Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar.-Ink and paper, Charmian.-
Welcome, my good Alexas.-Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Cæsar so?
Char.

0, that brave Cæsar!
Cleo. Be choked with such another emphasis !
Say, the brave Antony.
Char.

The valiant Cæsar!
Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,
If thou with Cæsar paragon again
My man of men.
Char.

By your most gracious pardon
I sing but after you.
Cleo.

My salad days;
When I was green in judgment;—Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then !-But, come, away.
Get me ink and paper; he shall have every day
A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Egypt. [Exeunt.

ACT II.

.

SCENE I. Messina. A Room in Pompey's House.

Enter Pompey, MENECRATES, and Menas.
Pom. If the great gods be just, they shall assist
The deeds of justest men.
Mene.

Know, worthy Pompey, That what they do delay, they not deny.

Pom. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
The thing we sue for."
Mene.

We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit,
By losing of our prayers.

1 “While we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its value."

Pom. I shall do well. The people love me, and the sea is mine; My power's a crescent, and my auguring hope Says, it will come to the full. Mark Antony In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make No wars without doors. Cæsar gets money, where He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both, Of both is flattered; but he neither loves, Nor either cares for him. Men.

Cæsar and Lepidus
Are in the field ; a mighty strength they carry.

Pom. Where have you this ? 'Tis false.
Men.

From Silvius, sir. Pom. He dreams; I know they are in Rome to

gether,
Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wanned? lip!
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both !
Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
Keep his brain fuming! Epicurean cooks,
Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite;
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honor,
Even till a lethed dulness-How now, Varrius ?

Enter VARRIUS.

Var. This is most certain that I shall deliver :-
Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
Expected; since he went from Egypt, 'tis
A space for further travel.
Pom.

I could have given less matter
A better ear.—Menas, I did not think
This amorous surfeiter would have donned his helm

1 Old copy, “ My powers are crescent,” &c. The judicious emendation was made by Theobald.

2 i. e. declined, faded, alluding to her having passed the bloom of youth.

3 i. e. delay his sense of honor from exerting itself till he is become habitually sluggish; till was anciently used for lo.

4 i. e. since he quitted Egypt, a space of time has elapsed in which a longer journey might have been performed than from Egypt to Rome.

15

VOL. VI.

For such a petty war.

His soldiership
Is twice the other twain; but let us rear
The higher our opinion, that our stirring
Can from the lap of Egypt's widow" pluck
The ne'er lust-wearied Antony.
Men.

I cannot hope ?
Cæsar and Antony shall well greet together.
His wife, that's dead, did trespasses to Cæsar;
His brother warred upon him ; although, I think,
Not moved by Antony.
Pom.

I know not, Menas,
How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
Were't not that we stand up against them all,
'Twere pregnant they should square 3 between them-

selves;
For they have entertained cause enough
To draw their swords; but how the fear of us
May cement their divisions, and bind up
The petty difference, we yet not know.
Be it as our gods will have it! It only stands
Our lives upon,* to use our strongest hands.
Come, Menas.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the House of

Lepidus.

Enter ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS.

Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
To soft and gentle speech.
Eno.

I shall entreat him
To answer like himself. If Cæsar move him,
Let Antony look over Cæsar's head,

i Julius Cæsar had married Cleopatra to young Ptolemy, who was afterwards drowned.

2 i. e. I cannot expect.
3 i. e. quarrel.
4 i. e. it is incumbent upon us for the preservation of our lives.

And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.'
Lep.

'Tis not a time
For private stomaching.
Eno.

Every time
Serves for the matter that is then born in it.

Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Eno. Not if the small come first.
Lep.

Your speech is passion ; But, pray you, stir no embers up.

Here comes The noble Antony.

Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.

Eno.

And yonder, Cæsar.

Enter CÆSAR, MECÆNAS, and AGRIPPA.
Ant. If we compose? well here, to Parthia.
Hark
you,

Ventidius.
Cæs.

I do not know,
Mecænas; ask Agrippa.
Lep.

Noble friends,
That which combined us was most great, and let not
A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
May it be gently heard; when we debate
Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds. Then, noble partners,
The rather, for I earnestly beseech,)
Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor curstness 3 grow to the matter.
Ant.

'Tis spoken well. Were we before our armies, and to fight, I should do thus.

Cæs. Welcome to Rome.

1 i. e. I would meet him undressed, without any show of respect. 2 That is, if we come to a lucky composition or agreement. 3 " Let not ill-humor be added to the real subject of our difference.”

Thank you.

Ant.
Caes.

Sit.
Ant.

Sit, sir! 1 Cæs.

Nay, Then

Ant. I learn you take things ill, which are not so ; Or, being, concern you not. Cæs.

I must be laughed at, If, or for nothing, or a little, I Should say myself offended; and with you Chiefly i' the world; more laughed at, that I should Once name you derogately, when to sound your name It not concerned me. Ant.

My being in Egypt, Cæsar,
What was't to you?

Cæs. No more than my residing here at Rome
Might be to you in Egypt. Yet, if you there
Did practise ? on my state, your being in Egypt
Might be my question.3
Ant.

How intend you, practised ?
Cæs. You may be pleased to catch at mine intent,
By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother
Made wars upon me; and their contestation
Was theme for you;

you were the word of war. Ant. You do mistake your business; my brother

never

6

Did urge me in his act. I did inquire it;
And have my learning from some true reports,
That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
Discredit my authority with yours;
And make the wars alike against my stomach,
Having alike your cause? Of this, my letters

1 The note of admiration here was added by Steevens, who thinks that Antony meant to resent the invitation Cæsar gives him to be seated, as indicating a consciousness of superiority.

2 To practise is to use unwarrantable arts or stratagems. 3 Theme or subject of conversation.

4 The meaning evidently is, “ You were the theme or subject for which your wife and brother made their contestation; you were the word of war."

5 i. e. never did make use of my name as a pretence for the war. 6 Reporters.

« VorigeDoorgaan »