Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mes. Madam, she was a widow.
Cleo. Widow? Charmian, hark.
Mes. And I do think, she's thirty,
Cleo. Bear'st thou her face in mind ? is't long, or

round?
Mef. Round even to faultiness.

Cleo. For th' most part too,
They're foolish that are so. Her hair, what colour?

Mef. Brown, Madam; and her forehead
As low as she would wish it.

Cleo. There's gold for thee.
Thou must not take my former sharpness ill,
I will employ thee back again; I find thee
Moft fit for business. Go, make thee ready ;
Our letters are prepar'd.

Char. A proper man.

Cleo. Indeed, he is so; I repent me much,
That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,
This creature's no such thing.

Char. O, nothing, Madam.
Cleg. The man hath seen some Majesty, and should

know.
Char. Hath he seen Majefty? Ifis else defend!
And serving you so long?
Cleo. I've one thing more to ask him yet, good

Charmian:
But 'tis no matter, thou shalt bring him to me
Where I will write : all may be well enough.
Char. I warrant you, Madam.

[Exeunt,

[ocr errors]

SCENE changes to Athens.

[ocr errors]

Enter Antony and O&avia,
AY, nay, Ottavia, not only That,
That were excusable, That and thousands

more
Of semblable import, but he hath wag'd
New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his Will and read it
To publick ear; spoke scantily of me;

When

When perforce he could not
But pay me terms of honour, cold and sickly
He vented them; most narrow measure lent me;
When the best hint was given him, he not took't, (35)
Or did it from his teeth.

Oet. Oh, my good lord,
Believe not all; or if you must believes
Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,
If this division chance, ne'er stood between,
Praying for both parts: the good Gods will mock me,
When I shall pray, “ oh, bless my lord and husband!
Undo that prayer, by crying out as loud,
« Oh, bless my brother!” Husband win, win brother,
Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway
"Twist these extreams at all.

Ant. Gentle Octavia, Let your best love draw to that point, which seeks Best to preserve it: if I lose mine honour, I lofe my self; better I were not yours, Than yours so branchless. But as you requefted, Your self shall go between's; the mean time, lady, I'll raise the preparation of a war, (36)

Shall

(35) When the best Hint was giv'n him, he o'erlook'd,

Or did it from his Teeth.] The first Folio reads, not look'd. Dr. Thirlby advis’d the Emendation which I have inserted in the Text. (36)

The mean time, Lady,
I'll raise the Preparation of a War,
Shall itain

your Brother ;] Thus the printed Copies unanimously. Bat, fure, Antony, whose Bufiness here is to mollify Ostavia, does it with a very ill Grace: and 'tis a very odd way of satisfying her, to tell her, the War, he raises, shall ftain, i. e. cast an Odium upon her Brother. I have no Doubt, bat we must read, with the Addition only of a single Letter, Shall strain

your Brother. i. e. Shall lay him under Constraints ; shall put him to such Shifts, that he shall neither be able to make a Progress against, or to prejudice, Me. And this Emendation is precisely consonant to what plutarch says; that O'zavius, understanding the sudden and wonderfull Preparations of Antony, was not a little astonish'd at it; for he himfehr was in many Wants ; and the People were forely oppress’d with the great and grievous Exactions of Money. For every Person of

Condition

Shall strain

your
brother;

make
your

sooneft haftes So, your desires are yours.

06. Thanks to my lord. The Jove of Power make me, moft weak, most weak, Your reconciler! wars 'twixt ġou 'twain would be As if the world should cleave, and that flain men Should folder up the rift. .

Ant. When it appears to you where this begins, Turn your displeasure that ways for our faults Çan never be so equal, that your love Can equally move with them. Provide your Going; Chuse your own company, and command what. coit Your heart has mind to.

[Exeunt. Enter Enobarbus and Eros. Eno. How now, friend Eros ? Eros. There's strange news, come, Sir. Eno. What, man? Eros. Cæfar and Lepidus have made war upon Pom

pey. Eno. This is old; what is the success ?

