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For his vast soul, and then he starts out wide, Can any Roman sce and know him now,
And bounds into a vice, that bears him far Thus altered from the lord of half mankind,
From his first course, and plunges him in ills: Unbent, unsinewed, made a woman's toy,
But when his danger makes him find his faulty Shrunk from the vast extent of all his honours,
Quick to observe, and full of sharp remorse, And crampt within a corner of the world?
He censures eagerly his own misdeeds,

Oh, Antony !
Judging himself with malice to himself,

Thou bravest soldier, and thou best of friends! And not forgiving what as man he did,

Bounteous as nature, next to nature's God! Because his other parts are more than man. Couldst thou but make new worlds, so wouldst He must not thus be lost.

thou give them, [ALEXAS and the priests come forward. As bounty were thy being. Rough in battle Aler. You have your full instructions; now act As the first Romans, when they went to war, vance;

Yet, after victory, more pitiful Proclaim your orders loudly.

Than all their praying virgins left at home! Ser. Romans ! Egyptians! hear the queen's Alex. Would you could add to those more command.

shining virtues,
Thus Cleopatra bids: Let labour cease; His truth to her, who loves him.
pomp and triumphs give this happy day,

Vent. Would I could not !
That gave the world a lord; 'tis Antony's. But wherefore waste I precious hours with thee?
Live Antony, and Cleopatra live!

Thou art her darling mischief, her chief engine,
Be this the general voice sent up to heaven, Antony's other fate. Go tell thy queen,
And every public place repeat this echo. Ventidius is arrived to end her charms.
Vent. Fine pageantry!

[Aside. Let your Egyptian timbrels play alone, Ser. Set out before your doors

Nor mix effeminate sounds with Roman trumpets. The images of all your sleeping fathers,

You dare not fight for Antony; go pray, With laurels crowned; with laurels wreath your And keep your cowards' holiday in temples. posts,

[Ereunt Aler. Serap. And strew with flowers the pavement; let the priest

Re-enter the Gentleman of MARC ANTONY. Do present sacrifice, pour out the wine,

2 Gent. The emperor approaches, and com, And call the gods to join with you in gladness.

mands, Vent. Curse on the tongue that bids this ge-On pain of death, that none presume to stay. neral joy!

1 Gent. I dare not disobey him. Can they be friends to Antony, who revel

[Going out with the other.
When Antony's in danger? Hide, for shame, Vent. Well, I dare :
You Romans, your great grandsires' images,

But I'll observe him first, unseen, and find
For fear their souls should animate their marbles, Which way his humour drives: the rest I'll ven-
To blush at their degenerate progeny,

(Withdraws. Alex. A love, which knows no bounds to An

Enter Antony, walking with a disturbed motony, Would mark the day with honours; when all

tion before he speaks Heaven

Ant. They tell me, 'tis my birth-day; and I'll
Laboured for him, when each propitious star

keep it
Stood wakeful in his orb to watch that hour, With double pomp of sadness :
And shed his better influence : her own birth-day 'Tis what the day deserves, which gave me breath.
Our queen neglected, like a vulgar fate, Why was I raised the meteor of the world,
That passed obscurely by,

Hung in the skies, and blazing as I travelled,
Vent. Would it had slept

Till all my fires were spent, and then cast downDivided far from his, till some remote

ward, And future age had called it out to ruin

To be trod out by Cæsar? Some other prince, not him!

Vent. (Aside] On my soul Aler. Your emperor,

'Tis mournful, wondrous mournful! Tho' grown unkind, would be more gentle than Ant. Count thy gains To upbraid my queen for loving him too well. Now, Antony; wouldst thou be born for this! l'ent. Does the mute sacrifice upbraid the Glutton of fortune, thy devouring youth priest?

Has starved thy wanting age.
Ile knows him not bis executioner.

