Abbildungen der Seite

Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds:
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds ". I will to Egypt;
And though I make this marriage for my peace,


I' the east my pleasure lies.-Oh! come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia: your commission's ready;
Follow me, and receive it.



The Same. A Street.


Lep. Trouble yourselves no farther: pray you, hasten Your generals after.

[blocks in formation]

Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.

Lep. Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,

Which will become you both, farewell.


As I conceive the journey, be at Mount1

Before you, Lepidus.

[blocks in formation]

We shall,

Your way is shorter;

Sir, good success!


You'll win two days upon me.

Mec. Agr.

Lep. Farewell.

[ocr errors]

11 Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds.] It was then the practice for cocks to fight in hoops, and hence the phrase "cock-a-hoop or cock on hoop, when it had obtained the victory. Plutarch says of Cæsar and Antony: "For it is said that as often as they two drew cuts for pastime, who should have any thing, or whether they plaied at dice, Antonius alway lost. Oftentimes when they were disposed to see cocke-fight, or quailes that were taught to fight one with an other, Cæsar's cockes or quailes did ever overcome.' Life of Antonius, p. 985, edit. 1579.

[ocr errors]

at MOUNT] i. e. Mount Misenum. "Mount" is printed with a capital letter in the folio, 1623: the folio, 1632, has it "at the Mount."


Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.


Cleo. Give me some music; music, moody food Of us that trade in love.

[blocks in formation]

Cleo. Let it alone; let's to billiards: come, Charmian.
Char. My arm is sore, best play with Mardian.
Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd,
As with a woman.-Come, you'll play with me, sir?
Mar. As well as I can, madam.

Cleo. And when good will is show'd, though't come too


The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now.

Give me mine angle,—we'll to the river: there,

My music playing far off, I will betray

Tawny-finn'd' fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws, and as I draw them up,

I'll think them every one an Antony,

And say, Ah, ha! you're caught.


'Twas merry, when

You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.


That time,-Oh times!-
I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
Then, put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippian.-


2 Tawny-FINN'D] Theobald altered " Tawny-fine," of all the folios, into Tawny-finn'd," and the change is not only required by the sense, but it is supported by the corr. fo. 1632.

Enter a Messenger3.

Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,

That long time have been barren.


Cleo. Antony's dead ?—

Oh! from Italy?—

Madam, madam.

If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress:

But well and free,

If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here

My bluest veins to kiss; a hand, that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

Mess. First, madam, he is well.

But, sirrah, mark; we use

Why, there's more gold.

To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold I give thee will I melt, and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.

Mess. Good madam, hear me.


Well, go to, I will;

But there's no goodness in thy face. If Antony

Be free, and healthful, why so tart a favour

To trumpet such good tidings? if not well,

Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
Not like a formal man.


Will't please you hear me?

Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st:

Yet, if thou say, Antony lives, 'tis well;

Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,

I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.

3 Enter a MESSENGER.] In the corr. fo. 1632 this Messenger is called Elis; but whether that were the name of the actor of the part, or of the character, as represented in some MS. of the play, we cannot determine. We know of no player of that day of the name of Elis or Ellis.

[blocks in formation]

Be free, and healthful, WHY so tart a favour

To trumpet such good tidings?] "Why," alike necessary to the measure and to the meaning, is from the corr. fo. 1632. The folio, 1623, has a semicolon in the place of "why," leaving the sense incomplete, because most likely the word had dropped out. "A formal man," in the last line of the speech, does not mean a man in form, but a man in his sober senses: thus Emilia, in "The Comedy of Errors," A. v. sc. 1, offers to make Adriana's husband, supposed to be mad, "a formal man again."

[blocks in formation]

Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.


But yet, madam,—

Cleo. I do not like "but yet," it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon "but yet!"
"But yet" is as a gaoler to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,

The good and bad together. He's friends with Cæsar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
Mess. Free, madam? no; I made no such report:
He's bound unto Octavia.


Mess. For the best turn i' the bed.

Mess. Madam, he's married to Octavia.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

For what good turn?

I am pale, Charmian.

[Strikes him down.

What say you?-Hence,
[Strikes him again.

Mess. Good madam, patience.

Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me: I'll unhair thy head.

[She hales him up and down. Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in lingering pickle.


Gracious madam,

I, that do bring the news, made not the match.

Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee, And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage,

And I will boot thee with what gift beside

Thy modesty can beg.


He's married, madam.

Nay, then I'll run.—

Cleo. Rogue! thou hast liv'd too long. [Draws a dagger. Mess. What mean you, madam? I have made no fault. [Exit. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:

The man is innocent.

Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunder-bolt.—
Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
Turn all to serpents !-Call the slave again :
Though I am mad, I will not bite him.-Call.
Char. He is afeard to come.

I will not hurt him.

These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself

Have given myself the cause.-Come hither, sir.

Re-enter Messenger.

Though it be honest, it is never good

To bring bad news: give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.

Mess. I have done my duty.

Is he married?

I cannot hate thee worser than I do,

If thou again say, Yes.


He's married, madam.

Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still? Mess. Should I lie, madam?


Oh! I would, thou didst,

So half my Egypt were submerg'd, and made

A cistern for scal'd snakes. Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me

Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married ?
Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.


He is married?

Mess. Take no offence, that I would not offend you: To punish me for what you make me do

Seems much unequal. He is married to Octavia.

Cleo. Oh! that his fault should make a knave of thee, That art not. What! thou'rt sure of't'?—Get thee hence:

5 Oh! that his fault should make a knave of thee,

That art not. What! thou'rt sure OF'T?] Our punctuation of this disputed passage is that of Monck Mason; and we also adopt his emendation of "of't" for of the last is perhaps not absolutely necessary, and we might carry our variation from the old copies no farther than the pointing. In the folio, 1623, the passage thus stands:

"Oh that his fault should make a knave of thee,

That art not what thou'rt sure of."

This, it must be admitted, is far from intelligible. By the amended words, "What! thou'rt sure of't?" Cleopatra intends to inquire of the messenger once

« ZurückWeiter »