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That he approves the common liar, who
Thus speaks of him at Rome: But I will hope
Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!

[Exeunt.

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Enter CHARMIAN, IRAs, Alexas, and a Soothsayer.

Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands !*

Aler. Soothsayer.
Sooth. Your will?
Char. Is this the man?-Is't you, sir, that know

things?
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read.
Alex.

Show him

your

hand.
Enter ENOBARBUS.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Cleopatra's health to drink.

Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Sooth. I make not, but foresee.
Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
Sooth. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
Char. He means, in flesh.
Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.

* That he approves the common liar,] Fame. That he proves the common liar, fame, in his case to be a true reporter.

change his horns with garlands !] i.e. be a triumphant cuckold; a cuckold who will consider his state as an honourable

Some of the commentators think the word should be charge.

one.

Char. Wrinkles forbid!
Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
Char. Hush!
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved.
Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
Alex. Nay, hear him.

Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage:' find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.

Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs. Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former

fortune Than that which is to approach.

Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names: Pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have

s— to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage:) Herod paid homage to the Romans, to procure the grant of the kingdom of Judea : but I believe there is an allusion here to the theatrical character of this monarch, and to a proverbial expression founded on it. Herod was always one of the personages in the mysteries of our early stage, on which he was constantly represented as a fierce, haughty, blustering tyrant, so that Herod of Jewry became a common proverb, expressive of turbulence and rage. Thus, Hamlet says of a ranting player, that he “ out-herods Herod.And, in this tragedy, Alexas tells Cleopatra, that " not even Herod of Jewry dare look upon her when she is angry;" i. e. not even a man as fierce as Herod. According to this explanation, the sense of the present passage will be-Charmian wishes for a son who may arrive at such power and dominion that the proudest and fiercest monarchs of the earth may be brought under his yoke.

STEEVENS. I love long life better than figs.] This is a proverbial expression.

7 Then, belike, my children shall have no names :) If I have already had the best of my fortune, then I suppose I shall never

Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.”

Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
Alex. We'll know all our fortunes.

Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be drunk to bed.

Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presagethfamine.

Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.Prythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.

Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said.

Irus. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?

Iras. Not in my husband's nose.

Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of

8

name children, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the truth, tell me, how many boys and wenches ?

If every of your wishes had a womb,

And fertile every wish, a million.] If every one of your wishes, says the Soothsayer, had a womb, and each womb-invested wish were likewise fertile, you then would have a million of children.

all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear ine this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee! Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer

of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accord ingly!

Char. Amen.

Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.

Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Char.

Not he, the queen.

Enter CLEOPATRA.

Cleo. Saw you my lord?
Eno.

No, lady.
Cleo.

Was he not here? Char. No, madam.

Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,

Eno. Madam.
Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's

Alexas?
Alex. Here, madam, at your service.—My lord

approaches.

Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us. [Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS,

Iras, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and At

tendants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

Ant. Against my brother Lucius?

Mess. Ay:
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst

Cæsar;
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Upon the first encounter, drave them.
Ant.

Well,
What worst?

Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller,

Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.-On:
Things, that are past, are done, with me.—'Tis thus
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.
Mess.

Labienus
(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force,
Extended Asia from Euphrătes;o
His conquering banner shook, from Syria
To Lydia, and to lonia;
Whilst

Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,-
Mess.

O, my lord! Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general

tongue; 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 winds lie still;' and our ills told us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure.

[Exit

.

9 Extended Asia from Euphrötes;] To extend, is a term used for to seize.

" When our quick winds lie still;] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good. This is Dr. Johnson's opinion, but the expression has been controverted at great length by all the commentators,

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