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SCENE IV. Athens. A Room in Antony's House.
Enter ANTONY and OCTAVIA.
Ant. Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that, That were excusable, that, and thousands more Of semblable import-but he hath waged New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and read it To public ear; Spoke scantly of me; when perforce he could not But pay me terms of honor, cold and sickly He vented them; most narrow measure lent me. When the best hint was given him, he not took’t, Or did it from his teeth, Oct.
O my good lord, Believe not all; or, if you must believe, Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady, If this division chance, ne'er stood between, Praying for both parts; the good gods will mock me
presently, When I shall pray, 0, bless my lord and husband! Undo that prayer, by crying out as loud, 0, bless
brother! Husband win, win brother, Prays, and destroys the prayer; no midway 'Twixt these extremes at all. Ant.
Gentle Octavia, Let your best love draw to that point, which seeks Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself; better I were not yours, Than yours so branchless. But, as you requested, Yourself shall go between us. The mean time, lady, I'll raise the preparation of a war Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste; So your desires are yours.
1 i. e. to appearance only, not seriously. Thus Dryden, in his Wild Gallant:-“ I am confident she is only angry from the teeth outward."
2 Mr. Boswell suggests that, perhaps, we should read, “Shall stay your brother.” To stain is not here used for to shame or disgrace, as Johnson supposed; but for to eclipse, extinguish, throw into the shade, to put out; from the old French esteindre.
Oct. Thanks to my lord. The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak, Your reconciler! Wars 'twixt you twain would be As if the world should cleave, and that slain men Should solder
the rift. Ant. When it appears to you where this begins, Turn your displeasure that way; for our faults Can never be so equal, that your love Can equally move with them. Provide your going; Choose your own company, and command what cost Your heart has mind to.
Another Room in the same.
Enter ENOBARBUS and Eros, meeting.
sir. Eno. What, man ?
Eros. Cæsar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
Eno. This is old; what is the success?
Eros. Cæsar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality ;? would not let him partake in the glory of the action; and not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote to Pompey; upon his own appeal,? seizes him. So the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.
Eno. Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no
And throw between them all the food thou hast, They'll grind the one the other. Where's Antony ?
Eros. He’s walking in the garden-thus; and spurns The rush that lies before him ; cries, Fool, Lepidus! And threats the throat of that his officer, That murdered Pompey.
1 i. e. equal rank.
3 The old copy reads would instead of world, and omits one the in the third line of this speech.
Our great navy's rigged. Eros. For Italy and Cæsar. More, Domitius; My lord desires you presently: my news I might have told hereafter. Dno.
'Twill be naught; But let it be.-Bring me to Antony. Eros. Come, sir.
SCENE VI. Rome. A Room in Cæsar's House.
Enter CÆSAR, AGRIPPA, and MECÆNAS. Cæs. Contemning Rome, he has done all this; and
In Alexandria, here's the manner of it,
This in the public eye?
Let Rome be thus Informed.
Agr. Who, queasy with his insolence Already, will their good thoughts call from him.
1 This is closely copied from the old translation of Plutarch.
Cæs. The people know it; and have now received
Whom does he accuse?
Sir, this should be answered.
He'll never yield to that.
Oct. Hail, Cæsar, and my lord ! hail, most dear
you cause. Cæs. Why have you stolen upon us thus ? You
Like Cæsar's sister. The wife of Antony
By sea and land; supplying every stage
Good my lord,
Which soon he granted,
Oct. Do not say so, my lord. .
I have eyes upon him,
My lord, in Athens. Cæs. No, my most wronged sister; Cleopatra Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire Up to a whore; who now are levying ? The kings o’the earth for war. He hath assembled Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus, Of Cappadocia ; Philadelphos, king Of Paphlagonia ; the Thracian king, Adallas; King Malchus of Arabia ; king of Pont; Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king Of Comagene; Polemon and Amintas, The kings of Mede, and Lycaonia, with a More larger list of sceptres. Oct.
Ah me, most wretched, That have my heart parted betwixt two friends, That do afflict each other! Ces.
Welcome hither. Your letters did withhold our breaking forth ;
1 The old copy reads, abstract. The alteration was made by Warburton.
2 That is, which two persons are now levying, &c. Upton observes, that there are some errors in the enumeration of the auxiliary kings: but it is probable that the Poet did not care to be scrupulously accurate. He proposed to read:
Poleman and Amintus,
Of Lycaonia, and the king of Mede," which obviates all impropriety.