Page images

And blemish Cæsar's triumph. Let him take thee,
And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians :
Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
Of all thy sex; most monster-like, be shown
For poor'st diminutives, for doits'; and let
Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
With her prepared nails.


'Tis well thou’rt gone,
If it be well to live; but better 'twere
Thou fell’st under my fury ’, for one death
Might have prevented many.--Eros, ho! -
The shirt of Nessus is upon me: teach me,
Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage:
Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o’ the moon;
And with those hands, that grasp'd the heaviest club,
Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die:
To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot; she dies for't.-Eros, ho!



Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Cleo. Help me, my women ! Oh! he is more mad
Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly
Was never so emboss'd'.

To the monument !
There lock yourself, and send him word you are dead. -
The soul and body rive not more in parting,
Than greatness going off.

1 For poor'st diminutives, for doits ;] The old copy has dolts, which was most likely a misprint for “ doits :" the error would be a very easy one for a compositor to make, and the change much smaller than to suppose, with Tyrwhitt, that " for” was a printer's blunder for to; or with Malone, that “ for,” in both places, ought to be fore. Of course Shakespeare never paused to consider whether doit was an ancient Roman coin ; and Warburton sub-tituted “doits” for dolts, which makes the sense of the passage evident. “Doits" is a word of frequent occurrence in Shakespeare: we have it three times in Coriolanus."

2 Thou fell'st' under my fury,] Into my fury” in the folios, but amended to “under" in the corr. fo. 1632.

3 Was never so EMBOSS'd.] for an explanation of this hunting term, which means foaming at the mouth, see Vol. ii. pp. 444. 590, &c. VOL. VI.



To the monument !
Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself;
Say, that the last I spoke was, Antony,
And word it, pr’ythee, piteously. Hence,
Mardian, and bring me how he takes my death.—
To the monument !


[blocks in formation]

Ay, my lord.

Ant. Eros, thou yet behold’st me?

Ay, noble lord.
Ant. Sometime, we see a cloud that's dragonish,
A vapour, sometime, like a bear, or lion,
A tower'd citadel, a pendant rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory,
With trees upon't that nod unto the world,
And mock our eyes with air: thou hast seen these signs ;
They are black vesper's pageants.


Ant. That, which is now a horse, even with a thought,
The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct
As water is in water.

It does, my lord.
Ant. My good knave, Eros, now thy captain is
Even such a body: here I am Antony,
Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
I made these wars for Egypt, and the queen,
Whose heart, I thought, I had, for she had mine,
Which, whilst it was mine, had annex'd unto't
A million more, now lost : she, Eros, has
Pack'd cards with Cæsar, and false play'd my glory
Unto an enemy's triumph.-
Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
Ourselves to end ourselves.—Oh, thy vile lady!


4 Pack'd cards with CÆSAR,] The reading of the early editions is “

“pack'd cards with Cæsar's," i. e. with Cæsar's cards; but we think it probable that the Rev. Mr. Dyce is right when he recommends (“ Remarks,” p. 248) that Cæsar's should be printed “ Cæsar." The point is hardly worth dispute.


She has robb'd me of my sword.

No, Antony;
My mistress lov’d thee, and her fortunes mingled
With thine entirely.

Hence, saucy eunuch: peace !
She hath betray'd me, and shall die the death.

Mar. Death of one person can be paid but once,
And that she has discharg'd. What thou wouldst do,
Is done unto thy hand: the last she spake
Was, Antony! most noble Antony !
Then, in the midst a tearing groan did break
The name of Antony; it was divided
Between her heart and lips. She render'd life,
Thy name so buried in her.

Dead, then?

