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Pardon me, lords, 't is the first time that ever
I was forc'd to scold.
Your judgments, my grave
Must give this cur the lie and his own notion
(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him that must bear My beating to his grave), shall join to thrust
The lie unto him.
Cut me to pieces, Volces: men and lads,
Alone I did it.-Boy!
Contrition of Aufidius after the Assassination of
My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow. -Take him up :-
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
Mark Antony, joined in the Roman triumvirate with Octavius Cæsar and Lepidus, is passing his time in luxurious indolence in Egypt, when intelligence is brought to him of the death of his wife Fulvia, on which he repairs to Rome, where an altercation
takes place between him and Cæsar; Lepidus interposes between the disputants, and their wranglings are healed by the marriage of Antony with Octavia, Cæsar's sister. The amity between the rival triumvirs is, however, but of brief duration, and war being declared between them, Antony is defeated at the battle of Actium. After this fatal engagement, through his ambassador Euphronius, he sues to Cæsar to be permitted to remain in Egypt, or, this not being granted, that he may reside as a private man at Athens. The conqueror refuses both petitions, and the strife is renewed. In a battle by land Antony is victorious, but his forces in a sea-fight are completely vanquished, and he ends his life by falling on his own sword. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, at whose court Antony has been residing, is taken prisoner by Cæsar; whilst a captive she obtains possession of an asp, a small venomous serpent, the bite of which, when applied to her breast, kills her, and the play concludes with an eloquent harangue from Cæsar. Speaking of this play, Dr. Johnson says it "keeps curiosity always busy and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick succession of one passage to another, call the mind forwards without intermission, from the first act to the last."
Antony's luxurious mode of Living.
You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
One great competitor. From Alexandria
A man, who is the abstract of all faults
Antony's Vices and Virtues.
I must not think, there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness:
Cleopatra's Love for Antony.
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.
Description of Cleopatra sailing down the Cydnus.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
A Messenger with bad news unwelcome.
The manner in which Octavia should have entered Rome.
Why have you stolen upon us thus? you come not Like Cæsar's sister: the wife of Antony
Should have an army for an usher, and
* Increased the heat they were meant to cool.
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way,
With an augmented greeting.
Antony to his Attendants after his defeat.
Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon't,
Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
Which has no need of you; be-gone :
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them