Vent. (Aside] How sorrow shakes him!
Oh! she has decked his ruin with her love, So, now the tempest tears him up by the roots,
Led him in golden bands to gaudy slaughter, And on the ground extends the noble ruin.
And made perdition pleasing : she has left him Ant. (Having thrown himself down] Lie there,
The blank of what he was.

thou shadow of an emperor;
I tell thee, cunuch, she has quite unmanned him: The place, thou pressest on thy mother earth,


Is all thy empire now: now it contains thee; My mother comes afresh into my eyes :
Some few days hence, and then 'twill be too large, I cannot help her softness.
When thou art contracted in thy narrow urn, Ant. By heaven he weeps ! Poor good old man,
Shrunk to a few cold ashes; then Octavia,

he weeps ! (For Cleopatra will not live to see it)

The big round drops course one another down Octavia then will have thee all her own, The furrows of his cheeks. Stop them, Ventidius, And bear thee in her widowed hand to Cæsar; Or I shall blush to death; they set my shame, Cæsar will weep, the crocodile will weep, That caused them, full before me. To see his rival of the universe

Vent. I'll do my best. Lie still and peaceful there. I'll think no more Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of of it.

friends; Give me some music; look, that it be sad. See, I have caught it too. Believe me 'tis not I'll soothe my melancholy, till I swell

For my own griefs but thine-Nay, fatherAnd burst myself with sighing

(Soft music.

Vent. Emperor: *Tis somewhat to my humour. Stay, I fancy Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of vicI'm now turned wild, a commoner of nature;

tory: Of all forsaken, and forsaking all,

The conquering soldier, red with unfelt wounds, Live in a shady forest's sylvan scene,

Salutes his general so; but never more Stretched at my length beneath some blasted Shall that sound reach my ears. oak,

Vent. I warrant you. I lean my head upon the mossy bark,

Ant. Actium, Actium! OhAnd look just of a piece as I grew from it:

Vent. It sits too near you. My uncombed locks, matted like misletve, Ant. Here, here it lies, a lump of lead by day, Hang o'er my hoary face; a murmuring brook And, in my short distracted nightly slumbers, Runs at my foot

The hag, that rides my dreamsVent. Methinks I fancy

Vent. Out with it; give it vent. Myself there too.

Ant. Urge not my shame-
Ant. The herd come jumping by me,

I lost a battle.
And fearless quench their thirst, while I look on, Vent. So has Julius done.
And take me for their fellow-citizen.

Ant. Thou favourest me, and speakest not half More of this image, more; it lulls my thoughts.

thou thinkest; Vent. I must disturb him : Soft music again. For Julius fought it out, and lost it fairly; ger.

(Stands before him. Vent. Nay, stop not. Ant. (Starting up] Art thou Ventidius?

Ant. Antony Vent. Are you Antony?

(Well, thou wilt have it) like a coward Aed, I'm liker what I was than you to him

Fled, while his soldiers fought; fled first, VentiI left you last.

dius. Ant. I'm angry

Thou longest to curse me, and I give thee leave; Vent. So am I.

I know thou camest prepared to rail. Ant. I would be privaté. Leave me.

Vent. I did. Vent. Sir, I love you,

Ant. I'll help thee--I have been a man, VenAnd therefore will not leave you.

tidius. Ant. Will not leave me !

Vent. Yes, and a brave one; but-
Where have you learnt that answer? Who am I? Ant. I know thy meaning.
Vent. My emperor ; the man I love next But I have lost my reason, have disgraced

The name of soldier with inglorious ease;
If I said more, I think 'twere scarce a sin: In the full vintage of my flowing honours
You're all that's good and godlike.

Sat still, and saw it prest by other hands; Ant. All that's wretched.

Fortune came smiling to my youth, and wooed it, You will not leave me then?

And purple greatness met my ripened years. Vent. 'Twas too presuming

When first I came to empire, I was borne To say I would not; but I dare not leave you ; On tides of people, crowding to my triumphs, And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence The wish of nations, and the willing world So soon, when I so far have come to see you. Received me as its pledge of future peace. Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satis- I was so great, so happy, so beloved, fied?

