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Char. Wrinkles forbid!
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
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
Sto 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. 6 - I love long life better than figs.] This is a proverbial expression.
5 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.
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 presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay:
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Iras. 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
name children, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the truth, tell me, how many boys and wenches? 8 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 me 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 å handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded ; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Aler. 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.
Not he, the queen.
Cleo. Saw you my lord?
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,
Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us. [Freunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, AlexAs,
IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and
Attendants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?
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.
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,
[Exit. • Extended Asia from Euphrătes ;] To extend, is a term used for to seim.
: 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.
O, my lord ! Let him appear,
Ant. From Sicyon how the news ? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon).-Is there such an
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she? 2 Mess. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears.
[Gives a Letter. Ant.
Exit Messenger. There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone ; The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off ; Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch.-How now! Enobarbus!
the present pleasure,
The opposite of itself :) I believe revolution means change of circumstances. This sense appears to remove every difficulty from the passage.- The pleasure of to-day, by revolution of events and change of circumstances, often loses all its value to us, and becomes to-morrow a pain. STEEVENS.
3 The hand could pluck her back, &c.] The verb could has a peculiar signification in this place; it does not denote power but inclination. The sense is; the hand that drove her off would now willingly pluck her back again.