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Let your Egyptian timbrels play alone,
Vent. Methinks I fancy
Ant. The herd come jumping by me,
[Exeunt Alex. Ser. And take me for their fellow-citizen.
More of this image, more; it lulls my thoughts. Re-enter the Gentleman of MARC ANTONY.
[Soft music again. 2 Gent. The emperor approaches, and com Vent. I must disturb him; I can hold no longer. mands,
(Stands before kin. On pain of death, that none presume to stay. Ant. (Starting up] Art thou Ventidius? 1 Gent. I dare not disobey him.
Vent. Are you Antony? [Going out with the other. I'm liker what I was than you to him Vent. Well, I dare:
Let you last. But I'll observe him first, unseen, and find
Ant. I'm angry. Which way his humour drives: the rest I'll ven Vent. So am I. ture.
(Withdrau's. Ant. I would be private. Leave me.
Vent. Sir, I love you, Enter Antony, walking with a disturbed mo And therefore will not leave you. tion before he speaks.
Ant. Will not leave me! Ant. They tell me, 'tis my birth-day; and I'll Where have you learnt that answer? Who am I? keep it
Vent. My emperor; the man I love next heaWith double pomp of sadness : 'Tis what the day deserves, which gave me breath. If I said more, I think 'twere scarce a sin: Why was I raised the meteor of the world, You're all that's good and godlike. Hung in the skies, and blazing as I travelled, Ant. All that's wretched. Till all my fires were spent, and then cast down- You will not leave me then? ward,
Vent. 'Twas too presuming To be trod out by Cæsar?
To say I would not; but I dare not leave you; Vent. (Aside] On my soul
And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence 'Tis mournful, wondrous mournful !
So soon, when I so far have come to see you. Ant. Count thy gains
Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satisNow, Antony; wouldst thou be born for this ?
fied? Glutton of fortune, thy devouring youth For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough, Has starved thy wanting age.
And, if a foe, too much. Vent. (Aside] How sorrow shakes him!
Vent. Look, emperor, this is no common dew: So, now the tempest tears him up by the roots,
[Weeping. And on the ground extends the noble ruin. I have not wept this forty years, but now Ant. [Having thrown himself down.] Lie there, My mother comes afresh into my eyes; thou shadow of an emperor ;
I cannot help her softness. The place, thou pressest on thy mother earth, Ant. By heaven he weeps! Poor good old man, Is all thy empire now: now it contains thee;
he weeps ! Some few days hence, and then 'twill be too large, The big round drops course one another down When thou art contracted in thy narrow urn, The furrows of his cheeks. Stop them, Ventidius, Shrunk to a few cold ashes; then Octavia, Or I shall blush to death; they set my shame, (For Cleopatra will not live to see it)
That caused them, full before me. Octavia then will have thee all her own,
Vent. I'll do my best. And bear thee in her widowed hand to Cæsar; Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of Cæsar will ween, the crocodile will ween,
friends; To see his rival of the universe
See, I have caught it too. Believe me, 'tis not Lie still and peace in there, I'll think no more For my own griefs, but thine-Nay, father
Vent. Emperor. Give me some music; look, that it be sad.
Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of vicI'll sooth my melancholy, till I swell
tory: And burst myself with sighing (Soft music. The conquering soldier, red with unfelt wounds, "Tis somewhat to my humour. Stay, I fancy Salutes his general so; but never more I'm now turned wild, a commoner of nature; Shall that sound reach my ears. Of all forsaken, and forsaking all,
Vent. I warrant you. Live in a shady forest's sylvan scene;
Ant. Actium, Actium! OhStretched at my length beneath some blasted
Vent. It sits too near you. oak,
Ant. Here, here it lies, a lump of lead by day, I lean my head upon the mossy bark,
And, in my short distracted nightly slumbers, And look just of a piece as I grew from it: The hag, that rides my dreams ?My uncombed locks, matted like misletoe,
Vent. Out with it; give it vent, Hang o'er my hoary face; a murmuring brook Ant. Urge not my shame Runs at my foot
I lost a battle.
Namn: Vent. So has Julius done.