Fate could not ruin me, till I took pains, For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough, And worked against my fortune, chid her from And, if a foe, too much.

me, Vent. Look, emperor, this is no common dew: And turned her loose ; yet still she came again.

[Weeping. My careless days, and my luxurious nights, I have not wept this forty years; but now At length have wearied her, and now she's gone,



Gone, gone, divorced for ever. Help me, sol- Vent. Most firm and loyal.

Ant. Yet they will not march
To curse this madman, this industrious fool, To succour me? Oh trifler !
Who laboured to be wretched. Pr’ythoe curse Vent. They petition

You would make haste to head them.
Vent. No.

Ant. I'm besieged. Ant. Why?

Vent. There's but one way shut up-How came Vent. You are too sensible already

I hither? Of what you have done, too conscious of your

Ant. I will not stir. failings,

Vent. They would perhaps desire And, like a scorpion, whipt by others first

A better reason.
To fury, sting yourself in mad revenge.

Ant. I have never used
I would bring balm, and pour it in your wounds, My soldiers to demand a reason of
Cure your distempered mind, and heal your for- My actions. Why did they refuse to march?

Vent. They said they would not fight for CleoAnt. I know thou wouldst.

patra. Vent. I will,

Ant. What was it they said? Ant. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Vent. They said they would not fight for CleoVent. You laugh.

patra : Ant. I do, to see officious love

Why should they fight indeed to make her conGive cordials to the dead.

quer, Vent. You would be lost then?

And make you more a slave? to gain you kingAnt. I am.

doms, Vent. I say you are not. Try your fortune. Which for a kiss, at your next midnight feast, Ant. I have to the utmost. Dost thou think You'll sell to her?

Then she new-names her me desperate

jewels, Without just cause ? No, when I found all lost And calls this diamond such or such a tax; Beyond repair, I hid me from the world, Each pendant in her ear shall be a province. And learned to scorn it here, which now I do Ant. Ventidius, I allow your tongue free liSo heartily, I think it is not worth The cost of keeping:

On all my other faults, but, on your life,
Vent. Cæsar thinks not so;

No word of Cleopatra ! she deserves
He'll thank you for the gift, he could not take. More worlds than I can lose.
You would be killed like Tully, would you? Do; Vent. Behold, you powers !
Hold out your throat to Cæsar, and die tamely. To whom you have entrusted humankind;

Ant. No, I can kill myself, and so resolve. See Europe, Afric, Asia, put in balance,
Vent. I can die with you too, when time shall And all weighed down by one light worthless

woman! But fortune calls upon us now to live,

I think the gods are Antonies, and give, To fight, to conquer.

Like prodigals, this nether world away Ant. Sure thou dreamest, Ventidius.

To none but wasteful hands. Vent. No, 'tis you dream ; you sleep away

Ant. You grow presumptuous.

Vent. I take the privilege of plain love to In desperate sloth, miscalled philosophy.

speak. Up, up, for honour's sake! twelve legions wait Ant. Plain love! plain arrogance, plain inso

lence! you, And long to call you chief: by painful journies Thy men are cowards, thou an envious traitor, I led them, patient both of heat and hunger, Who, under seeming honesty, hath vented Down from the Parthian marches of the Nile: The burden of thy rank o'erflowing gall. 'Twill do you good to see their sunburnt faces, Oh that thou wert my equal, great in arms Their scarred cheeks, and chopt hands: there's As the first Cæsar was, that I might kill thee, virtue in them :

Without stain to my honour ! They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates Vent. You may kill me : Than yon trim bands can buy.

You have done more already, called me traitor. Ant. Where left you them?

Ant. Art thou not one? Vent. I said in Lower Syria.

Vent. .For shewing you yourself, Ant. Bring them hither;

Which none else durst have done? But had I been There may be life in these.

That name, which I disdain to speak again, Vent. They will not come.

