Puslapio vaizdai
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die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment:" I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.

Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacks

(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, Extended' Asia from Euphrates;

His conquering banner shook, from Syria

To Lydia, and to Ionia ;


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Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome : Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase: and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick minds4 lie still: and our ills told us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure. [Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such a one?

2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant.

Let him appear, These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,

Enter another Messenger.

Or lose myself in dotage.-What are you?
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.

Where died she?

2 Mess. In Sicyon : Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. Gives a letter. Ant. Forbear me. [Exit Messenger. There's a great spirit gone: Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone; The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off; Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch.-How now! Enobarbus! Enter ENOBARBUS.

Eno. What's your pleasure, sir? Ant. I must with haste from hence. Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them: if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

Ant. I must be gone.

Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women 1 Drave is the ancient preterite of the verb to drive, and frequently occurs in the Bible.

2 Stiff news' is 'hard news.' As in Shakspeare's Rape of Lucrece :

"Fearing some hard news from the warlike band.' 3 Extended Asia from Euphrates.' To extend is a law term for to seize. Thus in Selimus, Emperor of the Turks, 1594;

she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would, I had never seen her!

Eno. O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work: which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.

Ant. Fulvia is dead.

Eno. Sir?

Ant. Fulvia is dead. Eno. Fulvia ?

Ant. Dead.

Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented; this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat :-and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water

this sorrow.

Ay, though on all the world we make extent, From the south pole unto the northern bear.' 4 The old copy reads, 'quick winds ;' an error which has occurred elsewhere. Warburton made the cortection. Our quick minds' means our lively apprehensive minds; which, when they lie idle, bring forth vices instead of virtues, weeds instead of flowers and fruits; to tell us of our faults is, as it were, the first culture of the mind, and is the way to kill these weeds.

5 The pleasure of to-day, by revolution of events and change of circumstances, often loses all its value to us, and becomes to-morrow a pain.'

Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.

Eno. And the business you nave broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.

Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the queen,
And get her love to part. For not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Cæsar, and commands
The empire of the sea: our slippery people,
(Whose love is never link'd to the deserver,
Till his deserts are past,) begin to throw
Pompey the Great, and all his dignities,
Upon his son: who, high in name and power,
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
The sides o' the world may danger: Much is breed-

Which, like the courser's11 hair, hath yet but life,
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.12

Eno. I shall do't.


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10 I think with Mason that we should read leave instead of love.

11 This alludes to the ancient vulgar error, that a horsehair dropped into corrupted water would become animated. Dr. Lister, in the Philosophical Transactions, showed that these animated horse-hairs were real insects, and displayed the fallacy of the popular opinion. It was asserted that these insects moved like serpents, and were poisonous to swallow.

12 Say to those whose place is under us (i. e. to our

6 Could is here used with an optative meaning.-attendants,) that our pleasure requires us to remove in Could would and should are often used by our old wri- haste from hence

SCENE III. Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, Our services a while; but my full heart

Cleo. Where is he?

I did not see him since.

Remains in use" with you. Our Italy

Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:

Cleo. See where he is, who's with him, what he Equality of two domestic powers


I did not send you ;'-If you find him sad,
Say, I am dancing: if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: Quick, and return.

[Exit ALEX. Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,

You do not hold the method to enforce

The liko from him.

Char. In each thing give him way, cross him in

What should I do, I do not?


Cleo. Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose


Char. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, forbear; In time we hate that which we often fear."


But here comes Antony.

I am sick, and sullen.
Ant. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,-
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.2


Now, my dearest queen,-
Cleo. Pray you, stand further from me.
What's the matter?


Cleo. I know, by that same eye, there's some

good news.

What says the married woman?-You may go;
'Would, she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here,
I have no power upon you; hers you are.
Ant. The gods best know,-

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Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would
By any desperate change: My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe" my going,
Is Fulvia's death.

Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me

It does from childishness:-Can Fulvia die?
Ant. She's dead, my queen:

Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils she awak'd ; at the last, best:
See, when, and where she died.