You would be killed like Tully, would you? Do; Ant. Thou favour'st me, and speak’st not half Hold out your throat to Cæsar, and die tamelye thou think'st;
Ant. No, I can kill myself, and so resolve. For Julius fought it out, and lost it fairly; Vent. I can die with you too, when time shall But Antony
serve; Vent. Nay, stop not.
But fortune calls upon us now to live, Ant. Antony
To fight to conquer. (Well, thou wilt have it) like a coward fled, Ant. Sure thou dream’st, Ventidius. Fled, while his soldiers fought; fed first, Venti
Vent. No, 'tis you dream; you sleep away dius. Thou long'st to curse me, and I give thee leave; In desperate sloth, miscalled philosophy. I know thou com’st prepared to rail.
Up, up, for honour's sake! twelve legions wait Vent. I did.
you, Ant. I'll help thee- I have been a man, Ven- And long to call you chief: by painful journies tidius.
I led them, patient both of heat and hunger, Vent. Yes, and a brave one; but
Down from the Parthian marches to the Nile; Ant. I know thy meaning.
'Twill do you good to see their sunburnt faces, But I have lost my reason, have disgraced Their scarred cheeks, and chopt hands; there's The name of soldier with inglorious ease;
virtue in them: In the full vintage of my flowing honours They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates Sat still, and saw it prest by other hands ; Than yon trim bands can buy. Fortune came smiling to my youth, and wooed it, Ant. Where left you them? And purple greatness met my ripened years.
Vent. I said in Lower Syria. When first I came to empire, I was borne
Ant. Bring them bither; On tides of people crowding to my triumphs, There may be life in these. The wish of nations, and the willing world
Vent. They will not come. Received me as its pledge of future peace. Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with I was so great, so happy, so beloved,
promised aids, Fate could not ruin me, till I took pains, To double my despair ? they are mutinous, And worked against my fortune, chid her from me, Vent. Most firm and loyal. And turned her loose; yet still she came again. Ant. Yet they will not march My careless days, and my luxurious nights, To succour me? Oh trifler! At length have wearied her, and now she's gone, Vent. They petition Gone, gone, divorced for ever. Help me, soldier, You would make haste to head them. To curse this madman, this industrious fool, Ant. I'm besieged. Who laboured to be wretched. Pr’ythee curse me. Vent. There's but one way shut up-How came Vent. No.
I hither? Ant. Why?
Ant. I will not stir. Vent. You are too sensible already
Vent. They would perhaps desire to
Ant. I have never used
My actions. Why did they refuse to march? would bring balm, and pour it in your wounds, Vent. They said they would not fight for CleoCure your distempered mind, and heal your for
Ant. What was't they said? Ant. I know thou wouldst.
Vent. They said they would not fight for CleoVent. I will.
patra. Ant. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Why should they fight indeed to make her conVent. You laugh.
quer, Ant. I do, to see officious love
And make you more a slave to gain you kingGive cordials to the dead.
doms, Vent. You would be lost then?
Which for a kiss, at your next midnight feast, Ant. I am.
You'll sell to her. Then she new-names her Vent. I say you are not. Try your fortune.
jewels, Ant. I have to the utmost. Dost thou think And calls this diamond such or such a tax; me desperate
Each pendant in her ear shall be a province. Without just cause! No, when I found all lost Ani. Ventidius, I allow your tongue free liBeyond repair, I hid me from the world,
cence And learned to scorn it here, which now I do On all my other faults, but, on your life, So heartily I think it is not worth
No word of Cleopatra! she deserves The cost of keeping:
More worlds than I can lose, Vent. Cæsar thinks not so;
Vent. Behold, you powers, He'll thank you for the gift, he could not take. To whom you have entrusted humankind!
wwdaustaient Int. oh, Cleopatra!
See Europe. Afric, Asia, put in balance,
Ant. Thou dar'st not trust my passion, but And all weighed down by one light worthless thon may'st: 2. Woman!
Thou only lov’st, the rest have flattered me. I think the gods are Antonies, and giye,
Vent. Heaven's blessing on your heart for that Like prodigals, this nether world away
kind word! To none but wastelul hands.
May I believe you love me? Speak again. Ant. You grow presumptuous.
