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CLEOPATRA.

Cleopatra.

O Charmian, Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he? Or does he walk ? or is he on his horse ? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony ! Do bravely, horse, for wot'st thou whom thou mov'st? The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm · And burgonet of men.—He's speaking now, Or murmuring, Where's my serpent of old Nile ? For so he calls me: Now I feed myself With most delicious poison !—Think on me, That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black, And wrinkled deep in time! Broad-fronted Cæsar, When thou wast here above the ground, I was A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey Would stand, and make his eyes grow

in

my brow; There would he anchor his aspect, and die With looking on his life.

Enter ALEXAS.
Alexas.

Sovereign of Egypt, hail ! Cleopatra. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony ! Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee.How goes it with

my

brave Mark Antony ?
Alexas. Last thing he did, dear queen,
He kiss'd (the last of many doubled kisses)
This orient pearl:–His speech sticks in my heart.

Cleopatra. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Alexas.

Good friend, quoth he,
Say, The firm Roman to great Egypt sends
This treasure of an oyster ; at whose foot
To mend the petty present, I will piece
Her opulent throne with kingdoms. All the east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount a termagant steed,
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb’d by him.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.— Act I. Scene V.

CLÉOPATRE.

Cleopatre.

O Charmiane, où crois-tu qu'il soit en ce moment ? Est-il debout ou assis? Se promène-t-il à pied ou sur son cheval ? O heureux coursier qui porte Antoine, conduis-toi bravement, car sais-tu bien qui tu portes ? L'atlas qui soutient la moitié de ce globe, le bras et l'égide de l'humanité.—Peut-être que maintenant il dit ou murmure: est mon serpent du vieux Nil ? C'est ainsi qu'il me nomme, et moi, de mon côté, je me nourris d'un délicieux poison.—Penses-tu à moi qui suis brunie par les amoureux baisers du soleil et dejà ridée profondément par le temps ? O César au vaste front, lors que

tu foulais cette terre, j'étais alors un morceau de roi, et le grand Pompée s'arrêtait et attachait de longs regards sur mon front. Il eût voulu

у fixer à jamais sa vue et mourir en me contemplant.

Entre ALEXAS.

Alexas. Souveraine d'Egypte, salut!

Cléopatre. Que tu es loin de ressembler à Marc-Antoine ! Cependant, venant de sa part, ce charme t'a changé en or. Comment se porte mon brave Marc-Antoine ?

Alexas. Chère reine, la dernière action qu'il ait faite a été de baiser cent et cent fois cette perle de l'Orient. Ses paroles sont encore gravées dans mon cœur.

Cléopatre. Mon oreille est impatiente de les faire passer dans le mien. Alexas. “ Ami," m'a-t'il dit; “ " m'a-t'il dit; “va, annonce que

le fidèle Romain envoie “à la reine d'Egypte le trésor arraché du sein de l'huître, et que pour “ rehausser la mince valeur du présent, il ira à ses pieds décorer de

royaumes son trône superbe. Dis-lui que bientôt tout l'Orient la “nommera sa souveraine." Puis il me fit un signe de tête et monta gravement sur son coursier fougueux qui, alors, hennit avec tant de force que

lors que j'aurais voulu parler, il m'eut réduit au silence.

ANTOINE ET CLÉOPATRE.— Acte I. Scène V.

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CONSTANCE.

King Philip. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle Constance !
Constance. No! I defy all counsel, all redress,

But that which ends all counsel, true redress

Death, death. O, amiable, lovely death! In the early part of the play of King John, we learn that war is declared by France ou England; and the mother of the King, ELINOR, gives as the reason, " that ambitious CONSTANCE” is resolved to assert the rights of her son, PRINCE ARTHUR, to the throne of England, where John now reigns.

In the second act, ARTHUR is found welcoming the ARCHDUKE OF AUSTRIA, who had imprisoned Richard Cæur de Lion, and now urges on the youth to make good his claim to the English crown. CONSTANCE interferes, giving her advice to wait the return of CHATILLON, who had been dispatched to England from France, in respect to her son's rights. The English, however, land on the French shores. As soon as the messenger and the kings have met, CONSTANCE and Elinor engage in a fierce battle of words about their respective sons, ARTHUR and John, and their right to the English throne. After much contention, it is agreed that young ARTHUR shall be created Duke of Bretagne and Earl of Richmond, in the hope that, as regards CONSTANCE,

“If not to fill up the measure of her will,
Yet in some measure satisfy her so,

That we shall stop her exclamation.” In the third act, however, we find that CONSTANCE is by no means satisfied. She breaks out in bitter reproaches on all whom she has trusted, and impresses us with the idea that she cannot rank amongst the fair and gentle Heroines of Shakspeare. Her indignation knows no bounds, and the King of the French, and the Archduke, alike are cursed by her with the fiercest malignity. She appeals to the CARDINAL PANDULPH, in hopes that he will join with her

_“O lawful let it bo That I have room, with Rome, to curse awhile ! Good father Cardinal, cry thou Amen

To my keen curses." In this she partly succeeds; for the Cardinal, by threatening France, induces King PHILIP to pause before he carries out the arrangements, which CONSTANCE so much opposes: at last, he gives up his agreement with King John of England, as to PRINCE ARTHUR.

John gets possession of ARTHUR, and commits him to the care of HUBERT; hinting to him that the child " is a very serpent” in his way. HUBERT undertakes to get rid of him, for which John promises him more rewards than he will, for the present, mention.

CONSTANCE is broken-hearted at the loss of her son. Stung by a sense of the wrongs she has sustained, and, seeing no hope, she appears before the French king in an agony of sorrow, with piteous laments, and refusing every word of comfort. In depicting this painful scene, Shakspeare has devoted great art, and succeeds in extorting pity for the unfortunate CONSTANCE—even from those who would judge most harshly of her impetuous and self-willed disposition

"O Lord ! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son,
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world,

My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure !" CONSTANCE curses the King in passionate disdain, and, shortly after, “in a · frenzy died.”

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