Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Not Cæsar's valor hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony's hath triumphed on itself.

Cleo. So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!

Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying ; only
I here impórtune death a while, until
Of many thousand kisses, the

poor

last I lay upon thy lips. Cleo.

I dare not, dear, (Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not, Lest I be taken ;' not the imperious show Of the full-fortuned Cæsar ever shall Be brooched 2 with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe. Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes, And still conclusion, shall acquire no honor Demuring upon me.-But come, come, Antony,Help me, my women,—we must draw thee up;Assist, good friends. Ant.

O quick, or I am gone. Cleo. Here's sport, indeed! How heavy weighs

my lordi

Our strength is all gone

into heaviness, That makes the weight. Had I great Juno's power, The strong-winged Mercury should fetch thee up, And set thee by Jove's side. Yet, come a little,Wishers were ever fools ;—0, come, come, come ;

[They draw Antony up.
And welcome, welcome! die, where thou hast lived.
Quicken with kissing ; had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.
All.

A heavy sight!
Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying.
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.

1 Cleopatra means that she dare not come down out of the monument to Antony.

2 Brooched here must mean ornamented, adorned.
3 - Sedate determination; silent coolness of resolution.”

4 Cleopatra, by these words, seems to contrast the melancholy task in which they are now engaged with their former sports.

5 i. e revive by my kiss.

Cleo. No, let mc speak; and let me rail so high, That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel, lour Provoked by my offence. Ant.

One word, sweet queen.
Of Cæsar seek your honor with your safety.--0!

Cleo. They do not go together.
Ant.

Gentle, hear me.
None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.

Cleo. My resolution, and my hands, I'll trust;
None about Cæsar.

Ant. The miserable change now at my end,
Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts,
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o' the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Nor cowardly; put off my helmet to
My countryman, a Roman, by a Roman
Valiantly vanquished. Now, my spirit is going;
I can no more.

[Dies.
Cleo.

Noblest of men, woo't die ?
Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide
In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a sty ?-0, see, my women,
The crown o'the earth doth melt.—My lord !--
0, withered is the garland of the war,
The soldier's pole is fallen ;young boys and girls
Are level now with men ; the odds is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.

[She faints.
Char.

O, quietness, lady!
Iras. She is dead, too, our sovereign.
Char.

Lady,
Iras.

Madam,
Char. O madam, madam, madam!
Iras.

Royal Egypt !
Empress!

Char. Peace, peace, Iras.

1 That is, their standard or rallying point is thrown down. VOL. VI.

25

Cleo. No more, but e'en a woman;' and commanded By such poor passion as the maid that milks, And does the meanest chares. 2-It were for me To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods; To tell them that this world did equal theirs, Till they had stolen our jewel. All's but naught; Patience is sottish; and impatience does Become a dog that's mad. Then is it sin, To rush into the secret house of death, Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women? What, what? good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian? My noble girls !—Ah women, women! look, Our lamp is spent, it's out.—Good sirs, take heart.

[To the Guard below. We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble, Let's do it after the high Roman fashion, And make death proud to take us. This case of that huge spirit now is cold. Ah women, women! come; we have no fri But resolution and the briefest end.. [Exeunt; those above bearing off ANTONY'S

body.

Come away ;

ACT V.

SCENE I. Cæsar's Camp before Alexandria. Enter CÆSAR, AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MECÆNAS, Gal

LUS, PROCULEIUS, and others. Cæs. Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield;

1 Iras has just said, “ Royal Egypt, empress !” Cleopatra completes the sentence (without taking notice of the intervening words of Charmian), empress “No more; but e'en a woman,” now on a level with the meanest of my sex. The old copy reads " but in a woman." Dr. Johnson made the correction.

2 i. e. task-work. The word is in vulgar use pronounced as if it were chore.

Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks us by
The pauses that he makes.
Dol.

Cæsar, I shall. [Exit DOLABELLA.

Enter DERCETAS, with the sword of ANTONY. Cæs. Wherefore is that? and what art thou that

dar'st Appear thus to us? Der.

I am called Dercetas;
Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy
Best to be served; whilst he stood up and spoke,
He was my master; and I wore my life,
To spend upon his haters. If thou please
To take me to thee, as I was to him
I'll be to Cæsar; if thou pleasest not,
I yield thee up my life.
Cæs.

What is't thou say'st ?
Der. I say, O Cæsar, Antony is dead.

Cæs. The breaking of so great a thing should make A greater crack. The round world should have shook Lions into civil streets, And citizens to their dens.—The death of Antony Is not a single doom; in the name lay A moiety of the world.

2

1 Frustrate, for frustrated, was the language of Shakspeare's time. The two last words in this line, us by, are not in the old copy, in which something seems omitted, and these words were supplied by Malone. 2 The passage is thus arranged in the old copy :

“ The breaking of so great a thing should make

A greater crack: the round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets,

And citizens to their dens." The second line is evidently defective. What is lost may be supplied by conjecture, thus :

The round world convulsive.Johnson thought that there was a line lost; and Steevens proposed to read :

“ A greater crack than this : The ruined world,” &c. Malone thought that the passage might have stood originally thus :

The round world should have shook ;
Thrown hungry lions into civil streets,” &c.

Der.

He is dead, Cæsar ;
Not by a public minister of justice,
Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand,
Which writ his honor in the acts it did,
Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it,
Splitted the heart.—This is his sword ;
I robbed his wound of it; behold it stained
With his most noble blood.
Cas.

Look you sad, friends ?
The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings
To wash the eyes of kings.
Agr.

And strange it is,
That nature must compel us to lament
Our most persisted deeds.
Mec.

His taints and honors
Waged” equal with him.
Agr.

A rarer spirit never
Did steer humanity: but you, gods, will give us
Some faults to make us men. Cæsar is touched.

Mec. When such a spacious mirror's set before him, He needs must see himself. Cæs.

O Antony! I have followed thee to this;- but we do lance 3 Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce Have shown 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 sovereign 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 his thoughts did kindle—that our stars, Unreconcilable, should divide

1 “ May the gods rebuke me if this be not tidings to make kings weep." But again in its exceptive sense.

2 Waged here must mean to be opposed, as equal stakes in a wager; unless we suppose that weighed is meant. The second folio reads way.

3 Launch, the word in the old copy, is only the obsolete spelling of lance.

4 His for its.

« VorigeDoorgaan »