Ant. Indeed I do. Speak this and thin, and Veni. I take the privilege of plain love to speak.
Embracing her Ant, Plain love! plain arrogance, plain inso- Thy praises were unjust : but Pil deserve them, Polence!
And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt: Thy men are cowards, thou an envious traitor. Lead me to victory; thou know'st the way.
Who, under seeming honesty, hath vented Vent. And will you leave this,
Ant. Prithee do not curse her,
Beyond me, conquest, empire, all but honou;
But I will leave her.
And shall we fight?
Ant. I warrant thee, old soldier;
Octavius fell. Gods ! let me see that day,
Ant. I have done ; in that last sigh she went,
Cæsar shall know what 'tis to force a lover
Another soul; your looks are most divine;
You speak a hero, and you move a god.
Ant. Oh, thou hast fired me! my soul's up in
arms, Why didst thou tempt my anger by discovery And mans each part about me. Once again Of what I would not hear?
That noble eagerness of fight has seized me, Vent. No prince, but you,
That eagerness, with which I darted upward
To Cassius' camp: in vain the steepy hill
For such another honour!
Ant. Come on, my soldier;
May taste fate to them, mow them out a pas-
sage, Go on, for I can bear it now.
And, entering where the foremost squadrons yield, Vent, No more.
Begin the noble harvest of the field. [Escunt.
Char. I found him, madam
Cleo. A long speech preparing!
If thou bring'st comfort, haste and give it me, Enter CLEOPATRA, IRAs, and ALEXAS.
For never was more need. Cleo. What shall I do, or whither shall I turn! Iras. I know he loves you, Ventidius has ofercome, and he will go.
Cleof Had he been kind, her eyes had told Alec. He goes to fight for you.
me so, Cleo. Then he would see me ere he went to Before her tongue could speak it ; now she stufight.
dies Flatter me not; if once he goes, he's lost, To soften what he said: but give me death And all my hopes destroyed.
Just as he sent it, Charmion, undisguised, Ater. Does this teak passion
And in the words he spoke. Become a mighty queen!
Char. I found bim then, Cleo. I am no queen:
Encompassed round, I think, with iron statues, Is this to be a queen, to be besieged
So mute, so motionless, his soldiers stood, By yon insulting Roman, and to wait
While awfully he cast his eyes about, Each hour the victor's chain? These ills are And every leader's hopes and fears surveyed. small,
Methought he looked resolved, and yet not pleaFor Antony is lost, and I can mourn
Aler. There's comfort yet.
sage Cleo. I have none,
Severely, as he meant to frown me back, And none would have: my love's a noble mad And sullenly gave place. I told my message, ness,
Just as you gave it, broken and disordered ; Which shows, the cause deserved it. Moderate numbered in it all your sighs and tears, sorrow
und while I moved your pitiful request, Fits vulgar love, and for a vulgar man:
That you but only begged a last farewell, But I have loved with such transcendent passion He fetched an inward groan, and every time I soared at first quite out of reason's view, I named you, sighed, as if his heart were breakAnd now am lost above it-no, I am proud
ing Tis thus. Would Antony could see me now! But shunned my eyes, and guiltily looked down Think you, he would not sigh? Though he must Ne seemed not now that awful Antony, leave me,
Who shook an armed assembly with his nod, I Sure he would sigh: for he is noble-natured, But making how as he would rub his eyes, And bears a tender heart; I know him wett: Disguised and blotted out a falling tear. Ah no! I know him not: I knew him once, Cleo. Did he then weep, and was I worth a But now 'tis past. Iras. Let it be past with you ;
If what thou hast to say be not as pleasing, da Forget him, madam.
Tell me no more, but let me die contented ,
well, He once was mines and once, though now ?tif He could deny you nothing, if he saw you, why gone,
And therefore Leaves a faint image of possession still.
Tteo, Thou wouldst say he would not see me Ales. Think him inconstant, cruel, and un Char. And therefore begged you not to use a grateful.
Respect you as he ought.
For Antony to use to Cleopatra ?
Oh, that faint word respect! how I disdain it! Euter CHARMION,
Disdain myself for loving after it! Now, what news, my Charmion?
