« PreviousContinue »
* ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.] Among the entries in the books of the Stationers' Company, October 19, 1593, I find “A Booke entituled the Tragedie of Cleopatra.” It is entered by Symon Waterson, for whom some of Daniel's works were printed; and therefore it is probably by that author, of whose Cleopatra there are several editions; and, among others, one in 1594.
In the same volumes, May 20, 1608, Edward Blount entered “ A Booke called Anthony and Cleopatra." This is the first notice I have met with concerning any edition of this play more ancient than the folio, 1623. STEEVENS. Antony and Cleopatra was written, I imagine, in the year 1608.
Friends of Antony.
Friends to Cæsar.
tendants on Cleopatra. A Soothsayer. · A Clown. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Octavia, Sister to Cæsar, and Wife to Antony. Charmian,} Attendants on Cleopatra. Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants. SCENE, dispersed; in several Parts of the Roman
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's
Enter DEMETRIUS and Philo. Phi. Nay, but this dotage of our general's, O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper; And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a gipsy's lust. Look, where they come!
Flourish. Enter Antony and CLEOPATRA, with their
Trains; Eunuchs fanning her. Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillarof the world transform’d Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
- reneges -] Renounces. * The triple pillar -] Triple is here used improperly for third, or one of three. One of the triumvirs, one of the three masters of the world.
Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be
reckon'd. Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd. Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven,
Enter an Attendant.
Grates me:-The sum.“
How, iny love! Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.Where's Fulvia's process ?? Cæsar's, I would say ?
Both ? Call in the messengers.-As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager : else so thy cheek pays shame, When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messengers.
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch Of the rang’d empire fall! Here is my space ; Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,
6 bourn -] Bound or limit. 4- The sum.] Be brief, sum thy business in a few words.
5 Nay, hear them,] i. e. the news. This word, in Shakspeare's time, was considered as plural.
* Take in, &c.] i, e. subdue, conquer.
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind
Excellent falshood !
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
night? Cleo. Hear the ambassadors. Ant.
Fye, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd ! No messenger ; but thine and all alone, To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen; Last night you did desire it:-Speak not to us.
[Exeunt Ant. and Cleop. with their Train. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
I'm full sorry,
s to weet,] To know.
9 Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,] For the love of Love, means, for the sake of the queen of love.
· Let's not confound the time —] i. e. let us not consume the time.
? No messenger; but thine and all alone, &c.] Cleopatra has said, “ Call in the messengers;" and afterwards, “ Hear the ambassadors." Talk not to me, says Antony, of messengers; I am now wholly thine, and you and I unattended will to-night wander through the streets.