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SV LVAT Nutt*
Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?
Mess. Ay: But soon that war had end, and the time's state Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Cæsar Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, Upon the first encounter, drave them. Ant.
Well, What worst?
Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool or coward.-On;
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say,
faults With such full license, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick minds 3 lie still; and our ills told us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure.
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.—Is there such a one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant.
Let him appear, These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
O my lord!
1 6. Stiff news” is hard news.
6 Extended Asia from Euphrates." To extend is a law term for to seize.
3 The old copy reads, “quick winds ;” an error which has occurred elsewhere. Warburton made the correction.
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 shoved 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 !
Enter ENOBARBUS. Eno. What's your pleasure, sir ? Ant. I must with haste from hence.
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal an unkindness is to them: if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment.?
poorer moment. I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
1 Could is here used with an optative meaning.--Could, would, and should, are often used by our old writers, in what appears to us an indiscriminate manner, and yet appear to have been so employed rather by choice than chance.
2 i. e. for less reason, upon a weaker motive.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears ; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. 'Would I had never seen her!
Eno. O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blessed withal, would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:--and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you ; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
1 Expedition. 2 We should, says Mason, read leave instead of love.
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and ALEXAS.
I did not see him since.
What should I do, I do not? Char. In each thing give him way; cross him in
1 This alludes to the ancient vulgar error, that a horse-hair dropped into corrupted water would become animated. Dr. Lister, in the Philosophical Transactions, showed that these animated horse-hairs were real insects, and displayed the fallacy of the popular opinion.
2 “ You must go as if you came without my order or knowledge.”
Cleo. Thou teachest, like a fool, the way to lose him.
Char. Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear • In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick and sullen.
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
Now, my dearest queen,-
What's the matter?
What says the married woman ?--You may go ;
Ant. The gods best know,-
O, never was there queen
Cleopatra, Cleo. Why should I think you can be mifte, and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing! Ant.
Most sweet queen, Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no color for your going, But bid farewell
, and go: when you sued staying, Then was the time for words. No going then ;Eternity was in our lips and eyes;
1 Thus in Twelfth Night :
66 There is no woman's sides
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion.”