I needed not have sought your abject fortunes, Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with Come to partake your fate, to dic with you. promised aids

What hindered me to have led my conquering To double my despair? they are mutinous.


your hours

To fill Octavia's bands? I could have been And I will leave her, though heaven, knows I love A traitor then, a glorious happy traitor,

Beyond life, conquest

, empire, all but honour : And not have been so called.

But I will leave her, Ant. Forgive me, soldier;

Vent. That is my royal master. I have been too passionate.

And shall we fight? Vent. You thought me false,

Ant. I warrant thee, old soldier ; Thought my old age betrayed you, Kill me, sir, Thou shalt behold me once again in iron, Pray kill me: yet you need not; your unkindness And at the head of our old troops, that beat Has left your sword no work,

The Parthians, cry aloud, ‘Come, follow me! Ant. I did not think so;

Vent. Oh, now I hear my emperor! In that I said it in my rage: prithee forgive me.

word Why didst thou tempt my anger by discovery Octavius fell. Gods ! let' me see that day, Of what I would not hear?

And if I have ten years behind, take all; Vent. No prince, but you,

I'll thank


for the exchange. Could merit that sincerity, I used;

Ant. oh, Cleopatra ! Nor durst another man have ventured it :

Vent. Again! Bat you, ere love misled your wandering eyes, Ant. I have done; in that last sigh she went. Were sure the chief and best of human race, Cæsar shall know what it is to force a lover Framed in the very pride and boast of nature; From all he holds most dear. So perfect, that the gods, who formed you, won- Vent, Methinks you breathe dered

Another soul; your looks are most divine; At their own skill, and cried, ' A lucky hit You speak a hero, and you move a god. Has mended our design ! Their envy hindered, Ant. Oh, thou hast fired me! my soul's up in Else you had been immortal, and a pattern,

arms, When heaven would work for ostentation sake, And mans cach part about me. Once again To copy out again.

That noble eagerness of fight has seized me, Ant. But Cleopatra

That eagerness, with which I darted upward Go on, for I can bear it now,

To Cassius camp: in vain the steepy hill Pent. No more.

Opposed my way, in vain a war of spears Ant. Thou dar’st not trust my passion, but Sung round my head, and planted all my shield; thou mayest:

I won the trenches, while my foremost men
Thou only lovest, the rest have flattered me. Lagged on the plain below.
Vent. Heaven's blessing on your heart for that Vent. Ye gods, ye gods,
kind word!

For such another honour !
May I believe you love me? Speak again.

Ant. Come on, my soldier; det. Indeed I do.' Speak this, and this, and Our hearts and arms are still the same: I long this.

[Embracing him. Once more to meet our foes, that thou and I, Thy praises were unjust: but I'll deserve them, Like Time and Death, marching before our troops, And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt : May taste fate to them, mow them out a passage, Lead me to vietory; thou knowest the way. And, entering where the foremost squadrons l'ent. And will you leave this

yield, Ant. Prithee do not curse her,

Begin the noble harvest of the field. [Ereunt.


SCENE I.--A grand Saloon.

Each hour the victor's chain? These ills are

small, Enter CLEOPATRA, IRAS, and Alexas.

For Antony is lost, and I can mourn Cleo. What shall I do, or whither shall I turn! For nothing else but him. Now come, Octavius; l'entidius has o'ercome, and he will go.

I have no more to lose; prepare thy bands; Aler. He goes to fight for you.

I am fit to be a captive : Antony Cleo. Then he would see me ere he went to Has taught my mind the fortune of a slave. fight.

Iras. Call reason to assist you, Flatter me not; if once he goes, he is lost,

Cleo. I have none, And all my hopes destroyed.

And none would have: my love's a noble madAler. Does this weak passion

ness, Become a mighty queen?