Eros. Cæfar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivalty, would not let him partake in the glory of the action; and not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote to Pompey. Upon his own appeal, seizes him ; fo the poor Third is up, 'till death enlarge his confine.

Eno. Then would thou had'st a pair of chaps, no more, and throw between them all the food thou haft, they'll grind the other. Where's Antony ?

Eros. He's walking in the garden thus, and spurns The rush that lies before him. Crys, “ fool Lepidus! And threats the throat of that his officer, That murder'd Pompey.

Eno. Our great Navy's rigg d.

Eros. For Italy and Cæfar, more, Domitius, Condition was obligd to furnish the fourth part of his Goods and Revenues ; and the very Libertines (i. e. those, whose Fathers had once been Bondmen, and were enfranchised) were taxed an eighth part of all their Goods to be raised at one Payment.

My

My lord defires you prefently; my news
I might have told hereafter.

Eno. 'Twill be naught; but let it be; bring me to
Antony.
Eros. Come, Sir.

[Exeunt.

SCENE changes to the Palace in Rome.

Enter Cæfar, Agrippa, and Mecænaş.
Caf. Contemning Rome, he has done all this, and

more,
In Alexandria; here's the manner of it:
I'th' market-place on a Tribunal filver'd,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publickly enthron'd; at the feet, fat
Cæfario, whom they call my father's son
And all the unlawful issue, that their luft
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the 'stablishment of Ægypt, made her
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
Absolute Queen.

Mec. This in the publick eye?

Cæf. I'th' common shew-place, where they exercise,
His sons were there proclaim'd the Kings of Kings ;
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia
He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd
Syria, Cilicia, and Phænicia : fhe
In the habiliments of the Goddess Ifis
That day appear'd, and oft before gave audience,
As 'tis reported, so.
Mec. Let Rome be thus inform'd.

Agr. Who, queasie with his insolence already,
Will their good thoughts call from him.

Cæf. The people know it, and have now receiv'd
His accusations.

Agr. Whom does he accuse ?

Cæf. Cæfar; and that having in Sicily
Sextus Pompeius spoild, we had not rated him
His part o'th' Ine. Then does he say, he lent me

Some

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Some Shipping unrestor’d. Lastly, he frets,
That Lepidus of the Triumvirate
Should be depos’d; and, being, that we detain
All his revenue.
Agr. Sir, this fhould be answer'd.

Cel. "Tis done already, and his messenger gone:
I told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel ;
That he his high authority abusid,
And did deserve his Change. For what I've conquerid,
I grant him part ; but then in his Armenia,
And other of his conquer'd Kingdoms, I
Demandthe like.

Mec. He'll never yield to that.
Cæf. Nor must he then be yielded to in this.

Enter O&tavia, with attendants.
Okta. Hail, Cæfar, and my lord ! hail, most dear

Cæsar!
Cef. That ever I should call thee Cast-away!
Oét. You have not call'd me so, nor have you cause.
Caf. Why halt thou stol'n upon us thus ? you come

not
Like Cæsar's sister ; the wife of Antony
Should have an army for an usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach,
Long ere she did appear. The trees by th’ way
Should have borne men, and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not. Nay, the dust
Should have ascended to the roof of heav'n,
Rais'd by your populous troops; but you are come (37)

A

(37)

but you are come
A Market-maid to Rome; and have prevented

The Oftentation of our Love, which left unshewn.]
This dragging, in harmonious Alexandrine, I am perswaded, is the Ma-
nufacture of our Player-Editors. They lov'd a founding Word; and
feeing One that did not so fully answer that End, and one that they,
perhaps, were not immediately acquainted with, they, doubtless, took
it for an Abbreviation. I dare say, the Poet wrote;

The Oftent of our Love, which, left unsbewn, i. e. che lhewing, Token, Demonstration of our Love': and he uses it

Both

« PreviousContinue »