Ant. Unarm, Eros : the long day's task is done,
And we must sleep.—That thou depart'st hence safe,
Does pay thy labour richly; go.—[Exit Mardian.] Off, pluck

The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep
The battery from my heart. Oh, cleave, my sides!
Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
Crack thy frail case ! -Apace, Eros, apace.---
No more a soldier : bruised pieces, go;
You have been nobly borne.–From me a while.-

[Exit Eros.
I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length is torture: since the torch is out,
Lie down, and stray no farther. Now all labour
Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles
Itself with strength : seal then, and all is done. -
Eros !-I come, my queen. — Eros !-Stay for me :
Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:

* Unarm, Eros :) In the folios this is printed “ Unarme Eros," and the old corrector of that of 1632 puts it “Unarm me, Eros,” which we cannot believe to be right, because the measure is thus unnecessarily disturbed. Steevens, almost wantonly, read “ Eros, unarm.

Dido and her Æneas shall want troops,
And all the haunt be our's.—Come, Eros ! Eros !

Re-enter EROS.

Eros. What would my lord ?

Since Cleopatra died
I have liv'd in such dishonour, that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quarter'd the world, and o’er green Neptune's back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
of a woman;

less noble mind
Than she, which by her death our Cæsar tells,
“I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros,
That when the exigent should come, (which now
Is come indeed) when I should see behind me
The inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that on my command
Thou then wouldst kill me: do't; the time is come.
Thou strik'st not me, 'tis Cæsar thou defeatest.
Put colour in thy cheek.

The gods withhold me!
Shall I do that, which all the Parthian darts,
Though enemy, lost aim, and could not ?

Wouldst thou be window'd in great Rome, and see
Thy master thus with pleach'd arms“, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel'd seat
Of fortunate Cæsar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued ?

I would not see't.
Ant. Come, then; for with a wound I must be cur'd.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.

Oh, sir! pardon me. Ant. When I did make thee free, swor'st thou not then To do this when I bade thee?? Do it at once,

6 — with PLEACH'd arms,)“ Pleach'd” is interwoven or folded. In Vol. ii. p. 18, we have had “thick-pleached,” and in Vol. iii. p. 632, “even-pleached,” in a similar sense.

7 To do this when I bade thee?] One of the incidents taken from Plutarch ; and Shakespeare follows his original in this scene with almost verbal accuracy. The following is a specimen :-“Now he had a man of his called Eros,

Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurpos’d. Draw, and come.

Eros. Turn from me, then, that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
Ant. Lo thee!

[Turning from him. Eros. My sword is drawn. Ant.

Then, let it do at once
The thing why thou hast drawn it.

My dear master,
My captain, and my emperor, let me say,
Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

Ant. 'Tis said, man; and farewell.
Eros. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

Now, Eros. Eros. Why, there then :-[Falling on his sword.] Thus do


the sorrow Of Antony's death.

[Dies. Ant.

Thrice nobler than myself ! Thou teachest me, oh valiant Eros ! what I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros Have, by their brave instruction, got upon me A nobleness in record : but I will be A bridegroom in my death, and run into't As to a lover's bed. Come then; and, Eros, Thy master dies thy scholar: to do thus I learn’d of thee. [Falling on his sword.]–How! not dead ?

not dead ?The guard !—how ?-Oh, dispatch me 8 !

Enter DERCETAS and Guard.

What's the noise ? Ant. I have done my work ill, friends : oh! make an end

1 Guard.

whom he loved and trusted much, and whom he had long before caused to sweare unto him, that he should kill him, when he did commaunde him ; and then he willed him to keepe his promise. His man drawing his sworde, lift it up as though he had ment to have striken his maister ; but turning his head at one side, he thrust his sword into bim selfe, and fell downe dead at his maister's foote. Then said Antonius, ( noble Eros, I thanke thee for this, and it is val. liantly done of thee to shew me what I should doe to my selfe, which thou couldest not doe for me."'-North's Transl. 1579, p. 1006.

& The guard !---How ?-Oh, dispatch me!) Modern editors have usually printed ho! for “how?” of the folios—“The guard, ho!" as if Antony had called it; as Diomedes does, not long afterwards, “ The guard, what ho!” and then it enters. “How?" in Antony's mouth is equivalent to " What shall I do ?”

« PreviousContinue »