He should have kept that word for cold Octavia
That dull inspid lump, without desires,
You see through love, and that deludes your Ant. Ay, there's his choice; sight,
He would live like a lamp to the last wink, As what is straight seems crooked through the And crawl upon the utmost verge of life. water;
Oh, Hercules! why should a man like this, But I, who bear my reason undisturbed, Who dares not trust his fate for one great action, Can see this Antony, this dreaded matr,
Be all the care of heaven? why should he Tordit A fearful stave, who fain would run away Oʻer ourscore thousand men, of whom each one And shuns his master's eyes, if you pursue him Is braver than himsel? My life on't, he still drags. a chain along,
Vint. You conquered for him ; That needs must clog his flight.
Philippi knows it: there you shared with him Cleo. Could I believe thee
That empire, which your sword made all your Alex. By every circumstance I know he loves. True, he's hard prest by interest and honour; Ant. Fool that I was ! upon my eagle's wings Yet he but doubts and parleys, and casts out I bore this wren till I was tired with soaring, Many a long look for succour.
And now he mounts above me. Tleo. He sends word
Good heavens is this, is this the man who He fears to see my face.
braves me, Aler. And would you more?
Who bids my age make way, drives me before Heshows but weakness ho declines the combat ;
him And you must urge your fortune. Could he speak To the world's ridge, and sweeps me off like rubMore plainly? to my ears the message sounds,
bish? • Come to my rescue, Cleopatra, come!
Vent. Sir, we lose time; the troops are mountCome, free me from Ventidius, from my tyrant ;
ed all. See me, and give me a pretence to leave him.' Ant. Then give the word to march:
(A march. I long to leave the prison of a town, I hear his trumpets. This way he must pass. To join the legions, and in open field Please you retire a while; I'll work him first, Once more to show my face. Lead, my deliverer! That he may bend more easy. Cleo. You shall rule me,
Enter ALEXAS. But all, I fear, in vain.
Aler. Great emperor, [Erit with CHAR. and IRAs. In mighty arms renowned above mankind, Aler. I fear so too,
But, in soft pity to the oppressed, a god, Though I concealed my thoughts to make her This message sends the mournful Cleopatra bold;
To her departing lord. But 'tis our utmost means, and fate befriend it ! Vent. Smooth sycophant! [Withdraws. A march till ull are on, Alex. A thousand wishes, and ten thousand
prayers, Enter Lictors with fusces, one bearing the Euglę ; Millions of blessings, wait you to the wars;
then enter ANTONY und VENTIDIUS, followed Millions of sighs and tears she sends you too, by other Commanders.
And would have sent
As many parting kisses to your lips,
But those, she fears, have wearied you already. Ant. But just enough to season him from Vent, ( Asıde.) False crocodile! coward.
Alex. And yet she begs not now, you would not Oh ! 'tis the coldest youth upon a charge,
leave her; The most deliberate fighter ! if he ventures That were a wish too mighty for her hopes, (As in Illyria once they said he did)
And too presuming for her low fortune and your To storm a town, 'tis when he cannot chuse,
ebbing love; When all the world have fixed their eyes upon That were a wish for her most prosperous days, him ; Her blooming beauty, and your growing kindness
. And then he lives on that for seven years after : Ant. (Aside.] Well, I must man it out—What But at a close revenge he never fails.
would the queen ? Vent. I heard you challenged him.
Aler. First to these noble warriors, who attend Ant. I did, Ventidius:
Your daring courage in the chase of fame, What think'st thouwas his answer? 'twas so tame! (Too daring and too dangerous for her quiet) -He said, he had more ways than one to die, She humbly recommends all she holds dear, I had not.
All her own cares and fears,—the care of you." Deni. Poor !
Vent. Yes, witness Actium. Ant. He has more ways than one,
Ant. Let him speak, Ventidius. But he would chuse them all before that one. Alex. You, when his matchless valour bears Ven!. lie first would chuse an ague or a fever.
him forward Ani. No, it must be an ague, not a fever ; With ardour too heroic on his foes, He has not warmth enough to die by that. Fall down, as she would do, before his feet, Vent. Or old age and a bed.
Lie in his way, and stop the paths of death;