O, most false love:
Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill
With sorrowful water?10 I see, I see,
In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be.

Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice: By the fire,
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence,
Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
As thou affect'st.

Cut my lace, Charmian, come ;-
But let it be.-I am quickly ill, and well:
So Antony loves.

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O, never was there queen I pr'ythee, turn aside, and weep for her;

So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,
I saw the treasons planted.


Cleo. Why should I think, you can be mine, and


Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing!


Most sweet queen,Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,

But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
Then was the time for words: No going then ;-
Eternity was in our lips and eyes;

Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so
But was a race of heaven: They are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.


How now, lady!


Cleo. I would, I had thy inches; thou should'st know,

There were a heart in Egypt.


Hear me, queen; The strong necessity of time commands 1You must go as if you came without my order or knowledge.' So in Troilus and Cressida :

'We met by chance; you did not find me here.' 2 Thus in Twelfth Night :

'There is no woman's sides

Can bide the beating of so strong a passion.' 3 Our brows' bent,' is the bending or inclination of our brows. The brow is that part of the face which expresses most fully the mental emotions. So in King

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Then bid adieu to me, and say, the tears
Belong to Egypt:11 Good, now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Like perfect honour.

You'll heat my blood; no more.
Cleo. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Ant. Now, by my sword,-


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And target,-Still he mends
But this is not the best: Look, pr'ythee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman12 does become
The carriage of his chafe.


I'll leave you, lady.
Cleo. Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part,-but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have lov'd,-but there's not it;
That you know well: Something it is I would,—
O, my oblivion13 is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.


But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take
For idleness itself.14



"Tis sweating labour,
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not

7 i. e. render my going not dangerous.

8 Cleopatra apparently means to say, Though age could not exempt me from folly, at least it frees me from a childish and ready belief of every assertion. Is it possible that Fulvia is dead? I cannot believe it.' 9 The commotion she occasioned.

10 Alluding to the lachrymatory vials filled with tears, which the Romans placed in the tomb of a departed friend.

11 To me, the queen of Egypt.

12 Antony traced his descent from Anton, a son of Hercules.

13 Oblivion is used for oblivious memory, a memory apt to be deceitful.

14 An antithesis seems intended between royalty and subject. But that I know you to be a queen, and that your royalty holds idleness in subjection to you, I should suppose you, from this idle discourse, to be the very genius of idleness itself."

Eye well to you: Your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
Sit laurell'd victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!

Let us go.



Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.

SCENE IV. Rome. An Apartment in Cæsar's

And it appears, he is belov'd of those
That only have fear'd Cæsar: to the ports
The discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.

I should have known no less :-
It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he, which is, was wish'd until he were;
And the ebb'd man, ne'er lov'd till ne'er worth love,
Comes dear'd, by being lack'd. 10 This common

Like a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,11
To rot itself with motion.

Cæsar, I bring thee word,

Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate
Our great competitor: From Alexandria
This is the news; He fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel; is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners: you shall find

Make the sea serve them; which they ear1 and


A man, who is the abstract of all faults
That all men follow.

I must not think, there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness:
His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.

Cæs. You are too indulgent: Let us grant it is


Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit
And keep the turn of tippling with a slave;
To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
With knaves that smell of sweat: say, this becomes

With keels of every kind: Many hot inroads
They make in Italy: the borders maritime
Lack blood13 to think on't, and flush14 youth revolt:
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.

Leave thy lascivious wassals.15 When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer; Thou didst drink
The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle 16
Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did

The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
Yea, like a stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
Which some did die to look on: And all this,
(It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now,)
(As his composure must be rare indeed,
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet must So much as lank'd not.


No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd
His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Call on him for 't: but to confound such time,
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own state, and ours,-'tis to be chid
As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
And so rebel to judgment.

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Mes. Thy biddings have been done and every

Most noble Casar, shalt thou have report
How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea;

That which would seem to become me most, is hateful to me when it is not acceptable in your sight.' There is perhaps an allusion to what Antony said in the first scene :

wrangling queen,

Whom every thing becomes."

