« PreviousContinue »
Cel. Look you sad, friends : (8)
Agr. And strange it is,
Mec. His taints and honours
Agr. A rarer fpirit never
Mec. When such a spacious mirror's set before him, He needs must see himself.
Cel. O Antony ! I've follow'd thee to this but we do lance Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce Have shewn to thee such a declining day, Or look on thine; we could not stall together In the whole world. But yet let me lament With tears as soveraign as the blood of hearts, That thou my brother, my competitor In top of all design, my mate in Empire, Friend and companion in the front of war, The arm of mine own body, and the heart Where mine its thoughts did kindle; that our stars, Unreconcileable, thould have divided Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends, But I will tell you at fome meeter seafon. The business of this man looks out of him, We'll hear him what he says. Whence are you?
(58) Look you, fad Friends.). I observd in the Appendix to my SHAKESPEAR È restor'd, that it was requifite to transpose this Comma. Oétavius's Friends probably would avoid shewing any con cern on the News of Antony's Death, left it should give Displeasure to Cafar: which Cæfar observing, it shews a noble Humanity in him to bid them share in such a Sorrow, and to tell them it is a Calamity, that ought to draw Tears even from the Eyes of Princes. Prince Henry, upon his Pather's Death, speaks just in the fame man ñer to his Brothers; and tho he would not have them mix Fear with their Affliction, he encourages them in their Sorrow.
Yet be fad, good Brother's ;
Enter an Ægyptian.
Cel. Bid her have good heart;
[Exit Proculeius. Cæf. Gallus, go you along; - where's Dolabella, To second Proculeius?
[Exit Gallus. All. Dolabella!
Cef. Let him alone; for I remember now,
SCENE changes to the Monument.
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, Mardian, and Se
Not being fortune, he's but fortune's knave,
Pro. Cæfar sends Greeting to the Queen of Ægypt,
Cleo. What's thy name?
The Beggar's Nurse, and Cæsar's.] Our Poet has made Antony fay, at the Beginning of this Tragedy, that
the dungy Earth alike Feeds Beast, as Man: but how are we to understand here, palating the Dung? The Text is certainly corrupt, and must be slightly help'd ; and tho' then we can't make it ftri&ly grammatical, we shall come at the Poet's detach'd and separate Allusions. I read,
Which seeps and never palates more the Dug; I'll explain the whole of Cleopatra's Reflections, as they lie, by a short Paraphrase. “ 'Tis Great in us to do that Action, (i. e. give our “ felves Death,) which puts an End to all other Actions; and which
prevents and disappoints Accidents and Change of Fortune. " While in Life, like slumbering Children, we palate and tamper for the Dug; but in the sleep of Death, we hone no more after
transitory Enjoyments. Death rocks us all into a fast and unbroken “ neep; and is equally a Nurse to the Beggar, in this respect, as it is
to Cæsar". The Close of this Reflection is just what Horace has express'd by a different Image.
Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
Lib. I. Ode. 4.
To give me conquer'd Egypt for my Son,
Pro. Be of good cheer :
Cleo. Pray you, tell him,
Pro. This I'll report, dear lady.
[Here Gallus, and Guard, ascend the Monument by ch
Ladder, and enter at a back-Window.
[Drawing a Dagger. [The Monument is open'd; Proculeius ruses in, and
difarms the Queen.
(60) Char. You fee, how easily she may be surpriz'd,] Here Charmian, who is fo faithful as to die with her Mistress, by the stupidity of the Editors is made to countenance and give Directions for her being surpriz’d by Cæsar's Messengers. But this Blunder is for want of knowing, or observing, the historical Fact. When Cæfar sent Proculeius to the Queen, he fent Gallus after him with new Instructions : and while one amused Cleopatra with Propositions from Cæfar, thro' Crannies of the Monument; the other scaled it by a Ladder, enter'd at a Window backward, and made Cleopatra, and those with her, Prisoners. I have reform'd the. Passage therefore, (as, I am perswaded, the Author design'd it :) from the Authority of Plutarch.
Pro. Hold, worthy lady, hold:
Cleo. Where art thou, Death?'
Pro. Oh temperance, lady!
Cleo. Sir, I will eat no meat, I'll not drink, Sir :
Pro. You do extend
Pro. So, Dolabella,