« PreviousContinue »
Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
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,)
It is pity of him.
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.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN.
Cleo. Ha, ha!-
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
Cleo. O, treason!
Madam, I trust, not so.
What's your highness' pleasure? Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing; I take no
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
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
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,
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Good friend, quoth he,
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
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Who's born that day
O that brave Cæsar!
The valiant Cæsar!
By your most gracious pardon,
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.