2 This conceit may have been suggested by the fol lowing passage in Sidney's Arcadia, b. i. :-

She went, they staid; or rightly for to say,
She staid with them, they went in thought with her."
Thus also in the Mercator of Plautus:- Si domi sum,
foris est animus; sin foris sum, animus domi est.'

3 The old copy reads, One great competitor.' Dr.
Johnson proposed the emendation. So Menas says:-
These three world-sharers, these competitors
Are in thy vessel.'

4 As the stars or spots of heaven appear more bright
and prominent from the darkness of the night, so the
faults of Antony seem enlarged and aggravated by his
goodness, which gives relief to his faults, and makes
them show out more prominent and conspicuous.'
5 i. e. procured by his own fault.

6 His trifling lerity throws so much burden upon us.' 7 i. e. visit him for't. If Antony followed his debaucheries at times of leisure only, I should leave him to be punished (says Cæsar) by their natural conse

'Tis pity of him.

Caes. Let his shames
Drive him to Rome: Tis time we twain
Did show ourselves i' the field; and, to that end,
Assemble we immediate council: Pompey
Thrives in our idleness.

To-morrow, Cæsar,

I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able,
To 'front this present time.

"Till which encounter,

It is my business too. Farewell.

Lep. Farewell, my lord: What you shall know

mean time

Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
To let me be partaker.


I knew it for my bond.1"

Doubt not, sir ;


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Of fickle changelings and poor discontents. 10 The old copy reads, Comes fear'd by being lack'd.' Warburton made the correction, which was necessary to the sense. Coriolanus says:-

'I shall be lov'd when I am lack'd' We should perhaps read in the preceding line :-ne'er lov'd till not worth love." 11 The folio reads, lashing the varying tide.' The emendation, which is well supported by Steevens, was made by Theobald. Perhaps another Messenger should be noted as entering here with fresh news. 12 Plough.

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SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Cleo, Charmian,—
Char. Madam.

Cleo. Ha, ha!

Give me to drink mandragora.1


Why, madam?

Her opulent throne with kingdoms; All the east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an arrogant steed,
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb by him.

What, was he sad, or merry?
Alex. Like to the time of the year, between the


Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of Of the hot and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.


My Antony is away.

Char. Too much.

You think of him


O, 'tis treason!


Madam, I trust, not so.
Cleo. Thou, eunuch! Mardian!
What's your highness' pleasure?
Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure
In aught an eunuch has: 'Tis well for thee,
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.

Cleo. Indeed?

Cleo. O well-divided disposition!-Note him, Note him, good Charmian, 'tis the man; but note him;

He was not sad; for he would shine on those
That make their looks by his: he was not merry;
Which seem'd to tell them, his remembrance lay
In Egypt with his joy: but between both;
O heavenly mingle!-Be'st thou sad, or merry,
So does it no man else.-Met'st thou my posts?
The violence of either thee becomes;
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Why do you send so thick ?8

Who's born that day
When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar.-Ink and paper, Charmian.-

Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing Welcome, my good Alexas,-Did I, Charmian,

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Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he? Say, the brave Antony.
The valiant Cæsar!
Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,
If thou with Cæsar paragon again
My man of men.

O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely, horse! for wot'st thou whom thou


The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet2 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.

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1 A plant, of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep. Thus in Addington's translation of Theit admits of the original article an retaining its place beGolden Ass of Apuleius:-I gave him no poyson but a doling drink of mandragoras, which is of such force, that it will cause any man to sleepe as though he were dead. See Pliny's Natural History by Holland, 1601; and Plutarch's Morals, 1602, p. 19.

