Page images

Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.

Cæsar, I bring thee word,
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Make the sea serve them; which they ear' and wound
With keels of every kind: Many hot inroads
They make in Italy; the borders maritime
Lack blood to think on't, and flush 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.

Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassels. When thou once Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did fainine 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 puddles Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did

deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge; Yea, like the 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



9 - lackeging the varying tide,] i. e. floating backwards and forwards with the variation of the tide, like a page, or lackey, at his master's heels.

which they ear -] To ear, is to plough. 2 Lack blood to think on't,] Turn pale at the thought of it.

and Aush youth - ] Flush youth is youth ripened to manhood; youth whose blood is at the flow.

thy lascivious wassels.] Wassel is here put for intemperance in general.

gilded puddle -] There is frequently observable on the surface of stagnant pools that have remained long undisturbed, a reddish gold coloured slime : to this appearance the poet here refers.

(It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now,)
Was borne so like a soidier, that thy cheek
So much as lank'd not.

It is pity of him.
Cæs. Let his shames quickly
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. : Cæs.

Doubt not, sir; I knew it for my bond.“



Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.


Cleo. Charmian,-
Char. Madam.

Cleo. Ha, ha!-
Give me to drink mandragora.?

Why, madam ?

I knew it for my bond.] That is, to be my bounden duty.

mandragora.] A plant of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep.

Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of

time, My Antony is away. Char.

You think of him
Too much.

Cleo. O, 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

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 ?

Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
But what in deed is honest to be done:
Yet I have fierce affections, and think,
What Venus did with Mars.

O Charmian, 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; Now I feed myself With most delicious poison:—Think on me, That am with Phæbus' amorous pinches black, And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Cæsar, When thou wast here above the ground, I was

* And burgonet of men.) A burgonet is a kind of helmet.

Broad-fronted Cæsar,] In allusion to Cæsar's baldness.


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.

Enter ALEXAS. Alex.

Sovereign of Egypt, hail! Cleo. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony! Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee." How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen,
He kiss'd,—the last of many doubled kisses,
This orient pearl ;-His speech sticks in my heart.

Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.

Good friend, quoth he,
Say, The firm Roman to great Egypt sends
This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot
To mend the petty present, I will piece
Her opulent throne with kingdoms; All the east,
Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount a termagant steed,"
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
Was beastly dumb'd by him.

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

the extremes Of heat and cold; he was nor sad nor merry.

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


that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee.] Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine. Johnson.

termagant steed,] Termagant means furious,


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,
The violence of either thee becomes;
So does it no man else.—Met'st thou my posts?

Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Why do you send so thick ?3

Who's born that day
When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar.-Ink and paper, Charmian.-
Welcome, my good Alexas.-Did I, Charmian,
Ever love Cæsar so?

O that brave Cæsar!
Cleo. Be chok'd with such another emphasis!
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.

By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.

My sallad days; When I was green in judgment:~Cold in blood, To say, as I said then !-But, come, away: Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Egypt.* [Exeunt.

so thick?] i. e. in such quick succession. unpeople Egypt.] By sending out messengers.

« PreviousContinue »