« ForrigeFortsett »
To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
Mess. Good madam, hear me.
Well, go to, I will; But there's no goodness in thy face. If Antony
Be free, and healthful,-why so tart a favor
To trumpet such good tidings? If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a fury crowned with snakes, Not like a formal man.1
Will't please you hear me?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st.
Yet if thou say, Antony lives, is well,
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.2
Madam, he's well.
Thou'rt an honest man.
Mess. And friends with Cæsar.
Mess. Cæsar and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.
But yet, madam,
Cleo. I do not like but yet; it does allay
The good precedence: 3 fie
But yet is as a jailer to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr'ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together. He's friend with Cæsar;
In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free. Mess. Free, madam! no; I made no such report; He's bound unto Octavia.
1 i. e, not like a man in form; not in your own proper shape.
2 The Eastern ceremony at the coronation of their kings was to powder
them with gold-dust and seed-pearl.
3 i. e. abates the good quality of what is already reported.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
[Strikes him down.
What say you?-Hence, [Strikes him again.
Mess. Good madam, patience.
Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head;
[She hales him up and down Thou shalt be whipped with wire, and stewed in brine, Smarting in lingering pickle.
I, that do bring the news, made not the match.
Cleo. Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee, And make thy fortunes proud; the blow thou hadst Shall make thy peace, for moving me to rage; And I will boot1 thee with what gift beside Thy modesty can beg.
He's married, madam.
[Draws a dagger.
I have made no fault.
Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself; The man is innocent.
Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt. Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents!-Call the slave again; Though I am mad, I will not bite him ;-Call. Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo. I will not hurt him : These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause.-Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news. Give to a gracious message
1 Profit thee, recompense thee.
2 "Contain yourself, restrain your passion within bounds.”
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Cleo. Is he married?
I have done my duty.
I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If thou again say, Yes.
He is married, madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there
Mess. Should I lie, madam?
Cleo. O, I would thou didst ; So half my Egypt were submerged, and made A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence: Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married? Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
He is married? Mess. Take no offence that I would not offend you. To punish me for what you make me do, Seems much unequal. He is married to Octavia.
Cleo. O that his fault should make a knave of thee, That art not!-What? thou'rt sure of—Get thee 1 hence;
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome, Are all too dear for me. Lie they upon thy hand, And be undone by 'em!
[Exit Messenger. Good your highness, patience.
Cleo. In praising Antony, I have dispraised Cæsar. Char. Many times, madam.
Lead me from hence,
I am paid for't now.
I faint; O Iras,-Charmian,-'Tis no matter.
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
1 The old copy thus exhibits this line:—
"That art not what thou'rt sure of. Get thee hence."
The emendation admitted in the text is partly that of Monck Mason. 2 Feature was anciently used for the form or fashion of the whole body.
The color of her hair :-bring me word quickly.-
Let him forever go.-Let him not-Charmian,1
[To MARDIAN. Bring me word, how tall she is.-Pity me, Charmian, But do not speak to me.-Lead me to my chamber.
SCENE VI. Near Misenum.
Enter POMPEY and MENAS, at one side, with drum
That first we come to words; and therefore have we
If 'twill tie up thy discontented sword;
Pom. To you all three, The senators alone of this great world, Chief factors for the gods,-I do not know Wherefore my father should revengers want, Having a son and friends; since Julius Cæsar, Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted, There saw you laboring for him. What was it, That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what Made the all-honored, honest, Roman Brutus, With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom, To drench the Capitol; but that they would
1 Cleopatra is now talking in broken sentences, not of the messenger but of Antony.
2 Brave, courageous.
3 This verb is used by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy.
Have one man but a man? And that is it,
Ant. Thou canst not fear1 us, Pompey, with thy
We'll speak with thee at sea; at land, thou know'st How much we do o'ercount thee.
Pom. At land, indeed, Thou dost o'ercount me of my father's house: 2 But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself, Remain in't as thou mayst.
Be pleased to tell us
There's the point.
(For this is from the present1) how you take The offers we have sent you.
Ant. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
What it is worth embraced.
To try a larger fortune.
And what may follow,
You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then, to send
Measures of wheat to Rome. This 'greed upon,
To part with unhacked edges, and bear back
Our targe undinted.
Cæs. Ant. Lep. That's our offer.
I came before you here, a man prepared
2 "At land, indeed, thou dost exceed me in possessions; having added to thy own my father's house.”
3 "Keep it while you can."
4 i. e. foreign to the object of our present discussion.