Fortune.' 0, let him marry a Woman, &c.] Whose Fortune does Alexas call' out to have told? But, in thort, This I dare pronounce to be. so palpable and signal'a Transpofition, that I cannot but wonder it should 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 Perfons, He believes, one might have applyed them with Certainey 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 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, come, bis Fortune ; 'bis Fortune: &c. 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. v
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 Refor 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.
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.
Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth, but on the sudden A Roman thought hath ftruck him. Enobarbus,
Enter Antony with a Mesenger, and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him ; go with us.
[Exeunt. Mer. Fulvia thy Wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my Brother Lucius ? Mes. Ay, but soon that war had end, and the time's
Ant. Well, what worst?.
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward; on.
Mej. Labienus (this is Hiff news)
From Syria to Lydia, and Ionia;
Agt. Antony, thou wouldīt say Mef. Oh, my Lord! · Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the gen’ra!
tongue; . Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome. . Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunț my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. Oh, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick winds lye ftill; and our ill, told us, Is as our earing; fare thee well a while.
Mer. At your noble pleasure. . Ant. From Sicyon, how the news ? speak there, Mef. The Man from Sicyon, is there such an ohe?
..., [Exit firft Mefjenger. Attend. He stays upon your will.
Ant. Let him appear;
Enter another Messenger, with a Letter.
2 Mer. In Sicyon. . . Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importech thee to know, this bears. . Ant. Forbear me.- . [Exit fecond Messenger, There's a great spirit gone! thus did I defire it.. (0) What our Contempts do often hurl from us,
US We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowring, does become The opposite of it felf; she's good, being gone; The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on.
(7) What our Contempts do often hurl from us,
We will it ours again ;] If This be not Imitation, it is certaindly fuch a Resemblance of Horace, as would be determind Imitation from a Pen of known and acknowledg'd Learning.
Virtutem incolumem odimus,
Lib. III. Ode 24:
I muft from this enchanting Queen break off.
Eno. Why, then we kill all our Women. We see. how morral an unkindnefs is to them ; if they suffer our departure, Death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under à compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to caft them away for nothing; though between them and a great cause, they should be a fteem'd nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, diės instantly; 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 fuch a celerity in dying.'
Ant. She is cunning paft man's thought.
Eno. Alack, Sir, no ; her passions are made of non thing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters, fighs and tears: they are greater storms and cemipeits than almanacks can report. This cannot be cunning in her: if it be, she makes a show'r of rain as well as yove. . 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 bleft withal, would have difcredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is 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 fhews to man the tailor of the earth: comforting thercin, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no