2 A burgonet is a helmet, a head-piece. 3 Hence perhaps Pope's Eloisa :-

Sull drink delicious poison from thine eye.' 4 Broad-fronted,' in allusion to Cæsar's baldness. 5 Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchymists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine. Thus Chapman in his Shadow of Night, 1594:

O then, thou great elixir of all treasures.' Aut on this passage lie has the following note :--"The philosopher's stone, or philosophica medicína, is called the great elixir.'

fore it. That it is an epithet fitly applied to the steed of
Antony, may be shown by high poetical authority. In
the Auraco Domado of Lope de Vega, the reader will
find the following passage:-

Y el cavallo arrogante, in subido
El hombre parecia

Monstruosa fiera que sies pies tenia.'
Termagant, it should be observed, is furious; arro-
gant, which answers to the Latin ferox, is only fierce,
proud. Our great poet of imagination all compact,'
is the greatest master of poetic diction the world has yet
produced; he could not have any knowledge of the
Spanish poet, but has anticipated him in the use of this
expressive epithet. The word arroguunt, as written in
old MSS. might easily be mistaken for arm-gaunt.

7 Thus the old copy; which was altered by Theobald to damb'd without necessity. The arrogant steed, says Alexas, would let no sound be heard but his own, he neighed so loud that what I would have spoke was beastly obstructed by him.

6 The old copy reads an arm-gaunt steed,' upon which conjecture has been vainly employed. Steevens adopted Monck Mason's suggestion of a termagant 8 i. e. in such quick succession.

steed,' with high commendation. A striking objection 9 While we are praying, the thing for which we to that, reading, which escaped Mr. Steevens in adopt-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 flatter'd ; but he neither loves,
Nor either cares for him.

Cæsar and Lepidus
Are in the field; a mighty strength they carry.
Pom. Where have you this? 'tis false.
From Silvius, sir.
Pom. He dreams; I know, they are in Rome to-

Looking for Antony: But all the charms of love,
Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd2 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 honour,
Even till a lethe'd dulness.-How now, 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.4


I could have given less matter
A better ear.-Menas, I did not think,
This amorous surfeiter would have donn'd his helm
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.
I cannot hope,
Cæsar and Antony shall well greet together:
His wife, that's dead, did trespasses to Cæsar;
His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think,
Not mov'd by Antony.


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" between them


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.

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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.

I shall entreat him
To answer like himself: if Cæsar move him,

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

2 i. e. thy wanned or pallid lip. It should be remarked that the lips of Africans and Asiatics are paler than those of Europeans.


'Tis not a time

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.

Your speech is passion:
But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony.

3 i. e. delay his sense of honour from exerting itself till he is become habitually sluggish; till was anciently used for to. So in Candlemas Day, 1512.

This lurdeyn take heed what I sey the tyll. And in George Cavendish's Metrical Visions, p. 19:'I espied certeyn persons coming me tyll.

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.

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

Cas. 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.14

Ant. How intend you, practis'd? Cas. You may be pleas'd 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,15 you were the word of war.

Ant. You do mistake your business; my brother


of respect. Plutarch mentions that Antony, after the overthrow he had at Modena, suffered his beard to grow at length, and never clipt it, that it was marvellous long. Perhaps this circumstance was in Shakspeare's thoughts.

10 That is, if we come to a lucky composition or agreement. So afterwards :

I crave our composition may be written.' 11Let not ill humour be added to the real subject of our difference."

12 The note of admiration here was added by Steevens, who thinks that Antony is meant to resent the invitation Cæsar gives him to be seated, as indicating a consciousness of superiority in his too successful partner

5 Julius Cæsar had inarried Cleopatra to young Pto-in power. lemy, who was afterwards drowned."

6 i. e. I cannot expect. So Chaucer in The Reve's Tale, v. 4027 :

'Our manciple I hope he wol bu ded.'

7 i. e. quarrel.

8 i. e. it is incumbent upon us for the preservation of our lives.

9 i. e I would meet him undressed, without any show

13 To practise is to use unwarrantable arts or strata. gems. The word is frequently applied to traitorous de. signs against those in power, by old writers. 14 Theme or subject of conversation. 15 This passage has been misunderstood, erroneously explained, and considered corrupt. Its meaning evidently is, You were the theme or subject for which your wife and brother made their contestation; you were the

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