Which shows, the cause deserved it. Moderate Cleo. I am no queen : Is this to be a queen, to be besieged

Fits vulgar love, and for a vulgar man; By yon insulting Roman, and to wait

But I have loved with such transcendent passion,




I soared at first quite out of reason's view, But making show as he would rub his eyes, And now am lost above it—No, I am proud Disguised and blotted out a falling tear. 'Tis thus : would Antony could see me now! Čleo. Did he then weep, and was I worth a Think you, he would not sigh? Though he must tear? leave me,

If what thou hast to say be not as pleasing, Sure he would sigh; for he is noble-natured, Tell me no more, but let me die contented. And bears a tender heart: I know him well: Char. He bid me say, he knew himself so well, Ah no! I know him not: I knew him once, He could deny you nothing, if he saw you, But now 'tis past.

And therefore Iras. Let it be past with you:

Cleo. Thou wouldst say he would not see me! Forget him, madam.

Char. And therefore begged you not to use a Cleo. Never, never, Iras :

power, He once was mine, and once, though now it is Which he could ill resist; yet he should ever gone,

Respect you as he ought. leaves a faint image of possession still.

Cleo. Is that a word Aler. Think him inconstant, cruel, and un- For Antony to use to Cleopatra? grateful.

Oh, that faint word respect ! how I disdain it! Cleo. I cannot; if I could, those thoughts were Disdain myself for loving after it! vain :

He should have kept that word for cold Octavia; Faithless, ungrateful, cruel, though he be, Respect is for a wife. Am I that thing, I still must love him.

That dull insipid lump, without desires,

And without power to give them?

Aler. You misjudge;
Now, what news, my Charmion ?

You see through love, and that deludes your sight, Will he be kind? and will he not forsake me? As what is straight seems crooked through the Am I to live or die? Nay, do I live,

Or am I dead? for when he gave his answer, But I, who bear my reason undisturbed,
Fate took the word, and then I lived or died. Can see this Antony, this dreaded man,
Char. I found him, madam-

A fearful slave, who fain would run away,
Cleo. A long speech preparing!

And shuns his master's eyes; if you pursue him, If thou bringest comfort, haste and give it me, My life on it, he still drags a chain along, For never was more need.

That needs must clog his flight. Iras. I know he loves you.

Cleo. Could I believe thee Cleo. Had he been kind, her eyes had told Alex. By every circunstance I know he loves. me so,

True, he is hard prest by interest and honour; Before her tongue could speak it: now she studies Yet he but doubts and parleys, and casts out To soften what he said: but give me death Many a long look for succour. Just as he sent it, Charmion, undisguised,

Cleo. He sends word And in the words he spoke.

He fears to see my face. Char. I found him then,

Alex. And would you more? Encompassed round, I think, with iron statues, He shows his weakness, who declines the combat; So mute, so motionless, his soldiers stood, And you must urge your fortune. Could he speak While awfully he cast his eyes about,

More plainly? to my ears the message sounds, And every leader's hopes and fears surveyed. “Come to my rescue, Cleopatra, come! Methought he looked resolved, and yet not Come, free me from Ventidius, from my tyrant; pleased :

See me, and give me a pretence to leave him.' When he beheld me struggling in the crowd,

[A march. Ile blushed, and bade make way.

I hear his trumpets. This way he must pass. Aler. There's comfort yet.

Please you retire a while; I'll work him first, Char. Ventidius fixed his eyes upon my pas- That he may bend more easy. sage

Cleo. You shall rule me, Severely, as he meant to frown me back, But all, I fear, in vain. (E.rit with Char. and Iras. And sullenly gave place. I told my message, Alex. I fear so too, Just as you gave it, broken and disordered; Though I concealed my thoughts to make her I numbered in it all your sighs and tears,

bold; And while I mored your pitiful request,

But it is our utmost means, and fate befriend it. That you but only begged a last farewell,

(Withdraws. A march till all are on. He fetched an inward groan, and every time, I named you, sighed, as if his heart were breaking, Enter Lictors with

fasces, one beuring the Eagle; But shunned my eyes, and guiltily looked down. then enter Antony and VentIdIUS, followed He seemed not now that awful Antony,

by other Commanders. Vho shook an armed assembly with his nod, Ant. Octavias is the minion of blind chance,

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