Page images

The matter of this speech : for't cannot be
We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
So differing in their acts. Yet, if I knew
What hoop would hold us staunch, from edge to edge
O'th' world, I would pursue it.

Agr. Give me leave, Cæfar,
Cæs. Speak, Agrippa.

Agr. Thou hast a filter by the mother's lide,
Admir'd Octavia ! great Mark Antony
Is now a widower:

Cæf. Say not fo, Agrippa ;
If Cleopatra heard you, your approof
Were well desery'd of rashness.

Ant. I am not married, Cæsar; let me hear
Agrippa further speak.

Agr. To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your heartsWith ac unflipping knor, take Antony O&avia to his wife : whose beauty claims No worse a husband than the best of men ; Whose virtue and whose general graces speak That which none else can utter. By this marriage All little jealousies, which now seem great, And all great fears, which now import their dangers. Would then be nothing. Truths would be but tales, Where now half-tales be truths : her love to both, Would each to other, and all loves to both Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke,, For 'tis a studied, not a present thought, By duty ruminated.

Ant. Will Cæfar speak ?

Cef. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd With what is spoke already.

Ant. What power is in Agrippa (If I would say, “ Agrippa, be it fo,'') To make this good ?

Cæf. The power of Cæsar, and
His power. unto Oétavia,

'Ant. May I never
To this good purpose, that fo fairly shews,
Dream of impediment! let me have thy hand';'
Further this act of grace: and, from this hour,

The heart of brothers govern in our loves,
And (way our great deiigns !

Cæs. There is my hand.
A filter I bequeath you, whom no broker
Did ever love fo dearly. Let her live
To join our kingdoms, and our hearts, and never
Fly off our loves again !

Lep. Happily, amen.

ont, I did not think to draw my sword ʼgain It PomFor he hath laid strange courtefies and great [pey, of late upon me.

I must thank him only,
Leit iny remembrance suffer ill report ;
At heel of that, defy him.

Lep. Time calls upon's.
of us muft Pompey presently be fought,
Or elle he seeks out us.

Ant. Where lies he ?
Cæs. About the mount Misenum.
Ant. What is his ftrength by land?
Caf Great, and increasing: but by sca
He is an absolute master.

Ant. So is the fame.
Would we had spoke together! haste we for it;
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
The business we have talked of.

Caf. With molt gladness;
And do invite you to my fifter's view,
Whither straight I'll lead you,

Ant. Let us, Lepidus, not lack your company.
Lep. Noble Antony, not fickness should detain me.

[Flourish. Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Manent Ænobarbus, 'Agrippa, Mecænas.. Mec. Welcome from Egypt, Sir.

Æno. Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecænas! my honourable friend Agrippa !

Agr. Good Ænobarbus !

Miec. We have caule to be glad that matters are lo well digefted : you lay'd well by't in Egypt.

[ocr errors]

Æno. Ay, Sir, we did sleep day out of countenance and made the night light with drinking.

Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there. - Is this true !

Æno. This was but as a fly by an eagle : we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deferved noting.

Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

Æ10. When she first met Mark Antony, she purs'd up his heart upon the river of Cydnus.

Agr. There she appeared indeed, or my reporter den vis'd well for her.

Æno. I will tell you.

The barge she fat in, like a burnilh'd throne, " Burnt on the water : The poop was beaten gold, " Purple the fails, and so perfumed, that [filver, 66 'The winds were love-lick with 'em; th' oars were “ Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made “ The waters which they beat, to tollow faster, “ As amorous of their strokes, For her own person, " It beggar'd all description ; she did lie “ In her pavilion, cloth of gold, of tissue, “ O'er-picturing that Venus *, where we see " The fancy, out-work Nature. On each side her, " Stdod pretty dimpled boys, like siniling Cupids, 6. With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem " To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, " And what they undid, did.”

Agr. Oh, rare for Antony !

Æno. " Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids,
“ So many mermaids, tended her i'th'eyes,
• And made their bends adorings. . At the helm,
« A leeming mermaid steers ; the filken tackles
« Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
" That yarely frame the office.

From the barge
A strange inviGble perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. T'he city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Inthrond i'th' market-place, did fit alone,
Whistling to th' air ; which, but for vacancy,

Meaning the Venus of Pratogenes mentioned by Pliny, l. 35. c. io.

Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agr. Rare Egyptian !

Æno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to fupper : She reply'd,
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she intreated. Our courteous Antony,
Wbom ne'er the word of No woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast;
And for his ordinary, pays his heart,
For what his eyes eat only.

Agr. Royal wench!
She made great Cælar lay his sword to bed :
He plough'd her, and she cropt.

Æno, I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street:
And baving lost her breath, the spoke, and panted,
That she did make detect, perfection,
And breathless power breathe forth,

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Æno. Never, he will not.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed; but the makes hungry,
Where most the latisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modefty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed allott'ry to him.

Agr. Let us go.
Good Ænobarbus, make yourself my guest,

Æno. Humbly, Sir, I thank you.

Enter Antony, Cæfar, O&avia between them.
Ant. The world, and my great office, will fometimes
Divide me from


Octa. All which time,
Before the gods my knee shall bow in prayers
To them for you.

Ant. Good night, Sir. My Octavia,

abide here.

Read not my blemishes in the world's report :
I have not kept my square, but that to come
Shall all be done by th' rule. Good night, dear Lady.

Oita, Good night, Sır.
Caf. Good night. [Exeunt Cæsar and odavia,

SCENE IV. Enter Soothsayer.
Ant. Now, firrah! do you wilh yourself in Egypt?

Sooth, 'Would I had never come from thence, por you thither.

Ant. If you can, your reason ?

Sooth. I see it in my motion *; have it not in my tongue ; but yet hie you to Egypt again.

Ant. Say to me, whose fortune shall rise higher, Cæfar's or mine. Sooth. Cæsar's—Therefore, oh Antony, itay not

by his side. Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, Where Cæfar's is not. But near him thy angel Becomes a fear t, as being o'erpower'd ; and therefore Make space enough between you.

Ant. Speak this no more.

Sooth. To none but thee ; no more, but when to If thou dost play with him at any game, [thee. Thou'rt sure to lose : And of that natural luck, He beats thee 'gainst the odds. Thy lustre thickens, When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit Is all afraid to govern thee near him. But, he away, 'tis noble.

Ant. Get thee gone :
Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him. [Exit Sooth.
He shall to Parthia ;-be it art, orchap,
He hath spoke true. The very dice obey him;
And, in our sports, my better cunning faints
Under his chance ; if we draw lots, he speeds”;
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails $ ever

* i, e. The divinitory agitation,
+ i. e. A fearful thing. The abstract for the concrete.

# Lucian relates, that at Athens quail fighting was exhibited at Thews : And many other ancient authors mention is as a Sport much in ure.

« PreviousContinue »