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Enter a Messenger.
Mes, Madam! Madam!
Cleo. Antony's dead?
Mes. First, Madam, he is well.
Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, Grrah, mark,
Mes. Good Madam, hear me.
Cleo. Well, go to, I will:
Mes. Will’t please you hear me?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st;
Mef. Madam, he's well.
find Antony afterwards, in this Play, boasting of his own Prowess at Phi-
His Sword e'en like a Dancer, while I strook
The lean and wrinkled Cañius; & c. That was the greatelt Action of Antony's Life; and therefore This seems a fine Piece of Flattery, intimating, that his Sword ought to be denominated from that illustrious Battle, in the same manner as modern Heroes in Romance are made to give their Swords pompous Names.
Mef. And friends with Cæfar.
Cleo. I do not like but yet, it do’s allay
Cleo. For what good turn?
[Strikes him down. Mes. Good Madam, patience. Cleo. What say you?
[Strikes him. Hence, horrible villain, or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:
[She hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipt with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in lingring pickle.
Mes. Gracious Madam,
Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a Province I will give thee,
(27) Free, Madam! no ; I have made no such Sport.] I don't know how to account for this odd Piece of Negligence in Mr. Pope. 'Tis true, this is the Reading in Mr. Rowe's Edition: and there are many Indances to suspect, that he implicitly follow'd the Steps of that Editor, without collating the Copies of better Authority. The elder Folio's both read plainly, as I have reform'd the Text.
Mef. He's married, Madam.
[Draws a dagger. Mef. Nay, then I'll run: What mean you, Madam ? I have made no fault.
[Exit. Char. Good Madam, keep your self within your self, The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt
Char. He is afraid to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him.
Re-enter the Messenger.
Mes. I have done my duty.
Cleo. Is he married ?
Mes. He's married, Madam.
Mel. I crave your Highness' pardon.
Mes. Take no offence, that I would not offend you; To punish me for what you make me do,
Seems much unequal: he's married to Ottavia.
Cleo. Oh, that his fault should make a knave of thee, That art not what thou’rt sure of! - Get thee hence, The merchandises, thou haft brought from Rome, Are all too dear for me: Lye they upon thy hand, and be undone by 'em!
Cleo. I am paid for it now: lead me from hence,
[Exeunt. SCENE changes to the Coast of Italy, near
Enter. Pompey and Menas, at one door, with drum and
trumpet : At another, Cæsar, Lepidus, Antony, Eno
barbus, Meçænas, Agrippa, with Soldiers marching: Pom. OUR hostages I have, so have you mine;
And we shall talk before we fight. Cæf. Most meet, That first we come to words; and therefore have we Our written purposes before us fent ; Which, if thou hast consider'd, let us know If ’twill tie up thy discontented sword, And carry back to Sicily much tall youth, That else must perish here.
Pom. To you all three, The Senators alone of this great world, Chief factors for the Gods, I do not know, Wherefore my Father should Revengers want, Having a Son and Friends; since Julius Cæfar, (Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,) There saw you labouring for him. What was it, That mov'd palc Cafus to conspire? and what Made Thee, all-honour'd, honest Roman Brutus, With the arm'd rest, Courtiers of beauteous freedom, To drench the Capitol, (28) but that they would Have One man, but a man? And That is it, Hath made me rig my Navy : At whose burthen The anger'd Ocean foams, with which I meant To scourge th' ingratitude that despiteful Rome Cast on my noble Father.
Cæf. Take your time.
Ant. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy fails, We'll speak with thee at sea. At land, thou know'ft, How much we do o'er-count thee.
Pom. At land, indeed,
but that they would Have but one Man a Man?] What! were the Conspirators prefam'd to have kill'd Cæsar, because they would have but one Man a Man? What Mock-reasoning is this? If they would have but one Man a Man (i. e. a Man rat' e Boy dv, eminent above, and overtopping all others ;) it was the Height of Cæsar's Ambition to be such a One, and therefore They should rather have let him live. We find Cassius complaining to Brutus of this aspiring Spirit, these Aims at Supremacy, in Cæfar.
When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide Walls encompass'd but O N E Man? Sure, I think, I pointed out before to Mr. Pope, in my SHAKESPEARE Reffor'd, the true Reading of this Passage, from the two elder Folio's, would he but have embraced it.
but that they would Harse One Man but a Man? i. e. They would have no One aim at arbitrary Power, and a Degree of Preheminence above the rest. What did they kill Cæsar for, but to prevent his aspiring above his fellow Countrymen ?