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Agr.

O, rare for Antony! Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, So many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes, And made their bends adornings ;? at the helm A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands, That yarely frames the office. From the barge A strange, invisible perfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature. Agr.

Rare Egyptian!
Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony, ,
Whom ne'er the word of No woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast;
And for his ordinary, pays his heart,
For what his eyes eat only.
Agr.

Royal wench!
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed;
He ploughed her, and she cropped.
Eno.

I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect, perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Eno. Never ; he will not:

1 i. e. waited upon her looks, discovered her will by her looks.

26 Made their bends adornings.” On this passage there are several pages of notes in the variorum Shakspeare, which, as Steevens remarks, supply a powerful instance of the uncertainty of verbal criticism ; for the same phrase is there explained with reference to four different imagesbows, groups, eyes, and tails. “The plain sense of the passage seems to be, ' each inclined her person so gracefully, that the very act of humiliation kas an improvement of her own beauty.'

3 “ Yarely frame,” i. e. readily perform.

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Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women
Cloy the appetites they feed; but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery? to him.

Agr. Let us go
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest,
Whilst you abide here.
Eno.

Humbly, sir, 1 thank you.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. The same. A Room in Cæsar's House.

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Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them ;

Attendants, and a Soothsayer.
Ant. The world, and my great office, will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.
Octa.

All which time
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
Ant.

Good night, sir.—My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report.
I have not kept my square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.

Octa. Good night, sir.
Cæs. Good night. [Exeunt CÆSAR and OCTAVIA.
Ant. Now, sirrah! you do wish yourself in Egypt?
Sooth. 'Would I had never come from thence, nor

you
Thither!
Ant. If.

you can, your reason? Sooth.

I see't in

1 Riggish is wanton, immodest.

2 Lottery for allotment. 3 The same construction is found in Coriolanus, Act i. Sc. 1, “ Shouting their emulation."

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My motion, have it not in my tongue. But yet,
Hie you again to Egypt.
Ant.

Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher; Cæsar's, or mine?

Sooth. Casar's ;
Therefore, 0 Antony, stay not by his side.
Thy demon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar's is not; but near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear,' as being overpowered: therefore
Make space enough between you.
Ant.

Speak this no more.
Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose ; and of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens ?
When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 'tis noble.
Ant.

Get thee gone;
Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him.

[Exit Soothsayer.
He shall to Parthia.-Be it art, or hap,
He hath spoke true. The very dice obey him ;
And, in our sports, my better cunning faints
Under his chance. If we draw lots, he speeds;
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhooped, at odds. I will to Egypt :
And though I make this marriage for my peace,

Enter VENTIDIUS.
l'the East my pleasure lies.-0 come, Ventidius,
You must to Parthia : your commission's ready :
Follow me, and receive it.

[Exeunt.

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1 A Fear was a personage in some of the old moralities. 2 So in Macbeth, “light thickens."

3 The ancients used to match quails as we match cocks. Julius Pollux relates, that a circle was made in which the birds were placed, and he whose quail was first driven out of this circle lost the stake.

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Enter LEPIDUS, MECÆNAS, and AGRIPPA. Lep. Trouble yourselves no further; pray you,

hasten Your generals after. Agr.

Sir, Mark Antony
Will e’en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.

Lep. Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
Which will become you both, farewell.
Mec.

We shall,
As I conceive the journey, be at mount
Before you, Lepidus.
Lep.

Your way is shorter;
My purposes do draw me much about ;
You'll win two days upon me.
Mec. Agr.

Sir, good success!
Lep. Farewell.

[Exeunt.

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SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.

Cleo. Give me some music; music, moody' food Of us that trade in love. Attend.

The music, ho !

Enter MARDIAN.

Cleo. Let it alone; let us to billiards.3 Come, Charmian.

Char. My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.

Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch played, As with a woman:-Come, you'll play with me, sir ?

1 Mount Misenum.
2 Moody here means melancholy.

3 It is scarcely necessary to remark that this is an anachronism. Billiarils were not known to the ancients.

Mar. As well as I can, madam.
Cleo. And when good will is showed, though it

come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now ;-
Give me mine angle :

-We'll to the river; there,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finned fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, Ah ha! you're caught.
Char.

'Twas merry, when
You wagered on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
Cleo.

That time! O times !
I laughed him out of patience; and that night
I laughed him into patience : and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed ;
Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan. O! from Italy;

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Enter a Messenger.
Rain 3 thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.
Mess.

Madam, madam,
Cleo. Antony's dead?
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress;
But well and free,
If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss; a hand that kings
Have lipped, and trembled kissing.
Mess.

First, madam, he's well. Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, sirrah, mark :

We use

1 This circumstance is from Plutarch.

2 The battle of Philippi being the greatest action of Antony's life, it was an adroit piece of flattery to name his sword from it.

3 The old copy reads " Ram thou,” &c. Rain agrees better with the epithets fruitful and barren. So in Timon :

Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear.”

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